The winter holidays fall during one of the busiest times of year on the sports calendar, so the sports fans in your life might be in a particularly athletic mood when it comes to gifts. Of course, a good sports-related gift doesn’t depend on the schedule—it’s timeless. Ideally, it’ll be something the recipient can cherish and maybe even pass down to future generations.
That’s a tall order, but don’t stress: There are plenty of great gifts out there to please even the most hardcore fan. Here, we’ve rounded up 11 picks that make great options for gifting this season.
The Best Gifts for Sports Fans in 2021
1. Uncommon Goods Ticket Stub Diary
Before digital tickets (and before cell phones with cameras in them), the best way to prove you went to a sporting event was to hang onto your ticket stub. Even now, a paper ticket stub can be a great keepsake, and this little booklet is a great way to recall favorite games.
2. Golf’s Greatest Moments by The New York Times
One of the sports world’s best coffee table books (and an excellent golf gift for the duffer who already owns all the latest tech), Golf’s Greatest Moments is a collection of pages from the paper of record covering major moments in the game’s history. It also comes with a leatherette cover that you can personalize for your recipient.
3. MLB Game-Used Baseball Bat Bottle Openers
These openers are the ideal gift for someone who likes baseball as much as they enjoy a good beer. They’re made from game-used Louisville Sluggers, and they come with story cards detailing who swung the bat that ultimately became the bottle opener. You can order by team.
4. Varispeed Putting System
There are lots of turf mats that allow you to practice putting at home, but this mat from Varispeed is a cut above. Its varied surfaces offer different green speeds, and it comes with a break wedge to create customized slope conditions that better emulate a real-life putting experience.
5. Greatest Lakers Kobe Plays Slate Coasters
Kobe Bryant was a wizard on inbounds plays and coming out of timeouts. This handsome set of four slate coasters from Playbook Products memorializes his prowess: It features detailed diagrams of four notable plays from Bryant’s career. Each coaster includes his and other players’ names, as well as when and where the plays happened, for a detailed look at how those genius moves unfolded on the court.
6. Bench Clearers Hockey Tank
Hockey jerseys are cool, but they’re not especially practical. Their sleeves aren’t easy to write or work in (unless your job is playing hockey), and they aren’t exactly comfortable to wear in the summer. Instead, pick up a hockey tank top from Bench Clearers. Each tank is based on an NHL team’s jersey, and they’re comfortable to wear outside in the warmer months or around the house year-round. The company makes tanks for every NHL team, as well as some clubs that no longer exist (go Whalers).
7. 3D Stadium Wall Art
There are paintings of stadiums, prints of stadiums, and sculptures of stadiums—and now, you can get all three in one. These framed dioramas are made from layers of cut wood and painted to resemble the actual three-dimensional features of the stadiums they model; they also come with some quick facts, like the date the stadium opened. Various college football, MLB, and NFL stadiums are on offer, along with a few famous hockey arenas.
8. Homefield Apparel Vintage College Sports Gear
Homefield Apparel, a family-run business out of Indianapolis, has become a big deal in college sports over the last two years. The brand works with universities to offer vintage collections that aren’t available anywhere else, and the shirts (and hoodies, and crewnecks, and even joggers) are extremely comfortable. More than 100 schools have designs available.
[T-shirts starting at $32; homefieldapparel.com]
9. Fathead Wall Decal or Sign
The gold standard for life-sized wall art featuring athlete likenesses, Fathead also has a wide range of related pieces that will look good on anyone’s wall. If a player Fathead doesn’t suit your recipient (or their decor), maybe they’d like an officially licensed metal street sign or a lighted wall sign instead. Your options are plentiful.
[Prices vary; fathead.com]
10. NFL Riddell Speed Mini Football Helmet
A miniature helmet is an ideal addition to any football fan’s mantle or office. They’re easy to move around and fit anywhere (as opposed to a much bulkier regulation-size helmet), and they look great in groups. You can even buy a complete set of all 32 NFL teams’ lids if you’d like to really help someone redecorate.
11. YouTheFan Team Grill Set
Help your grilling friend or relative get through the monotony of flipping burgers all afternoon by giving them a reminder of the team they care about. A wide range of NHL, MLB, NFL, and college team grilling utensil sets are available. Each set features a spatula, tongs, and meat fork.
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