07/10/2004 7:05 PM ET
The ultimate scavenger hunt
If memorabilia is your thing, then you have to visit the booths at FanFest. There are individual companies set up selling everything from baseball cards to life-sized bronze statues. There is truly something for every baseball fan!
After checking out all the booths, as promised, I am putting my Top 10 list of must-haves any kid would want. Of course, not all of my Top 10 is priced for a kids budget, but it would be fun to have:
10. A one-and-a-half times life-sized bronze statue of Joe DiMaggio swinging a bat by Robert Hurst. It's a one of a kind. Cost? Just $65,000.
9. The 2004 All Star official programs. There are two covers this year, one with Roger Clemens and one with Nolan Ryan. You can pick one up just about anywhere at FanFest and at Minute Maid Park. It's loaded with great information and interesting facts. A real collector's piece!
8. What musician wouldn't want his own All-Star electric guitar? It's just $695 and you can get it from Player Direct Collectibles.
7. What would a FanFest be without trading cards? All the big card companies were there including Topps and Upper Deck. Buy them by the box or individually.
6. The Nolan Ryan Foundation has a booth that has lots of memorabilia from his days with the Rangers, Astros and Angels. They have signed jerseys, baseballs, caps, posters, etc.
5. Pins, pins and more pins. New Dimension sports has pins for everyone. Trading pins is a lot of fun and they had several different 2004 All-Star Game pins as well as individual team pins. I would definitely recommend you get one of these. They are a great collectible.
4. Buy your own baseball field game called MLB SportsClix from WizKids, Inc. It is a tabletop baseball game. It uses dice to determine the outcome of a game. You roll dice for the pitcher and the batter. You get combinations on the dice and it tells you what to do. The combination that you roll appears on a dial on the pitcher and the hitter, and that is how you determine the result of that at bat. They have a huge display, and you can buy Starter Kits and Booster Packs. The Starter set contains a full team of nine figures, a stadium play mat, dice rules and everything you need to field a team. Starter Kits start at $19.99 . You can buy additional players in Booster Packs that start at $6.99. www.wizkidsgames.com if you can't make it out to FanFest.
3. A signed Negro League wool jersey, framed, with signatures from Hall of Fame inductees Buck Leonard, Ray Dandridge, Leon Day, Monte Irvin and Larry Doby. Priced at $5,595 at Reeni's Sports Collectibles.
2. Roger Clemens Foundation, run by his wife Debbie Clemens has a unique booth with stuff that you won't find anywhere else. She sells rhinestone ball caps in girl colors, signed by Roger for the chic fan or for ladies who want to sparkle, Christmas ornaments, bracelets, photographs, T-shirts, jerseys of Rogers, and my favorite, the All-Star bar stools. The legs of the stools are All-Star bats that say "Rocket" on them, and the seat is hand-painted with 2004 All-Star Game -- Houston Astros and signed by Roger. Priced at $495. A real bargain if you are a huge Clemens fan and they are really neat looking. I want one for my room and am starting to save for one!
1. A giant 3-foot bobblehead of various players. Several different booths had them, and they start at $295. I particularly like the Barry Bonds one. It actually looked like him!
No matter what, you will certainly find something you just have to have. Happy shopping!
By Michael McHugh / Special to MLB.com
Michael McHugh is a student at Friendswood (Texas) Junior High and is a special contributor to MLB.com. He will provide special coverage of the 2004 All-Star Game in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.