New York Times Columnists Reflect On Yogi Berra In Oct. 19 Panel At Yogi Berra Museum

Yogi_Berra_1956A trio of preeminent New York Times sports columnists – Dave Anderson, George Vecsey and Harvey Araton – will reflect on the extraordinary life and career of Yogi Berra in a panel discussion at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center on Monday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.

Copies of a New York Times commemorative book, “Yogi,” featuring rare photographs and stories edited by Anderson – will also be available for purchase.

Anderson, a Pulitzer Prize winner who covered Berra as a young reporter in the 1950s, will be joined by Vecsey, who began at the Times in the late 1960s and has written six national best-selling books, and Araton, a Montclair neighbor of Berra who also wrote the acclaimed 2012 book “Driving Mr. Yogi,” about his unique friendship with Ron Guidry.

Tickets for the event, which includes discussion and a copy of “Yogi,” are $25. For discussion only, $10. To RSVP: (973) 655-2378.

Topps Reveals First-Ever “Final Five” Fan Vote For 2016 Number One Card

Topps-HarperAfter thousands of online votes, the “Final Five” athletes have been chosen for a chance to be featured on Card No. 1 in 2016 Topps® Baseball Series One, joining a line of players that has included Hank Aaron, Ted Williams and Derek Jeter. It is the first time ever fans have participated in selecting the No. 1 card for the set.

Fans voted over the course of 10 days to whittle a list down to five athletes. Now, a new fan vote for the next week will pick just one of them. Voting for the final round will take place on, and will end on October 12, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

The finalists are:

· Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs, 3B
· Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays, 3B
· Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals, OF
· Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants, C
· Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, OF

Baseball fans are encouraged to vote and promote the contest on social media to help get their favorite player featured on Card. No. 1, and using the hashtag #VoteCardNo1

Visit the Topps blog at, and vote here.

‘Doc’ Adams, Bill Dahlen Among 2016 Pre-Integration Committee Candidates

Doc AdamsSix former big league players, three executives and one of the game’s earliest organizers comprise the 10-name Pre-Integration Era ballot to be reviewed and voted upon Dec. 7 at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn.

Those with close New York ties are “Doc” Adams (Knickerbocker Base Ball Club) and Bill Dahlen (Brooklyn Superbas).

Adams, and Dahlen, along with Sam Breadon, Wes Ferrell, Garry Herrmann, Marty Marion, Frank McCormick, Harry Stovey, Chris von der Ahe and Bucky Walters are the candidates for Pre-Integration Era Committee consideration for Hall of Fame election for the Class of 2016. Dahlen, Ferrell, Marion, McCormick, Stovey and Walters are included for their contributions as players, while the other four are inclusions for their off-field careers. All candidates are deceased.

Any candidate to receive votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by the 16-member Pre-Integration Era Committee will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 24, 2016, along with any electees who emerge from the 2016 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced on Jan. 6, 2016.

The 10 Pre-Integration Era finalists were selected by the BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee from all eligible candidates among Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players whose most significant career impact was realized during the time period from baseball’s origins through 1946. Eligible candidates include: Players who played in at least 10 major league seasons, who are not on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list, and have been retired for 21 or more seasons; and Managers, Umpires and Executives with 10 or more years in baseball.

Adams, Herrmann, McCormick, von der Ahe and Stovey are new additions for consideration by the Pre-Integration Era Committee, which elected Hank O’Day, Jacob Ruppert and Deacon White in December 2012, the last time the Pre-Integration Era Ballot was considered. Tony Mullane and Alfred Reach were previously considered for election in the fall of 2012 but did not return to the 2016 Pre-Integration Era ballot.

The Pre-Integration Era ballot was determined this fall by the Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran historians: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune); Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun); Jim Henneman (formerly Baltimore Sun); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Bill Madden (formerly New York Daily News); Jack O’Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer); Jim Reeves (formerly Fort Worth Star-Telegram); Tracy Ringolsby (; Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle); and Mark Whicker (Los Angeles News Group).

The 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorate charged with the review of the Pre-Integration Era ballot will be announced later this fall. The Pre-Integration Era electorate will meet to discuss and review the candidacies of the 10 finalists as part of baseball’s Winter Meetings, December 6-7 in Nashville.

Bobby V And PED’s

It’s September and the playoffs are on the horizon, which means we will be hearing from Bobby Valentine early and often in the coming weeks. He has made the rounds of MLB Network and SNY, as the last skipper to lead the Amazins’ to the World Series cajoles, waxes and pontificates on all things baseball.

Away from the diamond, the current athletic director at sacred Heart University is continuing to make inroads with films, and his latest documentary (co-produced with Andrew Muscato) called “DOPED: The Dirty Side Of Sports.” It will air Wednesday at 8 PM on EPIX, and will look at the issue of performance enhancing drugs from the athlete side, especially the conflicts that groups like WADA and USADA now have in sports like boxing and track and field.

The film will have some baseball, of course, as former MLB investigator Ed Dominguez will chime in on whether Bud Selig again knew more than he ever let on during a steroid era that built stars and almost crushed Valentine’s beloved sport.

Valentine himself offered his own opinion last week on Sports, saying that he thought PED’s actually had a place in the game.

“There’s a lot of really good drugs out there that we do take that make us feel better and perform better, and I think these PEDs that people talk about, that are performance-enhancers, will eventually get into the mainstream,” he added.

Probably not something that current Commish Rob Manfred wants to hear, but Bobby V. is a deep thinker, and that’s why we love him.  Never a dull moment with the man from Stamford.

Baseball Fans To Vote On Card No. 1 For 2016 Topps® Set

Bryce-harperFrom Andy Pafko to Derek Jeter, Card No. 1 in the set is special to Topps collectors. Previous No. 1 cards have included stars, fan favorites and some of the best to ever play Major League Baseball.

Voting will take place on in the Topps Blog section starting on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 9 a.m. ET. Collectors and fans will get to choose from more than 30 players in the first round of voting, and at least one player from each team will be represented.

The voting for the first round will conclude on October 4, 2015, giving fans 10 days to vote and pare down the official list to just five players.

The Final Five Vote will take place from October 5-11, 2015, and the winner will be announced on October 12, 2015 on the Topps Blog.

“Being featured on Card No. 1 in the Topps Baseball flagship has been an honor Topps has been able to bestow on baseball players for over 60 years,” said Clay Luraschi, Topps’ Vice President of Product Development. “We have featured stars such as Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan, Bryce Harper and Derek Jeter. It’s a coveted spot and we wanted our collectors to be involved in that decision.”

Baseball fans are encouraged to vote and promote the contest on social media to help get their favorite player featured on Card. No. 1.

Visit the Topps blog at Follow us on Twitter (@toppscards), Instagram (@toppssports), and Facebook ( for instructions on how to vote and updates.

Topps Offers Fans Ability To Create Custom Trading Cards

Johnny-SmithThe Topps Company, Inc., official licensee of Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball, today announced a revolutionary new digital offering for fans which will give everyone the chance to create his or her authentic looking and customized trading card on

“We have tried for years to come up with a way for fans to create their own official product that looks and feels exactly like what we create for leagues like MLB and MLS, and we are pleased to say that the time has come,” said Jeff Heckman, Brand Manager for Topps. “Now fans will have the opportunity to get their own Topps trading card just like their favorite players they grew up collecting and we feel they will quickly become a ‘must have’ for all looking to enhance their fandom or create a special gift that will last a lifetime.”

Fans will initially be able to select to use one of the following Topps card designs; 2015 Topps MLB Series 1,1952 Vintage MLB or 2015 Topps MLS. Fans will be able to upload their picture and enter their name on the front of the card, choose a MLB or MLS team logo or upload a logo for their own organization and on the card back, fans will be able to enter their hometown, choose a position, and fill out a brief description.

The cards will be delivered in packs of 8, with the same quality look and feel of the MLB and MLS cards. The packs will retail for $9.99 and will be available to be customized and purchased immediately on

Women’s Wrestling, Baseball Share A Stage

Wrestling-Yankees gameBaseball and women’s wrestling go together? No, not WWE Divas-type wrestling but the old school, roll around on the mat type, the Olympic type. That’s what we had this past week when the U.S. Olympic Women’s Wrestling Team, in town for a week of training and team building at Columbia University, took time out from their schedule to venture across the Harlem River and take on the Yankees-Athletics game as guests of the Bronx Bombers.

The group, which included world number one Adeline Gray, took in lots of sights around New York, even the Women’s World Cup Parade, in addition to their training, but a stop in The Bronx was a big, and unexpected highlight.

“I grew up a Diamondbacks fan but coming to Yankees Stadium and meeting Coach Girardi before the game on the field was very special,” said Gray, who this week is competing in the Pan American Games in Toronto in advance of September’s World Championships in Las Vegas. “I have been to New York many times, but coming to see the Stadium really makes it pretty special.”

The Steinbrenner family have long been supporters of all United States Olympic Committee athletes, and the visit was made possible by the Yankees Randy Levine after he received an outreach from Dr. Harvey Schiller, former head of YES Network and Executive Director of the United States Olympic Committee, who was notified that the Olympians were in town. The wrestlers even came up with some creative support for the Yankees on their own, purchasing Yankees pinstripes sweatpants and wearing them as a group during their Thursday practice at Columbia.

“We are always around elite athletes from our own sport, so to get to take a few hours out and actually see baseball players up close, especially watching batting practice from the field, gives us all an even greater perspective on what we can accomplish,” Gray added.

Several of the team members also dropped in on another baseball personality per se last week, with teammates Leigh Provisor and Helen Maroulis visiting Robert Wuhl’s radio show at CBS. Wuhl, famous for portraying both Arliss Michaels and the pitching coach in “Bull Durham,” made it an enjoyable experience for all.

Maybe baseball and wrestling do mix after all.

Buster Posey and New York Made A Great Fit This Week

Buster-Posey-CardBuster Posey loves New York, especially when the Giants are winning. This week as the former inhabitants of the Polo Grounds took three of four from the Mets, the soft-spoken Georgia native was in and about Gotham, catching no-hitters, hitting home runs and signing on as the 2015 Ambassador for Topps, which he formalized with a little get-together in lower Manhattan in mid-week.

“Our organization has done such a great job in connecting with our fans wherever they are it’s not surprising to see people turn out, but New York is a little different because of the history with the franchise here,” he said. “You see people who are Giants fans because it was passed down from their parents and grandparents, and older people recognize you on the street. The last few years as we have done well in the postseason it seems like there are more and more of them here. And you certainly see and hear them when we are at CitiField.”

Posey is a great role model and spokesman for baseball, and was selected by the fans as the 2015: Face of the Game: this past spring, edging out the Mets’ David Wright. That impact wasn’t lost on Topps, who chose Posey for their spokesperson as much for his work off the field than on. “We welcome Buster as our official ambassador for 2015,” said Clay Luraschi, Topps’ Vice President of Product Development in a statement. “There are few people, let alone athletes, who are better role models than he is, not just in the way he plays, but in his dedication to off-field activities such as family and community service. We are looking forward to working with him to help us continue to grow and engage our brand.”

As far as the new cards which are out next week, Series Two Baseball, features  a 350-card base set that combined with February’s Topps® Series One Baseball makes this year’s card set the company’s largest in 10 years. The set includes new  First Pitch cards with actor Jon Hamm, comic and pop culture icon Stan Lee,  Bill Kreutzman and Mickey Hart of The Grateful Dead, and actor Chris Pratt all mixed in.

The set will also have the first flagship Rookie Cards for Cubs standout Kris Bryant and Diamondbacks star Yasmany Tomas. In addition, the “Highlight of the Year” autograph and relic subset, which brings the past alive by highlighting iconic moments in baseball history, returns with Rickey Henderson, Nolan Ryan and Cal Ripken Jr., featured on cards. The release of the set comes on the heels of another popular celebrity Topps offering, a full lineup of Will Ferrell cards coming off his nine teams, one day spring training jaunt that will be part of an upcoming HBO special.

Back to Posey, could the All-Star catcher ever find his way to New York permanently, either in Queens or The Bronx? He deflected the question with ease. “I love the Giants organization and what we are doing and that’s where my focus is,” he said. “Our goal is to keep winning on the field and do the best we can to cultivate and engage with our fans, and this opportunity with a great brand like Topps is a big part of that outreach.”

Spoken like a true champion.

Breuer Proving His Mets Fandom Is No Joke

Jim-Breuer-73-CardThere are few things that comedian Jim Breuer takes seriously. One, for sure, is his devotion to the New York Mets. The Valley Stream native will make light of his family, friends, pets and colleagues, but the Mets? He sighs, his eyes get wide, and he just starts going…and going…and ranting…and because of all that ranting he has become to this generation of Mets fans what Jerry Seinfeld was to older diehards; the comedic face of the franchise.

“In so many ways I’m like ‘Rain Man’ with the Mets,” Breuer said recently while out promoting his latest special, “Comic Frenzy,” to air on EPIX and starting on Friday May 29. “Bud Harrelson getting pummeled by Pete Rose, Joel Youngblood and John Stearns, Hubie Brooks hitting streak, those were the way I measured my childhood, and boy did it leave scars. It’s a habit that just won’t quit.”

Bob Apodaca getting hit in the head, George “The Stork” Theodore’s first homer, Robbie Alomar’s bobblehead, The Dykstra homer in the ’86 NLCS, they are all part of the former “Saturday Night Live” star’s memory bank. Sometimes they have made it into his hugely popular standup routine, other times, “It’s going to a dark place to talk about being a Mets fan,” he joked.

Through the years Breuer has had season tickets at Shea Stadium, moved gigs to watch the playoffs and like so many of the rank and file, has shook his head at the revolving door of talent over the years. But, he cautioned, “I think good things are coming…if we just stay healthy.” The nets for their part have had a healthy respect for the comedian’s work over the years. He threw out a first pitch at Shea and will again this Friday, “softening the mound for Matt Harvey,” he added, when the team, EPIX and Topps will officially unveil his own trading card to commemorate his fandom and the comedy special.

For his part, Breuer has taken his fandom viral, sporting short videos that have been a huge hit with Mets fans as they went through the elation of the team’s fast start, and the doldrums of their recent drought. He has also signed on with SNY to be a guest correspondent in and around the team from time to time this year.

“We have been there for Dave Kingman and Lee Mazzilli, suffered through Beltran in the playoffs, and now we have the worst thing possible…hope. Nothing worse for a Mets fan to have hope, but it’s nice to be involved if it works out. Hell, ’86 wasn’t THAT long ago,” he half joked. Hope a bad thing?

Mets fans can relate, especially to their latest and maybe most genuine, celebrity voice of the fan.

Jeter To Be Honored With The Legend Award At Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Sports 2015

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter

After an historic 20-year career with the New York Yankees, former team captain, entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author Derek Jeter will be honored with the Legend Award at Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Sports 2015 in recognition of his unmatched talent, integrity and sportsmanship on and off the field. Hosted by Seattle Seahawks’ two-time Super Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson, Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Sports 2015, which returns for its second year, will air live on Thursday, July 16 (8 pm ET/PT) from Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles.

The Legend Award honors athletes who are the ultimate role models to kids across the globe, inspiring generations year after year.  Last year, worldwide superstar David Beckham was presented with the first Legend Award, and celebrated by being doused in golden slime with his kids.

“I am incredibly honored to receive Nickelodeon’s Legend Award at this year’s Kids’ Choice Sports awards,” said Jeter. “Inspiring kids to follow their dreams and live a healthy lifestyle is so important to me, so I want to take this opportunity to tell all aspiring athletes out there to work hard, love what you do, put your best foot forward and never forget the kid in you.”

By the time he stepped away from baseball in 2014, Derek Jeter had established himself as one of the most respected men to ever have played the game. Jeter is a five-time World Series Champion and joined baseball’s exclusive 3,000-hit club on July 9, 2011. He has received numerous accolades in recognition of both his on-field skill and his commitment to community service, including: World Series MVP (2000); 14-time MLB All-Star; 5-time Gold Glove Award; 5-time Silver Slugger Award; AL Rookie of the Year (1996); Roberto Clemente Award (2009); Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Award (2009); the Sporting News Good Guy in Sports Award (2002); Michigan Association of School Administrators Champion for Children Award (2005); Joe Torre Safe at Home MVP Award (2010); Lou Gehrig Memorial Award (2010). In 2012, Siena College recognized Jeter with a Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his leadership, accomplishments on the baseball field and dedication to improving the lives of young people through the Turn 2 Foundation.

In retirement, Jeter now focuses on transitioning a storied career into a variety of successful business ventures. Most recently, Jeter announced The Players’ Tribune, an innovative multimedia digital company where world-class athletes share their honest and unique perspectives, bringing fans closer to the games they love. In November 2013, Jeter and Simon & Schuster announced the Jeter Publishing imprint. Jeter also serves as Partner and Brand Development Officer of Luvo, a transformational lifestyle food brand where he is involved in product development, brand awareness and strategic partnerships. Jeter continues to be the driving force behind the Turn 2 Foundation, which he established in 1996 to give back to the communities with which he has a close connection, including West Michigan, Tampa and New York City. He satisfies his passion for inspiring young people through initiatives – like the Jeter’s Lea ders program – that promote academic excellence, leadership development, positive behavior, healthy choices and social change. During Derek’s baseball career, the Turn 2 Foundation has awarded more than $20 million in grants to create and support signature programs that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and “Turn 2” healthy lifestyles. It remains committed to continuing this mission well into the future.

With special guests, performances, outrageous competitions and unique categories to be announced in the coming weeks, Kids’ Choice Sports 2015 will be bursting with fun, unforgettable moments, epic slimings and sheer ‘fan’-demonium that can only happen on Nickelodeon.  Kids from around the country will show their support for their favorite athletes, teams and sports moments and decide who will take home a cherished, one-of-a-kind Nickelodeon orange mohawked blimp trophy.

Kids can gear up for game day across all of Nickelodeon’s digital platforms including and the Nick App on iOS, Andriod, Fire OS, Xbox 360 and Windows 8. is the official destination for everything Kids’ Choice Sports where fans can get their fill of funny short form videos, flip through photo galleries featuring all-star athletes, take quizzes to prep for the big game and more! Beginning June 8th, kids can root for their faves, pick the pros they’d like to see walk away with a blimp, and multiply their votes by playing the Slime Sports Multiplier game. Then on July 16th,  and the Nick App will be the place to score a court-side seat for all of the Orange Carpet and live show action with a live photo stream and loads of video clips, straight from the main event! Plus, kids will be able to get in the game like never before, with a live vote that impacts what goes down in the show itself!

Kids’ Choice Sports 2015 Presenting Sponsors include Verizon.  Associate Sponsors include Nationwide and Popsicle®.

Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Sports 2015 is produced by Done + Dusted in association with Nickelodeon Productions. Jay Schmalholz and Shelly Sumpter Gillyard are executive producers.  Constance Schwartz and Michael Strahan of SMAC Entertainment will serve as executive producers, alongside Ian Stewart and Hamish Hamilton of Done + Dusted with Hamilton also serving as director of the show.