Over the years, signed items from championship teams have become hot commodities for the high-end collector. In 1986, I had to get the signatures of the New York Mets myself. That’s not the case today, now that memorabilia companies do the hard work for you.
But it has become quite the game to try to get every essential player on the team ball. That’s because each player has to sign his own per signature deal and some high-profile players have exclusive deals that keep them from signing with the company that is putting together the item.
Last year, a Phillies team-signed World Series champions baseball — assembled by a company called BC Sports — had signatures of Jimmy Rollins, Charlie Manuel, Chase Utley and World Series MVP Cole Hamels, but did not include Ryan Howard.
This year, Steiner Sports — which has a joint venture with the Yankees — is charging $3,499.99 for the team-signed ball. It’s guaranteed to include Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Mark Teixeira, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Joe Girardi.
As of now, there’s no guarantee it will include World Series MVP Hideki Matsui, who has been known to be less aggressive in the autograph world.
Brandon Steiner, chairman of Steiner Sports, said he’s not giving up on landing Matsui on the ball because he feels he’s a special Yankee.
“It’s not like he just came in for one year,” Steiner said.
Matsui’s representative Arn Tellem was not immediately available for comment.
Steiner says he’s not concerned about the price of the ball. It’s only limited to 250 and says it’s priced to sell out.
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