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Smells like team spirit: Jersey nirvana for fans

Smells like team spirit: Jersey nirvana for fans

Here are 20 reasons to customize a jersey right now at the MLB.com Shop:

1. "I love wearing the team jerseys because they make you feel like a part of the team," said Yankees fan Ray Torrillo of Birmingham, Ala. -- echoing the most commonly uttered response by fans we asked.

2. It's what a large chunk of the crowd wears at a typical Major League Baseball game -- and there were more than 73 million fans at games in 2010. More fans wore customized jerseys this past decade than in any other, largely because it is so easy to customize them online.

3. You have to order by 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday in order to have it received by Dec. 24 via ground shipping. It's your first big holiday shopping deadline.

4. If you order by then, you can spend $89 on one customized jersey and get $20 off; spend $149 and get $30 off; and spend $199 and get $40 off. The average fan knows what kind of value that tier sale means. If you want to customize a Kevin Youkilis No. 20 Red Sox Authentic Road Jersey, for example, that would normally be $209.99 -- so you can knock it down to $169.99 today.

5. It's a great conversation starter. "I love wearing custom jerseys of random, lesser-known guys on our team so people wonder why I'm that guy's fan," said Pirates fan Kayla Thompson of Weirton, W.Va.

6. There will be 750 active players on Major League rosters when the '11 season opens next March 31 at Great American Ball Park, Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium, Kauffman Stadium and Busch Stadium. Most of those players are assured now of being there then.

7. "I don't have to worry about buying it and then being traded," said Marlins fan Catalina Fuentes of Boca Raton, Fla. She has jerseys for Hanley Ramirez, Miguel Cabrera and Mike Lowell -- and, indeed, she would have been traded twice if jersey wearers were part of deals.

Added Kacey Birdsell of Jupiter, Fla.:"I love wearing my Scott Kazmir Rays jersey because I miss him in Tampa Bay. He'll always be the Rays' ace to me and I still follow him with the Angels."

8. Bonding. "I love wearing my 'LIND' jersey because it shows my support for a great player and my Blue Jays -- and Adam signed it for me, too," said Pat Cumming of Burlington, Ontario. "It's a replica black alternate home jersey, and I wear it to almost every game. It really makes me feel like I'm showing support for my team."

9. They are comfortable. "I looooove to sleep in my Pat Burrell No. 9 home jersey," said Giants fan Katherine Rosenberger of Santa Rosa, Calif., in an email to MLB.com. "Yes, I do sleep in it."

10. Friends and family want them. It is truly the perfect holiday gift.

"When I left my law firm, my fellow associates gave me a customized Reds jersey with my lucky number 12," said Rachel Zahniser of Covington, Ky. "Best gift ever."

11. It's a statement. "I wear my custom Orioles jersey because I like to annoy all the Nats fans here in Virginia," said Brian Schoeneman of Fairfax, Va. It's an away jersey with his last name on the back and "BALTIMORE" on the front -- "great for stoking the DC/Baltimore rivalry."

12. Josh Hamilton and Joey Votto. They are your new Most Valuable Players, and if you already have their home jerseys, then now's the time to get their road or alternate versions.

13. Felix Hernandez and Roy Halladay. They are your new Cy Young Award winners, and if you already have their home jerseys, then now's the time to get their road or alternate versions.

14. Buster Posey and Neftali Feliz. They are your new Rookies of the Year, and if you already have their home jerseys, then now's the time to get their road or alternate versions.

15. You might not be one of those 750 players on the Opening Day active rosters, but you can wear exactly the same jersey that they will have hanging in their clubhouse locker for the season opener.

"Customized jerseys allow fans to live their dream by having their name on their favorite team's jersey," said Red Sox fan Sean Wyatt of Las Vegas. He wears a David Ortiz jersey.

16. "Because nothing makes you feel more like a kid than sporting your favorite player's name on your back," said Reds fan Elise Lotz of Cincinnati. Her closet includes jerseys for Votto, Hamilton, Ken Griffey Jr., David Wright ... "and too many player tees to count."

17. Retro magic. "Is there anything better than old school uniforms?" asked Carolyn Spitkitty of New York. Then harkening back to the days of rainbow attire, she added: "I say bring back those slamming Astros jerseys. I'd wear those every day."

18. You can't have too many. If you are a season ticket holder who typically goes to multiple games during a given homestand, you don't want to constantly wash them. And you certainly don't want to stink or show off that mustard stain.

19."I love customized jerseys because I have been with them longer than any player on the team," said Braves fan Blake Lane of Austin, Texas. "I never leave." That explains the "LANE" on the back of his jersey. But why the No. 19? "Marquis Grissom was my favorite outfielder and he was No. 9," he said. "Playing high school ball, 9 was taken so I took 19. Wore it ever since."

20. And maybe the most perfect reason of all, from Yankees fan Yahaira Brea, who emailed MLB.com from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. She wrote: "It feels like home."

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Follow @MLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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