Friday, November 28, 2014

Justin's World Black Friday Gift Guide

It's Black Friday. Nearly as famous and looked-forward-to as the national holiday that precedes it a day earlier, it's the day for deals and bargain steals in stores and online. 

As your resource for all things softball, we've scrounged up the best deals and gifts available on this Black Friday. Some are part of today-only sales, others are conveniently priced year-round. With all of the items on this list tallying up in the low triple-figures, you can finish your Christmas shopping for that softball fan in your life all at once.

Categorized with prices and links for convenience, the twelve items listed below range from fun apparel and reading material to entertainment and stocking stuffers. We should note that we list these products as a convenient resource and do not necessarily endorse the business selling the product.

Fastpitch Flowers
Available from:
Price: $14.95/single; $159.95/dozen
Area: Stocking stuffer
Write-up: Though definitely on the high side price-wise, this is a fun and original idea that I really like.

“Who We Are Is Why We Win” by Bailey Stenson
Available from: (link to Kindle edition)
Price: $9.99 (Kindle)
Area: Entertainment/reading
Write-up: A good read on the Washington Huskies' 2009 championship-winning team, written by a player and with a player's insights.

“Secrets of the Elite Swing” by Matt Lisle
Available from:
Price: FREE (download)
Area: Entertainment/reading
Write-up: Hitting guru Matt Lisle has revised his original ebook and added an extra chapter with all the keys to becoming an excellent hitter. Plus it's a free download, and you can't go wrong with free, right?!

“3 Strikes” Season 1 DVD
Available from:
Price: $15.00
Area: Entertainment
Write-up: Miss the first season of this scripted series all about softball? Never fear; they're all on the Season 1 DVD. You can get custom trading cards and a cast-signed photo in the 3 Strikes store, as well!

Modeled by Morgan Stuart
‘Drop It Like a Squat’ tee
Available from:
Price: $20.00
Area: Apparel
Write-up: Discounted just for Black Friday, you can get your favorite Jen Schro t-shirt or tank top for $20 today only. A variety of colors, styles, and sayings are there for your choosing.

2013 Chicago Bandits trading cards
Available from:
Price: $10.00
Area: Collectible/Stocking stuffer
Write-up: A year out-of-date, these cards are still a fun collectible and probably the only chance you'll have to remember one-year-only players like Mel Dumezich and Maggie Hull-Tietz in their Bandits uniforms.

Florida Gators 2014 Champions Collectible Pin
Available from:
Price: $7.95
Area: Collectible/Stocking stuffer
Write-up: Even if you're not a Gators fan, this is a cool collectible to remember the first-ever softball championship victory in Florida's history. Once again, an affordable piece that can be had for less than a $10 bill.

2014 NFCA Calendar
Available from:
Price: $5.00
Area: Collectible
Write-up: Discounted as the end of the year and this calendar's relevance nears, it's worth the few dollars to see high-quality photos of twelve awesome shots from all kinds of teams, leagues, and levels of the game. Great catches highlight the shots, but aren't all that will catch your eye as you flip through the months.

Softball earrings
Available from:
Price: $5.00
Area: Stocking stuffer/Apparel
Write-up: Whether it'll be a cool accessory for yourself, your spouse, your daughter, or even your whole team, these earrings aren't perfect, but they look pretty cool and, coming from the ASA/USA shop, you should be able to count on reliability and quality control.

"Finished It"
Available from: iUniverse
Price: $3.99 (eBook); $17.95 (softcover); $27.95 (hardcover)
Area: Entertainment/reading
Write-up: The newest in a much-too-short line of softball books, former Crimson Tide star Cassie Reilly-Boccia follows the mold set by Stenson (see #2 above) as she recounts the 2012 Tide season and the SEC's first-ever WCWS championship. My copy is already in the mail, and a review and interview with the author are coming soon.

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