My Birthday passed recently, and, on my birthday, I happened to be looking on eBay at Mets jerseys, when I should have been working. I didn't actually plan on buying anything. I only own one jersey, a snow white David Wright "Genuine" Jersey that I bought in 2005, and recently sewed the shoulder and neck patches onto so it would appear more like the "Authentic" jerseys that the players supposedly wear (Yes, if you can believe it, I know how to sew).
There wasn't any particular player I was looking for, although I've always wanted to get a Piazza jersey, but I've always been outbid on those, and the John Maine jerseys just look a little too fishy for my liking. If I'm going to buy a jersey, I'd at least like it to look real.
Which is why I was skeptical when I happened on a Black Carlos Beltran "Authentic" jersey, with a Buy it Now price of $38.00 (with shipping). New, with tags, yes. The seller was based out of Seoul, South Korea. He very likely turned it out in his Basement. But he had plenty of photos of the jersey, and it certainly looked real enough. Good feedback rating, too.
There was another dilemma I faced. There is, at least among the circle I run in, a bit of taboo about the Black jerseys. Just about everyone I know hates them, and wishes they would go away. One friend in particular will only acknowledge the pinstriped jersey as "real." For a while, there was even a petition running to get rid of the Black Jerseys. I put my name on it, although for what it was worth, I never had anything against the Blacks. In fact, when the Mets first introduced them in 1998, I kind of liked them. Yes, they were a trendy marketing ploy, but so what? The Black and Blue cap that accompanies it has been my official Game Hat for the past two seasons, and it's primed to ring out Shea this upcoming season.
But I had to ponder whether or not I should purchase this particular jersey. My father used to tell me, "What does finding the right price mean if it isn't the right thing to do?" Well, the price was certainly right. But in addition to wondering if the jersey would actually make it from Korea to New York, I had to think about whether or not it was worth it to potentially ruin my credibility and actually be seen out in one of those oh-so-shameful black jerseys. I thought long and hard about it, staring intently at the computer screen, ready to click that "Buy It Now" button that was singing out to me.
"Screw it," I said. I bought the Jersey. Street Cred be damned. Got it in 10 days. Happy Birthday to me!