Want the Dirt At Steiner Sports?

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?

If those scandalous details are of interest, keep looking!  Steiner Sports doesn’t have that dirt…they have THE dirt!

Mariano Rivera scoops up dirt following final game at Yankee Stadium/AP

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 YankeesBoston 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 coasterscrystals,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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Prepare for Pre-Signings

By Jason Klein

Originally Written For The Official Steiner Sports Blog – 2/12/09

Why Wait?

Looking for something unique to add to your sports memorabilia collection?  Perhaps something specific you’ve been patiently waiting for?  There’s no need to sit back and hope that exact item miraculously finds its way into the Steiner Sports inventory.  Instead, Steiner Sports offers collectors the opportunity to take a proactive approach to upcoming athlete signings.

Long before a player picks up a Sharpie, Steiner Sports allows customers the shot to pre-order something special from a signing.  Specific requests, including personalizations and inscriptions, are taken in advance and presented to the athlete on the day of the signing.

Derek Jeter Signing at Steiner Sports

Want Eli Manningto inscribe “happy birthday” on a photo?  Not a problem.  How about a ball personalized by Derek Jeter?  Done.

Customers are even encouraged to send in personal items to be included in upcoming signings.  Such an arrangement is orchestrated via a Steiner Sports Collectibles Sales Consultant in advance of the signing.

Worried a specific piece will sell out quickly once the signing is complete?  Customers can take advantage of a pre-sale by reserving a specific photo, jersey, helmet, etc., prior to the signing.  The Steiner Sports Signings Division will make a note of the pre-order and make sure a piece is included in the signing to fulfill all requests.

“Our goal in every signing is to make sure the customer is taken care of,” says Eric Levy, the official Steiner Sports Autograph Handler.  “If a customer pre-orders an item from a signing, it gets flagged on our priority list and is given special attention during the course of the signing.  There is definitely an advantage to pre-ordering.”

Collectors can gain insider access to the Steiner Sports signing schedule by reviewing the Upcoming Signings page on SteinerSports.com.  This autograph calendar is updated daily and serves as a guideline for those looking to pre-order items.  While most signings are held within the confines of the Steiner Sports Corporate Offices, located in New Rochelle, NY, others are open to the public and held at venues like the Steiner Sports Store in Garden City, or one of the many Last Licks Locations.

As the leader in sports collectables and memorabilia, Steiner Sports enjoys exclusive autograph agreements with some of the biggest names in sports.  Players like Derek JeterPeytonEli ManningMariano Rivera,Dustin PedroiaHank Aaron, and Martin Brodeur are just some of the exclusive athletes consistently signing for Steiner Sports.

Keep in mind, there are limitations on the number of items an athlete has time to sign at a given Steiner Sports autograph session.  So, collectors interested in reserving something special from an upcoming signing should give it some thought, contact a Steiner Sports Representative, and get in on a piece of the action early.

Don’t wait!

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Lights Out at Meadowlands Signals Opportunity to Own History

By Jason Klein

Originally Written For The Official Steiner Sports Blog – 1/5/10

The sign outside may have read “

Giants Stadium,” but the building finally felt like home for Jets fans on Sunday night.

The Jets, perhaps, saved their best performance for last as they did battle with the Cincinnati Bengals in the final game played in Meadowlands history.  Gang Green overcame frigid temperatures, and all the odds, to defeat the Bengals 37-0 in a rout.  In the process, they clinched the 5thseed in the AFC playoffs, the franchise’s first trip to the post season since 2006.

Final Game at Meadowlands

The Jets were destined to do what their co-tenants couldn’t the week prior.  The Giants’ final Meadowlands performance left a sour taste – falling to the Panthers 41-9 in week 16.  By contrast, the Jets refused to lose, holding the playoff-bound Bengals to just 72 total yards of offense…in the whole game!

Mark Sanchez completed an up-and-down rookie season on a high note, managing the offense and feeding Thomas Jones.  Following the game, and a refreshingly frosty Gatorade bath for head coach, Rex Ryan, players did a victory lap, shaking hands with the fans and shutting out the lights at the old building in style.

It was the final great moment inside a building that provided many along the way.  Jets fans will always remember moments like the Monday Night Miracle victory over the Dolphins in 2000, the 1999 Divisional Game against Jacksonville, and the back-to-back routs of the Packers and Colts to end the 2002 regular season and start the playoffs respectively.  Giants fans will quickly forget the team’s 2009 shortcomings and focus more on the three Lombardi Trophies, hoisted after the 1986, 1990 and 2007 seasons.

Whatever your allegiance, there is tons of history oozing from within the Meadowlands walls.  A new partnership joining Steiner Sports with the Meadowlands allows fans and football historians alike to own pieces of that nostalgia.

Interested in owning a pair of seats from within Giants Stadium?  Steiner Sports new partnership makes that possible.  Fans will have access to seats, seatbacks, pieces of the turfgoal posts, and various other items from within the building.  It’s the perfect way to commemorate the past and look forward to a bright future inside the New Meadowlands starting in 2010.

As the Jets prepare for their Wild Card Weekend rematch with Cincinnati, and the Giants start to prepare for what will no doubt be an exciting 2010 campaign, the lights inside Giants Stadium are now dark.  There will never be another game played inside the building that served as home for two teams, and enjoyed one glorious timeline of moments.

It finally felt like home for Jets fans on Sunday night.  Giants fans have always felt ownership.  With both teams moving across the parking lot next season, now it’s the fans who can start to make pieces of the building their own.

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Quick Year is a Memorable One at Steiner Sports

By Jason Klein

Originally Written For The Official Steiner Sports Blog – 12/24/09

“Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Those words, once spoken by Matthew Broderick in the 1986 hit “Ferris Bueller,” couldn’t be more apropos when thinking back on 2009 at Steiner Sports.  It was a year that had Steiner Sports employees’ heads spinning with activity and customers’ heads turning with curiosity and intrigue.  Though it flew by, it was a challenging, yet rewarding campaign, filled with moments and achievements that revolutionized the sports collectibles industry…again.

The final year of the “double zeros,” the “oughts,” or however one chooses to refer back to this decade, saw Steiner Sports prosper through three defining moments in company history, events that changed the way the company functions, and further developed the way sports fans collect memorabilia.

The Move

In recent years, Steiner Sports has developed relationships, and partnerships with some of the most successful organizations in professional and collegiate sports.  The company currently provides exclusive access to game used collectibles from the New York YankeesBoston Red SoxDallas Cowboys, and Notre DameAlabamaNorth Carolina, and Syracuse Universities.  The growing roster of partners, presented a growing inventory for a growing company occupying, what seemed like, a shrinking warehouse.

In an effort to satisfy the company’s need for more space, Steiner Sports moved into new digs in March.  Just like their pinstriped partners in the Bronx, the company shifted across the street into a new venue, better equipped to handle their needs in an ever-changing marketplace.  The move has been a positive one for all parties involved.  The state-of-the-art facility has allowed the company to function more efficiently, better serving loyal customers – many of whom made the pilgrimage over the last nine months to check out the new place.

The Seats

In 2009, Steiner Sports urged all Yankees fans and baseball historians to “Take a Seat in History.”  In May of 2009, the company announced plans to offer authentic seats, and other stadium artifacts including sod,monument park bricks, and foul pole pieces, from the original Yankee Stadium.  A flurry of activity ensued.  Eager fans were able to gobble up pieces of the historic stadium, scooping up whatever relics became available.  Owning an actual piece of Baseball’s Cathedral was an opportunity that few fans passed up on.

In addition, Original Yankee Stadium memorabilia was on display throughout the Inaugural Season inside the Great Hall, courtesy of Steiner Sports.  The Yankees-Steiner Collectibles Store flourished inside the Stadium too, giving fans insider access on game days.  Throughout the season, Steiner Sports employees were on hand to meet fans, and explain the unique line of items pulled from the “House That Ruth Built.”

What an unbelievable season it was too!  The Yankees broke in their new quarters in grand fashion!  The Greatest Closer of All-Time, Mariano Rivera, converted his 500th career save in June, and The Captain, Derek Jeter, passed Lou Gehrig on the all-time Yankees hits list in September.  Both historic moments served as appetizers for October’s (and November’s) main course…

The Title

The instant Mark Teixeira squeezed the final out of the 2009 World Series, the Yankees hard work towards a 27th Championship was over.  However, the work within the Steiner Sports office was just beginning.  Commemorative collagesplaques and crystals had already been prepared weeks in advance, but the quest towards a team signed project was quickly underway.

Over the course of about three weeks in November, twenty-nine members of the World Champions made their way through the Steiner Sports office, signing everything from team signed baseballs and photos, to game usedproduct from the 2009 season.  Once again, Steiner Sports had the most complete and intriguing collection of commemorative memorabilia to offer customers, featuring an unprecedented collection of superstars – perfect timing for the upcoming holiday season.

The Future

While 2009 was a legendary year in the history of Steiner Sports, the future is bright for the innovative leader in sports collectibles and gifts.  There are many exciting announcements on the table for 2010, events that will fire up customers, and further transform the collectibles industry.  2009 was fast.  2010 will move just as quick.  Just be sure to stop and look around.  Big things are coming so pay attention!  Bueller?

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#2 is #1 Sportsman in 2009

By Jason Klein

Originally Written For “Yankee Legacy Magazine” – 11/30/11

Destined for Yankee greatness from day #1, a young Derek Jeter was assigned to wear #2.  All the pinstriped greats wore single digits.  By thetime the scrawny kid from Kalamazoo, MI arrived in the Bronx, there was only one such number left to choose from – all others had been retired, and his manager, Joe Torre, was doing his best to take #6 off the board.  So, with expectations high, Jeter was given #2 – everything else had to be earned.

#2 Waives to the Yankee Stadium Faithful

The kid didn’t disappoint.

For fourteen seasons, Jeter has done nothing but validate his numerical assignment.  The 1996 American League Rookie of the Year has appeared in 10 All-Star games, won 4Gold Glove awards, and won 5 World Series titles.  In 2000, he was named MVP of both the All-Star Game and World Series.  In 2003 he was named team captain.  He has led his team to the Post Season in 13 of his 14 seasons, including 7 World Series appearances.

He is perhaps the most clutch performer to ever don the pinstripes, consistently coming up big in big spots.  At age 35, and showing no signs of slowing down, Jeter continues to produce at a staggering clip, breaking club records on a nightly basis, and passing single-digit-wearing legends in the process.

On November 30, 2009, just weeks after leading the Yankees to their 27thWorld Series title, Jeter was named the 2009 Sports Illustrated “Sportsman of the Year.”  He becomes the first Yankee to ever earn the title, and does it during a year that saw many great accomplishments for the Captain of the Yankees.

This season, he batted a stellar .334, won a Gold Glove for his defense, a Silver Slugger for his offense, and a 5th ring for his thumb.  In addition, on September 11, 2009, Jeter etched his name deeper into Yankees lore when he collected his 2,722nd career hit.

Playing within the confines of his new home – he is the all-time hits leader at the original Yankee Stadium – Jeter singled to right field in the third inning of a game with the Baltimore Orioles.  The base hit moved him past Lou Gehrig and into first place all-time on the Yankees career hits list.

Teammates poured out of the dugout to surround the newly-crowned hits king, congratulating him on his accomplishment.  The always stoic Jeter showed true emotion as the packed house in the Bronx chanted his name over and over, as if to thank him for his years of service.

Within hours of collecting the monumental hit, fans swarmed SteinerSports.com looking to grab one of many commemorative items released to honor Jeter’s accomplishment.  Since that historic night in the Bronx, Jeter has hand signed images of the moment, jerseys embroidered with the date and hits total, and inscribed baseballs detailing the moment.  Along with commemorative 2009 World Series items, they remain among the hottest Yankees collectibles on the market today.

By passing Gehrig, the next hits milestone for Jeter will be #3,000.  No Yankee has ever reached the benchmark number – like being named “Sportsman of the Year,” Jeter seems destined to be the first.  It also appears certain that one day, #2 will find its way into Monument Park, joining the other single digits enshrined in Yankees lore.

There was really never any doubt from day #1 that Jeter deserved to wear #2.  But, following a season that saw Jeter pass Lou Gehrig, lead his team to another World Series Title, and earn “Sportsman of the Year” honors, it would be tough not to argue that #2 is really #1.

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A Team Effort, Swisher Enjoys Being a Champion

By Jason Klein

Originally Written For The Official Steiner Sports Blog – 11/10/09

“It’s one of the coolest things…being called a champ,” said the newly crowned Nick Swisher.  “You can’t ever take that away.”

No matter what path his career takes from here, he will forever be a World Champion.  According to Swisher, it is an honor he would not be enjoying without the efforts and contributions of every man to wear the pinstripes in 2009.

Following My Interview with Swisher

“For ten months straight, you work as a team to accomplish great things,” he said.  “This season, we all had the right mindset, and the right group of guys working together.  That’s why we were able to win the whole thing.”

Just hours removed from capturing the 2009 World SeriesTitle, Swisher found himself inside the Steiner SportsCorporate Offices commemorating the achievement.  Along with other members of the 2009 World Champion New York Yankees, Swisher was there, adding his signature to team signed World Series baseballsphotos, jerseys, bats and helmets.

Swisher marveled at the new product line, referring to select pieces as “bad-ass,” and even requesting some photos for his personal collection.  Feeling nostalgic throughout the signing, he was eager to discuss his first season in the Bronx and the important role team chemistry played in the Championship run.

In 2009, the Yankees made key additions to their roster, bringing in players to round out an already potent group.  Coming to New York, where the team’s objective from day one always includes a parade down the Canyon of Heroes, can be intimidating for many.  Over the last eight title-less seasons, many have come and gone with little success.  The 2009 club was different though.

“This wasn’t about myself, or CC [Sabathia], or AJ [Burnett],” said Swisher.  “This was about everyone.  We needed the whole team on the same page and we all were able to bond together.”

The foundation of their close-knit group can be traced back to February 23, 2009.  That’s when the club united during a much publicized spring training field trip to the pool hall.

“At the time, we had a lot of work to do,” said Swisher.  “We had a season to get ready for and then Skip [Manager Joe Girardi] comes in and tells us to drop everything, we’re going to play pool for the day.  It was big for us.  Everyone bought into it, we had a great time, and we were able to carry that onto the field.”

That’s where the Yankees won an MLB best 103 ball games, including a dominant 57-24 mark within the confines of their new home in the Bronx.  Their success was the perfect blend of old and new.  Though the integration of new personalities like Swisher, Sabathia, Burnett and Teixeira was important, according the Swisher, a lot of the harmony can be attributed to members of the old guard.

“It’s the big four, [Jorge] Posada, [Derek] Jeter, [Andy] Pettitte, and [Mariano] Rivera,” he said.  “They are who the Yankees are.  They represent the team extremely well and are real leaders.  None of them came up to us new guys and said, ‘this is how we do things.’  It’s unspoken.  We all followed their lead and learned from them.”

The Yankees enter this offseason with a few issues to address.  Questions about the futures of Johnny Damon, Andy Pettitte, and World Series MVP, Hideki Matsui all loom.  The core of this roster will remain intact for 2010 when the Yankees try to defend their title – a challenge Swisher is already anxious to take on.

“I can’t wait to go back to war with these guys.”

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History in the Making. History for the Taking.

By Jason Klein

Originally Written For The Official Steiner Sports Blog – 10/28/09

It’s October.  The leaves are falling…that means the Yankees are on the rise.

Twenty-six times, the New York Yankees have captured the ultimate prize: a World Series Championship. Tonight they begin their mission for #27.

Derek Jeter Hand Signed 2009 World Series Jersey

Sweeping theTwins was a nice accomplishment.  Knocking off the Angels exorcized previous Post Season demons.  Defeating the Phillies in the Fall Classic will answer the pinstriped mission statement put forth every spring – be the last team standing in October.

It’s been nine years since the Yankees owned the baseball world.  In that time, fans have realized how difficult it is to win a ring, a sobering and frustrating process for many.  While the franchise has now captured 40 American League flags in their illustrious history, fans have recently learned how hard it is to convert a Pennant into a ring.

“Our customers are hungry for a Yankees World Series victory,” says Brett Schissler, Director of Retail Sales for Steiner Sports.  “Yankees fans were spoiled in the 90s, but a lot of people now realize just how difficult it is to win the whole thing, and how special this season could be.”

For the first time in 85 years, the Yankees will attempt to win a championship while playing in a new building.  They turned the trick way back in 1923, the inaugural season for the original Yankee Stadium, defeating the New York Giants 4 games to 2.  Now they attempt to make history in their new digs, officially making the “New House” a “Home.”

This playoff run is the perfect historical storm in the collectibles industry.  The most storied franchise, boasting some of the biggest names in baseball, is looking to add more hardware to their collection while attempting to christen a new ball park.  It’s a collector’s dream.

To make matters better, never before have fans enjoyed access during a championship run like they do in 2009.  The memorabilia industry has changed immensely since Bernie Williams caught the final out of the Subway Series at Shea Stadium.  The Yankees-Steiner partnership now gives fans the opportunity to own one-of-a-kind Post Season gems like game used basesbaseballs and jerseys used during actual game play – something that wasn’t possible in 2000.

Those looking to immortalize this remarkable season will have many delicious options to choose from.  Commemorative World Series items signed by players like JeterRodriguezRiveraPosada, and Sabathia, among others, were available for sale within hours of the pennant-clinching out.  Those lucky enough to attend a game in the Bronx will be able to mail their ticket in and have a personal collage created to celebrate the day.  Team signed photos, baseballs, jerseys and bats will also be available in limited quantities.

“Fans recognize the urgency here,” says Schissler.  “We’ve pre-sold a bunch of  World Series baseballs already and have long waiting lists filled with customers looking to snag game used jerseys from the [World] Series.  Everyone wants to take home a piece of history.  You just never know when something like this will happen again.”

Starting tonight, “Let’s Go Yankees” chants will fill the crisp Autumn Bronx air, Jeter will have his fist pump

locked and loaded, “Mystique” and “Aura” will make their way across the street to be in attendance.  Soak it in.  Grab something to commemorate the journey.  The last nine years prove that this sort of thing doesn’t happen every season.  This is special.  It’s history in the making.  It’s history for the taking.

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Saving The Best For Last

By Jason Klein  

Originally Written For New York Yankee Legacy Magazine – October 2009

Click each individual thumbnail below to read the feature story, exactly as it appeared in New York Yankee Legacy Magazine:










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