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TALE OF THE TEES

New players make numbers game tougher

What to wear? A veteran player’s jersey or a new star? What to wear? A veteran player’s jersey or a new star? (Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff/File)
By Christopher Muther
Globe Staff / April 7, 2011

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Ryan Gormady, head of T-shirt vendor Chowdaheadz, is noting a new interest — and optimism — surrounding sales of Red Sox player tees this season. On the one hand, fans are eager to see what new Sox players Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez will bring to the team. On the other, they’re excited by the (healthy) return of some old favorites.

“Last year, we had a ton of injuries, including Ellsbury, Youkilis, and Pedroia for a good portion of the season,’’ he said. “Fans missed seeing those guys out on the field and are ready to see them back in action.’’

But Gormady notes that Sox fans can be a fickle bunch and, as a result, shirts and jerseys emblazoned with the name of a specific player sometimes take a back seat to shirts that show support for the team as a whole. Some of the preseason top sellers at Chowdaheadz include:

■“Pedroia the Destroyer’’

■“Jacoby Stole My Heart’’

■“Eat Sleep Sox’’

■“04 + 07 = 2011’’

“A lot of Sox fans are at a crossroads on who is going to be their favorite player,’’ Gormady adds. “It’s going to be a tough choice right now. Would you support a tried-and-true veteran like Wakefield, Ortiz, or Varitek? Or would you jump on board with one of the new guys?’’

So far, it looks like Sox fans aren’t ready to desert the old favorites. A recent Facebook poll by the company found that Pedroia was the fan favorite, followed by Youkilis, Ellsbury, and then Varitek.

But Gormady notes that, “This could change very quickly after a few game-winning hits by Crawford or Gonzalez.’’

Christopher Muther can be reached at muther@globe.com.