James Stuart from Tacoma, WA
QUESTION: Happy New Year! January is a time for New Year’s Resolutions, of course. You may have your own, but this month’s Contest Question has a little twist. Pick anyone from the sports world, and let us know what you think his or her New Year’s resolutions should be….and why! Maybe even a whole team needs a few resolutions. Remember: creativity counts... Good luck!
WINNING ANSWER: I was not content with just one team, so I took a stab at New Year's Resolutions for all 30 MLB Teams. Here's hoping for a much happier 2019 in Major League Baseball:
- Arizona Diamondbacks - Invest in better pool chemicals, try to clone Randy Johnson, bring back the purple & teal.
- Atlanta Braves - Host a "Lion King" theme night. Call it "Acuña Matata."
- Baltimore Orioles - Win more games.
- Boston Red Sox - Win less games.
- Chicago White Sox - Sign Machado, trade him to the Orioles for the lolz
- Chicago Cubs - Start more Twitter feuds with Yadier Molina
- Cincinnati Reds - Keep pretending "Great American Ballpark" is just a quaint, wholesome name and not a corporate sponsorship.
- Cleveland Indians - Invite Baker Mayfield to every home game, keep a camera trained on him at all times.
- Colorado Rockies - Decide once and for all what the singular version of the team name is. Rocky? Rockie?
- Detroit Tigers - Officially adopt Magnum PI Hawaiian shirt jerseys as alternates.
- Houston Astros - Bring back "Astroman" for another rooftop camping trip.
- Kansas City Royals - Replace all the water in the Kaufman Stadium fountains with BBQ Sauce.
- Los Angeles Angels - Remind the world that you still use the Rally Monkey. Develop a sitcom about his adventures.
- Los Angeles Dodgers- Sign, trade for, or acquire every single member of the 2018 NL All Star Team. Push payroll to more than a billion dollars. Lose the World Series in 6 games.
- Miami Marlins - Fully embrace the Miami Vice look - pastel blazers with the sleeves rolled up required at all times.
- Milwaukee Brewers - Develop a microbrew based on the likeness of Christian Yelich. Call it MVPilsner.
- Minnesota Twins - Make every single Target logo in Target Field into a "Hit It Here" contest.
- New York Yankees - Un-retire Babe Ruth's number. Give it to Adam Ottavino. Again, for the lolz.
- New York Mets - Sign Jerry Seinfeld to a major league contract. Bat him behind Tebow.
- Oakland Athletics - GET A NEW STADIUM ASAP. Invest heavily in plungers and air fresheners.
- Philadelphia Phillies - Sign Bryce Harper, but make him play every game in the Phanatic's jersey. Also sort out the singular form thing (See: Colorado Rockies)
- Pittsburgh Pirates - Steal the pirate ship from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Stadium, install it at PNC Park.
- San Diego Padres - Play every third home game in actual friars' robes. No sliding, obviously.
- San Francisco Giants - SIGN ACTUAL GIANTS. Nobody on the roster under 7'2''.
- Seattle Mariners - Change primary color to T-Mobile magenta so the stadium matches the team at least.
- St. Louis Cardinals - Invite Kris Bryant to a night out on the town in St. Louis. Make sure he has a nice time. Then, lock him in the top of the Arch like Rapunzel.
- Tampa Bay Rays - Print lots of cardboard cut-outs of fans so the stadium looks full and Tommy Pham is happy.
- Texas Rangers - Rename the team, "The Walker Texas Rangers." Wait for Chuck Norris to call.
- Toronto Blue Jays - Replace all the water coolers with maple syrup for extra Canadian energy. Replace the turf with the blue stuff Boise State uses.
- Washington Nationals - If Harper leaves, change the primary team color to black. If he resigns, celebrate for six months and lose in the first round of the playoffs.
PRIZE: James is the lucky (and witty!) winner of a Nokona Alpha S-1200, with a surprise gift of Hari Mari X Nokona Flip Flops!
Kirk Whitby from Mechanicsville, VA
QUESTION: This has been an exciting year... in sports, of course! With only one month to go, think back on 2018 and let us know what you think is the most inspiring, amazing, or uplifting sports story of the year. In other words, the one story that really had an impact on you, the one you will never forget. AND, tell us why that specific story has had a personal impact on you. We can’t wait to hear your pick!
WINNING ANSWER: Bryce Harper’s Dad pitching to him while he won the Home Run Derby was the sports story that touched me most directly this year. This year, my son made his first all-star team, and it was the first time he’s shown real zeal for the game of baseball. He set the goal of making all-stars this year, so we worked as early as the second week of January on accomplishing that goal. All the days of hard work and bonding meant the world to me. That said, watching the Harpers celebrate at the end of the Derby made me think of my son who was sitting next to me at home. I think it’s a moment that resounds with every baseball Dad that gets home from work, exhausted and filthy, but can’t help but oblige that smiling face when your kid says, “Can we throw for a while, Daddy?” or “Can we work on hitting before the sun goes down?” It was a great moment that just shows me that, even when they grow up, the kids will remember and appreciate the time you put in with them. I hope that’s true for mine at least. I hope he swings for the fences in life, and I hope we get to celebrate his successes together. Just like the Harpers did. (Wouldn’t mind being as jacked as Bryce’s Dad when I hit that age either.)
QUESTION: Tell us who you are most thankful for in your sports life. Your coach, a teammate, your Mom – who? Let us know why you appreciate that person, and include specific reasons for your gratitude, maybe even a good story that shows how amazing they are.
WINNING ANSWER: I am so grateful for my brother. Not only is he my best friend, but he is my coach, my turn-two partner, and my teammate. My brother is seven years older than me, and introduced me to this beautiful sport. When I was much younger, he coached my Little League team, even though he was much younger than all of the other coaches. He just loves the game, and wanted to teach other kids my age the fundamentals of playing ball. We would always go out to batting cages whenever he had some extra money, and just get our hacks going. Every holiday, whether it be Christmas or April Fool's, we had a tradition to go out and practice (mainly because the field wasn’t busy). My brother has so much love for the game; he doesn’t stop grinding to get better every day. I am lucky enough to play with him, and turn double plays, since he’s a shortstop and I was a second baseman. My brother is a family man now, and doesn’t really have the time to play because he has two beautiful girls, Riley (2) and Scarlet (5 months). I have not seen my brother in almost a year now since I’ve joined the Army, and I truly miss having a great time together talking ball and just tossing the ball around. I am hoping to see him around the holidays, if I get a chance to go home for a couple of weeks, and have one of our traditional holiday practices. I love my brother - he's my role model and I look up to him. But, most importantly, I struck him out on a 3-2 fastball at our high school alumni game.
PRIZE: Along with winning the glove, the November 2018 winner will receive customized Nokona ShowBelts for him and his brother as the "Nokona Surprise".