If you’ve got a sports nut in your life, holiday shopping victory can be yours! We’ve rounded up a competitive bunch of gifts for those with a love of the game. And if you think we’re talking about team hats or jerseys or something else a fanatic would already have, well, that’s strike no. 1. This list has a full roster of unique gifts we can almost guarantee your die hard has never dreamed of. So get ready to hit a grand slam, go for a hat-trick, score an overtime W, hit a hole in one—or any other sports metaphor you can think of—with your all-time-high offering.
Here at UncommonGoods, we’re always on the lookout for newcomers to our assortment of artists whose creations make us smile, think, or say “wow” when we glance at our homepage (a daily activity here). The latest in this parade of intriguing creators? One Jonathan Bobrow, a self-described “artist, designer, programmer, math lover, and constantly curious individual.” A former student at the MIT Media Lab, Jonathan is best known ’round these parts for his Troxes: Origami Building Blocks—toys that fold together to create intricate shapes without the aid of glue, tape, or any other sticky substance… excepting a little elbow grease.
For someone (wink, nudge) whose favorite part of their job often involves interviewing new artists, Jonathan was an ideal study. Talkative, open, and excited to share the story behind his Origami Building Blocks, Jonathan provided us with more fascinating material than we could possibly pack into a single quick-and-dirty blog post. That didn’t stop us from trying, though. Read on for a full account of our attempt, including an explanation of what A League of Their Own has to do with designing laser-cut toys.
Baseball season is officially here, and we can almost hear the fans across America singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Here at UncommonGoods, we’ve been working on a new baseball-themed product for a few months: Record-Breaking Baseball Glasses. We’re excited to launch this new product just in time for baseball lovers to use for their enjoyment of cold beers or sodas alongside those peanuts and Cracker Jacks. Since I dabbled in T-ball and a little slow pitch baseball myself growing up, I was happy to put my baseball knowledge to good use in developing the set.
In true Product Development form, we often take projects down more than one path. I started the development process by exploring different design ideas (like baseball expressions and baseball pitches) and different aesthetics (for example, using newspaper baseball scores or trading cards as inspiration). Nothing seemed like a good fit.
We took a step back and asked ourselves, “What do baseball fans like?” and the answer was pretty clear: stats. Baseball fans love statistics, even the most obscure. With that in mind, we took the development of these glasses down a new path that would feature stats.
Editor’s Note: Our first Kickstarter project was a major league success! Tokens & Icons, a long valued partner of UncommonGoods, brought it all home with their amazing MLB Game Used Baseball Beanies. Baseball fans couldn’t wait to get their mitts on the beanies, and our goal was reached in just one day! Though the campaign has ended, you can still rep your favorite team and get a beanie of your own. Read on and watch our video to learn more.
About the Project
Back in 1969 when the New York Mets won the World Series, UncommonGoods founder Dave Bolotsky, then six years old, got a cherished jacket from the underdog team. He’s loved his home team and the sport itself ever since. There’s nothing else quite like the nostalgic feeling sports memorabilia creates—a feeling that goes way beyond their materials.
A baseball story of a different stripe, this handcrafted beanie from Tokens & Icons and UncommonGoods is knit from three continuous wool yarn strands found inside MLB authenticated, game-used baseballs.
Ah, two of America’s greatest pastimes: playing baseball and crushin’ brewskis. Our ever-innovative product development team had the genius idea to combine them in our latest original product: Home Run Beer Pong. When our team is working on something new for our assortment, they typically need some guinea pigs to test it out – and lucky for us on the blog squad, people to document the process! I’ll admit, I’m no sports expert. But since I have played a fair amount of beer pong in my day, I figured I was qualified enough to tackle the reporting of this product-testing event while Cassie, our blog editor, handled the photos.
Allow me to set the scene for you. It all went down in Conference Room A-2 – the table free of it’s usual keyboards and mouse pads, instead replaced with a mini paper baseball diamond (the real game has a board, not just a sheet of paper – remember we were product testing). Our single can of Canada Dry was cracked and ready, and our two opposing teams were eager to show off their baseball playing, soda slugging skills. Another disclaimer: the real game is meant to be played with beer, obviously, but we were playing at 11 AM on a Thursday and we only had the conference room booked for an hour, so we kept it low-key. But, you’re free to chug ginger ale instead if that’s what you’re into.
Let’s meet the players. We had many statistical minds on the field/conference table, including two whole Kens! Ken “The Elder” is our Data Scientist, and Ken “The Younger” (also known as “Yung Ken” in some underground rap circles) is our Jr. Data Scientist. They obviously formed a team. Team Ken. AKA the Red Team. Next up is Craig, our Data Analyst, and Jackie, our PR Intern who did double duty slugging it out and documenting the process on the UGoods Insta. Craig and Jackie don’t have the same name (bummer) but still made a fine Blue Team.
After a brief review of the rules from the brains behind it all, Senior Product Developer Tiffany, the game commenced.