The Best Piece of Memorabilia I've Ever Received

Almost 24 years ago, I was sitting on a Metro-North train, a few days after my mother had just passed, and the New York Rangers had won the Stanley Cup.

The one thing I knew was that I had to stop taking the train. I was sick and tired of sitting on a train, missing the train, and catching my breath from running for the train.

I needed a change, but I needed something big to make a complete transformation in my business and my life happen. MY WHY was a life in which I could use another form of transportation.

While sitting there I looked at the back page of the paper, and saw a picture that would change my life forever. It was the picture of Mark Messier holding the 1994 Stanley Cup, and I can still remember in that moment smiling from ear-to-ear.

I knew right there that my feeling was something that I could replicate for other people, and at a minimum, sell it to at least 18,000 people (Madison Square Garden's seating capacity for hockey). To make it even more special, I envisioned Mark signing the photo and writing “We Did It."

By the way, this is coming from a die-hard Rangers fan--I was with them every step of the journey during the '94 Stanley Cup run. I knew how a photo like that would be something special for a fan that had waited so long to see the Cup return to New York.

Once we started selling those pictures at Steiner Sports, Mark even signed one personally to me: “To Brandon, We Did It.”

That has to be my favorite collectible, considering what it represents in my life, and was really the springboard that propelled Steiner Sports into the company it is today.

And yes, we sold way more than 18,000 of those photos!


Quote of the Day: You talkin' to me?"-Robert DeNiro (Taxi Driver, 1976)

Song of the Day: Heart of Mine (Peter Salett)



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  • I love your stories and as you may know by now, I have have many similar so I hope you don’t mind my sharing my similar stories with you.

    In 1989, after my 1st large card donation with Gary Carter on Shea’s Field televised- my grandfather (like a father to me) got very sick. In the first days of Sept. 1989 my grandfather was transferred to St. Vincent’s Hosp. in Manhattan (where Babe Ruth made the promise to hit a homerun for a sick child) which my grandfather knew since he was a boy. I visited him on his last day alive with my new wife and it killed me seeing him with tubes coming out of everywhere. My grandfather was a STRONG man mentally & physically, how could he not be; he served in WWII and took great care of his family until he died. He was in excruciating pain and doctors gave him just days to live. So being in the medical field myself, I went to the nursing station an politely asked that the increase my grandfather’s Morphine. That ignorant nurse said “Don’t you know Morphine is very addictive.”. So after a few choice LOUD words she called his doctor & raised his Morphine to a VERY HIGH level (which is what my grandfather wanted). With my work done, we left for the day. I was so sad and my great new wife noticed a BIG Baseball Card store on the second floor of a building.

    She suggested going in just to clear my head, so I did. I flipped through a .25 cent box and the 10th card was the 1989 Topps Bob Welch ERROR card (no stats line on back) which is a $10 error these days but HARD TO FIND! I couldn’t believe I got that card for a quarter. That was a sign from my grandfather, I just know it was as crazy as some may see it. I still have that same card and it means more to me than anything else in my whole collection (and I have many $100-$500 cards).

    James McCay on

  • Brandon, I just recently connected with you on LinkedIn and find your posts and especially your vignettes to be quite moving. You have a way of communicating that is both straightforwrd and heartfelt, and, at least with me, your stories transport me back in time and remind me how sports has weaved its way into the fabric of my life, and continues to do so with my children. Thank you, and keep the stories coming!

    David Cisneros on

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