Orioles fans might be masochistic, but never let it be said they aren’t industrious. From the Baltimore Sun’s Rick Maese.
It has taken a full year, but Orioles fans are finally starting to find some value in the Sosa signing. In fact, some area sporting apparel stores are reporting that Sosa’s jerseys are selling better than they have in months.
The reason for the upsurge, though, has nothing to do with the fallen slugger.
The explanation sits in one corner of the Orioles’ clubhouse. He’s polite and patient at the plate, and his mere presence has charmed fans.
But it’s only numerical happenstance that Nick Markakis is wearing the same jersey number that Sosa wore last year in Baltimore, No. 21.
An unscientific and random survey of area sports apparel stores revealed that some fans have been buying old Sosa jerseys from the clearance racks. They then take their purchases home and unstitch the “SOSA” lettering across the shoulders. What remains is a giant “21.” Voila! An improvised Markakis jersey at a discount price.
“I wouldn’t say sales have been crazy,” one store manager told me. “But people have been coming in here and buying them more than they were a few months ago.”
I visited a couple of stores this week, and the ones that still stock Sosa gear have marked the jerseys as low as $30, well over 50 percent off the retail price in most cases.
If you can push your way through all the Tejada and Mora jerseys, you’ll find Sosa’s name all over the clearance racks. One even sold on eBay yesterday for $5.50.