I Kidd you not: J’s great

March 18

On Sunday afternoon, I flew out to Dallas, Texas, for a private signing with Mavericks superstar Jason Kidd. This was J’s first signing as a member of Dallas, and the first I have done with him in quite some time. Monday morning, I set up and awaited Kidd’s arrival. Jason popped in at about 2 p.m. (right after practice) and knocked out the session in no time. J seems incredibly excited about being in Dallas … as he should.

The West is as competitive as any conference in recent memory, and with the Mavericks adding Kidd, the Lakers adding Pau Gasol, the Suns adding Shaq and the Rockets never losing, it truly has become the Wild West. Kidd and I spoke about how any of those teams are a three-game losing streak away from dropping to the ninth spot (and, at the time, out of the playoff picture).

Anyway, the product breakdown for this signing was all Dallas. We did three sick new Mavericks images (in both 8-by-10 and 16-by-20), as well as that strong Sports Illustrated Kidd cover from a few weeks ago (in 16-by-20 … very robust!)

After the signing was over, it took me no time to pack up and ship the pieces back to New York (a first). That brings us to today, where I am enjoying a “day off” in Dallas. J was nice enough to leave me a ticket for tonight’s Mavericks/Lakers game, so I am heading over to American Airlines Center in a few hours for that showdown. If last Sunday’s thriller in L.A. was any indication of how tonight will play out. it is sure to be a classic. Tomorrow morning I am flying straight back to my March home, Tampa, for quite a few Yankees signings.

March 28
If my memory serves me well, I believe I last left off in Dallas about to leave for the Mavericks/Lakers game (the night before heading back to Tampa, Fla., for more Yankees signings). The game itself was unreal. J Kidd hooked me up, and I was seated three rows behind the Mavs’ bench. It was so strong watching Kobe Bryant, J and Dirk up close. I was also loving watching Mark Cuban, who was seated a few rows to my right, go at it with referees all game long. Some sports are better on television (football), but there is nothing like watching hoops in person.
Anyway, the following morning I hopped on yet another flight to Tampa. Once I arrived, I immediately began setting up for a plethora of signings that would take place over four days. The first two signing were that very night with Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera. While most of my trip was dedicated to a few special projects that we are working on, Robinson autographed quite a few individual pieces. The most robust of all these items are a special Big Stick Ash Signature bat. It is reasonably priced and a must-have for any Cano or Yankees collector in general.

Another strong item that we are going to be introducing to all of our Yankees collectors is the Yankee Stadium Commemorative baseball. It has an awesome blue logo on it commemorating the years of the soon-to-be-closing stadium. Robinson signed a handful of those, as well as 2008 All Star Game baseballs (which, in my opinion, he is a lock to play in).

The next day, I signed with the Yankees Captain Derek Jeter. Aside from building up inventory of some of our best staple Jeter items, Derek also signed game-used batting gloves, cleats and a handful of those Yankee Stadium balls … very strong. After Jeter was done, I did a few small signings with other Yankees players, including fan-favorite Shelley Duncan. Duncan is quickly becoming one of the more popular Yankees and one of the most sought-after autographs around.

After the Duncan signing, I spent the next two days working on these Yankees projects … which we hope to unveil sometime in the next month or so. I am really looking forward to us going out with these, and I can’t wait for you all to see the pieces. I finally arrived home for good (for now) a few days ago after spending the better part of a month on the road (Ft. Myers twice, Tampa twice, Dallas). We have a ton of exciting things going on over the next two weeks … most of which are in New York. Check back later for some final thoughts on spring training as well as an in-depth preview of the beginning of April.

March 31
OK, so I am finally grounded for a little while. After spending the better part of a month in Florida, it is so good to be home. I have been back in New York for several days now and am gearing up for a big week or so of signings (right here in the Tri-State area). Wednesday we are starting yet another 2007 Giants team project, which will culminate Friday evening at a special cocktail party at Mariano’s Restaurant here in New Rochelle. Then this weekend, I am heading over to the Football Spectacular show in Edison, N.J. We are bringing in a few Giants players, as well as working on some exciting projects. This should be an extremely busy month, so hopefully I will be able to keep up with the blogging.

Right now, we are less than 15 minutes away from the official start of the 2008 MLB season (the Mets opener). While they do have some issues, I feel the Mets boast the strongest rotation in the National League. Aside from the robust one-two punch of Pedro and Santana, John Maine and Oliver Perez are poised to dominate this season. They will now be matched up against opposing team’s third and fourth starters (versus two and three … sometimes one and two) and will feast on it. I predict 18 wins for both and the pennant … anything short of that will be a disappointment. With that said, I am expecting that after many months of team-oriented projects, my next major one will be the Mets in November.

As said earlier, this should be quite a week here at Steiner … so check back daily for updates, photos and more Mets talk.
I am just about to embark on a second wave of  2007 Giants team signing. Next week there are sure to be several robust entries on this massive team signing. Aside from that, we are also working on yet another great team project, which I will get into more detail on over the next few weeks. Trust me, it’s strong.

For more information on Eric and his blog, visit www.SteinerSports.com and the Steiner Marketplace at www.SteinerMarketplace.com.

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