Sunday, January 29, 2012

Super Bowl 2012: What's in the Giants, Patriots, 49ers and Ravens' Name? by Harvey Frommer


Super Bowl 2012: What's in the Giants, Patriots, 49ers and Ravens' Name?

With football in the air for a few more weeks, with phrases like Super Bowl, New York Giants, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens occupying headlines for a while now—the back story of these names and a few others have a lot of history and a lot of interesting sidebars.
SUPER BOWL:  The merger of the American Football League and the National Football League created a need for a championship game. On January 15, 1967, the first contest was played. As the story goes, at an owner’s meeting there had been a discussion as to what to call the contest. Agreement was reached on “National Football League Championship Game.”
But one of the owners had no fondness for the long, and in his view, unexciting name. He had a “super ball” in his pocket that he had taken away from his youngster earlier that day.
Squeezing the super ball, he came up with an idea. Call the big game—“Super Bowl.”
So although the National Football League Championship Game was the official name. The “unofficial” name, the Super Bowl, was used in the media, fans and the players.The name stuck. The name has remained through all the decades and has even gotten glossier, grander and more glamorous.
From the beginning, each Super Bowl was designated with a Roman numeral rather than by a year. This was a brilliant idea on the part of National Football League Commissioner Pete Rozelle to give the ultimate game a sense of class, a feeling of continuity.
That first Super Bowl saw the first dual-network color-coverage simulcast of a sporting event in history and attracted the largest viewership ever to witness a sporting event up to that time. The Nielsen rating indicated that 73 million fans watched all or part of that game on one of the two networks, CBS or NBC.

The game was a contest between the two leagues and two television networks. The CBS allegiance was to the NFL, and NBC was allied with the American Football League, which it had virtually created with its network dollars.

How other names in the news as the world awaits Super Bowl 46,oops, XLVI , came to be are also interesting.

NEW YORK GIANTS: Back in 1925 owner Tim Mara adopted the name “Giants” from the baseball team of the same name that played in New York. It was a common practice back in the day.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: A  group of sportswriters from New England came up with the name Patriots, a tip of the cap to Patriot’s Day, celebrated in Boston for Paul Revere's ride. The team, which moved to Foxborough, Mass., was originally located in Boston. It began life on November 16, 1959 as the eighth and final club in the American Football League.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ers: The franchise entered pro football in 1946 as a member of the All-America Football Conference. Their name originated from the gold diggers during the gold rush in northern California of 1849.

BALTIMORE RAVENS: The poem “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe, who lived the last few years of his life in Baltimore, was the inspiration for the nickname for the Baltimore team. The name was chosen in a contest among fans in 1996. The three Ravens' mascots include “Edgar,” “Allan,” and “Poe.”

**A noted oral historian and sports journalist, Harvey Frommer has written many sports books, including Fenway Park: An Oral and Narrative History of the Home of the Boston Red Sox.  His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men’s Heath, The Sporting News, and of course Bleacher Report among other publications.
Visit his website and purchase books here:

Monday, January 16, 2012

JSA & PSA in Hall of Shame for $41k Blunder on 1939 HOF Induction Sigs of Babe Ruth, Larrry Lajoie and Others - by Peter Nash

In response to Peter Nash's latest article, I posted the following.....

Hi Peter,

Thank you for the article that you published here.  Sadly these "alleged" forgeries are and have destroyed the market.  You can simply see by the prices people are asking that the memorabilia market is near dead.  Some items are selling for 10-20% of their retail and book values.  It is easy to understand why people have abandoned the market and have moved on to other collectibles.  Sadly I see myself so many forgeries continue today and there are many buyers who simply are not educated or simply do not care.  As I always tell people looking for authentication services, the only true way to guarantee a signature is to see the athlete sign the item right in front of you.  That of course does not help with athletes who are deceased.  For those items, people must simply do their homework and at this point, hope for the best.  How sad that it has come to this.  What was once a great market is almost dead, and there are no signs of revival at this point.  The only company I buy from now is Steiner Sports. (No, I am not endorsing them or anyone else.  I am simply stating I trust their services and have had a chance to oversee their operations in New Rochelle, NY on several occasions in person) I cannot say anything negative at all about the company in terms of authenticating items.  I have seen too many items from 3rd party authenticators that are clearly fakes or at the very least "do not look right".  As a huge Emmitt Smith fan and very well versed on his signature and collecting him since his days at Florida, I am amazed at some of the items for sale on auction sites that bear his name.  So many of his "signatures" are not even close!  And still people bid on these items without hesitation.  At this point I tell people getting into the market to get educated about it and learn the "ins and outs" of the business before even purchasing their first item.  It is also sad to see many athletes charge so much for their autographs during signings, but at this point, I can see why.  Atleast you are paying to see the athlete sign the item right in front of you.  Most importantly hopefully you can have a short conversation with him or her and maybe even pose for a picture.   Thanks Peter for your continued articles.  At the very least, it is bringing attention to a subject that needs coverage and exposure.  Maybe it is time to "blow up" the entire industry and start over.  I am not sure that is the answer, but something needs to change and soon before the market as we know it will be dead forever.  This is not the way we would want to honor the great athletes that came before us.  They deserve better. 

Thanks for your time......Brad -

Monday, January 9, 2012



Los Angeles
– In its third annual version of the Hall of Fame vote, the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) did not tally the required 75% threshold for a single player this year. Houston Astros’ Jeff Bagwell was closest, with 61%.

The IBWAA selected Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven in 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Complete 2012 voting results are as follows:

Jeff Bagwell
Barry Larkin
Lee Smith
Mark McGwire
Jack Morris
Tim Raines
Dale Murphy
Rafael Palmeiro
Edgar Martinez
Fred McGriff
Don Mattingly
Larry Walker
Alan Trammell
Bernie Williams
Bill Mueller
Jeromy Burnitz
Vinny Castilla
Juan Gonzalez
Brian Jordan
Javy Lopez
Terry Mulholland
Phil Nevin
Brad Radke
Tim Salmon
Ruben Sierra
Tony Womack
Eric Young
The IBWAA was created July 4, 2009 by Howard Cole, Dodger blogger for The Orange County Register and editor of, to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as an alternative to the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).
Among others, IBWAA members include Kevin Baxter, baseball writer for The Los Angeles Times; Tim Brown, YahooSports; Tom Hoffarth, Media/General Columnist, Los Angeles Daily News; Tony Jackson, Dodgers reporter,; Jill Painter, Columnist, Los Angeles Daily News; Roberta Shelburne,, Gary Warner, Travel Editor, Orange County Register; and prominent baseball authors Peter Golenbock, and Dan Schlossberg.
Association memberships are open to any and all Internet baseball writers, with a yearly fee of $10. Discounts for groups and scholarships are available.
For more information on the IBWAA, please contact Howard Cole.


Howard Cole
Director, IBWAA

Hall of Fame Voting Breakdown 2012 - From ESPN

Dear Readers,

I am curious, was the person who voted for Eric Young conscious when he made his vote?  Why are some of these writers allowed to vote?  How does Radke, Lopez, Mueller, or even Vinny Castilla receive votes?  What a joke....I do feel Lee Smith is worthy, but it looks more and more like he will not get in.  Another statement made against Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro with steroids.  Question is, what do the voters do when Alex Rodriguez is eligible?  Interesting.....

2012 Hall of Fame voting

LarkinBarry Larkin was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on his third appearance on the ballot. A player needs at least 75 percent of the vote to gain election.

Barry Larkin49686.4
Jack Morris38266.7
Jeff Bagwell32156.0
Lee Smith29050.6
Tim Raines27948.7
Alan Trammell21136.8
Edgar Martinez20936.5
Fred McGriff13723.9
Larry Walker13122.9
Mark McGwire11219.5
Don Mattingly10217.8
Dale Murphy8314.5
Rafael Palmeiro7212.6
Others receiving votes: Bernie Williams, 55; Juan Gonzalez, 23; Vinny Castilla, 6; Tim Salmon, 5; Bill Mueller, 4; Brad Radke, 2; Javy Lopez, 1; Eric Young, 1.