Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A Steiner Experience

During my time as an autograph hound collector, one of the things I never really did was go to a signing event where Steiner Sports was involved. Or at least not directly.

Steiner Sports, for those who don't know, is one of the biggest names in the sports memorabilia industry. They have thousands of items from some of the biggest names in sports available for sale, and often do autograph signing events with those very same athletes. They've got/earned a reputation as the company that can be relied upon to sell authentic items and signatures, but they're also really expensive.

For the most part Steiner hosts their signing events at their official store at a mall in New Jersey. That's fine but as a guy who can't get to that mall that easily, I tend to ignore their events.

But Steiner knows it's audience (a consumer base that focuses primarily on sports teams located in New York City), so they do occasionally have events in the city which works better for me.

Which brings me to last night. At a small sports bar that's a few blocks away from Madison Square Garden, there was a Steiner signing event going on. I went.

Woof. I'm glad I did.

The signer was J. T. Miller, a left wing for the New York Rangers. I toiled over what card to get signed (the Young Guns card I ordered never arrived) and I decided to go with his base card from the most recent Upper Deck flagship set. The ink's a bit hard to see on the scan but in person the bronze looks better. This was one of those tricky cards where blue was obviously not going to work so I had to use another color. Some suggested gold but my gold sharpie went MIA and my silver sharpie went dead, so bronze it was! Although in retrospect black would've worked too in the area he signed.

Jonathan Tanner (J. T.) Miller was drafted by the New York Rangers in the first round of the 2011 NHL Player Draft (15th overall). He made his NHL debut a year later but the spent most of the time after that being yo-yo'd up and down between the NHL and AHL (the minors). He did get some playoff experience during his time in the minors and during the 2012-13 season. Miller was up in the big leagues for good by the 2014-15 season and he's been a regular since. Miller's had his fair share of highlights this season and has largely been his usual productive self (he's really good). Which helps since he's due to be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Whether or not the Rangers keep Miller around remains to be seen (especially with the rest of the impending free agents coming up), but he's making it difficult for Rangers management in a good way.

Back to the signing event, after I met Miller and got his signature, one of the people at his table (probably the rep from Steiner) put the little sticker there on the back. This is to help identify how the item is legitimate on Steiner's database.

This piece of paper was given out to tell us how we can access our certificate of authenticity. Basically you go the website, then type in the code on the hologram sticker.

Boom, there's your online Certificate of Authenticity with the date the item was authenticated and everything.

All in all it was a fairly fun experience. Can't say that I've ever attended a signing event at a bar before (the other patrons must've been really confused) but I can say that I have now. In addition to saying I've gone to a Steiner signing and most importantly of all, that I've gotten an in person autograph of a hockey player now. Although Steiner did live up to their reputation of being pricey, I'm pretty sure my hobby budget is all but spent for the rest of the month and probably January too.

So big thanks to Mr. Miller for the awesome autograph, and good luck tonight against the Anaheim Ducks.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

2017 IP Auto Count: 64


  1. It has been a long time since I've been to a private signing. I think it may have been John Candelaria when I was in college....

    A signing in a bar would have probably been even more expensive for me. Two of my favorite things in one place...autographs and beer!!!!

    1. If I didn't have a liver issues I'd probably have spent a good chunk of the night at the bar. Although yeah, that does sound like the perfect event for you lol.

  2. Cool IP experience. Haven't purchased from Steiner in a few years... but I was addicted to their 3 for $99 deals back in the day. I grabbed some really cool signed baseballs and a few hockey pucks. One of my favorite purchases was an autographed Pirates jersey of Dave Parker for $10. I think it was a computer error or something, but I nabbed it quicker than #42 stealing home.

    1. That sounds cool. I look at what Steiner has up it's sleeve every now and then and while I'm impressed, I'm always priced out lol. Apparently they're really into large photographs.