The fact is Reality TV isn’t going to go away. And now that world is entering the sports hobby at a pretty rapid rate. With hits like “Pawn Stars” and “American Pickers,” which at times have hit upon items in the sports memorabilia category, soon there will be two shows based on dealers/auction houses in the sports memorabilia hobby.
Last week, we told you about the new Discovery Channel series “All Star Dealers” following the escapades of Grey Flannel’s Richard Russek. Now comes news that ABC Television will be airing a new series called “Ball Boys” on March 24 that focuses on the dealings of Robbie 1st Base hobby shop in Baltimore.
Like “Pawn Stars,” this show will feature a family-run business featuring four employees, a father-son duo and two others named Shaggy and Sweet Lou. Perhaps it’s a prerequisite for these types of shows to have characters with nicknames.
According to releases, the show will have 12 half-hour episodes that feature “the never-before-seen negotiation of buying and selling unique sports merchandise, both at the store and at off-site locations.” The show will also feature sports stars that happen to stop by for various reasons, such as Jim Brown and Jalen Rose, to name a few.
Information on the show stresses the bond that sports has among people, including complete strangers and how this common bond brings people together to talk sports and do some deals as well. I’ll be interested to see how much of the “family-bonding” as they refer to it, is stressed during the show. And with it being focused solely on sports memorabilia, I’ll be real interested in what others think of the dealings, prices discussed and the negotiations. As those of us have seen such dealings first-hand, it’s always fun to see how mainstream media wants to share those dealings and how much they are staged.
The show premieres with two half-hour episodes, Saturday, March 24 at 3:00 pm ET/PT on ABC. Here are summaries of both episodes:
“Lord of the Ring” – In the premiere, store owner Robbie Sr. introduces viewers to his shop and searches for a very special Notre Dame gift for a client’s husband on his birthday. Robbie is forced to buy an expensive item from an off-site dealer, hoping he can turn a profit with the client back home, knowing he risks never selling it to anyone else if she doesn’t care for it. Later, a customer brings in a Cleveland Browns helmet autographed by Jim Brown himself… but is it an authentic signature? To find out, Robbie Sr. asks his friend, the football legend, to pay the shop a visit to have a look himself, and eventually Brown presides over an awkward negotiation over his own autograph. Plus, does an unsigned baseball caught by a fan over the glove of Baltimore Orioles Right Fielder Nick Markakis have any monetary value? One eager customer certainly thinks so… but does Robbie agree?
“Take Your Base” – In the second episode, the boys visit a multi-million dollar collection in search of a birthday gift for Senior, and end up haggling over a piece of Yankee history. Meanwhile, Junior is introduced to the man who invented the World Series, and Senior tries to buy a Packers jersey that belongs in the Hall of Fame.