Upfront honesty: We at Bleacher Nation have a partnership with Fanatics, wherein your purchase of official MLB gear through our affiliate links benefits this site. With that said, the following post would have been written (and decidedly awesome) with or without that relationship. And with THAT said, go buy some awesome Cubs stuff at Fanatics, okay? My dog, Brett’s and Luke’s cats, and Luis’ gold fish need to eat, all right?
If you had to guess which MLB players’ jerseys were among the top five sellers in 2016, who would you have said? Taking performance into consideration, I think I could have envisioned Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, and maybe Corey Seager on the positional side, and two of Noah Syndergaard, Jose Fernandez, and/or Clayton Kershaw on the pitching side. I would mostly be wrong.
But that’s only because I would have never guessed that, in reality, THREE Chicago Cubs’ jerseys were among the most purchased in 2016, and one of those is a relatively big, but very pleasant, surprise. Care to guess before looking?
Here are the top five selling jerseys in 2016, per Fanatics:
- Kris Bryant
- Anthony Rizzo
- David Ortiz
- Javy Baez
- Clayton Kershaw
I think the 2015 Rookie of the Year, 2016 NL MVP, and World Series Champion Kris Bryant was a pretty obvious choice for the top spot, while his partner in crime, Anthony Rizzo, isn’t much of a shocker at number two either … but look at our boy Javy Baez finishing fourth overall and ahead of Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Corey Seager and so, so many other players around the league. Yes, Chicago is a big market and they had a historic season, but that is unexpected and totally awesome.
I mean, Baez wasn’t even a full-time player and doesn’t necessarily have his own, dedicated, everyday spot on the diamond in 2017. That is insanity, and goes to show how much of an impact he has had on fans of the sport. And how routinely ridiculously entertaining he is on the field. But I digress.
The Cubs appear to have, according to jersey sales, at least three superstars on their team, and that’s without including nine other players who finished with greater WAR values than Baez, plus the rookie catcher on the rise, the most popular grandpa ever to play the sport, or the big name gold glove right fielder. And consider that the two other players – David Ortiz and Clayton Kershaw – come from two completely separate large markets, and are among the most popular players to ever play the game.
I, myself, have an Anthony Rizzo, a Kris Bryant, and a Jon Lester jersey, among current Cubs players, but I might just have to do my part to move Baez up another rung in 2017 [Brett: For the record, Baez’s World Series jersey is on a big sale!]. And who knows, maybe with another big season, one of those other young guns could rent out one of the remaining top five spots.
It could happen, just wait ’til next year.