As Barry Bonds heads into the All- Star Break with 751 home runs, five shy of the all-time record, I have to admit I'm looking at the calendar and laughing. It's interesting to imagine what would happen if Bonds hit his grand shot in either Milwaukee (July 20 to July 22) or in San Francisco at home against Atlanta (July 23 through July 26). We're not expecting the commish Bud Selig or Baseball's president and COO Bob DuPuy to be there, but it would be more strange if Bonds did it in Milwaukee, where Selig and DuPuy still have offices. The Atlanta connection is of course awkward because Hank Aaron, whose record he is looking to beat, is an executive with the Atlanta Braves. Aaron has said he won't be there, but again, its more awkward if Bonds becomes the all-time leader against Aaron's Braves.
While we’re on Bonds, Peter Gammons had a great interview with Bonds during the Home Run Derby on Monday night. It was ruined by the fact that they had to show Magglio Ordonez trying to hit home runs during the interview. I just wishESPN had the power to stick with Bonds for a couple minutes and delay Ordonez at the plate. Trying to concentrate on the interview and the Derby at the same time was too much.
Upper Deck & Celebrity Cards
One of the smartest things the sports card industry has done over the last five years has been to put celebrity signature cards into packs. It’s really put some great life into the business. Upper Deck, whose offer the Topps board rejected on Monday, just sent me the checklist for its new 2007 Sweet Spot Classic Baseball cards. Here are the highlights of some of the cut autographs you can find in packs: Abbott & Costello, David Packard (Co-founder Hewlett-Packard), Duke Ellington, John Edgar Hoover (J. Edgar of FBI fame) and my personal favorite Orville Redenbacher.
Merchandise News & Notes
The NHL’s online shop experienced its biggest sales year in its 11 years of operation and a 47 percent increase in sales over sales in 2006. Top selling jerseys included Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Peter Forsberg. An amazing four Buffalo Sabres were in the top ten, including Ryan Miller, Maxim Afinogenov, Daniel Briere and Chris Drury. Sabres sales were up 497 percent on a year-to-year comparison.
So much for people being sick of the cheaters at the Tour De France.XP Events,which operates the on-site retail merchandising operations in London, say they set merchandising records for the first three days of the cycling event. Sales during the Prologue on July 7th also set a new all-time single day record for merchandise sales.
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