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Hamilton and Lincecum Grace Covers For Special World Series Programs PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 26 October 2010 07:39

World Series CoverWith the World Series beginning tomorrow, one of the things that many attending (or watching from home) love to collect will be the game programs. This year, MLB is doing something a bit different, which will have collectors likely shelling out more to get in on the action.

In addition to the standard cover featuring the World Series trophy and images of both teams, there will be a special cover sold in San Francisco featuring Tim Lincecum along with images of teammates Buster Posey and Brian Wilson, and another sold in Texas featuring Josh Hamilton along with images of teammates Cliff Lee and Nelson Cruz. All three covers are pictured.

Rangers coverAll three versions are available for $15 through MLB.com and will be at both ballparks and in local retailers beginning Tuesday.

The Official World Series Program features more than 300 pages of content, including exclusive feature stories from many of the best writers in the country, such as Jayson Stark (ESPN), George Will (syndicated columnist), Jeff Passan (Yahoo! Sports) and Bob Klapisch (The Record, ESPN.com). Features include:

  • An in-depth look at the 1960 World Series.
  • The greatest World Series games of all-time.
  • A look back at the “Year of the Pitcher.”
  • Exclusive Q&A with FOX News’ Shepard Smith

World Series coverThe special covers for the Official World Series Program are the latest example of Major League Baseball customizing merchandise on short notice to better serve fans with unique items. Earlier this month, the t-shirts commemorating division and wild card clinches were customized to include club-specific imagery in addition to the customary logos, with the same planned for the World Series championship gear. MLB has also worked with multiple clubs in recent weeks to create special products to satisfy fan demand.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Maury Brown will be reporting from Game 1 of the World Series all day on Weds. Check BizofBaseball.com for continued details


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Astros Promo to Attempt World Record for "Largest Harmonica Ensemble" PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 10 September 2010 14:01
John Popper
John Popper will be at tonight's Astros game where, as part of a promotion, the
club will attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records benchmark for
the “Largest Harmonica Ensemble”

When the Marlins gave away vuvuzelas, those noisy horns that made it sound like a swarm of mad hornets during the World Cup, many asked, how could it get worse?

The Astos may answer that question tonight.

That's because the club teamed up with the producers of the independent film, “Pocket Full of Soul: The Harmonica Documentary,” in an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records benchmark for the “Largest Harmonica Ensemble” following tonight’s 7:05 p.m. Astros game vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers at Minute Maid Park.

Harmonicas will be distributed to 10,000 fans in attendance. Imagine the majority of fans trying to be the next John Popper during the game. At least with the vuvuzelas you were stuck with just one note.

After the game, several celebrated harmonica players will teach the crowd to play a song on the harmonica in a series of video tutorials.

The current record is held by a group from Hong Kong, who set the record of 6,131 in 2009. An official adjudicator representing the Guinness Book of World Records will be in attendance to certify the feat.

“Pocket Full of Soul” is an independent film that features performers, including Clint Black, Huey Lewis, John Popper (Blues Traveler), Taylor Hicks (American Idol), James Cotton, Magic Dick (J. Geils Band), comedian Robert Klein, Lee Oskar (War), and Kim Wilson (Fabulous Thunderbirds). The film takes viewers on a journey through the unique and entertaining world of the harmonica.

For tickets to tonight’s game, fans can visit www.astros.com/harmonica. We're assuming ear plugs are not included.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Brewers Expand Relationship with PNC Bank, Add In-Park Naming Rights PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 05 August 2010 21:31

Milwaukee BrewersThe Milwaukee Brewers Executive Vice President Rick Schlesinger today announced an expanded five-year relationship with PNC Bank.  Financial terms were not released. As part of PNC’s expanded sponsorship, the bank will become the naming rights partner for the “PNC Club Level” at Miller Park.

To celebrate the PNC brand’s June entry into the Milwaukee market, and the bank’s announced $50 million capital investment in Southeastern Wisconsin, the Brewers will host PNC Bank Day at Miller Park on August 27, which will conclude with a postgame fireworks show sponsored by the bank.  This will be the first sponsored full fireworks show at Miller Park since 2003.

“The Brewers are proud to continue working with PNC Bank through this sponsorship,” Schlesinger said. “The new PNC Club Level is part of an expanded relationship between the Brewers and PNC, and we are excited to be taking this to a new level.”

Additionally, PNC will continue its support of “Major League Moment,” a program in which children ages 6-13 join Brewers players on the field during the National Anthem of Sunday afternoon home games.

This sponsorship marks the first time in Miller Park history that the Brewers have had naming rights for the Club Level.  Signage for the PNC Club Level and PNC Bank will be represented throughout the Miller Park Club Level concourse and inside the seating bowl.  The signage will be in place by the August 20th homestand when the Brewers take on the Padres.

“Building on our hometown relationship with the Brewers is important as we grow our business and increase our investment in Southeastern Wisconsin,” said Beth Wnuk, PNC Bank’s Regional President for Wisconsin. “Our sponsorship with the Brewers organization is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate PNC’s commitment to our community in a significant way for many years.”

Source: Milwaukee Brewers


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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At the All-Star Game: Rare Honus Wagner Proof Strip Fetches $316,250 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 19:03
Honus Wagner  proof
This rare proof auctioned for $316,250 on Tues. during the MLB All-Star
Game FanFest (CREDIT: HUNT AUCTIONS)

A Honus Wagner T206 Tobacco Card proof strip fetched $316,250.00 in the Hunt Auctions Live Auction at MLB All-Star FanFest in Anaheim, CA Tuesday. The "hammer" price when the gavel hit for the final bid was $275,00 there is a buyers premium of 15% you add that to the hammer price for the final selling price. The proof strip is the original, uncut version of the famed Honus Wagner card, the most coveted card in the collecting hobby.

”The price realized by the proof strip of the Honus Wagner card reflects not only the iconic status of the Wagner card but also the strength and stability of the sports memorabilia market in our current economic era,” said David Hunt, president of Hunt Auctions.

Between the period of 1909-11, the American Tobacco Company produced a series of color lithographic baseball cards toi be inserted into sixteen different brands of cigarettes as a promotional tool. The officering was hugely successful due in part to to the popularity of baseball during the period and the attractive color lithographic design of the cards. As time passed, and the collectability of the set increased a number of rarities and errors were discovered as could be expected from a set of this size and distribution from the early part of the century. It became very clear, however, that the card of Honus Wagner was in fact exceptionally scare, As early as the 1930s, price guides for the T-206 set listed most cards at around 30 cents while the Wagner cards was at $5.00, a stupendous price for the era. Rather quickly the card would become the most desired in the collecting world achieving iconic status as featured in publications, books, and film. Values escalated from $10,000 in the early 1980s to several examples recently exceeding $1 million and $2 million respectively.

The T-206 piece up for auction at the FanFest includes four other players: Mordecai Brown (HOF), Frank Bowerman, Cy Young (HOF), and Johnny Kling, along with Wagner (second from left).

Hunt Auctions offered close to 700 pieces of sports history to the highest bidders. Other top sellers in today’s auction include:

  • Roberto Clemente autographed professional model glove- SALE PRICE $115,000.00
  • Chili Davis’ 1998 & 1999 Yankees World Series trophies & 1999 World Championship ring- TOTAL SALE PRICE $93,150.00
  • Jackie Robinson professional model baseball bat c.1953- SALE PRICE $63,250.00
  • Joe DiMaggio professional model baseball bat c.1940-42- SALE PRICE $46,000.00
  • Kirby Puckett 1991 World Series Minnesota Twins Jersey- SALE PRICE $23,000.00

(Look for updates from the All-Star Game here on The Biz of Baseball, and on Twitter @BizBallMaury, through Weds.)


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Global Computer Maker MSI to Announce Partnership with LA Dodgers on Thurs. PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 08 July 2010 09:06

MSI

Dodgers

Today, the Los Angeles Dodgers and global computer manufacturer MicroStar International (MSI) will announce a new partnership today that will see MSI’s Dodgers limited-edition Wind Top All-in-One (AIO) PC and Netbook, on sale at La Curacao stores in July. MSI will be providing Dodger executives, staff and players with All-in-One Wind Tops. The partnership provides MSI with significant stadium signage and kiosks around Dodger Stadium for fans to test the new PCs.

Dodgers Casey Blake and Hong-Chih Kuo along with MSI’s co-founder Henry Lu will be on hand at a 2pm press conference to make the announcement.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Maury Brown of BizofBaseball.com and Forbes SportsMoney will be reporting from the press conference on Forbes SportsMoney (see http://blogs.forbes.com/sportsmoney/ for additional details)


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Rare Honus Wagner Proof Set to Auction in Excess of $250K PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 05 July 2010 14:03
Honus Wagner  proof
This rare proof is expected to go for at least $250,000 at auction during the
MLB All-Star Game FanFest (CREDIT: HUNT AUCTIONS)

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time… - Terence Mann (Field of Dreams)

There are certainly occasions where football, hockey, and basketball memorabilia are given to the highest bidder at auction, but it is baseball that finds the most impassioned buyers who are willing to send greatly to land rare pieces. The reasons are most often rooted in Terence Mann’s memorable quote from Field of Dreams; it is baseball’s incredible history that has marked the time.

Over the past several years at the MLB All-Star Game, Hunt Auctions has put a dizzying array of items up for bid at the FanFest, this year to be held on Tuesday, July 10th at 10am PT. The centerpiece of the auction is displayed above; an exceptionally rare T-206 Honus Wagner tobacco proof strip c. 1909-11.

Between the period of 1909-11, the American Tobacco Company produced a series of color lithographic baseball cards toi be inserted into sixteen different brands of cigarettes as a promotional tool. The officering was hugely successful due in part to to the popularity of baseball during the period and the attractive color lithographic design of the cards. As time passed, and the collectability of the set increased a number of rarities and errors were discovered as could be expected from a set of this size and distribution from the early part of the century. It became very clear, however, that the card of Honus Wagner was in fact exceptionally scare, As early as the 1930s, price guides for the T-206 set listed most cards at around 30 cents while the Wagner cards was at $5.00, a stupendous price for the era. Rather quickly the card would become the most desired in the collecting world achieving iconic status as featured in publications, books, and film. Values escalated from $10,000 in the early 1980s to several examples recently exceeding $1 million and $2 million respectively.

The T-206 piece up for auction at the FanFest includes four other players: Mordecai Brown (HOF), Frank Bowerman, Cy Young (HOF), and Johnny Kling, along with Wagner (second from left). How much will the rare piece go for? It is likely to be well in excess of $250,000, according to David Hunt of Hunt Auctions.

The Biz of Baseball will be reporting from the All-Star Game beginning next Monday and will update on Tuesday morning on this story.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Peanuts to Celebrate 60th Anniversary At MLB Ballparks PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 11 June 2010 15:15
Peanuts
See examples of 60 years of Peanuts
(Click to see in larger view)

PEANUTS: 
© United Feature Syndicate, Inc.

Hard as it may be to believe, the forever-youthful, baseball-loving Peanuts gang turns 60 this year. It was October 2, 1950, when cartoonist Charles Schulz first introduced his comic strip featuring the wise and witty child philosophers who would become global icons within a few short years. To celebrate this momentous occasion, numerous events are being held across the globe, including a variety of Major League Baseball events that celebrate the Peanuts characters’ (perhaps-unrequited) love of the game. In addition, a myriad of special Peanuts books, tees, plush and memorabilia can help fans savor the joy of the anniversary for years to come.

Major League Baseball teams including the San Francisco Giants, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and Minnesota Twins are also on board and will host 60th anniversary days with various activities including bobblehead giveaways and other Peanuts-themed activities. All nine Cedar Point locations will celebrate with themed parties at each park. Hallmark, the exclusive destination for Peanuts 60th anniversary product such as plush, giftware and Keepsakes ornaments, will feature Peanuts prominently throughout the year.

Whether you’re a dogged Snoopy devotee, a Linus lover or Charlie Brown champion, you’ll find a special way to celebrate—from ballpark outings to gift-collecting and much more.

PEANUTS ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

Go to Bat for Peanuts!

Charles Schulz loved baseball—and so does the Peanuts gang. Though Charlie Brown’s hapless team may not ever win a game, dozens of “Peanuts” comic strips find them out in the ballpark fielding flies (and, sadly, dropping them) and throwing witticisms from the outfield. This summer, Major League Baseball teams around the country are hosting special Peanuts Anniversary events:

June 13—San Francisco

San Francisco Giants vs Oakland A’s

AT&T Park

1:05 p.m.

Lucy serves as guest of honor for “Girl’sDay!” when the team honors female athletes from the Bay Area. The first 20,000 guests will receive a Lucy bobblehead.

June 20 (Father’s Day)—Detroit

Detroit Tigers vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Comerica Park

1:05 p.m.

“Every Kid, Every Sunday.” Snoopy throws out the first pitch and every kid in attendance receives a Charlie Brown bobblehead.

June 26—Anaheim, California

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs Colorado Rockies

Angel Stadium

7:05 p.m.

“Peanuts 60th Anniversary Angels Snoopy Bobblehead courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm Camp Snoopy.”  Snoopy helps throw out the first pitch, and all kids ages 2–18 receive a Snoopy bobblehead.

August 8—Cleveland, Ohio

Minnesota Twins vs Cleveland Indians

Progressive Field

1:05p.m.

Peanuts costumed characters from Cedar Point will be at the game

August 15—St. Paul, Minnesota

Minnesota Twins vs Oakland A’s

Target Field

1:10 p.m.

A special occasion in Charles Schulz’s hometown, where Charlie Brown’s dreams of baseball glory were born! Event details will be forthcoming.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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MLB Players to Wear Stars and Stripes Caps for Memorial Day PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 31 May 2010 00:37
Yankees Cap
Phillies cap

Major League Baseball will begin its third year of national fundraising and awareness initiatives for Welcome Back Veterans, a program which addresses the needs of returning American Veterans and their families. With the support of Major League Baseball and its Clubs, Welcome Back Veterans since 2008 has awarded $8.3 million in grants to 30 non-profit agencies across the country targeting veterans’ greatest needs, including mental health and job training/placement.

At three key points of national reflection during the baseball season -- Memorial Day (May 31), Independence Day weekend (July 4) and Patriot Day (September 11) -- all Clubs will participate in a number of initiatives to support Welcome Back Veterans.

For games on Memorial Day, all Major League Baseball Clubs will wear special new “Stars & Stripes” caps. The caps will have the American flag etched into the team’s logo and for the first time, will be off-white in color with red or blue brims (the Toronto Blue Jays hat will incorporate a Maple Leaf design instead of the “Stars & Stripes”). These MLB Authentic Collection caps, produced by New Era, are available for sale to the public at www.mlb.com. Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. will donate all of the proceeds it receives from the sale of the caps to Welcome Back Veterans. In addition, MLB.com will donate an additional $1 to Welcome Back Veterans for each cap purchased through www.mlb.com.

Pictured are the caps to be worn by the 2009 World Champion New York Yankees and National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Also on Memorial Day, Major League Baseball once again will participate in the National Moment of Remembrance, with all games in progress pausing at 3:00 p.m. ET to encourage all citizens to reflect on
the sacrifices made by those who have served in the armed forces.

“As a social institution, Major League Baseball considers it a privilege to assist our troops in any way possible,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “We are proud to help Welcome Back Veterans provide funding to such worthy institutions helping our troops, and we ask our fans to join us on Memorial Day and beyond in this effort to raise awareness and support for this important cause.”

“Helping our troops is a cause very close to my heart, and I’m glad to see Major League Baseball will once again pledge their support on Memorial Day and beyond,” said San Francisco Giants pitcher and founder of Strikeouts For Troops, Barry Zito. “I’ll wear my Stars & Stripes cap proudly that day, and I encourage all my fellow players to get involved, give back to those who give so much and show these brave men and women how much we care about them.”

“We are honored to support those who have served our country and their families who have given so much,” said David D. Hiller, president and CEO of the McCormick Foundation. “We are proud to join Major League Baseball in this effort and provide matching dollars to help our servicemen and women successfully return to life with their families and communities."

“Major League Baseball’s powerful commitment to supporting our soldiers and their families is truly inspirational,” said President and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), Lisa Paulsen. “EIF
is proud to join MLB and the fans of America’s pastime in honoring and celebrating the lives of America’s heroes.”

Welcome Back Veterans is an MLB Charities initiative in partnership with the McCormick Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. The program is supported by Major League Baseball Advanced Media and MLB Network. Welcome Back Veterans has awarded $8.3 million in grants to 30 non-profit agencies across the country targeting veterans’ and their families greatest needs.

For additional information on Welcome Back Veterans, please go to www.WelcomeBackVeterans.org.

Source: Major League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Buffalo Wild Wings Becomes "Preferred Wings of the Houston Astros" PDF Print E-mail
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Sponsorships, Promotions
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 17 May 2010 17:42

Astros

Buffalo Wild Wings

A new partnership in 2010 between the Houston Astros and Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar offers fans discounts on food and Astros tickets, the ballclub has announced.

The wings of the Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar are officially the “Preferred Wings of the Houston Astros” in 2010.

As part of the partnership, all 18 Houston area Buffalo Wild Wings locations are the official meeting place for Astros fans following Friday, Saturday and Sunday home games. Following Friday and Saturday night home
games, Buffalo Wild Wings is offering special food discounts for all patrons wearing Astros gear. After every Sunday afternoon home game, Buffalo Wild Wings is offering special food discounts for all families wearing
Astros gear.

All 18 Houston area locations are also offering their customers the opportunity to register to win two Field Level tickets, a meet-and-greet with a current Astros player and two field passes to watch batting practice. And, from those 18 winners, two Grand prize winners will be selected. The first Grand Prize winner, which will be selected from those registering on Friday or Saturday nights, will have the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at an Astros game, while the other Grand Prize winner, which will be selected from the Sunday registrations, will have the opportunity for one of their children to announce “Play Ball” on the field prior to the Sunday, September 19th home game (subject to change).

Additionally, all Houston area Buffalo Wild Wings locations are offering their customers the opportunity to purchase discounted Astros tickets through a special web site that has been created. Customers can only obtain the address and password to this web site at one of the area franchises. Through the web site, each month, tickets to three select games will be offered at a discount to Buffalo Wild Wings customers.

Source: Houston Astros


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Craftsman Inks Deal with MLB For Logoed Tools, Equipment PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 26 April 2010 20:38
Craftsman MLB Tools
MLB is such a tool... Craftsman inks a deal with
MLB Properties to license logo designed hand  tools,
power tools, tool storage and lawn and  garden tools
and equipment.
(CLICK TO SEE IN LARGER VIEW)

Imagine the love you bring to your team the day you roll out, say, your Red Sox lawn mower, or Yankees hand tools. Think we're just tooling around? Not after today.

The Craftsman brand announced today that Major League Baseball Properties has added Craftsman their lineup of companies providing Officially Licensed Products. The four-year deal allows Craftsman to feature  the logos of Major League Baseball and its 30 Clubs on products including hand tools, power tools, tool storage and lawn and garden tools and equipment.

Financial terms were not released.

"Craftsman, Sears, and Baseball have been American icons for generations," said Howard Smith, Senior Vice President, Licensing, Major League Baseball. "The addition of Major League Baseball products from Craftsman is a perfect fit, and we know our fans will be excited by this unique relationship and the innovative way that we are able to offer branded products of the highest caliber."

"We're thrilled to be working with MLB and to introduce Major League Baseball-Craftsman products," said Kris Malkoski, Vice President and General Manager of the Craftsman brand for Sears Holdings. "We know that Craftsman consumers are very passionate about our brand in much the same way MLB fans are about 'their' teams, and the agreement with MLB is another way that Craftsman is bringing innovative products to our customers and their devout counterparts who are Major League Baseball fans.  All of the tools and products alike will be permanently branded with the logos of Major League Baseball, providing all of the innovation, reliability and trust in your hands that is Craftsman."  Malkoski added.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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