BETHESDA, Md. (CBSDC) – Sporting goods stores are seeing an uptick in sales since the Nationals clinched the NL East division championship Monday night, but store managers say they just hope the run continues.

Call it taking advantage of the moment or reaping the rewards of victory, but sales have noticeable shot up at sporting goods stores around the area in the 24 hours since the Nats won it’s first division championship, because fans just want what the players wear.

Whether fans saw it in the newspaper or the news – local or national – the Nats celebrating their first division title in franchise history was a huge story. By Tuesday commemorative memorabilia was flying off the racks – replicas of the same shirts fans saw soaked in champagne and cider on the backs of their favorite players the night before.

Modell’s Sporting Goods on Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda is one of the stores seeing the sporadic rise of baseball merchandise purchases after that definining moment in franchise history.

Assistant Manager Mark Weinstock says customers want to hold onto that bit of history from Washington’s first baseball championship of any kind since 1933.

Fans have been buying up shirts, hats, hoodies and other sentimental memorabilia all with the decisive words “2012 NL East Division Champions” across the front; kind of like the apparel you’ve seen baseball fans from Philadelphia and New York wear for years.

While it’s true sales have gone up overnight, the opportunist in the Modell’s manager doesn’t want the team’s success to stop with 2012.

“Definitely for us it would be great if this could happen every year,” Weinstock said.

Sporting goods stores like Modell’s can expect to flourish along with the Nats the further the team goes, with a new line of shirts being printed for every playoff series the team could potentially win. And for those stores already seeing a difference, a World Series run would mean an extra month of booming business.


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