Steiner Sports would like to extend its deepest condolences to the family of Peter Sauer, who passed away yesterday, Sunday, July 8th. Sauer was the captain of the 1998 Stanford Men’s Basketball team that advanced to the Final Four, a member of the local Westchester sporting community, and most important, a husband to his wife Amanda and a father to three daughters. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of Mr. Sauer’s family, immediate or otherwise.
As one of Steiner Sports more active tweeters (@JJ_Molesso) I’d like to think I have my finger on the pulse of the sports world. A vital tool to knowing what’s going on every second of every day is social media. The great thing about this day and age is the constant access we have to our favorite teams and players 24/7/365. Wouldn’t it be wild if Babe Ruth was able to share photo’s of his personal life with fans or if Mickey Mantle was able to post updates about his nights out with Billy Martin? Whether it’s via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Pinterest; athlete’s and teams everywhere are embracing social media as a means to connect with fans and potential customers.
Growing up as a kid on long island I would love when local beat writers would pen a piece about my favorite players interests away from the court. If you were able to get the slightest glimpse into who our hero’s were away from the game you felt a instant connection to them. Now in 2012 we are able to feel like we are part of the players lives on and off the playing surface on a daily basis thanks to social media. Some of my favorite athletes to follow on twitter are:
Amare’ Stoudemire (@amareisreal)
Carmelo Anthony (@carmeloanthony)
Nick Swisher (@nickswisher)
Mariano Rivera (@marianorivera)
Justin Tuck (@justintucknyg91)
Victor Cruz (@teamvic)
Ray Rice (@rayrice27)
Nick Mangold (@nickmangold)
So if you’re a sports nut like myself and you’re not on twitter, what are you waiting for?? Log on and get connected, your won’t regret it!
JJ Molesso is a account executive for Steiner Sports Marketing and memorabilia, follow JJ on twitter @JJ_Molesso
by Lee Pitofsky – The morning of June 7, 2011, the 6th day of my summer internship here at Steiner Sports, I was instructed to arrive at the office at 8:00AM. After waiting patiently for an hour or so, the 6 foot 5 inch former New York Yankee great came through the door to the signing room. I immediately stood up out of my chair in excitement. My first thought was why is this guy who is still so fit retired? Andy looks like he could be pitching for the Yankees right now. As Andy approached, I looked at him as he turned to me putting out his hand saying “Hey bud how ya doin?” We shook hands and I let it sink in. I just shook hands with one of the greatest Yankee pitches of all time, the all-time leader in post-season wins. It was an amazing experience to be in the very presence of such an unforgettable New York Yankee. During his signing, I was like a sponge as I easily absorbed everything I heard him say. Of course, I was very interested. Andy was asked if he ever misses the game of baseball. To my surprise he replied, “not at all actually.” He even went on to say how he doesn’t even watch the game anymore. He told us how it was just the other day that he watched a game for the first time this season. Andy then began to explain how he has never been happier and how there isn’t anything in this world that he enjoys more than being with his family.” This, however, was not surprising.
After spending time in the signing room watching Andy Pettitte sign multiple items, it was then time to get ready to head to New York City to the Major League Baseball Fan Cave, located at the corner of 4th and Broadway in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. I could not be more excited to be going to this place that I know very much about. The Fan Cave consists of 32 14-foot windows and has regular visits from Major League Baseball players. After meeting the two winners who get to be in the Fan Cave every day, and get to watch each and every game in the 2011 season, I then took multiple pictures of all the different decorations including the “Cave Monster,” which is all the TV’s where the two winners get to watch all the games.
After walking around the Fan Cave for a little while it was time for Brandon Steiner, founder of Steiner Sports, to interview a few people who have very unique memorabilia in their collections. As the interviews with Brandon were finishing up, I noticed the face of current New York Yankee reliever David Robertson approaching the entrance to the Fan Cave. Robertson, along with his wife Erin, came in and I introduced myself to both of them. Robertson and I began to discuss the Yankees vs Red Sox series which begins tonight. We talked about how the Yankees can’t lose yet another series to the Red Sox. He seemed to be confident that the Yankees will come out on top. We then talked about the recent MLB Draft which began yesterday, June 6th. This year’s first overall pick, Gerrit Cole out of UCLA ,was previously drafted by the Yankees 28th overall in 2008. We discussed how unfortunate it was for the Yankees that he didn’t sign and chose to go to college instead, considering the fact that his value rose from 28th three years ago to the best player in the entire draft in 2011. He could have been a Yankee. Robertson then told me how he’s disappointed that the Yankees don’t even get a first round pick this year because of the Rafael Soriano signing. Instead, the Yankees’ first round pick went to Tampa Bay as compensation for the signing of Soriano as a Type A free agent. Having such a lengthy conversation with a professional baseball player on the Yankees who you watch nearly every day is indescribable.
After Robertson left the Fan Cave, everyone there then had some late afternoon pizza before our group got our stuff together and heading back to the New Rochelle offices. It was an amazing day, and the whole car ride from Manhattan to New Rochelle I thought about how lucky was to have been part of such a memorable experience.
It hadn’t been since 2007 that the Cleveland Indians were in playoff contention. The following year, 2008, the Indians barely made it to a .500 winning percentage finishing the season even, with an 81-81 record. Things only got worse for the Indians in 2009 as they finished the season with a dreadful 65-97 record. In 2010 they failed at their attempt of a comeback season winning just four more games with a record of 69-93. Losing superstar Grady Sizemore to season-ending microfracture surgery definitely did not help their cause. Sizemore played a mere 33 games in 2010. Without many additions in the off-season, in 2011 things have been looking up for the Indians, way up. With a League best 31-20 record, the Cleveland Indians have found resurgence. They are tied in the loss column with the Major League best Philadelphia Phillies who have actually played three more games than the Indians. It has been their young Right Handed hurlers leading the way for the Indians in 2011. Led by Josh Tomlin with a 6-2 record and a sparkling 2.74 ERA, the Cleveland Indians are no longer looking up but instead finally looking down in 2011. Stud catching prospect Carlos Santana who is receiving everyday playing time in 2011 has done quite the job behind the plate this season. The Indians are confident his average will go up from the current mark of .214, and are very pleased with his poise and ability to handle their young pitching staff. With Carlos Santana, hitting is of no concern. Both the Indians and scouts know the hitting will come along. Now, for those of you wondering “What about Cabrera?” don’t worry here it is. The biggest surprise this season for the Indians has been their 25 year old shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. Cabrera has never hit more than 6 homeruns in any of his 4 major league seasons, 3 of which were full. In early 2011 Cabrera was asked by a teammate why he doesn’t try and hit more homeruns during games like he does in batting practice. (Cabrera is a homerun machine in BP). He felt that if he were to go for the long ball more often, his batting average would go way down. His teammate suggested however, that instead it could go way up. Cabrera clearly took the advice as he now stands with an impressive line of .298 10 HR 35 RBI which is on pace to shatter all of his career highs. His 10 homeruns in 2011 is already more than half of his career total coming into the season of 18. Only time will tell if the Indians can keep up their surprising and successful first 51 games of 2011 but as of now, the Cleveland Indians are the League’s best.
Papa K (link: http://whoispapak.com/wanna-know-me/) is a freelance writer out of Oklahoma who obsessively tracks the Steiner Sports websites for the next “great deal”. As self professed “super-baseball fan” he enjoys writing about his memorabilia collecting and obsession with Texas Rangers baseball (link: http://whoispapak.com/category/baseball-is-better-than-football/) among other things on his blog: http://www.whoispapak.com.
As a child, I remember attending many farm auctions with my father and rooting through the endless piles and boxes of farm equipment and supplies for a hidden “treasure”. I’d read plenty of stories where a person bought an unimpressive item at such auctions only to find out later that it had a gold bullion hiding in some secret compartment.
I wanted to get that deal. I wanted to find the one truly unique item out of the massive amount of uninteresting farm equipment. I’d usually pick out the most unassuming piece of junk and pray that my father would help me buy it at which point I’d race home and search for the gold bullion.
This never happened but fortunately for my father my imagination kept me entertained
I still have the same wish of wanting to find “the big deal” to this day.
With online auctions, I don’t have to fight crowds of people to look through stuff. Websites like eBay allow you to find exactly what you need without having to leave your house.
Steiner Sports has provided for some time the same kind of service as eBay with exclusive offers on autographed memorabilia and other unique items you won’t be able to find on its main website.
Steiner Sports created the auction side of its business to appeal to those collectors who like to get “the big deal”. Those who like the thrill of chasing down their next prized possession will enjoy tracking the progress of their bid against others as the closing date draws near.
Steiner Sports Vice-President and purveyor of the auction department Steven Costello says, “Everyone likes that one of a kind item! As a collector you like things to be unique and we like to give that to them.”
Costello knows what it means to be a collector of memorabilia; he’s one himself. In fact, he was once a corporate client of the company for whom he now works. Making sure the auction site has unique items is something he takes very seriously.
“Just recently, we’ve gotten involved with [famous New York sportscaster] Warner Wolf’s collection. It’s a really exciting collection and we are really excited to get it up on the website.”
With collections like these, Costello and his crew are responsible for itemizing and confirming all signatures in an effort to guarantee authenticity.
“We use James Spence Authentication to authenticate all our signatures if we’re not there to see the autograph take place. They’re the real industry leader for this kind of thing. If it isn’t real, then we don’t sell it.”
It’s easy to see how Steiner has become a leader in the sports memorabilia industry. The company takes great care to ensure its products are real, and remind you with a seal of authenticity. As the company says, “The Steiner Seal Means It’s Real”.
So if you’re a collector of unique items like Lawrence Tyne’s signed New York Times cover photo, freeze dried grass from the original Yankee Stadium or a Don Mattingly signed figurine, then the Steiner Sports auction is where you should be looking.
Who knows — if you’re like me you might even get a deal!
By Pattie Roberts
Contributing Writer To The Steiner Sports Blog
February is a cruel month. With apologies to T.S. Eliot, February is much worse than April: everyone is still broke from Christmas, it’s way too cold, and there is only President’s Day to break up the deadly ennui that sets in right after the World Series in October and doesn’t end until Opening Day. Fortunately, Valentine’s Day is also in February, and while we don’t get a day off for it, and it doesn’t raise the ambient temperature, at least we can be reminded of the people and things that touch our hearts as we wait for baseball to begin.
Heart is all February has going for it, and this year it’s on my mind more than ever. This year, in the wasteland that is February, the great (yes, I said great) Andy Pettitte retired because his “heart’s not where it needs to be.” This of course touched off the inevitable cyber-wildfire of Hall of Fame talk. I didn’t measure it scientifically, but it seems that most of the opinions I saw were not optimistic about Andy’s chances. I read a lot about his 4-ish ERA, and how he never “dominated.” After making a few (well, maybe more than a few) on-line frenemies over Andy’s HOF-worthiness (I say he is), I really started thinking about the whole heart thing, and not just in relation to Dandy Andy, but also in the context of how we define “great.”
According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame:
Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played
While I respect the numbers (Record), as well as the besmirching (and potentially redemptive) effect of a player admitting to substance use (Integrity), I have to stand up for heart. Nowhere in the voting rules is there any reference to heart. In a game completely besotted with mathematical gymnastics, there has to be a tip of the hat to the guy who never phones it in – the guy who is consistently clutch, especially in the Big Games, and for sure in the post season. The benefit of the doubt should go to the guy who feels obligated to his team, and the fans, during every start. If he loses, it’s because he got beat, not because his head and his heart were not in the game. That’s the guy with miles and miles of heart. I don’t know how the Baseball Writers’ Association of America measures heart – it’s subjective and mushy – but in my book, without heart, baseball’s just a game.
Pattie Roberts is a sports fan, writer, and marketing consultant based in Annapolis, Maryland. You can follow her on Twitter @hughsboo.
By Doug Hayden
Contributing Writer To The Steiner Sports Blog
The 2010-2011 NHL All-Star game recently held in North Carolina featured a brand new, never before seen format which featured many new wrinkles but some old classic all-star weekend action as well. The biggest change, the “Fantasy Draft,” puts all of the All-Star players into a pool for picking by Captains, Eric Staal and Nick Lidstrom. The East vs. West of years past was, for this season at least, a thing of the past.
Over the years each league has seen their All-Star games dwindle in TV ratings and overall excitement. Creating new, fresh changes like the NHL did last weekend, was an attempt to really liven up the All-Star game experience for the fans in person and also on TV. It seemed to have worked. Versus reports that they had a 38% increase in ratings over the 2009 All-Star game (2010 was an off year for the game because of the Olympics) and a 33% increase in ratings for the Saturday night skills competition. These ratings were up despite All-Star Sidney Crosby missing the game with injury, arguably the face of the NHL. This is obviously great news for the NHL and Versus but it still raises some questions.
With the NHL and Versus’ TV contract up for renewal at season’s end, will the NHL stand to take this new, exciting All-Star game format to a bigger network (ESPN, NBC?) instead of staying with Versus? If this new All-Star game format sticks around, and continues to be successful, the NHL can stand to gain market share on the other 3 major sports and attract new fans when they showcase their stars on All-Star weekend, on a much bigger network. A much bigger network not only equals possibly higher ratings but more revenue in advertising, sponsorships and ticket sales at the arena.
It’s a known fact that some of the NHL’s best players are not from the United States and some of those players have trouble speaking English early in their careers. This can hurt marketing for the league but a move to a bigger TV network, along with continued fantastic All-Star game ratings with these format changes, can make that a mute point. The world, through the All-Star game and subsequent prime time games on a big network, can see for themselves the likes of Patrick Kane, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Steven Stamkos, Marc Staal, among others, who they may not have been aware of because of the lack of appropriate exposure.
Follow Doug on Twitter @Boogiedowndoug