MLB Alumni expands memorabilia marketing efforts

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The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association has hired a memorabilia coordinator and hopes to become much more active in the marketing of its players as signing guests and the sale of signed items on its Web site www.baseball-legends.com.

Matt Hazzard has been working for two months for the Colorado Springs-based company as its new memorabilia coordinator. He’s been trying to move the company’s inventory while preparing a plan to greatly increase memorabilia-related activities in 2006. “We’ve been looking for dealers and possible future customers,” Hazzard said. “We’re working on a great plan for four to five months from now.”

The MLBPAA sells primarily through its Web site and the www.mlb.com Web site. All memorabilia is authenticated as part of the MLB authentication program with third-party witnessing and hologramming by Deloitte & Touche.

Along with the typical signed items, the MLBPAA is putting together collectibles like six signed baseballs from Hall of Fame pitchers all in the same display. “We plan to do a lot more creative, unique items like that,” Hazzard said.

The MLBPAA also has the ability to reach players who might not offer enough volume for the other memorabilia companies to provide. “Being an alumni association, we have the opportunity to touch base with a lot of former players who might be needed to complete a collection, or if your favorite player wasn’t one of the more prominent on the team,” Hazzard said. “Another thing we’d like to do is honor requests; we can make things happen.

We have many resources to help with special orders and special collections. We also will be able to fulfill requests for personalizations or something signed as a unique item.”

Hazzard said one of his roles is to put together requests like that with larger signings so D&T can be called to one place for multiple signings. “Deloitte & Touche has offices all across the country,” he said. “If the quantity is enough, I can call a lot of guys together at one time. We also provide opportunities for appearances by the players at stores, card shows and events like that through the Legends Entertainment Group.”

For information about memorabilia, contact Hazzard at Matt@mlbpaa.com. For athlete appearances, contact Chris Torgeson of Legends Entertainment Group at (727) 821-6203.

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