Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Prospect Garrett Broshuis Give Tips on Autograph Ettiquite

In his ongoing blog for Baseball America, Giants pitching prospect Garrett Broshuis gives autograph seekers a tutorial on how to respectfully go about obtaining signatures at the park. With fans, collectors and dealers becoming more aggressive in their quest to obtain autographs from the stars of tomorrow, Broshuis offers some common sense tips about patience and manners. Next time you are at a game, follow the advice offered by Broshuis and you should have some success in your quest to obtain an autograph from a player in uniform.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

2nd Annual Showdown in Chinatown Afterparty With Steve Nash and Claudio Reyna

Steve Nash Claudio ReynaTwo worlds descended upon the Hudson Terrace Wednesday evening, as superstars from the NBA and Soccer joined forces to raise funds for both the Steve Nash Foundation and the Claudio Reyna Foundation . Both foundations support the development of urban and disadvantaged youth in sports and education. The official afterparty for the 2nd annual "Showdown in Chinatown" began with a delayed start as the exhibition game earlier in the day was delayed due to rainy conditions. Once nightfall came though, the stars appeared.
Making appearances at the party included professional soccer stars Reyna, Thierry Henry, Adrian Mutu and Javier Zanetti. The NBA was represented by Nash, Chris Bosh and draft prospects Hasheem Thabeet (UConn), Austin Daye (Gonzaga) and Daniel Green (North Carolina).
Nash, the two-time NBA MVP, stated that his, "love for soccer helped to bring both worlds together. I am very passionate about soccer and I have been playing since I was young. This gives me an opportunity to have alot of prominent athletes come together to support the foundations." Reyna also felt optimistic about the gathering and felt that, "anything that can bring awareness to our charities will help further our causes."
For some of those involved, playing soccer was anything but familiar territory. Spectators said that the 6'10" Bosh looked completely out of his element during the exhibition game. Bosh said that he, "never played soccer before, but it was an interesting experience. It was fun being out there." Below are photos of some of the superstar athletes in attendance.

Javier Zanetti
Javier Zanetti

Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry

Adrian Mutu + Wife
Mr.+ Mrs. Adrian Mutu

Hasheem Thabeet
Hasheem Thabeet

Austin Daye
Austin Daye

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


--The two return to headline a star-studded charity soccer game & after party--

June 17, 2009--New York, NY — Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash and soccer great Claudio Reyna announced today that their Showdown in Chinatown is returning for a second year to New York City’s Lower East Side. The Showdown, a free 8-a-side soccer match between teams of NBA and professional soccer players, will kick-off at Sara D. Roosevelt Park at 6pm on June 24 to benefit the work of the Steve Nash Foundation (http://www.stevenash.org) and the Claudio Reyna Foundation (http://www.claudioreynafoundation.org).

“This event gets right at two of my passions — football (soccer) and helping improve conditions for kids,” said Nash. “The Showdown shows off what the world’s top athletes can do, what they’re willing to do to help, and I can’t wait to get on the field. We’ll be right in the middle of the Lower East Side, a phenomenal neighborhood in a beautiful city, just a couple of guys getting a match on.”

Players scheduled to appear include:
Steve Nash (Phoenix Suns) Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), Jason Kidd (Dallas Mavericks), Grant Hill (Phoenix Suns), Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors), Raja Bell (Charlotte Bobcats)

Claudio Reyna (US/Former NY Red Bull), Thierry Henry (France/FC Barcelona), Javier Zanetti (Argentina/Inter Milan), Salomon Kalou (Ivory Coast/Chelsea), Ryan Babel (The Netherlands/Liverpool), Giovanni van Bronckhurst (The Netherlands/Feyenoord), Mathieu Flamini (France/AC Milan), Ivan Cordoba (Columbia/Inter Milan), Adrian Mutu (Romania/ACF Fiorentina)

"I’m very excited to be part of bringing soccer to New York City sports fans in a fun, friendly, and unique way. We hope that we can at least match the excitement that was created last year when we had players from the world of soccer and basketball come together to provide great entertainment,” said Reyna.

“It’s a tough time for non-profits across the country,” said Nash, “and we’re so grateful to our partners for supporting our efforts. They all love the game -- ICAP, Medco, Metro PCS, GREY GOOSE Vodka, vitaminwater and Calle.” The players will be wearing Calle Soccer uniforms, inspired by the street play that rises up in neighborhoods all over the world.

The Showdown comes to New York City thanks to the help of Nash’s latest soccer innovation, Football-For- Good.com (http://www.football-for-good.com).

Taking a cue from his love for soccer and also for helping children, Nash is forming Football for Good to create opportunities for elite-level development among children in war-affected regions of Africa. With academies and attending assistance to introduce players to the global stage, Football for Good will put profits back into capital projects in African communities that need them most. The first such project will be the Gulu Youth Centre for Sport, Culture and Reconciliation, driven by Nash’s Foundation and partner agencies, and funded by this new social business venture. A viral short, created by Nash’s film enterprise, Meathawk, leaked onto the internet last week. Starring international greats Alessandro Del Piero, Kaka, Joe Cole and Henry, the film is a comedic jab at Nash’s attempt to infiltrate the beautiful game. “The Player” is on-line at http://www.stevenash.org/showdown.

The Showdown in Chinatown will be followed by an After Party held at the Hudson Terrace at 9pm featuring GREY GOOSE Vodka. A limited number of tickets will be available for sale at http://www.stevenash.org on Friday, June 19. Ticket sales are eligible for a tax receipt from the Foundation.

For more information, please contact:
ILANA NUNN, BDA Sports Management, inunn@bdasports.com, 203-545-3855
KRISTINA ANDERSEN, BDA Sports Management, kandersen@bdasports.com, 916-221-0007

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jim Dusty Rhodes, 82, 1954 World Series MVP 1927-2009

When the current generation hears the name "Dusty" Rhodes they may think of wrestling, but baseball fans recall the colorful outfielder who was the hero of the 1954 World Series. James Lamar Rhodes, affectionately known in baseball circles as "Dusty", helped lead the Giants to the 1954 World Series crown with his dramatic pinch hit homerun to win Game 1 off of future Hall of Famer Bob Lemon at the Polo Grounds. Rhodes passed away Wednesday June 17, 2009 in Las Vegas after a long battle with diabetes and emphysema.

Rhodes accepted his role as one of the "scrubbini", platooning in the outfield and serving as a feared pinch-hitter for 7 seasons with the Giants. Rhodes was never known for his defensive play, as Leo Durocher stated in his autobiography "Nice Guys Finish Last," Rhodes was, "the worst fielder who ever played in a big league game who made training rules forgotten."

In a recent interview that I conducted with Rhodes, I had asked Rhodes about his Hall of Fame teammates, Willie Mays and Monte Irvin. He said he knew Mays was, "a Hall of Famer the first time I met him." He referred to Irvin as a "buddy," and "the greatest in my book!" Irvin, when interviewed by the New York Daily News regarding Rhodes' death, called Rhodes a "good friend," and "a brother to all black players." When Mays was interviewed for the same piece, he said Rhodes was, "a fabulous hitter and a great friend." The high praise Rhodes received from two of the best players in baseball's history displays that his reach extended far beyond his heroics in the 1954 World Series.

To read an in-depth interview with "Dusty" Rhodes, check out Bill Madden's article from the December 20th, 2008 edition of the New York Daily News.

June 27, 2009 All-American Girls Professional Baseball League To Be Honored in Horsham, PA

On Saturday, June 27, 2009, the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society will honor 8 living former players from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) at the Days Inn at 245 Easton Rd (Route 611) in Horsham, PA from 10am-1pm. Come and meet the women that inspired the movie "A League of Their Own" and hear their stories of playing baseball in the 1940's and 50's.

Attendees will include the following players:
Gert Alderfer
Gloria Cordes
Ruth Kramer
Mary Moore
Joanne McComb
Ruth Richard
Sarah Jane Sands
Norma Whitney

Special Show Autograph Price - $5 each

Mail Order Prices:
Your item $6 + Proper return postage

Our photo $10
Our Special 34 inch ring BAT $ $25
Our items please add s&h $6.00

For more information on the appearance, please contact the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society or call 800-318-0483.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Are Citi Field and Yankee Stadium's Autograph Policies Attempts To Force The Fans Into The Expensive Seating?

Now that fans have had a few months to feel out the surroundings of both Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, reports are that both venues aren't friendly to the autograph seeker. Autographs and baseball games have gone hand in hand, as children and adults have attempted to get their scraps of paper, programs, baseballs and gum cards signed as mementos of a brief encounter with one of their heroes. These chance encounters are part of the attraction of attending a live game, and part of the culture surrounding the national pastime.
A recent New York Times article entitled "New Yankee Stadium is Tough for Autograph Hounds", details some of the difficulties surrounding the quest for signatures at the new Yankee Stadium. Some of the roadblocks encountered include: a parking lot for the players that is out of the reach and view of the fans, and no access to pregame batting practice near the $1,250 dugout level seats (this was the entire field level until last month when fans were allowed to view batting practice from the field level box seats in the outfield).

The situation at Citi Field isn't much better. According to the Mets website, "Fans on the field level are permitted to seek autographs along the Field Level railings where permitted during batting practice from 2½ hours before game time ... until approximately 1 hour before game time." These permitted areas are also farther down the outfield lines, and if you are lucky enough to be inside of those areas, you will have to deal with the extended press boxes and the handrails in between every 2-3 rows if you are trying to move laterally. There is also private seating behind home plate that is gated off. In regards to attempting to access the players entering and exiting the players parking lot at Citi Field, one fan said, "It is as if they were protecting government officials instead of baseball players. The parking lot security guards are quick to barricade the area once they spot fans attempting to get autographs, six hours before game time!"

With both teams facing large payrolls, is this a ploy by both New York MLB teams to force the fans to the expensive parts of the stadium, for the increased chance of getting an autograph? Is this even a valid strategy in the midst of one of the worst economic situations in United States history, with thousands of empty seats in both stadiums each night? Will fans that are shut out from the autograph experience outside of the ballpark go inside, or not show up at all? Will we see an increased presence of autograph seekers at the hotel because the players are inaccessible at the ballpark? I have heard that alot of players are telling fans that they will only sign at the ballpark and not the hotel. Is this another tactic that has been passed down by management to lure seekers to games which they cannot afford?

Is begs the question, "Who are the teams catering to?" The chosen few that can afford the luxury seating, or the blue-collar workers who fill the majority of the stadium? I hope that the front offices of both teams recognize the importance of this autograph connection at the ballpark, because it is a component of what makes the fans more than just casual followers.