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Old 02-07-2012, 01:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hobby reality show, Ball Boys, coming to ABC

Hobby reality show, Ball Boys, coming to ABC

February 7, 2012 at 1:16 PM



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

When you walk into a good card shop, it’s can be a place you might not want to leave because of what’s found inside, what walks in the door and the discussions that take place.

And that’s exactly what viewers will get with Ball Boys, a reality show revolving around a card shop set to premiere on ABC on March.

The scene for the show is Robbie’s First Base, a sports card and memorabilia shop in Timonium, Md., a suburb of Baltimore, which has been in business since 1989. It’s owned by Robbie Davis Sr., who works with his 30-year-old son, Robbie Jr., along with employees Shaggy and Sweet Lou. The first two episodes of the show, which is from the producers of Pawn Stars, will air beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern on March 24.

So, how did it all come about?

“One day, I was just sitting at my desk and the phone rang and the girl from Leftfield Pictures, the production company, asked me had I ever seen the show Pawn Stars,” said Robbie Jr. on Monday. “And oddly enough I had just seen it for the first time the week before, and I told my dad about it. She asked if we would be interested in doing a reality show about sports memorabilia.

“[We were] amazed,” he said. “[It was a] very easy decision. Anytime a small business gets an opportunity like this, it’s a no-brainer.”


Click here to view the embedded video.

Davis said filming began last August and ABC has ordered 12 half-hour episodes. Like Pawn Stars, it will revolve around finds that make their way into the shop, the drama that comes with considering purchases of said items, and the daily happenings that include plenty of sports chatter. Oh, and some special guests, too.

Any memorable arguments Davis wishes had been caught on film?

“Man, that’s tough because we argue about sports everyday!” he said. “From who’s the best baseball player of all time, to the best center in NBA history, best baseball starting nine to best multi-sport athlete, it goes on and on. Of course Senior always takes the side of his generations players and we like our guys!

“I think we’re a good fit [for TV] because we all have very different personalities but we all are passionate sports fans and have been collectors since we were kids. We all love to argue about sports and of course we always right in our own minds.”




Robbie Davis Sr. is the owner of Robbie's First Base.



In the teaser trailer for the show, former MLB star Pete Rose, NFL legend Jim Brown and MLB newcomer Logan Morrison, who used to work in a card shop himself, are among those seen visiting the store. In the trailer, Robbie Jr. touts his dad’s business ties and the people he knows.

“Senior owned a couple of car dealerships in the Baltimore area,” Davis said. “Which is where his relationships with many ballplayers developed.”

In fact, Robbie Jr. and his buddies lived in the shop as kids.

“We’re all very in touch with what’s going on in the industry,” he said. “Shaggy, Sweet Lou and myself pretty much grew up in the shop and around ballplayers.”

So, did Robbie Jr. ever have any idea that a card shop could become a reality show?

“The only thing I was worried about in 1989,” he said, “was how many Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck No. 1’s I had.”

Like other shops that sprouted up during the hobby’s national boom, Robbie’s has had its share of struggles, too. That has meant evolving into more than just a card shop.

“When we opened in 1989 we certainly specialized in cards. We had memorabilia but people weren’t really interested in collecting autographs as much as cards at that time,” Davis said. “Kids really did drive the market at that time. From busting open wax packs to collecting the top singles that Beckett featured every month. That’s what fueled our business. Here locally, after the baseball strike and general disinterest in baseball as a whole made our card business take a nosedive. After that, football sort of took over and the memorabilia craze started for us.”




Robbie Davis Jr. grew up in his father's card shop.



So, are there any drawbacks to having the spotlight of national television shining on a card shop? Any worries about authentication with so much attention — and potential items to be sold walking in the door?

“Not at all,” Davis said.

So, what kind of cool stuff has walked in the door besides the weird items caught in the trailer?

“The coolest item to me would have to be Babe Ruth signed baseballs,” Davis said. “We’ve had multiple, but to me they’re always the coolest. To me the entire collecting world centers around baseball, which centers around the New York Yankees, which are centered around Babe Ruth. To me he is the undisputed king of all sports and the Yankees are the most recognizable team in American sports history.”

The production crews spent three months at the shop — so far — so there’s plenty caught on tape.

“We started filming in August and went for five or six days a week,” Davis said. “The production crew was in our store eight to 10 hours a day everyday, unless we shot off site.”

Off-site filming included, among other things, a road trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

“The most memorable thing so far would probably be the Cooperstown trip where we had access to things in the Hall of Fame that the general public doesn’t,” said Davis of the highlights from filming. “I would elaborate, but I’d rather you just watch the show. It’s pretty cool stuff!”


Beckett News Hobby reality show, Ball Boys, coming to ABC
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If this works and becomes a hit this will be a wonderful thing for the hobby industry and get ready to see prices and the amount of new collectors skyrocket.
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Not sure how this will be received by the public, but I will certainly be watching I hope this brings some people back into the sports card market
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Not sure how this will be received by the public, but I will certainly be watching I hope this brings some people back into the sports card market
Fitch, every 60+ year old man will say " I used to have that card" then go on this long tirade about Mickey mantel and Bicycle spokes,trust me my Dad does it
It will get a FAST and hard viewer base of, the above age range and those of us in the hobby

There is a SERIOUS upside to this if they show pack breaks and such as EVERYONE loves to gamble these days. It may not rejuvenate the hobby,but it has potential to increase the hobby's collector base
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Damn! Now were all going to see someone walk in with a Wrapper redemption Harper Buyback auto and the shop owner buy it for $600!!!!!
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Interesting. It really is too bad that these types of shows are scripted, that ruins it for me. I might still watch though!
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I will watch it but I don't think it will last for some reason
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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They should do a show based on BO--we've got enough drama to last for 12-episodes no problem
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Pawn Stars is VERY fake. Nearly everything on the show is staged, and most of the people "bringing stuff in" are actors. I figure this will be the same. It'll be interesting to watch, but not very "real".
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This Robbie's First Base is 10 minutes from my house. They don't sell any wax, it's strictly a memorabilia shop.
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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oh man i love it! can't wait to see!

by the by ... i'm ok with yall calling pawn stars fake. just don't call my lizard lick or op repo scripted! LOL
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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A few thoughts.

First of all, since everything took place 6 months or more ago, things won't be current which is important in sports. Who wants to talk about 2011 during the 2012 season?

When Robbie pays 15% of book for items on the air, it's going to really shoot down the values of cards to those not in the know. And if they pay 50% for example, I'm there tomorrow with all of my stuff!

And lastly, though it may not be exactly scripted, I'm sure there is a lot of stuff going on that is for the cameras. Like when Chumlee dreamed he was on MILLIONAIRE. I mean, how scripted can you get?
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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A few thoughts.

First of all, since everything took place 6 months or more ago, things won't be current which is important in sports. Who wants to talk about 2011 during the 2012 season?

When Robbie pays 15% of book for items on the air, it's going to really shoot down the values of cards to those not in the know. And if they pay 50% for example, I'm there tomorrow with all of my stuff!

And lastly, though it may not be exactly scripted, I'm sure there is a lot of stuff going on that is for the cameras. Like when Chumlee dreamed he was on MILLIONAIRE. I mean, how scripted can you get?
Here is a good article on Pawn Stars. I think "staged" is a better word to use rather than "scripted."
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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They should have a feature where stone phillips hides in the stationary aisle, then he emerges to confront pack searches. They can also have cops disguised as disgruntled Walmart cashiers who leap to apprehend the suspect as he tries to casually leave.
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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They should have a feature where stone phillips hides in the stationary aisle, then he emerges to confront pack searches. They can also have cops disguised as disgruntled Walmart cashiers who leap to apprehend the suspect as he tries to casually leave.
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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it says it premiers in March?????
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:11 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Here is a good article on Pawn Stars. I think "staged" is a better word to use rather than "scripted."
Great article, thanks!
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:52 PM   #18 (permalink)
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why would it air at 4 pm est on a saturday seems like weird time most people will be out doing stuff not in front of the tv
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:55 PM   #19 (permalink)
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not all of us 60+ year old (OLD) men will be saying i had that card..This one will be saying i wish i had a case of Topps Triple Threads or two to open..Sounds like a cool show tho.
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:57 PM   #20 (permalink)
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They should have a feature where stone phillips hides in the stationary aisle, then he emerges to confront pack searches. They can also have cops disguised as disgruntled Walmart cashiers who leap to apprehend the suspect as he tries to casually leave.
"To catch a pack searcher". Love it.

Maybe DOG the bounty hunter can chase them down in their homes as they open the packs and flip them on ebay.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:17 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Is this going to be on ABC or an ABC-owned cable channel? I can't imagine this would be on the broadcast network.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:21 PM   #22 (permalink)
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it looks good, but its just like pawn stars, they put unrealistic prices on everything because it makes good tv, they wont care if they sell anything, they are alrdy makind 100 s of thousands for doing the show. but i will watch just to see the memorbillia.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:45 PM   #23 (permalink)
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This Robbie's First Base is 10 minutes from my house. They don't sell any wax, it's strictly a memorabilia shop.
No wax at all?? That sucks big time.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:49 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Pilot will air and bomb. This won't last past two episodes.
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:09 PM   #25 (permalink)
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No wax at all?? That sucks big time.
I'm not sure why Olds kept calling it a card shop. Looks like they are a memorabilia shop, not a card shop. Signed balls, jerseys, helmets, etc. Makes sense, the show is called Ball Boys not Card Boys.

Robbie's First Base. Wow, they also need a better website if they want to capitalize on the show at all.
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