I have known Dave Prince, the mind behind Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces and the company, Piece of the Game, for about 20 years now. Baseball has always been the glue that has held our friendship together over the years. We played in college for a brief time in the late 1990s, and later in life, we won championships together in our adult men’s league. Now it’s our own boys that are starting to fall in love with the game, and hopefully, build bonds and friendships that will last a lifetime.
It was around Christmas time when I stumbled on to some Facebook posts about this company that created painted baseballs. I used to have a side hustle when I was in my 20s selling sports cards and memorabilia, and while those days were far in the rearview mirror, my son is finally old enough to start enjoying the hobby so I was starting to ease my way back in. I started to research POTG and thought it was a cool idea, but still had no idea that one of my long-time friends was at the center of it all. The product and the company were still in its infancy stages, and not much information was available.
I loved the idea that the creators were collectors themselves, and were looking to create something new and innovative in a hobby industry that has gotten stale. I mean, the industry really hasn’t changed much since my mid-twenties when I had my side hustle. Aside from rising prices, it’s the same type of products driving the business 15 years later. I’m a firm believer in the idea of "innovate or die," and like many companies and industries before that refused to adapt to the changing landscape or listen to their customers, without innovative products, felt the sports card industry was on its way to a similar fate. This is what originally piqued my interest in POTG.
It wasn’t until a couple of months later that I realized that I knew the person behind it all. A post from his wife led me to reach out and ask if it was his company. Once he confirmed, I told him I had to be a part of it. I didn’t care what it was doing, I just loved the idea of the product and wanted to do whatever I could to help make it the best it could be. After a few months, I was named Director of Marketing and Business Development and the rest is history.
After almost two years of grueling work, Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces was finally released on July 9, 2019 (coincidentally, my birthday). While the product isn’t going to be for everyone, I think there is still some uncertainty out there about exactly what this product is, and what the customer will be getting. The price point can be intimidating, but I can assure you that you are getting what you pay for and there are ways to drive the price down if you are interested in attaining one of our masterpieces.
When looking at the price of the balls, it’s important to remember that every ball in the lineup is game-used except for the Babe Ruth chase ball. The game-used market is exploding and many of the baseballs are from milestone moments and games. Every ball is then signed by the player (players) associated with the ball. We then commissioned master baseball artist, Monty Sheldon, to bring life to the baseball by painting the player associated on the ball (a process that took 19 hours per ball on average). When you put these three attributes together, you get items that are true investments that hold and potentially increase in value over time. In addition to all that, every detail imaginable about the baseballs used is available in our online database.
A Wall Street Journal article written back in 2012 did a great job explaining the sports art industry and what makes the items such great investments and hold their values--Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces brings every attribute listed in the article to the table. Not only are the baseballs signed, but some also have inscriptions, which could add even more value to the baseballs. (You can read the WSJ article in its entirety by clicking here.)
BAM is set up in a baseball card format, meaning it’s a blind box that you open and won’t know which player you are receiving when purchasing a ball. That adds to the mystique and brings the nostalgia of cracking wax packs as a child.
Are you guaranteed a major hit with every box? No. But you are guaranteed a true one-of-one piece of the game and sports art. And let’s face it, are you guaranteed a major hit when you purchase a case of high-end cards for similar cost? Definitely not.
I have spent a lot of time watching card breaks over the past six months, and think this may be the best way to be risk-averse and have a shot at one of the balls. I know Platinum Card Breaks is actively selling spots for $135. While only one person will walk away with a baseball (meaning there will be about 27 people that walk away empty-handed) take this into consideration:
BAM is the only product where if you hit, you’re guaranteed to get an item that is worth approximately 10x more than your break fee of $135 on the game-used and signed aspect of the balls alone (that’s on the low end of the spectrum, it goes up from there), and that's also before you factor in the art on the ball which makes the possibilities endless. I almost forgot to mention that if you wanted to send Sheldon a ball to paint yourself, you would also be looking at paying upwards of $4,000 for the job alone. Needless to say, you cannot find a product to break that gives you this kind of opportunity (and if there is one, please let me know so I can buy spots!)
Also consider that this is about the same price that people drop on an average Bowman break, and you’d be lucky to even make your $135 back, let alone get an item that is going to bring you the value of a BAM and could increase in value over time. You can review the checklist where every ball in the set is listed, and you will see there are a ton of product hits.
If interested in more information about the product, feel free to reach out or check out the website pieceofthegame.net.
Thanks for reading!