Every season the Reds set out to improve the fan experience. Creative ticket packages, new ballpark food, expanded beer offerings, stadium enhancements and more are always part of the efforts. This season, there is one program that is getting a revamp and expansion that has OMGreds pretty excited: Reds Authentics. After being introduced at Redsfest 2012, the program is ready to take off this season. OMGreds sat down with Reds Authentics Manager Jon Cline to talk about the program and what fans can expect this season.
Let’s back up a bit though.
Selling game-used memorabilia has been a Reds program for decades. From the team stores located on 6th and Walnut to 5th and Race and now the Majest Team Store at GABP, Reds fans have had an opportunities to pick up a broken bat, used jersey and even pants from their favorite players. Of course, Redsfest has always been a prime outlet for picking up the coveted pieces of memorabilia that fans are seeking. Not being serious collectors, even a few of us at OMGreds have picked up a few things at past Redsfests. Danny Ray Herrea batting practice jersey for $40! Hello?!
Reds fans have had varying access to the goods, but the Reds are now placing a larger emphasis on the Authentics Department, making greater use of MLB’s Authentication (Sports Illustrated looks into MLB Authentication) servies as well as opening up a wider range of offerings so more fans have a chance to bring home something special.
So what is Reds Authentics? Game-used, autographed and authenticated bats, balls, jerseys, bases and more. Items can purchased by on game days at GABP in the Reds Authentics Booth (pictured at the top of the post), online during Reds Charity Auctions (link to current auction) or by contacting Jon Cline, Reds Authentics Manager, at (513) 765-7097. Jon is more than happy to take requests for specific items.
So, not only can you buy “authentic” memorabilia from a trusted source, but you can feel good about your purchases as well – All proceeds from the sale of Reds Authentics benefit Reds Community fund.
REDS AUTHENTICS BOOTH
You don’t have to wait until Redsfest or hit the Reds Team Store at just the right time anymore. Reds Authentics will have a booth set up at every Reds home game this season. Not only will they be selling a revolving inventory of jerseys, bats, balls, bases and more, they will be selling memorabilia collected from that very game. Items will be collected between innings from an official MLB authenticator and available at the booth later in the game. So, you can be at the game and walk out with a souvenir FROM THAT GAME. Amazing.
Taking your son to his first game? Sharing nine innings with your pops? Trying to impress the boss? Commemorating an appearance on the Kiss Cam with your beau? Reds Authentics is how you get it done.
Of course, the items that you purchase are well documented for your assurance. Game-used items come with the official MLB Authentication tamper-proof sticker, but items also come with a certificate of authenticity or a label that lists the item name, date, opponent played and what inning that event happened. Yes, that game-used ball you picked up was thrown by Johnny Cueto to Ryan Braun in first inning of such and such game and was a ball in the dirt. Those are the kind of details you can expect and a great part of the overall story of your momento.
If you have purchased an MLB Authenticated item, you can utilize the MLB.com Referencing System to look up that particular item and receive the exact item explanation in the MLB Authenticated item database. Pretty cool.
A SAMPLING OF ITEMS
Let’s take a look at a few examples from the Reds Authentics inventory, shall we? Jon was happy to pull a few things from the Authentics closet for us to get a peak out during out visit. Here are a few highlights…
We learned that bases are pretty hot items these days. Bases start at $150 for non-premium games and go up from there. They’re fun to hang on your wall, use as a bar-stool top or even get framed. Pretty unique items, for sure!
The Reds clubhouse upgraded the seating arrangements for the players in 2012 and a few of the old clubhouse chairs are still available. This particular one is Drew Stubb’s chair from the 2011 season and is paired with his locker tag from the same season.
This Joey Votto cracked bat is drool-worthy. We had to wipe the slobber from our chins after this photo was taken. Check out how the signature that is stamped onto the bat is actually a full, every letter showing, signature. Beauty!
Game-used helmets! Totally. You know one of these would look great on your mantle or your head.
After we got over the shock from the Votto bat, we moved onto a Jay Bruce bat. This one, also cracked, is special. See, Jay doesn’t use naturally stained bats any more – he’s rocking the jet black Louisville Sluggers, like Joey.
These custom prints are solid. Complete with autographs and a custom frame, there are several players available. Really nice pieces.
This print is also super-rad. A nicely-designed collage complete with Joey’s signature in silver and custom frame job. In addition to Votto, Reds Authentics will also have Jay Bruce, Mat Latos and Johnny Cueto prints available.
This is a thing of beauty. You know you need this in your man cave – An on-deck circle used in the Civil Rights Games hosted at Great American Ballpark. At least we think it was used for both. Either way, it’s a one-of-a-kind item… and it’s authenticated, of course!
A shot of the jersey rack at the Reds Authentics Booth at GABP. The booth had its first night of business during the Reds Spring Showcase on April 3, 2012. In addition to the rack of jerseys, there were game-used bats, batting helmets, bases, line-up cards, manager line-up cards, custom framed items, plenty of game-used baseballs and more. Also available in the later innings were game-used baseballs from that night’s Spring Showcase game.
You can be sure there’ll be plenty of special loot for sale all season long. Make sure you stop by and check things out. If anything, it’s pretty fun window shopping for any baseball fan.
HOW ABOUT SOME PRICING DETAILS?
Here are a few details on game-used bases, bats and framing services offered by Reds Authentics:
GAME USED BASES
Non-Premium games: $150 plus tax per base
Premium games*: $225 plus tax per base
Opening Day: $450 plus tax per base (gameday sales only; supplies extremely limited)
*Premium games include: Opening Night, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Jackie Robinson Day, Interleague series, July 13-15 Cardinals series, August 24-26 Cardinals series, May 11-13 Nationals series.
GAME USED BATS
Game used bats are available from each game. Specific player bats can be pre-ordered, however the buyer must agree to terms that there is no specific timetable on when they will actually receive the bat. These are collected at random, and under no schedule. Prices will be based on a number of factors including player, detail, significance and milestones.
Framing will be available for any item purchased from Reds Authentics. Our service provides framing for jerseys, bats, photos and shadow box options for anyone looking to create a unique combination of Reds Authentic memorabilia. In order to receive team rates, the item must be purchased from us, and payment must be made at time of purchase unless otherwise worked out.
For more information, pricing and requests, contact Reds Authentics Manager Jon Cline at (513) 765-7097. He’s also on Twitter – @MoonshineCline. Make sure you also regularly check into the Reds Charity Auctions for unique items and more.