The Long Lost Package

On September 28, 2007 I like many Diamondbacks fans were glued to the television to watch the opening of the final 3 game series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies. This game had huge implications as the Diamondbacks were still trying to seal a play-off spot. That night Brandon Webb took the mound and beat the Colorado Rockies. This win coupled with a loss by the San Diego Padres allowed the Diamondbacks to secure a play-off berth and become the National League Western Division champion. There was a tremendous celebration on the field with the players leaping into each other’s arms. At our house there was a similar celebration with me and the kids dancing around the family room throwing root beer and Sprite into the air much to the chagrin of Trina who is still finding sticky spots on the walls and floor. As part of the celebration the Diamondbacks were given T-shirts and hats commemorating their victory and NL West championship. They were also given sweatshirts with the NL West Champion posted to the front. I of course would have to have one of these sweatshirts to remind myself of the magical year I had just witnessed. I rushed to the Diamondbacks shop on (the team shop was closed by this time). The online shop already had the sweatshirts listed as available and I quickly placed an order. According to the confirmation page I should expect to see my sweatshirt within a week which should be plenty of time for me to have it for the post season; or so I thought.

I fully expected to receive an order confirmation email stating that my sweatshirt had been shipped via DHL along with a tracking number so that I could watch my order progress across the country in route to my house. After a couple of days without an email I decided perhaps I needed to check the order status and see if I had somehow missed the message. Looking at the orders page I saw the sweatshirt order but instead on “In Transit”, the status showed “Back Order”. Back order; how could my sweatshirt be on back order? I had ordered within moments of when the product was placed on line. I can’t imagine that there were fans out there any quicker than I was to click the order button that would cause this product to be sold out. Oh this was not good news at all. With the Chicago Cubs series looming on the horizon I found myself play-off merchandise naked. That is definitely not a good thing I can assure you. I began to get just a little stressed. Ok, I started getting a lot stressed at the thoughts of not having a play-off sweatshirt. What made matters worse was that when I arrived at Chase Field for game one of the divisional series the Team Shop had some of these “back ordered” sweatshirts. Trina was already tipped over that I was buying more Diamondbacks gear. I have no idea what she meant by “you need more Diamondbacks clothing like you need another hole in your head” but based on her tone I got the impression that she thought the number of holes in my head were sufficient for my needs. Buying a second sweatshirt was probably not a wise move and besides I am sure if the team shop has them then my order must be close to shipping, right? Uh, the correct answer to that question would be a resounding “No!” Through the three-game sweep of the Cubs in the Divisional Series I sat shivering (ok maybe not shivering since it was in the high-80’s in Phoenix but I was at least quivering) without a sweatshirt. Surely the sweatshirts would be back in stock and shipping before the National League Championship Series began. To paraphrase a line from the movie Airplane, the sweatshirts were not back in stock and quit calling me Shirley. So while the Arizona Diamondbacks were egregiously eliminated from the NLCS by the Colorado Rockies and the “great Troy Tulowitzki”, I was left huddled in the corner shaking due to a lack of adequate sweatshirt-age. Oh well, I would at least have an NL Western Division Champion sweatshirt to console me during the World Series. Yeah, that didn’t happen either. Instead the order status page of the MLB shop continued to taunt me (real taunting not the whiney baby taunting that the “great Troy Tulowitzki” cries about during a game) with the dreaded “Back Ordered” status.

What could possibly be taking this long to get a sweatshirt? I mean it is not like I ordered a hand stitched baseball or asked someone to carve me a bat from a tree struck by lightning with the words “Wonder Boy” burned into the barrel. It was a sweatshirt for crying out loud. But I continued to wait. Hey, there was always Halloween. With the weather starting to cool I could use a new sweatshirt to wear for Trick-or-treating. But that holiday came and went and I was still without sweatshirt. I had by this time begun my email writing campaign to asking them every week when they might be expecting some of these elusive sweatshirts so that my order could be fulfilled. Every day I would check my email inbox and find it as empty as my regular mail box. It seems that had back ordered a response to my email messages too. Hey, there is always Veteran’s Day. What better way to celebrate than with a new Diamondbacks sweatshirt? Well I guess a better way to celebrate is without a new Diamondbacks sweatshirt since that holiday came and went and I was left holding a “Back Order” status page. Oh well, what are a few more weeks and a few more unanswered email messages? The answer to that question would be Thanksgiving. As turkey day came I was again checking order status on nearly a daily basis and sending emails to at almost the same frequency. I received neither a reply nor a sweatshirt and Thanksgiving came and went. Fast forward two weeks to the middle of December and one morning I checked my email and found a shipping notification from MLB that my sweatshirt had finally arrived at the warehouse and was ready to ship. The excitement of this event was nearly as jubilant as when the Diamondbacks actually won the NL West some 3 months previously. I watched the web site and waited for notification that the sweatshirt had actually shipped. That event took a week to occur and finally happened on December 19 which coincidently was the same day that I went down to the Chase Field Team Shop to do some Christmas shopping. While at the Team Shop I came across 2 racks of NL Western Division Championship sweatshirts that were now 75 percent off. I wanted to cry but I didn’t want the Team Shop employees to stare at me. Yesterday the sweatshirt finally arrived at my house. I was extremely eager to unbox it and finally try it on after such a long wait. Before I could do so Trina snatched the box out of my hands and as she was walking away I heard her say, “You can’t open your presents before Christmas.” I swear, I just cannot seem to win.

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