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Based in Atlanta, GA - Rick Limpert is an award-winning writer, a best-selling author, and a featured sports travel writer.

Named the No. 1 Sports Technology writer in the U.S. on Oct 1, 2014.

Entries in auction (6)


Sports Items Up for Bid in Large 'The Sopranos' Auction

While sports wasn't the focus of the HBO drama, The Sopranos, there were tidbits of the sports world thrown in, to show the characters weren't oblivious to the games we all play and enjoy.

So, when Steiner Sports put out their list on what was to be up for auction in their "Sopranos" auction, I thought there might be a few sports goodies.

I was right.

Here's what you can bid on:

Poker enthusiasts and collectors might like the "Bada Bing" Sopranos poker set signed by Steve Schirripa who played gangster Bobby "Bacala" Baccaliari on the show. The poker set is a rare find itself, and the autograph even "raises the ante" on this item

A short-sleeve golf shirt worn by actor Steve Schirripa was worn in the final scenes of "Soprano Home Movies". The episode is the 78th episode of The Sopranos.

A rare Sopranos – Bacala custom baseball bat from Cooperstown Bat Co. made in 2000. An amazing blonde bat is nearly impossible to find and it could very well be the only one in existence.  Steve Schirripa confirmed the authenticity and also signed the bat. This bat is accompanied by the letter of authenticity from Schirripa. Authentication of the autograph by Steiner Sports.

A "Sopranos" basketball that is a prototype ball made for HBO. The ball was commissioned to be used as part of an HBO giveaway event that never materialized. The ball comes directly from an HBO source. Steve Schirripa who played Bobby "Bacala" Baccaliari on the show has signed the ball with his classic "Bacala" inscription.

Some other sports connections to The Sopranos include:

-Former New York Jets coach, Eric Mangini, and his wife, Julie, appeared in the penultimate episode as guests at Artie Bucco's restaurant. "Know who's in tonight?" Bucco tells Tony Soprano. "'Mangenius'." Soprano then turned to his puzzled wife and said: "It's the Jets coach, sweetie!'

-Fox NFL broadcaster/reporter and former Ravens defensive tackle, Tony Siragusa appeared in four episodes as Frankie Cortese during season five.

- Tough guy Vito Antuofermo, a former boxing middleweight champion, made two appearances as a member of Richie Aprile's crew.

- In a memorable season four, Tony Soprano and Ralph Cifaretto, played by Joe Pantoliano purchased the filly, Pie-O-My, who went on to win a couple of races and become a favorite of the mob boss.

- Former Giants great and Hall of Fame linebacker, Lawrence Taylor played himself in the Michele "Feech" La Manna poker game, where Tony Soprano addressed him as "Sir Lawrence of the Meadowlands."

The Sopranos was an American crime drama television series created by David Chase, that debuted in 1999. It ran for a total of six seasons and HBO produced a total of 86 episodes. The series revolves around fictional New Jersey-based, Italian American mobster Tony Soprano, played by the late, James Gandolfini. The series plot revolved around the difficulties that he faces as he tries to balance his home life and his criminal organization. These are often highlighted during his therapy sessions with psychiatrist.

Link to auction


1953 Preakness Stakes Trophy Won by Native Dancer To Be Auctioned at Doyle in New York

With the Kentucky Derby and Justify in our rearview mirror...

The 1953 Preakness Stakes trophy won by the legendary racehorse Native Dancer will be auctioned by Doyle in New York on Wednesday, May 23. There are few American racing collectibles as important and evocative as this sterling silver trophy that was presented to Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Jr., Native Dancer’s owner.

Hard-charging Native Dancer, nicknamed the Grey Ghost, was the heavy favorite heading into the Preakness Stakes, which he won in a hotly contested race. He later won the Belmont and Travers Stakes. Native Dancer’s only loss in his career of 21 wins in 22 races was the Kentucky Derby of 1953, robbing him of the Triple Crown. He retired to stud at Sagamore Farm in Maryland and sired many later champions.

Native Dancer’s owner, Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Jr., is a towering figure in the history of Maryland racing. He was the owner of Sagamore Farm where Native Dancer was raised and trained, and Pimlico Race Course, the home of the Preakness Stakes. In 1938, he arranged the famous match race at Pimlico between Seabiscuit and War Admiral, which captivated the nation.

The story of the Preakness trophy itself is equally fascinating. The original Woodlawn Vase is a massive 36-inch-tall sterling trophy made by Tiffany & Co. in 1860 for Woodlawn Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. In 1917, the Woodlawn Vase became the winner's trophy for the Preakness Stakes and was passed annually from one year’s winner to the next. Upon Native Dancer’s victory in 1953, Jeanne Murray Vanderbilt, Mr. Vanderbilt’s wife, declined the statue due to its historical significance to the sport, and the Woodlawn Vase was sent to the Baltimore Art Museum.

A replica of the Woodlawn Vase was created by the Baltimore firm of Schofield for the Vanderbilts, and thus began the modern tradition of a new Preakness trophy for each winner.

Doyle specialists can only find only one Preakness Stakes trophy sold at auction, that for the 1970 winner, Personality, who did not achieve as many wins or gain the national affection showered on Native Dancer in 1953. Nor did it have an owner as highly regarded and influential to the history of the sport as Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Jr. The 1953 Preakness Stakes trophy is truly one of the most compelling treasures of thoroughbred racing.

The auction on May 23 coincides to the day with the 65th anniversary of Native Dancer’s historic win. The public is invited to the exhibition on view May 19 through 21 at Doyle located at 175 East 87th Street in Manhattan. The auction catalogue can be viewed at


Elvis' Original Tomb For Sale

If you are an Elvis fan, you or a loved one can rest your "Blue Suede Shoes"  in peace in the original tomb of Mr. Presley.

Celebrity auctioneer Darren Julien is selling Elvis Presley's original crypt to the highest bidder as part of his Music Icons auction later this month.

The tomb is located inside the granite and marble mausoleum at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee.

Presley was interred there alongside his mother, Gladys, after he died on August 16 1977. Two months later, they were re-buried at his Graceland home. The original crypt has remained empty ever since.

Julien says the winning bid from the auction beginning on June 23 will receive the crypt, opening and closing of the vault for burial, a memorial inscription and use of a chapel for a committal service. Transportation and funeral home charges are not included.


Would You Buy Lindsay Lohan a Gift?

Apparently this rich guy wouldn't.

Strange news coming from New York as the infamous Lindsay Lohan reportedly tried to persuade a rich man to bid on an expensive gift for her at the star-studded auction amfAR benefit Wednesday night.

The New York Post reports that the gala, hosted by Sarah Jessica Parker, saw stars like Jennifer Hudson, Elizabeth Hurley and Linda Evangelista appearing along with Lohan.

Sources to the Post claim Lindsay Lohan sent her assistant over to a rich Canadian man when bidding on the charity auction began.

“There were items being auctioned for $20,000,” said the New York Post. “After chatting with the businessman, Lindsay sent over an assistant, who said, ‘Lindsay would very much like it if you’d bid on this item as a gift.’ ”

Allegedly, the Canadian rich dude wasn't having it. “He just cracked up,” the source said.
Lohan’s publicist denied the story.


Original Rules of Basketball Sell for $4 Million

The original rules of basketball, written 119 years ago as a winter sport for boys of a Massachusetts YMCA, was sold for more than $4 million on Friday to raise money for charity.

James Naismith wrote the 13 rules while a physical education instructor at the Christian association.

The proceeds will benefit the Naismith foundation,  a great charity which promotes sportsmanship and provides services to underprivileged children around the world.

It was purchased by David and Suzanne Booth, who hoped to bring the rules to the University of Kansas. He is an alumnus.

Ian Naismith, the foundation's founder and grandson of James Naismith, told The Associated Press in an interview in October that it was a family decision to put the rules on the auction block and give the money to the Naismith charity.

"It's what Dr. Naismith wanted," he said.

James Naismith penned the 13 rules on Dec. 21, 1891, for the YMCA training school in Springfield. His boss had given him two weeks to come up with a new indoor activity for his gym class, and he wrote down the rules on the eve of that deadline.

He gave the list to his secretary, who typed them up on two pages that Naismith pinned on a bulletin board outside the gym.

One of his players was Forrest "Phog" Allen, who went on to become popularly known as the "father of basketball coaches."

The two are memorialized on the University of Kansas campus, where the basketball court at Allen Fieldhouse is named James Naismith Court.