Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Willie Mays Tells Mets - Let Me Sign Autographs

Willie Mays is so concerned about lack of attendance at Citi Field that he wants to have an autograph session (for him) on the field.

According to the NY Daily News, Mays said, "I'd like to come back and do a show there, 'like an autograph session, help myself, help the Mets."

Thanks to Willie for "offering" his services for a price at Citi Field. I think this could be a good idea if:
- Willie's autograph prices come down to reality
- Fans get a tour of the ballpark including, dugout, locker room, around the outfield, bullpen, etc.
- Add some other Mets greats to the line up.

But let's be honest.  Is really Mays really going to sit in the October chill at Citi Field to sign autographs? I think we're looking at next season.

Monday, September 27, 2010

PBS Baseball Tenth Inning By Ken Burns - 9/28

Ken Burns unveils the Tenth Inning on PBS Tuesday, 9/28. This is a two-part follow-up to his baseball documentary.

I really enjoyed the original baseball documentary he did 20 years ago and I'm looking forward to seeing how he documents events following the '94 strike and the steroid era.

You can follow the Tenth Inning here and on facebook, twitter, and foursquare.

I would have liked a promotion baseball card set to come out with this.

Friday, September 24, 2010

When Football Players Had Off-Season Jobs

The backs of vintage cards bring more than the stats.

I picked up this 1952 Bowman Large card of Dallas Texan Brad "Whitie" Ecklund. The best part of his card was the listing of his four years in the Marines seeing action at Okinawa.

I really thought it the last two sentences of the card were interesting:
"Works as a salesman during the off-season. Plans career in coaching and selling."

Sounds like the first steps to product endorsements?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Vince Coleman Autograph Request

Former Met and friend of firecrackers, Vince Coleman, is signing autographs.

Vince is signing at the Mounted Memories November 21 show in Chicago, IL.

What are the chances Vince signs a firecracker for me?

If you don't remember Vince's little problem . . .

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

eBay Auction for Dana White to Tweet You

Twitchange is a celebrity twitter auction that is raising money for

You can bid to have Eva Longoria, Dana White, Jim Rome, Pierre Garcon, and others follow you on twitter for at least 90 days and retweet one of your tweets.

The auction raises money to build the Miriam Center, a home for children with cerebral palsy, severe autism and other disabilities.

How long until TriStar, Mounted Memories and others start selling tweets and followers at card and memorabilia shows?

Monday, September 20, 2010

2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame List

The Hall of Fame announced it's preliminary list for the 2011 Class. Some of the first time notables include:
- Deion Sanders
- Jerome Bettis
- Marshall Faulk
- Curtis Martin
- Jimmy Smith, 
- Willie Roaf
- Dick Vermeil 

Out of that group, I see Deion and Marshall being first ballot HOFers. I think Bettis and Roaf will eventually get in, but it may not be on the first ballot. 


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Reds Missed an Opportunity

The Reds could take a page from the Toronto Blue Jays marketing department.

Last week I blogged about #twittertuesdays at a Blue Jays game. It was a great experience for my family. We were able to meet people, get involved in the game and I could have conversations with other fans cheering for the Blue Jays. (I'm still a Mets fan, but I like to cheer for the home team when I'm at a new stadium.)

September 11 was Pete Rose #4192 celebration day at the Reds game. For the first time in over 20 years, Pete was allowed on the home field of the Cincinnati Reds. It was a great video tribute and it was amazing to see Pete on the field.

But the Reds really missed out on an opportunity to socialize with their customers. They didn't have a hashtag for the event. I twittered from touring the Reds Hall of Fame, from my seats, the concessions and after the ceremony. Using the tweet-see app, I could see hundreds of other people doing the same thing.

Instead of promoting a hashtag, like #4192, and following the conversation. The Reds marketing arm did they same thing they always do at a game: Send their pretty spokesperson to the vending areas to talk about great hotdogs for $10 and a 10% discount on hats at the gift shop. Really? Yes, really.

What they should have done:
  • Promote and follow a hashtag - #4192 is just an example. 
  • Get stories from people who came to see Pete on the field. I sat next to someone who drove to the game from Iowa to see Pete. 
  • Use twitpics of people in their Rose jerseys on the jumbo screen. 
  • Create an online petition to send to Bud Selig for Pete to be reinstated. 
  • Even talk about the cool Pete Rose print give-away at the Reds HOF. 
They missed an opportunity to connect, engage and turn their customers into evangelists.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pete Rose 25 Year Anniversary - Free Print

I attended the Pete Rose 4192 celebration on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. Everyone who went through the Reds Hall of Fame received a free print.

The picture has Pete's swing from Sept. 11, 1985. I have the picture of Pete on first base with Steve Garvey, but I didn't have one with the swing. It's a pretty nice print I'll get signed some day. One in ten given-away at the Reds Hall of Fame were already signed - I wasn't lucky enough to win one of those.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Twitter Tuesdays Experience with the Toronto Blue Jays

Twitter, baseball, and watching a game with your kids - it doesn't get much better than that for me.

My family and I recently experienced a Toronto Blue Jays game and their promotion for using the hashtag #twittertuesdays on a Tuesday home game. By following a simple playbook, the Blue Jays entered marketing nirvana by turning their customers into evangelists.

First - the Blue Jays promoted their #twittertuesdays hashtag on their website, with their own twitter account @bluejays, and throughout the stadium.

Second - They offered a contest. The "Most Valuable Tweeter" as decided upon by fan voting, won a free luxury box suite to one of their September home games.

Third - The Blue Jays were social. Social media isn't about finding another channel to broadcast your message. It's about interacting, listening, answering . . . being social.

Before the game, #twittertuesdays announcements were on the screens and throughout the stadium. Using my iPhone (although any smartphone would work) I began tweeting about the experience, mentioned it was my kids' first time in Toronoto, and I even sent a few twitpics (pictures sent via twitter) about the good time we were having. Using the #twittertuesdays hashtag with my tweets, other fans at the game were able to see my updates and interact. The Toronto Blue Jays marketing representative even stopped by our seats to talk to us. She gave us a t-shirt, took our picture and just welcomed us to the game.

During the game the contest began and 100s of people were twittering with the #twittertuesdays hashtag. The @bluejays would respond to some tweets and continued to interact with all of the fans. During the 7th inning, the Blue Jays posted a twitpic of my kids (with ice cream all over their faces) on the giant video screen for 20,000 fans to see!

At the end of the game, the Most Valuable Tweeter was announced. It wasn't me, but I had such a good time talking baseball (over twitter), sitting with my family at a baseball game, winning a t-shirt and getting my kids picture on the giant screen that it didn't really matter. The Blue Jays didn't even win the game, but the experience was great.
The Blue Jays are scoring with #twittertuesdays. They are getting 100s of people at every Tuesday home game to promote their products. These are customers who already paid the Blue Jays for a product and are now sharing their positive experiences with the 100s or 1,000s of people who follow them on twitter.
The cost for this promotion is minimal. The Blue Jays give out a few t-shirts, talk to their customers, and award one person with their best product, the luxury box suite to another game. The marketing effort doesn't stop with the announcement of the winner. What will the Most Valuable Tweeter probably do? That person will continue to give positive comments on twitter about the Blue Jays and their most expensive/best product.
Twitter and Non Twitter Users
To search for twitter conversations and information about #twittertuesdays, go to and type #twittertuesdays. This will bring a list of tweets using the #twittertuesdays hashtag. Another search is You can RSS any of the searches and add it to your RSS reader as another way to keep track of this hashtag or any other.

TweetDeck users can click the search icon in tweetdeck and type #twittertuesdays. This open another column (if you have less than 10 columns) and continually refreshes as long as you keep it.

I recommend using twitter hashtags for marketing all of your events. You may not be on twitter, but chances are, some of your customers are.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pete Rose 25 Year Anniversary - I Will Be There

The Reds are celebrating Pete Rose's 25th anniversary of hit #4192. Before the game on Sept. 11, Pete will be allowed on the field for the celebration and I'm taking the family to the game.

According to the Reds website, there will be a video tribute and the appearance by the Hit King. 

I grew up in New Jersey and my first memories of Pete Rose was seeing him in a Phillies uniform. I started to follow him then and I'm still a huge fan of his on-the-field baseball accomplishments.

I remember when he broke Ty Cobb's all-time hit record. I was in grade school at the time and that night I was probably doing homework or something while my mom was cleaning and listening to the radio. During a song, the DJ interrupted (Pete was still very popular in Philly) to give the "Ladies and Gentleman, Pete Rose just broke Ty Cobb's all-time hit record" announcement.

My mom and I immediately turned off the radio and turned on the TV. We only had the 3 major channels in our townhouse at the time and all three channels were carrying the live video from Riverfront Stadium. It's one of those memories as a kid that you'll never forget. I still have the Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia Enquirer from Sept. 12 that has all the coverage.

This Saturday, 25 years later, I'm taking my family to almost the same spot where Pete broke one of baseball's biggest records for the celebration. It's a pretty big deal for me.

I don't know if it'll be one of those memories my kids will remember 25 years from now, but I know I will.

We're going to the Reds Hall of Fame before the game and I'll tweet and send some twitpics throughout the evening on twitter: @JamesRyanJ.

My Super Bowl XLV Prediction

I'm not going with the Jets, Mark Sanchez's playoff numbers were good, his regular seasion numbers were good for a rookie.

I'm not going with Dallas. I'm a big Cowboys fan, but I'm not sold on Tony Romo being able to win a tough one in the playoffs. His performance and happy feet in Minn. last season were ugly.

I'm not going with Green Bay. Has their defense improved that much to shut other teams down if the offense struggles?

I'm not going with San Diego or Baltimore either.

I think it's going to be: Atlanta over New England. I belive the Patriots have another run left in them and the 3rd year for Matt Ryan is going to be huge.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

One of One Million from Topps - Pete Rose 1986

I ordered a few of the cards I received from the Topps Million Card Giveaway. This is the 1986 Pete Rose card that I previously blogged about.

Once I placed the order, it took less than a week to get here, the order process was easy, and the card is in very good condition. I'm pretty happy with this one, the giveaway and the service Topps provided.

Now I'm really looking forward to Saturday, 9/11, Reds game. They are honoring the 25th anniversary of hit #4192.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Wally Backman's Brooklyn Impact

The hire of Wally Backman as the Brooklyn Cyclone's manager is already paying off. The Cyclones are in the playoffs.

Backman's Cyclones won the McNamara division and have the best record in the league.

Sunday's Record has an article by Steve Popper about the Mets needing to decide what to do with Backman and he clearly has eyes for the big league level.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Topps Tribute 2010 - Cards from Cardboard Connection

I'm sucker for the old school cards and modern cards that reflect and old design and showcase players from a previous era.

Unfortunately, Topps Tribute 2010 didn't do it for me. I received some cards from Cardboard Connection for their "Three I'd Like to See" promotion. I didn't win the contest, but it was really cool of them to throw some cards my way.

The 2010 Topps Tribute cards I received:
- Rogers Hornsby 50/51
- Walter Johnson
- Johnny Bench

I'm all for the sepia background, but in my opinion, the card is a little bland, it's hard to read the script font they use on the shiny front. I like the thickness of the card and having the player stand-out, but it's just missing something for me.

Let me know if you're collecting the set and are interested in the cards.

Thanks again to Cardboard Connection for the schwag.