You grew up in a sports household. The TV was constantly trained to whatever game was on. Football, baseball, basketball, hockey—it didn’t matter which sport. If a game was on, your dad was watching it. Your childhood was punctuated with trips to games at your local stadium, and your dad’s allegiance to “his” team was loyal enough to border on obsessive.
Whether he used to play in college (if so, apologies for how many times you had to hear the story about that one pivotal game in 1972) or has been an armchair fan his whole life, there’s one thing that gets your dad to act like a kid again, and that’s sports.
If you want to guarantee that you’ll be crowned son of the year, get him one of these sports-specific gifts for Father’s Day. Pair it with tickets to a game, and you’ll be well on your way to the hall of fame.
Collegiate Football Stadium Cufflinks ($170, Uncommon Goods)
Your mom always complains about how your dad wears too much sports-related clothing (really, what grown woman wants to be seen out at dinner with a guy wearing a football jersey?), so get him something that will make both of them happy—these sterling silver cufflinks crafted from salvaged college football stadium seats (currently from Berkeley, Notre Dame, Ohio State and the Rose Bowl).
Vintage Baseball Screenprints ($60, Sheepshead Design)
Help Dad class up his man cave with these awesome screenprints that take vintage photos of legendary baseball players like Ty Cobb and Mel Ott and modernize them with vibrant coloring. Buy him a frame, too, otherwise he’ll probably just slap it up on the wall with a thumbtack.
Baseball Stadium 3D Art ($250, Kaitlyn Murphy)
Speaking of classing up the man cave, check out this unique art. Handmade in Indiana, it features a scale model relief of a famous stadium, paired with stats and watercolor art of the stadium entrance. This one features Chicago’s legendary Wrigley Field, but if your dad is more into college football or college basketball, they’ve got that too.
These Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN ($14, Amazon)
Your dad constantly has the TV tuned to ESPN, so he’ll probably enjoy this incredibly detailed history of the sports channel. Drawing on over 500 interviews with key ESPN staffers and pro athletes, it’s a book he’ll never want to put down—or stop quoting once he’s done with it.
New York Times Custom Sports Book ($72, Uncommon Goods)
Choose your dad’s favorite NFL or MLB team, and the makers of this handsome, leather-bound book will delve deep into the archives of the New York Times’ Sports section to create a custom book tracing the history of your dad’s favorite team, as reported by The Gray Lady.
Leather Basketball ($225, Shinola)
When you give Dad this handsome leather basketball (suitable for displaying, not for playing), it’ll serve as a remembrance of all of the times he’d come home from work and shoot hoops with you in your driveway. Oh, there are footballs and baseballs too, if he’s more the throwing type.
Kentucky Derby Churchill Downs Bottle Opener ($85, Uncommon Goods)
The actual Kentucky Derby race might be over in minutes, but the festivities before and after are what people like your dad love. This bottle opener is made of wood from the Churchill Downs paddock that held prized racehorses from 1903 to 1923. Every time your dad cracks a beer, he’ll think of you—and hopefully not all the money he’s lost betting the wrong horses over the years.
Louisville Slugger Sunglasses ($250, Shwood)
Your dad needs to be a certain kind of badass to pull off wooden sunglasses (even young, hip people can look like sort of a douchebag wearing these), but if he is that type, he’ll love these sunglasses, crafted from the wood of genuine, used LouisvilleSlugger bats. Next time you take him out to the ball game, he’ll wear these with pride.
Stance MLB Collection Socks ($14-16, Stance)
Socks tend to be a boring gift that your grandma or annoying aunt would get you, but there’s nothing boring about Stance’s MLB Collection. These comfy, high-quality socks feature team logos and vintage photos of legendary players, guaranteeing they’ll become your dad’s favorites. Stance also has an NBA Collection, if hoops is more up his alley.
Visual Compendium of Uniforms Posters ($35, Pop Chart Lab)
It’s incredible to see how much team apparel changes over the years, and these colorful posters—available in hockey, baseball and basketball—offer an eye-opening look at pro sports changing of the garb (Pop Chart Lab offers posters for hockey, baseball, and basketball). They’ll look great in Dad’s man cave; just tell him not to think too much about all the dough he’s spent on apparel every time his teams decided to change their friggin’ logos.
Ski Tricks Needlepoint Coaster Set ($75, Tuckernuck)
Whenever Dad took a break from sitting in his favorite chair and watching his favorite team, he was taking your family on trips that included some kind of athletic activity, like all of those ski trips to Vermont or Colorado. These beautifully made coasters will trigger happy memories, and maybe get him to dust off those skis and spring for a father-son trip to Vail. You can dream, right?