Goldin Auctions has named sports marketing and collectibles industry veteran Jim Stefano its new Director of Marketing and Business Development.
The move allows Stefano to return to his New Jersey roots after spending four years as Senior Director of Product Development at Panini America in Texas. Previous to that he spent five years at Access Sports Media in New York City, as Senior Director of Sports Partnerships and 10 years in the sports collectibles industry. This included seven years at Fleer Skybox International as the Vice President of Product Development plus stints early in his career at Score Board and Tri Star Productions.
“Jim’s broad experience in the sports collectibles industry, extensive relationships, marketing savvy and personal affinity for sports memorabilia makes him a great addition to our team,” said company founder Ken Goldin. “We know Jim will help us continue our rapid growth by developing innovative partnerships and marketing initiatives.”
Panini then made some moves in the wake of Stefano’s departure. According to the company:
Nick Matijevich, a 20-year industry veteran who’s been at Panini for three years following stints at Donruss and Press Pass, has been promoted to the Senior Director position. He will oversee the day-to-day operations and long-term goals of the department.
Rob Springs, another longtime product development specialist with stints at Beckett Media and Donruss, has been promoted to Product Development Director for Panini America’s NFL and soccer divisions. Ben Ecklar, who has spent nearly two decades overseeing brands for Donruss and Panini America, will direct the product development teams for the company’s baseball, collegiate and NASCAR lines. David Porter remains the company’s Director of Basketball Product Development and will also direct all U.S. Sticker and Album collections.
Wednesday marked the anniversary of Babe Ruth’s death and here’s another story about his generosity that’s led to an item in an auction ending this weekend.
During the summer of 1948, Ruth was supposed to be a special guest at a game between a local minor league team and the barnstorming House of David squad in New Bern, NC. He was no stranger to the area, having hunted and fished there multiple times.
As Ruth’s cancer worsened, word came that he was too ill to attend but he made sure to have the team send a dozen baseballs which he signed and returned as giveaways to lucky youngsters at the game.
Now, one of those baseballs is about to be sold at auction. The Official Coastal Plain League ball (a now defunct Class D minor league organization) carries a sweet spot signature from Ruth and a letter from the original owner along with the usual authentication.
It’s up for bid at Heritage Auctions this weekend where it has a current high bid of $18,000.
Augusta National Golf Club is suing Green Jacket Auctions in federal court over the consignment of some Masters green jackets. The club says Bryon Nelson’s 1966 Masters jacket and two member jackets weren’t supposed to be removed from the club. Green Jacket says the club is overstepping its boundaries of ownership and it has every right to sell them on behalf of clients who own them.