The first week of Spring Training play is considerably more anticipated than Christmastime in my household, and as it turns out, the gift giving (fine, receiving) opportunities are better now too.

An eBay search for the term “Padres” turns up a good 2000 items on any given day, and on this day, 2021. You can spend big, $11,000 worth of big, and bid to become a 1/13 “fractional owner” of a Petco Park luxury suite, “on the Toyota Terrace (2nd level), several suites down from the sushi restaurant.” Good to know.

While the listing mentions that the suite includes a sub-zero fridge and a restroom, it’s not clear whether or not the sub-zero fridge is in the restroom. I’m guessing, for 11 grand, it is.

For a starting price of $7, and a pretty cool find, there’s an original 1969 Padres plastic helmet. As you may recall, “not for protective use.”

Thirty bucks gets you a shot at a 1969 San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets scorecard (original price; a quarter) in excellent condition.

Better still, there are countless baseball cards, from every year of the club’s existence and for all sorts of bargain bin prices; including hundreds of 1969 Topps cards to choose from. My personal favorite, Al McBean, famous for pitching with a toothpick in his mouth, long before it was fashionable, is available for a buck or less in a dozen auctions as we speak.

The piece de resistance is a brand spanking new item, listed with this original auction title: “Crazy Chicken Costume mascot cluck padres hen R01623.”

It’s a “standard size” model, which apparently for chicken suits is 42-44, and includes “Jumpsuit w/Attached Wings, Over The Head Mask, Gloves, Socks And Chicken Feet,” which is important, because where would you and your standard size chicken costume be without chicken feet? Buy now especially, and assure yourself immunity from the old “you’re no spring chicken” line, for a couple months at least. ‘Tis the season.

Remember, glove conquers all.

— HOWARD COLE

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