Today, Yohanek is a veritable fan spokesperson for the MLB.com Shop and the lifestyle of loving baseball enough to wear it on your sleeves. These are tough economic times, but there's a Clearance Sale until 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, and happiness is being able to take an additional 20 percent off select Clearance items and thus start your holiday shopping with some tremendous baseball savings.
"Thanks to the current economic climate, savings this holiday season is priority No. 1," Yohanek said in an e-mail to MLB.com. "While our household has always budgeted for 'baseball related stuff,' this year we have become increasingly aware of what's going on out there.
"Being a baseball fan/shopper is still as fun as ever. Regardless of the economy. New products and new ideas every year, there's always something to pick up of your favorite team. Especially during the holidays -- a way to rekindle that baseball spirit and stoke the fire of a long offseason."
There are plenty of items in the Clearance Sale that will make you happy.
Here are some examples:
A pink bat. Those immensely popular Louisville Sluggers, specially made for the annual Mother's Day awareness campaign to help fight breast cancer, are available at 20 percent off the already reduced price of $39.97. So for just $31.97, you can order one now for a special lady on your holiday shopping list, and nearly one-third of the proceeds -- $10 per bat sold -- go directly to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Quatre Hooded Fleece. It's easy to find sweatshirts, heavy jackets and other apparel that will be just right this winter for those special fans on your shopping list. And you can't argue with the price. Consider that cool Padres Cooperstown Quatre Hooded Fleece as a throwback statement, or help someone wear a Yankees Quatre Hooded Fleece to the grand opening next April.
Door Mat. It's cool to have your team's logo on one of these. Just as long as your team doesn't take it literally.
Team Pride Heavyweight T-Shirt. This is a team-screamer, and at this price you might want to buy a handful of them as can't-miss presents or even stocking stuffers.
Mets Downflap Youth 39THIRTY Cap. These became kind of a rage when the postseason came to Philadelphia in late October, as they're great for cold weather. Actually, there are caps all over the place in Clearance. Consider a Yankees True Patriot 59FIFTY Scarlet Fitted Cap, a Reds Huntington Beach Red Adjustable Cap or Angels Contrast Stitch Adjustable Cap.
The savings will be emphatic at the Clearance Sale, and actually it is merely one of a constant rollout of sales at the MLB.com Shop. You can find multiple sales under way there now, and that will be the case through December.
"It's only natural that we, the consumers, are being catered to a little more than usual this holiday season," said Yohanek, who chronicled the Brewers' 2008 National League Wild Card season on his MLBlog and is ready for more in 2009. "Money is a little tighter, but the show must go on. Sales need to be made and products need to be sent out. After all, if you don't change with the times, one might be out of luck.
"The reality is this: Consumers will still make their purchases. They just will be a little bit smarter in doing so. Do we really need five different Brewers shirts or will one or two do the trick? Why should we buy at one place when another offers a discount with free shipping? Much less impulse purchasing, at the very least."
Yohanek and his wife will be looking for something for 3-year-old Clara, and then something with a Brewers touch for J.J. -- the little dude who's on the way in time for next season. For about 15 bucks, there's a Brewers Infant Bib and Bootie Set just waiting now.