After 20 years of dealing in memorabilia from history and sports legends, many of which costing a great deal, Main Street Gallery owner, Rocco LoConte has decided it’s time to cut them up to share a little bit of history with everyone. From bats of baseball legends, like Joe DiMaggio & Willie Mays to the seats of legendary ballparks, LoConte’s new company, Historic Pen Editions, is extracting the wood and materials from costly, if not priceless, historical artifacts and turning them into pens which are substantially more affordable.
The company’s motto, “History at your fingertips”, describes LoConte’s feelings about this line of special writing instruments. Scarce objects that were once only available to Museums and high-end collectors are now available in a more utilitarian form- a pen and at a much-reduced price.
With whole Mickey Mantle bats selling at upwards of $50,000, how often would you take it out to look at it or handle it, let alone let someone else touch it? Now a pen made from this same piece of baseball history can be used everyday or purchased as a special gift for someone without taking a second mortgage.
Since their launch party at the Yogi Berra Museum, HPE has become a media darling, featured on News 12 New Jersey they showcased the variety of this new pen line along with allowed visitors to view the process the raw materials go through to transform them into hand-turned pens – and all here in America.
Print and inter-net media such as NJBIZ and New Jersey Monthly.com touted the uniqueness of these pens that allows history to repeat itself. “Inside Jersey”, magazine spotlighted their pens made from the game-used bats of baseball greats, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams in the magazines Gift Guide in December. These unique pens, made in small editions, will give people the opportunity to own and use a piece of history every single day. HPE offers a wide range of pens crafted from 13 different stadiums from classics we are familiar with, Yankee (actually, soon to be gone, too), Fenway and Wrigley to ball fields long gone like Polo, Griffith and Ebbets. All of these pens made from wood that’s been re-claimed from stadium seats. So as “inside Jersey” said, ”it’s good for the environment and you get one heck of a story to tell next time someone asks to borrow your pen”.
“The pen has become the new watch”, said LoConte, meaning the pen has become the new status symbol “What makes the pen a better symbol of status is that the owner can use it every day, as well as, hand it to someone to use to sign an important document – you can’t do that with your watch”, LoConte said.
Because the world of collectibles and sports memorabilia has had its share of problems with creditability, LoConte has taken great pains to get one point across…. Historic Pen Editions’ writing instruments are authentic, and you don’t have to take his word for it. Instead, you can take the word of an independent third-party authenticating company such as MEARS, one of the leading authentators of game-used sports memorabilia. So with each of these pens comes a certificate of authenticity with the MEARS certification number.
Another aspect of the HPE products that LoConte is also very proud of is that all of the pens are handcrafted and assembled in the United States. LoConte commented, “I felt it was only right that a product line designed around Historical Artifacts and American Icons should be made in America”.
Whether made from a Polo Grounds stadium seat or a Joe Di bat any one of these pens is sure to be a hit with its recipient. So to put “History at your fingertips” instead of just looking at it through glass or in an auction catalog go to their website or stop in to see their entire line, located inside Main Street Gallery on 348 Pompton Ave, Cedar Grove, NJ. For more information, call the gallery at 973-239-1441 or visit
Adapted from original article that appeared in Italian Tribune September 2008