Infield Dirt Among Items That Will Be For Sale Once Jeter Reaches 3,000 Hit Milestone
Yankees SS Derek Jeter is currently on the DL just six hits shy of the 3,000 mark, but there will be a "vast and lucrative universe of celebrity memorabilia and collectibles" once he reaches the milestone, according to a front-page piece by Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. MLB plans to have a groundskeeper "tote a shovel and bucket onto the field to scoop five gallons of dirt from the batter’s box and shortstop’s patch” from the game Jeter collects his 3,000th hit. Steiner Sports, which has a "memorabilia partnership with the Yankees and a marketing deal with Jeter," plans to include the dirt in items such as keychains, framed pictures and bats. Steiner Sports Chair Brandon Steiner: “That bucket of dirt will go a long way.” Sandomir notes Modell’s Sporting Goods’ Times Square location “will stay open past its midnight or 1 a.m. closing time as long as fans keep shopping on the day or night of the accomplishment.” Warehouses of major MLB licensees, including Majestic and New Era, are ready to “deliver their Jeter material to retailers.” Modell’s distribution center in the Bronx is preparing to “ship to its 94 New York and New Jersey stores” as well. MLB Senior VP/Licensing Howard Smith said, “Other than the home run race in 1998, this is the most significant business we’ve done for a hot market for a player.” However, Sandomir notes the Jeter hot market "will test his sky-high popularity during a season in which he is batting .260." Meanwhile, Jeter will “get a cut of some" of the royalties from sales of the licensed products. The selling of Jeter’s 3,000th hit “actually has its own campaign name: ‘DJ 3K,’ and a logo that will appear on much of the merchandise capitalizing on his achievement” (N.Y. TIMES, 6/22).