A guy walks into a card shop. Insert whatever joke you like, but the truth is that it's not at all funny. Every day, in all parts of the country, iconic pieces of memorabilia walk into shops to be traded or sold. Unfortunately many are never seen by fans or other collectors.
Over the past few years, many reality shows have featured segments with sports cards and memorabilia, but none of them have really told the story behind the pieces. Anyone who collects has a piece that is special to them, and behind that item is, often, a very entertaining story. Executive Producer Don DuPree is making sure that those items are seen and that those stories are told with his newest venture, A Piece of The Game.
A Piece of the Game is a new television show that will air on WGN on March 16, 2013. The crew just wrapped up its first day of taping with many Chicago-area sports fans and collectors at Harry Caray’s Tavern at Navy Pier in the Windy City.
"The show will air before the Cubs game on WGN and it will have a lot of eyes on it, so it better be good," said DuPree shortly after wrapping up the day's shoot.
Over 100 people brought their favorite items and memories to share on the show. These included a pair of Nike Air Jordan sneakers that were supposedly autographed by the Bulls icon, a piece of the Wrigley Field scoreboard, a Doug Wilson hockey stick, a basketball signed by 1963 NCAA Champions Loyola University, and game-used jerseys from Chicago Bears Richard Dent, William "The Refrigerator" Perry and Steve "Mongo" McMichael.
Early in the day, Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks made an appearance with a collector that brought in a Banks trading card for appraisal. The segment with Mr. Cub should be featured prominently when the show airs. What better way could you hope to kick off the show?
While filming and appraisals took place for the items chosen to appear on the pilot episode, other collectors were filmed and interviewed about their unique items.
All of the items looked great and came with a unique story. But the piece that people will be talking about is a Babe Ruth bat that is sure to be the centerpiece of the debut episode. Without giving too much away, let's just say it turned some heads, and you should tune in to get the full story behind this weapon of choice for the Great Bambino.
Collector Bill McMahon brought his basketball signed by the entire 1963 Loyola team that won the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. He was one of the hundreds of people that came out to the taping that was selected to have an item showcased on the show.
After his segment was filmed, he said, "This was lot of fun. Having a show like this, it's been a long time coming."
Filming at the Navy Pier restaurant was a brilliant idea. Within the tavern is a spectacular memorabilia museum with items ranging from signed Bobby Hull hockey sticks to the uniform of one of the Ghostbusters, courtesy of Harold Ramis, one of the establishment's celebrity owners. On hand was CEO Grant DePorter, who was making offers to several collectors in hopes of adding new pieces to the already-impressive museum.
After putting in a 12-hour day, things finally wound down, but the passion was still flowing as the crew packed up their equipment and called it a wrap.