Panini America, the world's largest sports and entertainment collectibles company, announced today that it has inked a trading card agreement with CMG Worldwide.
The deal, effective immediately, gives Panini America rights to incorporate 12 of CMG Worldwide's most legendary baseball names in its newly licensed Major League Baseball Players Association products including: Jackie Robinson, Jimmie Foxx, Johnny Mize, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Rogers Hornsby, Roy Campanella, Thurman Munson, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Shoeless Joe Jackson and Jim Thorpe.
That legendary list of players will be featured in several of Panini America's future baseball card sets, beginning with 2011 Panini Prime Cuts available in March at hobby shops nationwide.
"We are truly excited to partner with CMG Worldwide on a deal that will significantly strengthen our baseball product roster by giving us access to some of the greatest players in baseball history," said Panini America CEO Mark Warsop. "Utilizing our unrivaled expertise in the areas of innovation and collectibility, we'll show these all-time greats to fans and collectors in a whole new light."
Added Phillip Korkis, CMG Worldwide's Director of Sports Licensing & Legal Counsel: "We have the pleasure of representing some of the greatest players in baseball history - it was a natural fit to work with one of the global leaders in the trading card industry, Panini America. Panini has an innovative and exciting product vision and we are looking forward to having our clients be a part of that."
In September, Panini America acquired a trading card license from the Major League Baseball Players Association to become the only company in the world that manufactures licensed trading cards and stickers for the NBA, NFL, NFL PLAYERS, NHL, NHLPA, MLBPA and FIFA World Cup. The company also owns exclusive entertainment licenses with Disney, Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson, and more than 600 global licenses with other sports and entertainment properties.
Panini America became the exclusive trading card partner of the NBA beginning with the 2009-10 season. The Panini Group purchased the industry's second-oldest trading-card company, Donruss, in March 2009 and formed the new subsidiary, Panini America, Inc. Since that time, Panini has taken significant steps to fortify its leadership position in the sports and entertainment collectibles arena.
Dad Designs Custom Cup NASCAR Cars to Raise Awareness for Lou Gehrig's Disease
Proud father, Jeff Hallowell isn't dwelling on his eighth anniversary this month of being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often called Lou Gehrig's disease after the legendary baseball player who died of it in 1941.
Instead, he is focused on raising awareness of the fatal neurological disease that made him a quadriplegic, by winning one of two car designs he entered with his son for Toyota Racing's Sponsafy Your Ride Contest: Round 2.
"I have no idea when my last day will be and I have made it my mission to build lifelong lasting memories for my seven-year-old son Ethan," Hallowell said. "I want Ethan to witness that anything in life is possible, even from the confines of a wheelchair or an in-home hospital bed."
Both of the cars designed by Hallowell are inspired after the legendary Lou Gehrig and have a special message to his son on the front bumper that reads: Ethan, I Love You Son. Forever Dad.
In order for Hallowell and his son to win the grand prize, of seeing one of their cars at the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' race in Phoenix, one of their designs needs to beat out their competitor's who has over 44-thousand votes and counting.
Right now, voters can cast their vote for "The Iron Horse Lou G" or the "The Iron Horse L.G." until September 5th. During that time, voters can only cast one vote every twenty-four hours on a single car.
Now is your chance to help raise awareness of ALS for an effective treatment and cure and to support this father-son team win a memory of a lifetime.
Click on each car below to cast your vote!
One of the nation's largest online auctions of highly prized sports memorabilia and cards is underway.
SCP Auctions are featuring valuable items from many CMG legends like Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Roy Campanella, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Knute Rockne, Jim Thorpe, and Honus Wagner.
Some of the coveted items include: a flawlessly penned single-signed Babe Ruth baseball; a bat used by the "Georgia Peach" himself, Ty Cobb; a very rare bat used by Walter Johnson; an exceptional 1952 World Series bat used by Roy Campanella; a very rare key card from the 1910 Ju Ju Drum Candy issue, featuring Ty Cobb; an exquisite Lou Gehrig 1930s autographed photograph by George Burke; an eye appealing rookie card of legendary Brooklyn Dodger Hall of Famer, Jackie Robinson; a Notre Dame football signed by legendary coach, Knute Rockne; a beautiful Jim Thorpe trading card from the 1955 Topps All American football series; and a signed check by Honus Wagner.
The auction will run through Thursday February 4th. To learn more about the auction and to bid on some of the most desirable sports memorabilia click here.
In his final days, as he battled ALS, Lou Gehrig penned his most personal thoughts in a series of revealing letters. Please click the link below to view the entire letters site.
In an effort to raise awareness and financial support for organizations leading the fight against ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, every Major League Baseball Club playing at home on July 4th will conduct a special on-field ceremony to commemorate Lou Gehrig’s Yankee Stadium farewell speech. During these special ceremonies, all Clubs will honor Gehrig’s memory by recreating part of his “Luckiest Man” speech (Excerpt at the end of the release).
“Seventy years ago, Lou Gehrig delivered an impassioned speech that has become part of American History,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “Major League Baseball is proud to devote the Fourth of July to Lou Gehrig and the disease that bears his name. We are pleased to have this opportunity to help find a cure for ALS and help those who are suffering from the disease.”
The New York Yankees will host a special “4♦ALS Awareness” ceremony at Yankee Stadium prior to their 1:00 p.m. (ET) game against the Toronto Blue Jays. During the pre-game ceremony, the Yankees will recognize Michael Goldsmith, a lifelong baseball fan who contributed to the development of the “4♦ALS” initiative.
“Seventy years after Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech, no cure exists for ALS,” said Goldsmith. “Doctors have no real way even to slow its devastating progression. Because research for a cure is still in its infancy, defeating ALS will require the same determination that Lou Gehrig and Cal Ripken, Jr. demonstrated in setting records for consecutive games played. I live for the day when all ALS patients can give you a standing ovation for fighting this fight with us.”
On July 4th all on-field personnel, including players, coaches, umpires and groundskeepers will wear a “4♦ALS” patch. In addition, to honor Gehrig, who played first base with the Yankees for 17 years, a special “4♦ALS” logo will appear on top of first base in each ballpark. Authenticated first bases from the July 4th games will be auctioned off at a later date on MLB.com to raise additional funds for ALS. A special “4♦ALS” video was created for Clubs playing at home on July 4th.
In addition, individual Clubs will support the ALS cause on July 4th. For example, American Idol Finalist Michael Johns will perform the National Anthem prior to the Baltimore Orioles vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim game; the Philadelphia Phillies have raised over $865,000 for ALS this year alone; and the Minnesota Twins are one of many Clubs that have donated a suite for ALS families.
In support of the “4♦ALS” initiative, MLB Network will air an edition of “Studio 42 with Bob Costas” featuring an interview with Cal Ripken, Jr. on July 5th at 8:00 p.m. (ET) followed by the Academy Award-winning movie, “The Pride of the Yankees” at 9:00 p.m. (ET).
MLB.com has established an online community at http://mlb4als.mlblogs.com, where representatives of the four organizations working with Major League Baseball, as well as others impacted by ALS, are collaborating to share stories, research and further opportunities to unite in support of ALS. The four leading organizations working with MLB on the on the “4♦ALS” campaign are:
The ALS Association, ALS TDI, MDA’s Augie’s Quest and Project A.L.S. ALS destroys the nerve cells controlling muscles, ultimately causing complete paralysis. The average life expectancy is three to five years after diagnosis.
The ALS Association is a non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front.
Through global research, providing assistance for people with ALS via a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The ALS Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.
The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) has a single mission-to develop therapeutics that slow and stop ALS. The nonprofit Institute has a 30 person research team working aggressively by applying the best practices on behalf of today’s patients.
MDA’s Augie’s Quest, the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s ALS research initiative, is an aggressive, cure-driven effort singularly focused on finding treatments and cures for ALS. MDA funds over $23 million annually and has funded more than $250 million since its inception.
The mission of Project A.L.S. is to create a new paradigm for neurodegenerative disease research.
They identity the world's leading researchers and clinicians and mobilize them to work together as teams in the areas of genetics, drug discovery, stem cells, and disease pathways. Each project is vetted and approved by its research advisory board. Project A.L.S. has raised over $38 million to fund these efforts.
For more information on the “4♦ALS” campaign, please visit www.MLB.com/4ALS.
Contact: Matt Bourne or Dan Queen, Major League Baseball, (212) 931-7878
Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” Speech (Abbreviated Version)
“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.
I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.
Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn't consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day?
Sure I'm lucky. When the [New York Giants], a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift—that's something.
When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies—that's something.
When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter—that's something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body—it's a blessing.
When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed—that's the finest I know.
So, I close in saying that, I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”
Lou Gehrig is one of the greatest players in MLB history. He was also part of one of the most touching moments ever to take place on a baseball field. On July 4, 1939 Gehrig¹s uniform number was retired making it the first player uniform number to be retired in baseball history. On that day he also bid farewell to his many fans. This beautiful framed piece commemorates Gehrig giving his famous farewell speech at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939. This collage features the text from the famous speech. Available at www.SteinerSports.com
On Tuesday, June 5, 2007, Sotheby’s and SCP Auctions will offer three unprecedented single-owner collections: The Estate of New York Baseball Legend Casey Stengel, The Collection of Mitsuhiko Fujita featuring memorabilia from the 1934 Tour of Japan and the finest private collection of Hall of Fame basketball jerseys ever to come up for auction. Included in the auction will be Lou Gehrig’s circa 1931 New York Yankees home jersey.
Lou Gehrig will forever be lost in the glare of New York Yankees teammate Babe Ruth's vast spotlight. But nothing about Gehrig's accomplishments should be minimized, from the 2,130 consecutive games he once played as the “Iron Horse” to his longtime link with Ruth as the enforcer of baseball's most prolific slugging duo.
Gehrig was a rock-solid 6-foot, 210-pound left-handed slasher who rocketed line drives to all sections of the park, unlike the towering, majestic home runs that endeared Ruth to adoring fans. And unlike the gregarious Ruth, Gehrig was withdrawn, modest and unassuming, happy to let his teammate drink the fruits of their tandem celebrity. But those who played with and against Gehrig understood the power he could exert over a game.
As the Yankees' first baseman, cleanup hitter and lineup protection for Ruth, Gehrig was an RBI machine. He won four American League titles and tied for another, and his 184-RBI explosion in 1931 is a still-standing American League record. His 13 consecutive 100-RBI seasons – he averaged an incredible 147 from 1926-38 – were a byproduct of 493 career home runs and a not-so-modest .340 average. It's hard to overstate the havoc wreaked by Gehrig's bat. He topped 400 total bases in five seasons, topped 150 RBIs seven times, hit a record 23 grand slams, won a 1934 Triple Crown, hit four homers in one 1932 game and cranked out a World Series average of .361 with 10 homers and 34 RBIs. In 1927, when Ruth hit his record 60 home runs, Gehrig batted .373 with 47 homers and 175 RBIs, winning the MVP award.
The Ruth-Gehrig relationship powered the Yankees to three World Series championships, and when Ruth left New York after the 1934 season, Gehrig and young Joe DiMaggio powered the team to three more. But Gehrig is best remembered for the iron-man streak that lasted from 1925-39, when Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis— now known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ended his career prematurely and tugged at the heart strings of a nation. Gehrig, finally accorded the recognition that long had eluded him, died two years later.
This is one of only a handful of known examples of a Lou Gehrig game used Yankees home pinstriped jersey. Based on a thorough inspection of jersey’s own physical traits as well as documented photographs of Gehrig wearing what appears to be an identical jersey, SCP Auctions has identified its era of usage to the 1931 season. In a career full of great seasons, 1931 was a watershed for Gehrig. He batted .341 and led the league with 184 RBIs setting a still-standing single season record. During the 1931 season, Ruth and Gehrig combined for 92 home runs and 347 runs batted in, the most ever by a pair of teammates. The Yankees, as a team, averaged more than seven runs a game. Gehrig, having never won a home run title, finally notched a league leading total of 46 in 1931. However, Gehrig had to share the title with Ruth who matched his output of 46. In April of that season an event occurred that can be viewed as a capsulization of Gehrig’s subordination to Ruth.
With Lyn Lary on base, Lou Gehrig hit a home run into the stands at Washington. The ball, however, bounced back on the field and Lary saw a Washington outfielder catch it for what he believed was the last out of the inning. Gehrig circled the bases, but was called out when he passed Lary on the base path as Lary headed for the dugout. Instead of a home run, Gehrig was credited with a triple, costing him the single home run he needed to claim sole ownership of the home run title at seasons end.
Manufactured by Spalding, this jersey is tagged exclusively for Gehrig featuring red chain stitching in the collar that reads “L. Gehrig.” Every technical aspect of the body of this uniform is as it was when last in the custody of Gehrig with a few exceptions. All of the seams and tagging are original and unaltered. Gehrig’s own customization of cutting the sleeves can be validated by the photograph presented in the catalogue. Appropriately, there is no evidence of an “NY” logo ever having appeared on the front since this feature was not instituted on Yankees uniforms until 1936. Post-Gehrig alterations to the jersey include the removal of the felt portion of Gehrig’s number 4 on the back, although remnants of black stitching still reveal the outline of the numeral. Secondly, the outline of lettering that appears to be “STANTON” appears faintly on the front of the jersey indicating its one time designation for service in a minor league. The jersey shows signs of extensive use and wear including general and consistent soiling throughout the jersey. Significant fabric stress/damage appears in the upper back portion of the jersey as well as in the front shoulders with a half-inch hole on the left shoulder and fabric tears on the left. Most of these damaged areas have been professionally restored and reinforced in some cases by the addition of supportive fabric applied to the interior. There are a few areas of red staining/fabric bleed in the lower one-third portion of the jersey. The second button from the top has been replaced, but this appears to be a vintage repair. In spite of these technical imperfections the jersey retains excellent visual appeal.
In the pantheon of sports memorabilia a jersey worn by Lou Gehrig has few peers. Columnist Jim Murray called Gehrig “Gibraltar in cleats” and sportswriter John Kieran said of him, “His greatest record doesn't show in the book. It was the absolute reliability of Henry Louis Gehrig. He could be counted upon. He was there every day at the ballpark bending his back and ready to break his neck to win for his side. He was there day after day and year after year. He never sulked or whined or went into a pot or a huff.”
Gehrig was the same in baseball as he was when he faced a fatal disease that struck him in the prime of his life. Ruth may have been rightfully dubbed “The Sultan of Swat” or the “The Colossus of Clout” among other things, but Gehrig’s acclaim as “The Pride of The Yankees” has never been disputed.
For more information, visit www.scpauctions.com.
Standing inside Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig declared himself the ?luckiest man on the face of the earth.? Remarkably humble and modest for a man of his stature, he was not used to the outpouring of public support showered upon him by 62,000 fans in attendance. It was on that day Lou Gehrig officially retired from Major League Baseball. Sixty-six years later, as we honor this historic event, it is only fitting we remember a man still in the hearts and minds of fans all over the world.
Aficionados, historians and casual observers alike all agree that Gehrig is a player for the ages. His claim to fame is the streak of 2,130 consecutive games he played from 1925 to 1939, a record which stood for more than half a century. Kind-hearted, altruistic and introverted, he was a devoted ballplayer just trying to do his best. Not known as someone to draw attention to himself, he shied away from publicity.
His career ended prematurely when he was diagnosed with an incurable condition known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, later known as ?Lou Gehrig?s disease.? Knowing that the disease was robbing him of all muscular functions, Gehrig took himself out of baseball on May 2, 1939 and never played again. In celebration of his career and contributions to the game of baseball, the Yankees retired his jersey number, the first time a Major League player had his number retired. Later that year, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, bypassing the normal five year waiting period for enshrinement.
Why did Lou Gehrig consider himself a lucky man? Perhaps it was because he couldn?t stand taking credit for any of his past accomplishments. The foundation of any sport is teamwork and baseball is no exception. Gehrig was indeed lucky enough to surround himself with a team he could be proud of, graciously including them when greeted with acclaim.
The legacy of Lou Gehrig is not filled with pity or remorse. It reminds us of a time when baseball was a simple sport encapsulated with players who inspired, not merely entertained for the sake of money. It?s a legacy that conjures up warm feelings of admiration for a job well done and a deep respect that only seems to increase with the passage of time.
MasterCard and Major League Baseball teamed up to sponsor a poll for the sport's most memorable moments. Baseball fans worldwide were welcome to log onto MLB's Web site and choose their favorite moment in history.
When the polls closed baseball's original ironman Lou Gehrig appeared twice on the list. He can be found in the top five, including in the No. 1 spot. Fans voted the touching event when Gehrig's longstanding consecutive game streak was broken by Cal Ripken, Jr. as baseball's No. 1 memory. The No. 5 spot was Gehrig's "luckiest man" farewell speech, given on July 4, 1939.
To see the complete list of moments, please visit MLB's Web site. A book and DVD capturing these memorable moments, and many more, is also available for purchase.
A Washington Senators jersey formerly owned by Hall of Fame-great Walter Johnson sold for $352,000 at a recent auction of Important Sports Memorabilia and Cards held by SCP Auctions and Sotheby's.
One of just two that are known to exist, the jersey belonged to the estate of Eric ?Swat? Erickson, one of Johnson?s former teammates. It emerged after 80-plus years in seclusion.
?The sale of the Walter Johnson jersey for $352,000 proves Johnson?s stature as one of the greatest pitchers of all time,? Lee Dunbar, director of Sotheby?s collectibles department said. ?After being tucked away in an attic for the past 80 years, it?s nice to know that the jersey will go to another home where it will be appreciated.?
Additional memorabilia highlighting the auction include a Babe Ruth autographed game-used bat which brought in $216,000; a 1927 Lou Gehrig Louisville Slugger bat which brought in $96,000; and a Jackie Robinson game-used 1949 All Stat bat which fetched more than $130,000. The steep price tag was a record for a Robinson bat sold at auction.
?With the fiftieth anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color line next year, it was exciting to see his bat sell for $132,000, a record that demonstrates the continued appreciation for Robinson's historic achievements,? David Kohler, president of SCP Auctions said.
Overall, more than $3.2 million worth of memorabilia was sold at the auction.