If you stock up on the official All-Star Game merchandise
that just showed up at the MLB.com Shop, you can wear an authentic black or gold jersey, play catch with one of the Gold Balls that will be used again in the CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby, and set your new Hunter 2006 All-Star Game Baseball Alarm Clock
to go off at exactly 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday when voting ends here to determine the starters.
The 77th All-Star Game will be played on July 11 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, and for the multitudes who attend, the week there will be some serious power-shopping at the FanFest as well as the ballpark souvenir stands. For those who just can't be there or just can't wait, the MLB.com Shop now has what you need. Here is the rundown:
This is the first opportunity for most people to see the style of jerseys the players will be wearing for the All-Star Game and the CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby. It also is the first opportunity to wear what they'll be wearing. The American League is in gold with black lettering and red trim, while the National League is in black with gold lettering and red trim. These are the Cool Base garments that offer more comfort on hot days, and the Shop also features youth versions for the NL and AL.
2006 All-Star Game Program
There are two versions in the Shop for collectors. One is the official program with the logo artwork on the cover. The other is a "Pirates All-Stars" collage cover, which features Jason Bay, Bill Mazeroski, Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell.
The two-toned Gold Ball is back. It was first used a year ago in Detroit. Once again, this will be used each time a participant is down to his final out at the Home Run Derby, and any homers with this ball will again result in a donation to charity. The Shop features that ball, as well as one that comes with a display cube. The Shop also has the official ball that will be used in the All-Star Game (with black and gold stitching), the official Home Run Derby ball, and for the first time, the official XM Satellite Radio Futures Game ball.
Tees and other shirts
The FanFest will have racks and racks of these, and you can see there already is a pretty nice selection here as well. All feature the All-Star logo, with T-shirts ranging from the basic white model to the black-or-gold Dedication Tee to a long-sleeve stadium model to women's tanks. Order now and you can walk around PNC Park or the David L. Lawrence Convention Center -- the site of FanFest -- styling a casual Prevail Shirt by Antiqua or perhaps hit the links over the All-Star break in a nice logo polo.
If you're driving to Pittsburgh and going through the Alleghenies, one of these still might come in handy over the break. Thanks to the host team, you can see the black-and-gold theme is prevalent again.
This is the fourth All-Star Game in Pittsburgh, following the Midsummer Classics of 1959 at Forbes Field, and 1974 and 1994 at Three Rivers Stadium. Now you can have a felt pennant to commemorate all of them. Other cool All-Star collectibles include a limited-edition wood ball set that is individually numbered, a 48x60 acrylic tapestry blanket and a three-gallon gift tin -- just right for stuffing full of All-Star souvenirs.
If you get one of those Hunter 2006 All-Star Game Baseball Alarm Clocks, set it for 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday. That is the deadline for using up the rest of your allotted 25 votes in the Monster.com All-Star Online Ballot. Rosters will be announced on July 2, and fans once again will have the opportunity to select the final position player for each league's 32-man squad. The Final Vote will provide fans the opportunity to cast their votes on MLB.com from a list of five players from each league over a three-day period.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and shown around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET on July 11. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will provide exclusive play-by-play.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.