Looking for a place where you can buy some hats or shirts to support your local sports teams? (Surely you're not a fair weather fan.) Here are a few local sports clothing and souvenir businesses that are legends in their own right.
Plus and museum
Roy Crump's Dome Souvenirs Plus sells a wide selection of Twins and Vikings apparel. Roy began his family owned and operated store in 1986 after spending 36 years working as a screen printer for the Minnesota Twins.
"There's three tiers in souvenirs. I sell the top-of-the-line stuff; you can find lower quality items on the Internet, and large department stores sell the cheapest items," said Crump while walking among his myriad boxes of merchandise.
One of the biggest draws to Roy's 910 S. 3rd St. store is the adjoining museum that contains photos and autographs of celebrities and athletes. Roy claims to have over 125,000 visitors each year who come just for the museum, which has included over 10,266 signatures from famous faces over the years. Crump's wall of photos includes pictures of Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra and the Beatles among others.
Dome Souvenirs Plus still sells the popular "Homer Hankies" which Crump claims he created in the '80s (The Star Tribune marketing department has a different view.) According to Crump, he has sold more than 1,000 hankies by buying and reselling them to customers with proceeds going to charity.
A good portion of his business comes from stadium-goers on their way to the game across the street at the Metrodome and out-of-state visitors looking for souvenirs.
"We get people from Japan, France, Washington, D.C. All over the world," he said.
This year Roy has ordered fewer items because he's overstocked with merchandise and must leave the boxes around his musty store. (He says this isn't even his whole inventory, which he has to store off-site since his move to the smaller location across from the Metrodome in 1992.)
"We don't want it fancy," he said. "We want them to think they're getting a deal."
Duluth native Charlie Dahl and his business partner have operated Nick's Sporting Goods, 652 2nd Ave. S., for 17 years. Nick's features an indoor basketball hoop and wall-to-wall jerseys of Twins, Vikings, Timberwolves, Wild and Gophers sports teams.
Because of the Twins' playoff successes, Dahl had purchased more Twins championship clothing this year hoping that the Twins would have continued their achievements. (Oh well.) Hot items at Nick's are Twins jerseys of Torii Hunter, Johan Santana and Justin Morneau.
Dahl says that he too gets lots of visits from famous faces because visiting teams usually stay in a hotel nearby or players are on their way to WCCO radio, which is upstairs.
"Snoop Dogg shops here, and at the last Vikings home game Burt Reynolds worked the counter," he said.
Though Nick's sells a variety of local sports team items, Dahl says that back-to-school time and the beginning of the Vikings regular season is the best period for sales because customers are in the market for sweaters and jackets.
Another option if you're looking for collectables is Shinders Sports Cards Comics, 733 Hennepin Ave. S. Shinders carries a large selection of baseball, basketball and football trading cards. Individual trading cards can range in price from 29 cents to $70 each, and collections of cards range from $2 to over $200 for a pack.
Shinders also features high-priced items such as balls, jerseys and helmets signed by Barry Sanders, Randy Moss, Dante Culpepper and Kevin Garnett. For those on a smaller budget, Shinders sells mini helmets, sports figurines and the always-popular bobble-head dolls.