By Jason Klein
Originally Written For The Official Steiner Sports Blog – 3/23/10
Want the dirt? Steiner Sports has all the dirt!
Looking for the juicy details on who’s dating who from around baseball? Want to know which players can’t stand each other, or which managers and owners are at odds?
In 2010, Steiner Sports, an official licensee of Major League Baseball, will offer fans of all thirty clubs the opportunity to own actual dirt from their team’s home ballpark. Buckets of game used soil will be unearthed following each team’s first home game of the 2010 season, delivered to Steiner Sports corporate headquarters, and made available for fans to own.
This is nothing new for Steiner Sports, the leader in game used collectibles, who already enjoys relationships with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, andChicago Cubs. However, in 2010, capsules of authentic stadium dirt will be available for all thirty teams, and will be available in a variety of formats, including team coasters, crystals,plaques and collages.
So what? What’s the big deal? It’s just dirt, right?
After all, players spit on it, dig their cleats into it and managers kick it in disgust, as if their earthly abuse will somehow prove a point or win an argument (see Chicago Cubs Manager, Lou Piniella).
Yet, stadium grounds crews treat it like gold, constantly grooming and raking it, hosing it off, and decorating it with white lime powder around the batter’s box and foul lines. They make sure it’s perfectly manicured at all times.
With that said, is there any value in owning dirt?
Let’s judge the significance of Major League dirt by its role in the game’s history. The filthy truth is, since the beginning of time, where there’s baseball, there’s dirt…ever watch “The Sandlot?” Even in MLB stadiums featuring artificial turf, dirt can always be found somewhere on the field: on the base paths, on the mound, and in the batter’s box.
The dirt has even been a part of some of the most historical, and memorable plays of all-time. Jackie Robinson kicked up Yankee Stadium dirt on Yogi Berra as he slid into home plate during Game 1 of the 1955 World Series. Though the Dodgers lost the game 6-5 to the Yankees that day, they went on to win the series in 7 games. To this day, Berra insists Robinson was out.
During the 1970 All-Star Game, American League Catcher, Ray Fosse was close lined to the Riverfront Stadium dirt in a collision with Pete Rose at the plate. The famous altercation gave the National League a dramatic 5-4 victory, and permanently damaged Fosse’s left shoulder, and his career.
Dirt from the Oakland Coliseum covered the front of Rickey Henderson’s jersey on May 1, 1991 after he collected his 939th career stolen base, passing Lou Brock for first place all time. Throughout his career, Henderson made a habit of getting dirty, perfecting the head-first slide and totaling 1,406 career stolen bases.
Dave Roberts turned himself into a New England folk hero when he slid head-first in the Fenway Park dirt, past Derek Jeter’s tag at second base, during Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series. The legendary stolen base, coming with the Sox down 3 games to 0 and on the brink of elimination, changed the momentum and the history of the rivalry. The Red Sox went on to win the series in 7 games, and won their first Championship in 86 years.
Stadium dirt played, perhaps, its most prominent role in a game’s outcome during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. A dribbler up the first baseline, off Mookie Wilson’s bat, skipped off the Shea Stadium dirt, and under the glove of first baseman Bill Buckner. The legendary gaffe allowed Ray Knight to score the winning run, and sent the series to a pivotal Game 7, where the Mets prevailed.
Imagine owning some MLB Authenticated Shea Stadium dirt taken from the field after Game 6 in 1986? What if a capsule of that dirt was framed up with an 8×10 photograph of the ball bouncing through Buckner’s legs?
That’s the kind of opportunity that awaits baseball fans of all teams in 2010. Great moments happen every day in baseball. Commemorate those moments by owning an actual piece of the field they occur on.
Steiner Sports is just the company to make this revolutionary collectible possible.
It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.
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