The best gifts for Baltimore sports fans

Published on: November 13, 2022 7:53 PM EST|Updated on: November 15, 2022 1:16 PM EST

Illustration for The Baltimore Banner's gift guide

Back in 1991, the best present I got wasn’t wrapped in a big box. In fact, as soon as I found it in my stocking and raised it triumphantly over my head, my mom snatched it out of my hand and hid it somewhere safe.

She had stayed up one night that fall until midnight so she could dial a number to wait in line to buy tickets to the inaugural season at Camden Yards, and in those days if you lost a ticket to a sporting event you couldn’t just go print a new one (or download it to a phone; those were still connected to walls).

So much has changed since then, but this has not: Oriole Park remains one of the best places to watch baseball, and a ticket to enjoy an afternoon or evening there is a gift any sports fan should appreciate.

We’ll start there, but we’ve also got a few other ideas for unique local gifts, too.

Baltimore Orioles logo at Camden Yards
(Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

Get out to the ballpark

Demand for O’s tickets probably won’t match the levels of 1992, but it’s likely going to be higher than it has been since the early 2000s, when a prolonged period of mediocrity (and the arrival of the Nationals in D.C.) put an end to the team annually attracting over 3 million fans per season.

Thanks to catcher Adley Rutschman and a slew of other top prospects, the Orioles won 83 games last season — just four fewer than the Philadelphia Phillies, who made it to the World Series. Much will depend on how the offseason goes, but there’s no reason to think the O’s won’t be a trendy pick to sneak into the playoffs next year.

There are many options for buying tickets at the team’s official site, but the Birdland Memberships are a great deal: You can get a ticket to 13 games for $215, 29 games for $532 or all 81 for $1,470.

The team still has an impressive prospect pool, too, so consider a trip to Bowie to see the Baysox or Aberdeen to take in an IronBirds game. You can sit front row for about $20 at those games.


Ravens morph suit
(Courtesy of Route One Apparel)

A Ravens (or Orioles) body suit (yes, this is actually a thing)

I’m not going to condescend to you, reader, by taking the time to explain why you might need this. You’ve seen the picture. You already know. It’s $62.96 and available from Maryland’s own Route One Apparel, which also sells dozens upon dozens of other Baltimore and Maryland-centric sports apparel.


Ornaments by Tom Matarazzo
(Courtesy photo)

Show your appreciation with some crab shell art

Artist Tom Matarazzo has been selling decorated crab shells since 2005, first from a shop in Hampden and now from a spot tucked inside the Pennsylvania Dutch Market in Cockeysville. He’s got a variety of sports-related designs that will give your Ravens or Orioles shrine a unique touch.


Bird City soap by Mount Royal
(Courtesy photo)

Bird City soap from Mount Royal

I wake up thinking about sports, and absolutely demand that my soap not interrupt my thoughts by smelling like a field in Ireland or some such. So I turn to Bird City, a spearmint and sweet basil bar from the Mount Royal Soap Co., which has a store in Remington.

According to the website, this one “smells like a bunch of Louisville Sluggers laying out in the sun on a field of fresh cut Kentucky Blue.” You can get it for $7.50.


Robbie’s First Base
(Courtesy photo)

Robbie’s First Base

Whether you need a few packs of baseball cards ($3-$15), a signed Lamar Jackson rookie card mounted next to a signed Lamar Jackson photo framed below a signed Lamar Jackson jersey ($999), or an epic photo collage featuring signed paraphernalia from all six Orioles in the Baseball Hall of Fame ($1,500), Robbie’s First Base in Lutherville has you covered.

The family-run business — both Robbie Davis Sr. and Robbie Davis Jr. work at the store, as well as another son/brother, Matthew — has been selling sports memorabilia since 1989, and was featured on the ABC series “Ball Boys.” The crew is also going to be featured on “The Golden Touch,” a forthcoming Netflix documentary series.

A trip to Robbie’s is worth it for the banter alone, but you’ll also find yourself going through years of game jerseys and old bats (including those used by former Orioles star Adam Jones, whose podcast is hosted by The Baltimore Banner.)


Topgolf
(Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

A trip to Topgolf

You’ve got those Orioles tickets. Now go ahead and make a day of it: You can pre-game with golf, food and drinks at the new Topgolf before walking over to the stadium.

The first Baltimore-area location opened late last month, making golf accessible and fun for players of all experience and skill levels. You rent a bay that accommodates up to six players, and then a nifty machine spits out balls for you to whack toward targets down below. There are a variety of games to choose from, and the computer keeps score based on tracking data from each shot.

All of that sounds a little stilted when written out, so let’s go with this: There’s beer, there’s wings, there’s golf but it’s not as serious as golf sometimes gets, and it’s right in the heart of the stadium district.

Prices to rent a bay vary depending on day and time, but it’s $50 per hour on a Saturday afternoon.


Sneakers from 9/10 Condition Sneaker Boutique
(Courtesy photo)

Fresh kicks from a local spot

You’re probably tired of failing to get those coveted Nikes from the SNKRS app. We all are.

So why not stroll over to 9/10 Condition Sneaker Boutique in Federal Hill? They’ve got a wide selection of highly sought-after shoes as well as vintage clothing. You want to look nice when you show up to that Ravens playoff game, or Orioles Opening Day.


Baltimore Banner office
(Shan Wallace/The Baltimore Banner)

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