Have you ever wondered how a baseball is made? This segment from the Discovery Channel's "How's it's Made" is a must-see for any baseball fan! When your done watching this, click here to find out why I tear them apart. Enjoy!
It's no secret how much New Yorkers love baseball. And now, Artist, Nathan Rueckert has captured this love in a single image: the New York "NY" symbol made from the seams of used baseballs. This hand-crafted original artwork measures approximately 6" wide by 6" tall and is autographed by the artist. Just as the red stitches of a baseball hold it together, the game continues to be a cornerstone that unites New Yorkers across generations.
The artwork comes mounted on white matboard and various framing options are available below. Please allow 1-2 weeks lead time for shipments.
Click here to purchase this new item. Let us know what you think!
An estimated 1.7 million airline passengers fly every single day. And if you’ve ever flown in a plane, there’s almost no doubt that you have at least flipped through a SkyMall Catalog wedged in the seat pocket hitting your knees. After all, what else is there to do on an airplane? Airline passengers are one of the largest captive audiences any retailer could market to.
That said, it’s with great excitement I announce that my “America’s Game” product line will be featured in SkyMall Catalog from July 1st through December 31st. The original artworks are showcased on a quarter-page ad within the “Travelers Selections” area, and the entire product line can be found on SkyMall’s web site at SkyMall.com. You can also view the Summer Catalog online.
Needless to say, I’ve spent most of my spare time during the last two months creating an inventory of original artworks in preparation for the increased demand. I owe a special thanks to my wife and sister-in-law (AKA – “my sweatshop workers”) for all their help tearing apart hundreds of baseballs. I anticipate a large chunk of the orders to come between Thanksgiving and Christmas during the peak gift-buying season, so just as Noah built his ark in anticipation for the big flood; I’ll continue to create my artworks in advance of the flood of holiday orders!
So next time you fly, nudge your neighbors and show them how baseball is more than just a game!
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - The Baseball Seams Co. (BSC) has agreed to terms with sales representatives of the Minnesota Twins' Team Store to sell its products in the Twins' new ballpark, Target Field. The order was placed earlier this week for two different product lines, "America's Game" and "Seams of Love" products, which hopefully will be on Team Store shelves before the Memorial Day weekend homestand against the Texas Rangers.
This marks the second Major League ballpark selling BSC products in 2010. Busch Stadium in St. Louis is also carrying the entire "America's Game" product line.
Love. It’s a word that’s thrown around in our culture in many different contexts. I love my wife, her amazing cooking, and how she complements me so well. I love Lake Michigan sunsets and how the bright oranges slowly turn to reds, purples, and blues as the sun dips into the water. I love my family, buffalo chicken pizza, the TV show LOST, a great micro-brew, hating the Cubs, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, and all types of Doritos. And every spring time, the crack of a wood bat hitting a ball, the pop of a catcher’s mitt framing a strike, the voice of Mike Shannon on the radio, and the heavenly cologne of hot dogs, peanut shells, and cigarette smoke, mixed with a pinch of BO all remind me of how much I…love…baseball.
Our society’s different contextual meanings of love can be seen throughout the game of baseball. There’s the brotherly love of teammates seen through the camaraderie of players and their synchronized dugout chatter. There’s the awe-struck admiration love of the unparalleled beauty of a ball diamond, its white chalk lines, and the perfect green grass. There’s the affectionate love that a fan has for his or her favorite team or player (I still need to sit my wife down to discuss the dream she had the other night about Adam Wainwright). There’s sacrificial love of a player willing to lay down his at-bat through a sacrifice bunt or suicide squeeze for the good of the team. And perhaps the best example of unconditional love is the blind devotion of a Chicago Cubs fan.
There is no such thing as a fair-weather Cubs fan. Because by definition, fair-weather fans are ones that root for their team when things are going well but lose their passion and zeal when the going gets tough. My theory is, of course, based on the scientific proof that the Cubs have never had things going well in the last 100+ years. So by nature, the marriage between Cubs fans and to what is loosely defined as a Major League ballclub is not “for better or for worse,” but rather, “for worse.” For this, I believe their unconditional love needs to be commended, and one which we can all learn from.
As hinted to in the picture above, I happily announce a new product line titled, “Seams of Love.” The artwork is hand-crafted from used baseball seams, mounted on white matboard, hand-signed and numbered. Different framing options will be on the website soon, so please check back in the next week or so. It’s a perfect gift idea for nearly any occasion, including Mother’s Day right around the corner.
I dedicate “Seams of Love” to Chicago Cub fans across the world that have an undying love for the game of baseball, who always choose love even in the most dire of circumstances.
That’s the amount of time it took to hand-craft the first 1,000 America’s Game artworks. Seems like it was yesterday when I came up with the crazy idea to destroy perfectly fine baseballs and mold them into an American flag artwork…and equally crazy to think about how such a small idea has made its way into so many homes and offices across the country. I thought it would be fitting to reflect on the average of 10 artworks formed per month over the last 100 months by creating a Top 10 highlight reel of my favorite Seams Co. memories. Hope you enjoy, and let me know what you think….
10. Random T-shirt and Artwork Sitings – I always get a big kick out of randomly running into strangers that are wearing my t-shirt. I remember one occasion when my wife and I were walking through a mall in St. Louis and saw a gentleman in a jewelry store that was wearing my shirt. Another time was at Busch Stadium when walking past a fellow baseball fan with obvious good taste in clothing. (In both occasions, I couldn’t build up the nerve to start a conversation). A third example was when my Uncle e-mailed me to let me know he discovered his boss at work had one of my lithograph prints…and wouldn’t believe that I was his nephew. Equally entertaining is when I wear my shirt and pretend to “know the guy” who makes them and see what people think.
9. St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm-up – I’ve had booths at two of these shows and they are always a great time! What better way to spend a weekend in January than with die-hard baseball fans and discussing World Series hopes for the upcoming season. I usually attract crowds when cutting up baseballs and let kids run wild with unraveling the insides of the baseball (the parents are usually less enthusiastic about the string being all over their houses…).
8. Artwork for the Commish – Despite being much against Commissioner Bud Selig’s rule change to allow World Series home field advantage to the All-Star Game winner, I decided to send him a complimentary artwork nonetheless to see what he thought. I was very happy to receive back a signed letter from him stating the following: “The artwork is extremely resourcefully done and your love for both America and baseball is beautifully portrayed. I will certainly share this with my colleagues in baseball.” What a compliment!
7. Three balls from the War – One of the most enjoyable parts of being “the baseball flag guy” are the conversations I get to have with baseball fans across the country. One specific conversation I remember was at the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) convention in Orlando. An older gentleman was admiring my artworks and asked if I would be able to make an artwork out of his own baseballs. I informed him I do this all the time for people who want their artwork to look a particular way or if the baseballs have special meaning to them. He said that his dad was a US veteran from one of the wars and that one of the things his father did to pass the time while at war was play baseball. His dad has since passed away, but said that his mom still had a few very old, tattered baseballs that her husband had used during the war. The gentleman wanted me to make an artwork out of his dad’s baseballs and give it to his mom as a gift and fitting tribute to his father’s service in the war. Although the seams were literally falling apart and the tattered leather was nearly black from overuse and old age, I was able craft it into a beautiful work of art, and felt honored to be given the opportunity.
6. 2002 ABCA National Convention in Orlando, FL – In January 2002, one of my good college buddies, Wally Walters, and I drove from St. Louis to Orlando in a teal Dodge Caravan to the ABCA Convention. My newly formed company had a booth and I quickly learned that my lithograph prints and original artworks were a big hit. It was my first exposure on a national level to about 3,000 high school and college baseball coaches from across the country. It was fun networking with the coaches, who were thrilled to learn I would actually buy their old, waterlogged baseballs from them. Tommy Lasorda walked right by our table, but we didn’t even get a glance…
5. Show-Me St. Louis News Segment – I was fortunate enough to be featured on a day-time local NBC news show called “Show-Me St. Louis” in St. Louis, MO. The interview was well put together and was complimented with music from The Natural soundtrack. They aired the show on Opening Day 2004 and used my cell phone number as the company contact. About 10 seconds after broadcasting my segment, the phone rang for about 30 minutes straight! I ended up changing my voice mail to direct people to my web page. Funny follow up to this is that they re-aired the same segment on Opening Day 2005 without telling me. I was at the Cardinals game with a college buddy, “Switchy” Brandt, when my cell phone started ringing off the hook. We had a good laugh after listening to the messages and I’m sure had a round of $8.25 Bud Light’s to celebrate. (You can view the segment in one of my previous blog posts).
4. Used Baseball from the St. Louis Cardinals – In Spring of 2002, I was connected, through a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend to someone within the Cardinals organization that had access to their used practice baseballs. After hearing about what I do and that I was a college kid with a great idea, he shipped me about 40 baseballs to use for my artworks at no cost. The balls had beautiful grass stains, black and brown wood bat marks, and were rubbed up with that Major League mud. Each had the word “Practice” stamped under the MLB logo. I proudly keep one of the balls in a display case to this day. I decided that if I’m using Cardinals’ baseballs, that I should probably try to sell my products in Busch Stadium…which brings me to:
3. “America’s Game” Products in Busch Stadium -I wrote a letter to the Cardinals explaining my products and how they’d be a good fit for the Team Store. I was directed to Bill DeWitt III, who agreed to meet with me and go over the product line. I vividly remember taking the MetroLink light rail downtown to the stadium, wearing shirt and tie, hauling a portfolio of my products, wondering what in the world he would think. After patiently listening to my sales pitch in his oversized Busch Stadium office, he indicated he was impressed with what he saw and passed me along to the merchandise manager. Long story short, we worked out terms and the Busch Stadium Team Store has carried my products during three of the last eight seasons.
2. The Baseball Hall of Fame Museum Shop – When I was a kid, I always wanted to grow up and be a professional baseball player and dreamed of someday be in the Hall of Fame. Little did I know that I would eventually reach that dream….just not for my baseball playing ability! One of my first goals after establishing Baseball Seams Co. was to have my products sold in the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum Shop. After several phone conversations with the retail manager and sending them sample products, they agreed to feature my t-shirts, lithograph prints, and original artworks in their Holiday and Summer catalogs. The HOF carried the product line for a couple years and it was such an honor to have something that I made with my bare hands be sold on the hallowed ground in Cooperstown, NY.
1. “It’s a Gift for the President” – A week before President’s Day in 2003, I received a phone call from a White House staffer explaining that he’d like to order an artwork to personally give to President Bush on President’s Day. He wondered if I had time to do this, to which I replied…“um….YES, I think I can fit that into my schedule.” We quickly worked out shipping arrangements – for UPS to deliver to the West Wing of the White House. To this day, I wonder where that artwork is and what George W. thought of the piece. (After all, he was one of the former owners of the MLB Texas Rangers). Regardless of your political persuation, I can think of no greater honor than for our nation’s leader to display one of my artworks in his office or home!
That’s it! Thanks for reading and look forward to adding more great moments in years to come!
What started as a small, social networking site has turned into a world-wide phenomenom: “FB.” Or, to the non-twittering, non-abbreviating, upper-twenty something plus crowd: Facebook. Now with over 250 million users, Facebook is an easy way for friends, classmates, and co-workers to re-connect with each other online. Since so many of my close friends and supporters of BSC are currently users of Facebook, it seemed like a no-brainer to me to open a BSC Fan Site on Facebook as a way to keep everyone current as to what’s going on with the company. In addition, those that become “Facebook fans” will receive exclusive offers and discounts on products through the site. Stay tuned for that around the holidays.
I have included a link on the vertical menu bar (on the right) to the BSC Fan Site on Facebook. Anyone can sign up, it’s free, and you can interact with other fans of the company. Please encourage anyone that loves baseball and America to become a Fan!
This quote is from one of my favorite movies of all time – Field of Dreams, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. In the movie, Ray Kinsella plows his cornfield to create a mystical baseball diamond that brings back baseball greats from the dead. Towards the end of the movie, Ray is given the opportunity to play catch with his dad, a former minor league catcher, one last time. It’s an emotional reunion for Ray, who gets closure after years of bitterness towards his dad by playing catch on the baseball diamond and by telling his dad that he loves him. It’s one of the few movie scenes that have actually made me cry. (Well, at least one that I’ll admit…)
Why does this scene tug at our heartstrings so much? What is it about throwing around a baseball between two people that evokes so much emotion? If you’ve played baseball at any level, the answer is a no-brainer. It transports us back to our childhoods. It brings us to our backyards, to the smells of summer, to the countless hours of catch with dad, to the bond created between a dad and his son. And we all wish we could take a break from our busy lives, hide from our daily responsibilities, and just one more time be able to have a catch with dad.
I’m one of the fortunate ones. As early in my childhood as I can remember, I’d wait not-so-patiently at home for my dad to return from work. Before he could set two feet inside the door, I’d have both our gloves ready along with a grass-stained baseball for him to meet me outside. He graciously accepted his role as battery mate nearly every time, no matter how rough his work day, to play catch. Very seldom did he complain about my errant throws into the woods. Rarely did he grumble about the multitude of one-hopped pitches while I faced all those invisible batters. He was the best catcher a kid could ask for.
When I watch Ray Kinsella play catch with his dad, I think of my dad’s sacrifice – both of his time and of his body, and the love he demonstrated to me through those summer evenings in the backyard. It will never be forgotten and I look forward to passing on that same love to my children someday. Thanks, Dad – I love you.
To all the fathers out there – have a great Fathers Day. Cherish the one-hoppers, the late evenings in the yard, and the sore shoulder muscles from reaching for those errant throws. You are creating a lifetime of memories and a bond with your child that will last for generations to come.
One family particularly stands out. The parents and two little kids were visiting St. Louis all the way from Denmark, and were attending their first baseball game. I had the joy of explaining to them how much baseball means to America and how closely they are intertwined. I also let them know that St. Louis has the best fans in all of baseball, so hopefully they had a great experience at Busch! The kids, with heavy Dutch accents, kept saying the American flags made from cut-up baseballs were “very cool.” I agree.
The Team Store reps indicated that they are hosting future presentations like mine throughout the 2009 season, mainly on weeknight games, and that they’d like to have me back for future sessions. Stay tuned for future dates….
With MLB Opening Day right around the corner, I’m very excited to announce that the St. Louis Cardinals Team Store at Busch Stadium will be selling the entire America’s Game product line this year, as well as during the 2009 MLB All-Star Game held in St. Louis. In addition to selling the regular open-ended series of America’s Game original artworks, they will also sell a limited edition (#ed/100) original artwork that is double-matted with the MLB All-Star Game Jersey Patch, the same patch that will be worn on the players’ sleeves during the All-Star Game. The limited edition pieces will be available both unframed ($199) and framed ($299). A limited edition lithograph print (#ed/2009), double matted and sold both unframed and framed, will sell for $69 and $169, respectively. Both editions can also be purchased through this web page. Here’s a pic of both editions, the original artwork (left) and lithograph print (right) unframed:
So make sure you stop by the main team store next time you go to a Cards game and check it out!
The Baseball Seams Company has been featured by KSDK’s Show-Me St. Louis and Fox 2 News. Click on the videos to check them out.
Welcome and thank you for visiting our web page! Whether you’re a past customer or just curious what The Baseball Seams Co. (BSC) is all about, we appreciate your time. This is the first of what hopefully will be a regular series of blog posts that will keep you updated on what’s going on with the company.
BSC just launched a new and improved design for the web page thanks to Sherron Technologies. Advantages of the new layout include better navigation, search functions and a blog to keep you current on what’s new. We’re still getting the kinks out and encourage any comments/suggestions you have to make it a better experience for you!
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