Monday, December 8, 2014

Remembering Fanstand

Before there was the internet, before, before league sanctioned shops online, there were actual sports stores. The best in the Sacramento area was a place at Birdcage Walk shopping center called Fanstand. I was oblivious to its existence until I went to Jr high school. 
A friend always had the best gear. He was a diehard Kansas City Royals and Cincinnati Bengals fan. I knew he didn't buy his gear in Woodland. I asked him where he bought his stuff. He then told me about this magical place called Fanstand. So after begging and pleading my mom to take me, I made my first visit probably in early 1985. 
It was heaven on earth to me! The store was filled literally to the walls with pennants, Starter jackets, Roman Pro baseball hats, T shirts from every sports league, Sports Specialties NFL hats. Also baseball and football cards, game programs, pins, buttons, patches, EVERYTHING!
I could have spent hours (and a lot of my moms money) in that place. Everytime we went to Sacramento for a shopping trip, I would ask to go to Fanstand. 
Then in 1987, Woodland opened County Fair Mall. An actual mall in my hometown! And it had a sports store. I don't remember the name. The trips to Fanstand eventually ended all because I could ride my bike to the mall and browse the sports store. 
Then the over growth of sports stores just got out of control. They popped up everywhere! Woodland eventually had two or three. They would close down just as quickly as they opened. Then the prices just went up and up. It got to the point when I got frugal with my money and how to spend it. 
I remember one day in the late 80's going to Birdcage Walk on a family shopping trip. My mom and sister would go do their shopping, and I would go to Fanstand. I walked to wear it was at. It was a art shop/Insence store. Fanstand's lease was up and couldn't afford the rent. Fanstand was no more.
I haven't thought of the place in years. I somehow came across an old advertisement from them and the memories just came flooding back. I would love to go back in time and spend a whole day there. But I can't. 
There are sports stores now, but it's not the same. I was at one at the Fairfield mall and it was so ghetto. Rap music was blaring loud about a guy telling a woman he's so good in bed he would make the girl think he invented sex. (Those who brag the most can't back it up!)
Not a comfortable atmosphere. It was mostly aimed at the hip hop crowd. 
It's a different world now. I can shop for sports stuff at the push of a button. It's just not the same. 
To whoever owned Fanstand, thank you for a wonderful place for a teenage boy and the memories you gave me. 

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