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Monday, March 30, 2009

Congrats to Brett Gardner!
We would like to congratulate Brett Gardner on being named the New York Yankees' starting centerfielder for the 2009 season, beating out stiff competition from incumbent Melky Cabrera.  We look forward to seeing Brett in center as the Yankees open their new stadium!

Matt
11:15 am cdt 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Installment Payment Plan and Return Policy
I am pleased to announce a new installment plan designed to help interested customers during some of the toughest economic times most of us have ever experienced.  Our plan breaks purchases up into four equal payments over a 90-day period...hopefully providing interested customers increased opportunity to obtain authentic items from their favorite players.

We have also implemented a new return policy which, while limited in scope due to the nature of our business, does offer some flexibility to purchasers of items from Beyond The Dugout.

We look forward to announcing a number of new clients over the next two weeks, and adding a number of new items from our existing clients as they clean out their Spring Training lockers and start the new season with their new teams.

Go Beyond!

Matt
10:04 pm cdt 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On the passing of George Kell...
Beyond The Dugout would like to express our deepest condolences to the family of Hall of Famer George Kell, who passed away in his sleep last night in his lifetime home of Swifton, Arkansas at the age of 86.  While our friendship with Mr. Kell was brief, having met only within the last year, our conversations with him were always enjoyable and we were in constant awe of him, both in terms of his accomplishments in his professional life and the character he showed in his personal life.  He was an outstanding example of both an old-school, hard-nosed ballplayer and a true Southern gentleman.

Heaven's All-Star Team has gained a fine new member.  We will all miss your kindness and humor Mr. Kell.

Matthew
2:47 pm cdt 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Countdown to Opening Day!
As Opening Day draws near, we are working steadily to continue improvements to the site to enable customers to navigate the site and order items more easily.  Improvements we hope to complete by Opening Day (April 6th) include slideshows of each item in our Starting Lineup and Authentic Collection inventories to provide customers with multiple views of each item and faster load times for images (better site performance). 

We are also enabling on page ordering for each item, allowing customers to generate orders with the click of a button.  This will direct an email to our facilities to notify them an order has been placed.  Customers will be emailed an invoice for payment within 24 hours of their order.

PayPal/eBay continue to be a thorn, as they continue to force payments for eBay items to be paid solely through their wholly-owned subsidiary (PayPal), charging fees at every stop.  The reason you will often see items from our inventory priced higher on eBay is that a $250 item on eBay costs approxiamtely $19.00 to list and sell, with an additional $7 or more charged when a payment is made thru PayPal.  If sold through our site, we can avoid 10% or more in fees and pass those savings to our loyal www.BeyondTheDugout.net customers.  We will continue to accept check and money order payments on all items, including those purchased through eBay.  Because of eBay's greed, we will continue to have to charge a 3% fee for payments submitted through PayPal (PayPal charges a little over 5% on average for payments).  We are working with a couple of merchant service (credit card processor) providers, and will hopefully be able to accept credit card payments through our own site by mid-Summer, eliminating the need for PayPal.  We hope a current multi-state investigation of eBay/PayPal's payment restrictions will enable us to eventually continue accepting payments through PayPal without additional fees passed on to our customers.

As our clients are assigned to their opening day locations, we will update their pages to show their current teams and will enable the links to track their current stats and progress.

Go Beyond!

Matt
1:42 pm cdt 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring Training in full swing!
With the Minor League players reporting this past Friday (the 13th!), professional baseball is now in full swing.  This is a great time to be a fan, as top prospects establish themselves as the stars of tomorrow and new draftees and prospects emerge to excite fans young and old.  Players participating in their first Spring Training this year include future Rookie of The Year winners, league MVP's, and, quite possibly, future Hall of Famers.

We are excited about several new client relationships we are currently working to finalize, bringing additional inventories of game-used items from some of the top prospects with some of the most popular organizations, including the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Braves, Cardinals, and the reigning World Series Champion Phillies!  Stay tuned for information on these exciting new prospects...and be sure to join our other BTD Members and Affiliates in order to receive first notice of new clients and new item arrivals (up to 30-day advance notice of new clients and items).  Also, our Members and Affiliates qualify for discounts on every purchase...discounts not available to the general public...our way of saying thank you for supporting our efforts to bring the best and the brightest BEYOND conventional memorabilia sales!

Be sure you take time to look through our re-designed Authentic Collection pages.  We have worked very hard during the off-season to re-design these item and player pages to better resemble the Starting Lineup pages on our site  We are currently working on adding new pages for players whose items we have recently obtained from team partners, trusted peers in the industry, and licensed distributors of specific player memorabilia...players including 2008 All Stars A.J. Burnett, Cliff Lee, and Brian Wilson...along with top prospects including Matt LaPorta, Jose Tabata, Taylor Teagarden, Desmond Jennings, Cedric Hunter, Kyle Blanks, Tommy Hanson, Wellington Castillo, and many, many others.

GO BEYOND!

Matt
4:22 pm cdt 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Harrison, Gardner, and Brown excited about 2009!
Had a chance to talk with these three Stating Lineup clients on Friday.  All are very excited about the Spring and the upcoming season...a season in which all three should see significant Major League time (if not the entire season)!

Matt rebounded from a tough first outing to a strong showing in his second start, picking up the win.  He is expected to be a mid-rotation starter with Texas this year and should build on his strong rookie season (9-3) last year.

Brett continues to make a hard charge towards earning the starting CF position with the Yankees to start the 2009 season...building on a strong finish to the 2008 season which saw him bat over .300 in New York the final six weeks of the 2008 season and create havoc on the basepaths.  We should have several new items from Brett closer to the end of Spring Training.

Jordan also is excited about the 2009 season, as he is inury-free for the first time in over a year.  His performance so far this Spring is very reminiscent of 2006 and 2007, seasons which resulted in League MVP selections (2006 - Carolina League; 2007 - Eastern League).  While he may start the season in Columbus (AAA) in order to play everyday, the organization expects him to see significant time in Cleveland before the end of the 2009 season.  We will also be getting new items form Jordan near the end of Spring.

Go Beyond!

Matt
11:28 am cdt 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Starting Lineup clients continue to perform well!
Congratulations to clients Matthew Harrison (Rangers) and Cesar Ramos (Padres) on picking up their first wins of Spring yesterday and to Jordan Brown (Indians) on his first homerun of the Spring!

We are thrilled at the continued growth in visitors to our site and appreciate the feedback we have received on our recent site changes designed to improve the customer experience.  So far, so good!

Matt
1:40 pm cst 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Gardner's fast start quickly becoming the talk of Yankee camp!
Brett Gardner's fast start to Spring is quickly replacing the drama played out over the last two weeks as the new story of camp in Tampa.  Check out the latest stories from Baseball America and from www.MLB.com on our new Client News page for the latest information on Gardner's fast start. 
7:50 pm cst 


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