Plenty of attention has been heaped upon the upcoming demise of both Shea Stadium and Yankee Stadium and Steiner Sports’ involvement, and rightly so. Yet, two less heralded indoor sports arenas that closed their doors to the pros years ago are also facing a date with the wrecking ball, and are in the process of organizing or seeking organizers of arena memorabilia to be auctioned, such as seats.

In Dallas, Reunion Arena, the home of the NBA Dallas Mavericks until 2001, will be auctioning and selling arena memorabilia in the near future. Ditto Buffalo’s Memorial Auditorium (a.k.a. “The Aud” to locals), which was the home of the NHL Sabres until the early part of this decade. Word is that the Sabres are seeking a professional auction entity to handle the proceedings.


EBay viewers were recently offered a “game-used”, autographed 1989 Mike Schmidt home Phillies jersey that illustrates the real danger these tagged retail jerseys can cause. The seller was an eBay autograph dealer of the highest caliber, whose knowledge of autographs and practices in selling them are above reproach. However, this seller has no real experience in the game-used realm. I firmly believe that the misdescription was due to that lack of game-used sales pedigree, either a belief (more common in the past) that tags = authenticity, with an unfamiliarity of the 1989-90 Score Board tagged retail items, or being told by a customer or fellow dealer that the jersey was a gamer, either out of ignorance or with an agenda.

Lack of knowledge and/or recognition of these Score Board items is a bigger problem than willful deception. Most of the incorrectly labeled offerings of these on eBay are likely a matter of lack of knowledge, or refusal to accept the truth, as was the case a while back with one eBay seller who blew off advice from both Dave Bushing and myself regarding a Score Board Bo Jackson he was selling as game-used. Also not helping: at least one major game-used authenticator who has written LOA’s on over a dozen of these over the past year. In the near future, I will reprise my primer regarding what jerseys we issued in this manner, and any known means to identify the Score Board versions as opposed to the team issued variety.


There, of course, are legitimate spring training jerseys. And then, there are “spring training” jerseys that are “upgraded”, often through lack of knowledge, by sellers with a minor league jersey (or several) that are explained away as MLB spring training wearables due to the jerseys not bearing a NOB or certain tagging.

Such was the case with a group of Rawlings Phillies home jerseys that were described as “spring training” gamers of various 1980s MLB players. Missing NOBs and without normal Phillies tagging, these were actually minor league jerseys made to sound better for unknown reasons. Sellers with these “spring training jerseys” never seem to be able to produce photographic evidence of their NOB or tag deficient items actually being worn in Florida or Arizona by Major Leaguers. So, when you hear that phrase describing something that doesn’t match known, photo-documented MLB jerseys you’ve seen, take it with a whole shaker of salt.


The Arizona Diamondbacks will have a Hispanic celebration promotion during a home game this week. The team will wear “Los D-Backs” shirts, reminiscent of the Mets’ “Los Mets” gamers issued for similar promotions.


The New York Rangers will retire 32 numbers for 3 athletes in February, 2009. On the 3rd, Adam Graves will have his #9 retired. Then, on the 22nd, Andy Bathgate will also be honored for the #9 jersey, while Harry Howell will be feted with the retirement of his #3.

On the NHL patch front, the Montreal Canadiens will wear a team 100th Anniversary patch, as the Canadiens franchise predates the NHL itself. On the other side of the border, in Columbus, the Blue Jackets will wear a JHM memoriam patch for team founder John H. McConnell, who died during the current offseason.


Frank Cornish, a center-guard who played for five NFL teams in six seasons, died of a heart ailment at age 40. He was a member of the 1992 and 1993 Dallas Cowboys Championship teams. His father, Frank, also spent 6 years in th NFL, mostly with the Chicago Bears.

Kevin Duckworth, an 11-year NBA veteran who was one of the most popular players in Portland Trailblazers history, died of heart problems. He was 44.