Where’s My Anthony Santander Team Venezuela T-Shirt?

Anthony Santander with the Baltimore Orioles in 2018. Photo by Keith Allison via Wikipedia

Ha-Seong Kim of the San Diego Padres and the Korean World Baseball Classic team hit three home runs during the tournament. Joey Meneses (Nats/Mexico team) and Anthony Santander (Orioles/Venezuela) have each hit two home runs – so far. So why can’t I buy player-specific WBC gear for any of them? I mean, isn’t one goal of this whole WBC thing to separate us from our money, MLB? You are missing out on a fabulous marketing opportunity here. You love, love, love to sell us alternate-style jerseys, t-shirts, and caps in many colors and styles, as well as all sorts of other things. So why can’t you sell some player gear for the WBC?

Of course, they are selling some player jerseys and tees, but their logic fails me there. If you go to MLBshop.com, Fanatics.com, or other stores, you’ll find WBC t-shirts for the following teams and players:

  • Canada: Freddie Freeman
  • Dominican Republic: Julio Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Juan Soto, Manny Machado, and Rafael Devers
  • Japan: Shohei Ohtani
  • Mexico: Isaac Paredes
  • Puerto Rico: Francisco Lindor
  • USA: Mike Trout (jersey and tee), Mookie Betts (jersey and tee), Nolan Arenado (jersey and tee), Trey Turner (jersey and tee), Pete Alonso (jersey and tee), Kyle Tucker (jersey), Tim Anderson (jersey and tee), Adam Wainwright (jersey), J.T. Realmuto (jersey and tee), Paul Goldschmidt (jersey), Will Smith (jersey), Bobby Witt Jr. (jersey and tee), Clayton Kershaw (jersey and tee), and Jeff McNeil (jersey)

However, there are no player-specific items for the majority of teams: Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, and Panama. (Don’t even get me started on the fact there there are absolutely no WBC t-shirts or jerseys in women’s sizes except for blue team USA t-shirts for Betts, Trout, Arenado, Alonso, Turner, Kershaw, Anderson, and Witt, Jr.)

Could it be that some things sold out? Maybe. I know when I finally gave in and allowed MLB to separate me from my money last weekend, the only Manny Machado Dominican Republic t-shirts left were size 2XL. (But I’ll make it work – I do need a Manny shirt for every team and in every color to wear to O’s games as a form of silent protest.) But it seems like as late as January there was no merch available.

And what I don’t understand is why we can’t have custom t-shirts or jerseys made? They do it for the MLB teams – though for some teams, the customized t-shirts do not look like the standard player-named tees). Maybe they had more at the stadiums, but that certainly hasn’t been the case with some MLB teams (I’m still waiting for the Orioles Store at Camden Yards to stock more shirts than just Ryan Mountcastle). (Hey Orioles – where are the Cedric Mullins shirts?) (Or, for that matter, Anthony Santander?)

MLB is missing out on a huge opportunity here. I can see how maybe they wouldn’t want to pre-make and stock Anthony Santander team Venezuela t-shirts or Joey Meneses team Mexico t-shirts. Fine. But couldn’t I order custom-made ones with their names? If that were the case, I’d buy several of my favorite players. I need more than just my Manny Machado collection of t-shirts.

~ baseballrebecca