“Pin-Up” of the Week: Yankee Stadium Opening April 18, 1923 Press Pin

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Speaking of going back in time.  How would you like to have been a member of the press assigned to cover the opening of Yankee Stadium?  On April 18, 1923 there was a lucky group of individuals that got to do just that.  On that day the Yankees played the Red Sox.  The Yankees won 4-1 while Babe Ruth hit a three-run homer.  It is by far one of those moments many fans wish they could have witnessed in person.

Press pins were first issued to members of the media in 1911.  Its a practice that continues to this very day when it comes to special events.  Members that were part of the press that day in 1923 received a special pin that granted them exclusive access.  Merchandise from this game is beyond desirable.  Very few of these pins have surfaced over the years making them top sellers when an auction house gets their hands on one.  Like a lot of other press pins at the time, this one was made by Dieges & Clust.  It’s value can range anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.

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“Pin-Up” of the Week: Cal Ripken Jr’s Final Game At Yankee Stadium Media Pin

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Baseball’s true Iron man.  Cal Ripken Jr played his final game at Yankee Stadium on September 30, 2001.  His last official game came October 6 of that year.  Ripken will go down in history as one of the best baseball players of all time.  Among all of his records, the 2,632 consecutive games played is probably his most notable.  On September 6, 1995 Ripken broke the 56 year old record set by Lou Gehrig.  Members of the media that were at Yankee Stadium that day received the above pin.  They are worth about $80.00.

Card of the Day: George Steinbrenner / Nelson Mandela Yankee Stadium Legacy Cut Auto

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Card of the Day: ’09 Breygent Pride of the Yankees Babe Ruth/Yankee Stadium Relic

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Card of the Day: Clete Boyer 2004 UD Yankee Classic Auto

Did anyone meet Clete Boyer while he was alive?  I met him a few times up in Cooperstown, NY.  He was always signing autographs for people.  He signed a photo and bat for me.

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Even Yankee Stadium’s Dirt Gets Authenticated to Combat Fraud

Source – Bloomberg.com

By Erik Matuszewski

Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) — Mariano Rivera was like a kid in a sandbox after the final game at Yankee Stadium, down on his hands and knees digging up dirt from the pitcher’s mound for a memento.

His keepsake just isn’t officially recognized by Major League Baseball.

During the Yankees’ 7-3 win over Baltimore last night, baseball had a team of three authenticators on hand to verify just about anything connected to the final game at the 85-year- old Yankee Stadium — from infield dirt and bases to the lineup card. It’s all part of the sport’s effort to eliminate fraudulent memorabilia from the marketplace.

“Since we are the leading sport in terms of memorabilia, we decided to take the leadership position and create this program ourselves to protect our fans, players and clubs from all the fakes out there,” baseball spokesman Michael Posner said in an interview at Yankee Stadium.

Hundreds of items were officially recognized as game-used, receiving a sequentially numbered, tamper-proof hologram on the spot. It ensures that fans who may pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for the items are getting the real thing.

Among other items verified by baseball’s team of authenticators — all of whom have backgrounds in law enforcement — were balls, new bases every half-inning, rosin bags, dugout signs and several buckets of dirt shoveled off the infield long after the players’ celebration subsided.

Buckets of Dirt

While many players, like Rivera, scooped up dirt on their own following the game, the officially approved product was shoveled into buckets and sealed under the eye of an authenticator. The containers are then sent to licensees in Florida, where they’re opened by another authenticator to ensure no seals are broken. After that, it’s broken up into smaller lots and given a hologram, which destroys itself if removed from a piece of memorabilia.

“It’s a chain of custody, really, it’s like evidence,” Posner said.

Baseball set up its program in 2000 after a probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation found that more than 75 percent of sports collectibles were fakes. Other major U.S. sports leagues, such as the National Football League and National Basketball Association, also have programs to combat counterfeit memorabilia.

Rivera said he plans on keeping the dirt he gathered for himself, as a memory of the stadium in which he had 230 saves and was a part of four World Series-winning teams.

Property of Yankees

All of the authenticated items go to the Yankees and many will likely be auctioned off through the team’s Web site. Some will go to players, who have requested a piece of history.

Other items in Yankee Stadium, from lockers to urinals, haven’t yet been authenticated. They will before the stadium is torn down and the team moves into its new $1.3 billion home across the street.

“I’ve asked for my locker, first base, four seats from the upper deck,” the Yankees’ Jason Giambi said in an interview. “I’m going to pass it on to my kids. I wanted to get everything I could get.”

This week’s eTopps cards are……..

Allen & Ginter Yankee Stadium Tribute

Manny Ramirez