What's a good birthday gift for a tween boy?
April 21, 2012 4:44 PM   Subscribe

One of my friends' sons is turning 12. Help me find him a present.

My friend L's son W has a birthday over Memorial Day weekend, as do I. We both have the problem that people are out of town over our birthday weekend, and we both tend to be alone over our birthday weekends. I'd like to give him a little gift to let him know I'm thinking about him.

Unfortunately, I'm at a loss about what to give him. He likes Adventure Time and the Lord of the Rings movies, but his big passion is baseball. His favorite team is the Red Sox, and he's a big stats geek -- he loves the book and movie Moneyball and even went out as Billy Beane for Halloween.

Compounding my confusion, I'm giving myself a budget of $20. With all these limitations in mind, what would be a good gift for W?
posted by pxe2000 to Shopping (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How is he at reading? The Baseball Prospectus folks put out an annual book that is stats-filled [and possibly a dry read] but totally affordable. They put out a few more books including this one which I think looks neat. You could make this an annual sort of gift if it turns out it's a big hit.
posted by jessamyn at 5:29 PM on April 21, 2012

My twin sister and I were born on Memorial Day weekend, so we've developed a ritual to deal with the fact that everyone is gone. We go see the biggest blockbuster movie that is opening that weekend. We are not allowed to not enjoy it. It must have a massive budget, a merchandise tie in at a fast food chain, and it is better if it is a sequel. My sister's best birthday movie of all time was Mission Impossible 2, and mine was X Men 3.
So for the present? Movie passes, of course!
(This year's movie is Men in Black 3. It's going to be terrible!)
posted by pickypicky at 5:45 PM on April 21, 2012

There's a new Adventure Time Comic, and it's written by Ryan North!
posted by rabbitbookworm at 5:50 PM on April 21, 2012

An Opinel folding knife - $13 for one of the most beautiful and useful objects in the world. Go for easy-care stainless over carbon steel. For another few bucks they'll engrave it for you.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:16 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

My Red Sox- and stats- obsessed baseball nerd says:

Baseball Prospectus is an excellent idea if he doesn't get it already. Especially if he plays fantasy baseball online, that's a must-have.

Mind Game: How the Boston Red Sox Got Smart, Won a World Series, and Created a New Blueprint for Winning - the Baseball Prospectus guys wrote a book about recent (last 10 yrs) Red Sox teams and how they've used stats to do better.

The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract is a great reference work covering the whole history of the game.

The Chrysanthemum and the Bat - is an oldie but a goodie about Japanese baseball. (You'd probably have to get a used copy.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:45 PM on April 21, 2012

Are you taking him to a baseball game that weekend?
posted by CathyG at 7:24 AM on April 22, 2012

Cathy, I'd love to, but Fenway is booked solid all year, and ticket prices are expensive. :(

Thanks for the great suggestions, everyone!
posted by pxe2000 at 8:51 AM on April 22, 2012

Could you go to see the Paw Sox (AAA affiliate team of the Red Sox) or the Lowell Spinners (Class A Sox affiliate) play?
posted by kinetic at 4:52 PM on April 22, 2012

I was just coming here to say try to catch an AAA/Minor league game. The Spinners don't start up until June (along with the Swamp Bats and the Steeple Cats and some other totally adorable New England College Baseball teams), the Paw Sox are home and there's also the Portland Sea Dogs depending which part of Boston you are in. There are also three miniature Fenway Parks in the MA/VT area of any of those seem worth a field trip.
posted by jessamyn at 5:29 PM on April 22, 2012

If he likes baseball and stats, definitely get him a copy of "FLIP FLOP FLY BALL: An Infographic Baseball Adventure" by Craig Robinson: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1608192695

Also, come down to Rhode Island and go to a Paw Sox game. I haven't been to Fenway in years but we go to Pawtucket games every summer.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:16 AM on April 24, 2012

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