Friday, August 24, 2018

Stripers Merch: Thumbs Up

When they were the Gwinnett Braves, they had a good team store there at CoolRay Field, near the Mall of Georgia. But once they changed their name to the Stripers the apparel really took off. The team has three different on-field caps (the main one is my favorite) and four jerseys: home pinstripe, road grey, alternate bright green, and throwbacks with the fish on the sleeve.
The Strippers joke got run into the ground the first week. I can't remember all four names that were the finalists. "Buttons" won the fan vote. Would've been odd / weird / unique but what could you do with it. Then I figured "Sweet Teas" would be a great name. Another finalist was the "Largemouth Bass", which wouldn't fit well on a jersey. The marketing agency morphed that into the Stripers. Some knitpick that the stripes run the other way on the real fish, but who really cares.
Interesting the Stripers didn't have any cap giveaways this year – guess they wanted everyone to buy a cap. At the games you see more fans in Striper gear than Braves gear. I have one Braves trucker hat that I love, but with my huge head I'm not sure it looks good on me. The Stripers team store has all kinds of caps, including several mesh trucker caps that a good ole north Georgia fishing enthusiast would wear. All manner of t-shirts, hoodies, pullovers – even Columbia fishing shirts. The Striper logo is perfect for all that, better even than the Braves logo.
I had met Stripers VP/GM North Johnson during the off-season, so I tried to say hello at the games I attended this year. A couple of weeks ago at a game I was looking at stuff in the team store, and realized a perfect item they should sell was Stripers logo license plates for the front of pickup trucks. Later I ran into Johnson and told him my idea. He thought they already had some on order.
Both the Stripers and Braves team stores are better than ever at constantly bringing in new items. The Braves store has tons of items based on the current tomahawk uniform, as well as plenty of Los Bravos and the 70's era feather unis. And the huge wall of all kinds of caps, including throwbacks and all the minor league affiliates.  
Rant: some people don't like SunTrust Park because it's in God-forsaken outside the perimeter. Actually not God-forsaken. Many inside the Perimeter dislike mixing with the yokels and hayseeds outside the perimeter because they are God-fearing.
But how many of those savants loving life ITP spent their entire life there? Most are carpetbaggers, who moved in town from places far away. Some moved ITP from OTP, but they'd like to keep that their little secret.
Most OTP are well-adjusted folk who could care less able labels, addresses, or other signs of wealth. OTPers aren't as caught up in all that. We'd rather have more room to stretch out without smacking into our neighbor. Rather have better schools, less crime, less traffic, lower prices, more shopping choices, great restaurants, and lower taxes. Nothing wrong with that. We can always visit ITP if we want. Drives the ITPers crazy. 

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