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Cal Ripken Jr.'s Ironclad Authentics forms joint venture with Morphy Auctions

(EMAILWIRE.COM, November 11, 2006 ) BALTIMORE – Ironclad Authentics LLC, an affiliate of Ripken Baseball, has announced a joint-venture relationship with Morphy Auctions, a division of Steve Geppi’s Diamond International Galleries LLC. Future sales conducted in partnership will be coordinated through the Morphy gallery in Denver, Pa., with the initial collaboration being an absentee and Internet auction with a Baseball Hall of Fame theme. The debut sale is scheduled to conclude over the weekend of March 24-25, just prior to the 2007 baseball season’s opening day. An affiliate of Ripken Baseball, Ironclad is a full-service sports marketing company that specializes in programs and services guaranteeing the authenticity of hand-signed collectibles and licensed products. The two-year-old firm, headed by Baltimore Orioles baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr., has forged key corporate relationships with Major League Baseball, Beckett Media LP and others. Ironclad supplies signed, fully authenticated memorabilia from current and former athletes to wholesalers and distributors around the country. The company also holds the exclusive signature rights to both Cal Ripken Jr., who becomes eligible for Baseball Hall of Fame induction in 2007; and former New York Yankees batting superstar Don “Hitman” Mattingly. Morphy Auctions is one of the fastest-growing full-service auction houses in the country. Founded in 2003 by Dan Morphy and Tom Sage Jr., Morphy’s has set auction records on numerous items across several categories and has established an outstanding reputation with consignors and buyers, alike.“We are very excited to officially forge a relationship with Steve Geppi and his organization, said Ironclad Authentics’ general manager, Ray Schulte. “Steve is one of the leaders, and a main visionary, in the sports and entertainment collectibles industry.” “This relationship between Morphy Auctions and Ironclad will generate significant growth and branding exposure throughout our respective collectibles industries.”Geppi, who also is a minority owner of the Baltimore Orioles, commented: “It’s exciting to be able to join with Ironclad Authentics to promote collecting and collectibles to a wider audience. Cal Ripken is quickly becoming as respected a promoter and businessman as he was a player. Since I consider him a good friend, I’m particularly pleased to take our business relationship in this new direction.”To introduce the new association to the public, Ironclad and Morphy’s will be set up on Jan. 27-28 at Baseball’s Best, a show held at the Baltimore Convention Center, co-promoted by Ironclad and MAB Celebrity Services. At that event (details at www.baseballsbest2007.com), potential consignors may bring in items to the Ironclad/Morphy booth for possible inclusion in the March sale. Eighteen Hall of Fame players, as well as the 1983 world champion Baltimore Orioles, will make personal appearances at the show. Another special guest is former San Diego Padres right fielder Tony Gwynn, one of the greatest batters ever to play baseball and a potential 2007 Hall of Fame inductee. At the show, Gwynn, and Ripken, will be autographing items exclusively through Ironclad and Morphy’s. “We have a special arrangement in place whereby the Hall of Famers, and other players at the show, will be available to autograph bats, balls or other material that pertains to them, prior to consignment,” said Morphy Auctions’ chief operating officer, Dan Morphy. A portion of the proceeds from the upcoming Ironclad/Morphy’s auction will be donated to the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. The nonprofit organization was established in memory of the beloved senior member of the Ripken baseball dynasty, Cal Sr., who passed away in 1999. The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation uses baseball and softball taught “The Ripken Way” to develop character and give disadvantaged youth opportunities to succeed.For additional information, contact Morphy Auctions at 717-335-3435. Auction details will appear online in the near future at www.ironcladauthentics.com, www.morphyauctions.com and www.baseballsbest2007.com.# # #Press enquiries:British-American Media Ltd.E-mail: britamermedia@aol.com



Catherine Watson

britamermedia@aol.com

Source: EmailWire.com


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