Thursday, April 5, 2012

Don't Call It a Comeback

I’m going to be completely honest with you guys. 

I have zero desire to write this blog.

In fact, it’s taken me three nights just to get this far. The thing is, I really don’t think there is anything that has to be “announced”. Yes, I’ll be back in the bleachers for another season. But it’s not because I’ve improved my situation at all from my last blog. In fact, I’m essentially coming back because I couldn’t find another job.

I’ve always been honest with you guys, because without you there would be no me (cliché I know, but really appropriate). My whole business/persona revolves around “being a fan” and I’ve always counted on your advice, support and encouragement. In a way writing these blogs is somewhat cathartic (and way cheaper than a therapist). So, let me get a whole bunch of stuff out of the way and then we can all get back to making a ton of noise in the bleachers. 

To say this was a rough winter would be understatement of the century. Looking for a job S-U-C-K-S! I know that it’s rough out there for a lot of people, and I certainly sympathize with each and every one of you. For my particular situation, I found it especially difficult. I feel I am one of those people that can work well in just about any job. When it came down to “what I want to do” it was an impossible question to answer because all I ever really wanted to do was take the Bleacher Creatures to the next level. Everything else seemed to me like settling. 

That’s not to say I was inundated with offers. In fact, it was quite the contrary. I sent out resumes daily for the better part of 3 months, and did not get ONE interview. For a while I had no direction (still not sure that I do) and just sent out a ton of resumes for any job that seemed remotely interesting. Then I focused on two things I’m good at (sales and event planning) and concentrated on those.  Since the middle of February I’ve had one reply, which was a request for salary history. That’s been about it. 

About the middle of March is when I knew I was pretty much out of options and that I had to return to the Bronx. I have my heart and soul poured into a tiny tee shirt company and as much as I would love a situation in which I can move on, it’s just not feasible. I simply need to work and though it may be unsatisfying professionally at the moment, it is my job.

If you read my last blog (and seriously, if you haven’t, none of this probably makes any sense) my biggest concern with what I do is the inconsistency. Standing in the rain to sell tee shirts is not exactly what I aspire to do with my life. There has been little change to that aspect over this winter, and in a way that troubles me.  It’s making me not look forward to returning, even though I know it is what it is. I can’t control the weather (yet) or whether the Yankees win or lose and I just have to deal with that side effect to my business. 

This season, I plan to focus on something that I can control, and that is my exposure within the market and the growth of my business.  I’d like to concentrate on growing my fan base, and reaching out to more hardcore Yankee fans. There will be some great contests and charity events this coming season, and I hope to get many of my fellow Creatures involved. 

I’m also really happy to announce my continued partnership with Without their support, there is absolutely no way I would be able to return this year. For those of you that are not aware, TiqIQ is an event ticket aggregator that tracks prices and individual ticket listings in the dynamically changing ticket market.  They are an essential shopping tool for anyone purchasing tickets on the secondary market for all events, not just baseball. In addition to bringing you the best deals on Yankee tickets, there will be contests and giveaways throughout the season. There are a few other things being planned, but I’ll have to leave some surprises. 

The last thing to address is the hardest, and I think in the end that’s really why I didn’t want to sit down and write this blog. There has been zero development with my relationship with the Yankees, and that is what keeps me up at night more than anything about returning. There was no communication at all over the winter with either the team or the network. Of all of my attempts at contact, I got one computer generated form letter from HR about “keeping my resume on file”. Not one person in the entire organization felt it remotely prudent to reach out in any capacity to simply talk to me. 

A good friend gave me a great analogy recently. It’s like the move “A Bronx Tale”, when a young Calogero meets Sonny for the first time. Little C is upset at Bill Mazeroski for making Mickey Mantle cry. Sonny says to the boy:  

 “Mickey Mantle makes $100,000 a year. How much money does your father make? (I don’t know) You don’t know?  If your father needs money to pay the rent, go ask Mickey Mantle. See what happens. Mickey Mantle don't care about you. Why care about him?”

 For some reason, I can’t get that quote out of my head.
So why do I care? Or, better yet, how do I go back to caring? I’m still not quite sure about that. I’ll always love baseball, and I’ll always love the Yankees (even if I don’t feel the love in return). My passion for the game, as it exists in my head at this moment, is certainly different that what I know exists in my heart. I am confident (ok, maybe not confident, maybe just hoping) that once I get back to the Bronx some of those emotions will change.  They’ll have to change, or I just don’t think it will work anymore. 

Though, in the end, I know when I get back to 203 and see so many of my old friends, it’ll be hard not to be fired up. And in a way, it kind of brings me back full circle. I started sitting in the bleachers back in 1998 because it felt good to get up on a bench and yell. Nothing felt more exhilarating after a long day of work. It was the ultimate stress reliever. I think on opening day this year, I have a whole winter’s worth of stress that I need to get out. 

As for the rest of the summer, I am once again going to count on the fans to help me along. I get a lot of inspiration from the passionate people that I meet day to day, and I really think that you guys are going to be the thing to help me care again. Excitement is contagious and there is no better example of that than in 203.

Finally, I really do want to sincerely thank all of the folks who reached out over the winter to check in or to ask about my return. As a small business owner, I am grateful to have such amazing customers. As a fellow Yankee fan, I’m grateful for having such an amazing second family. And of course, I have to thank my real family, for putting up with me at home all winter and for having faith in one more try. This IS the “do or die trying” year. There is no question about that. In a way, this feels like my second chance, and I really have to make the most of it this year. 

Thanks again for riding along, and I hope to see you all in the Bronx this summer.


  1. How about writing a book about your experiences or writing a weekly or daily blog and having someone $ponsor it?

  2. Also Bald Vinny, the Yankees SHOULD have reached out to you in some capacity--no doubt, but ofiically they want nothing to do with you and your business untless its offically licensed by MLB and they are getting a taste. Also, you can't expect them to put you on thei payroll when you have shirts on your website that say "punch a Red Sox fan in the face" and "All my Idols are Frozen Heads" etc. I think they are funny, but I'm sure from their prespective, maybe not.

    You have to concentrate on marketing who you are--Bald Vinny--leader of the Bleacher Creatures. Possible appearances, blogs, books, radio appearances--anything that can get your naem out there. You basically need a good PR person, or a Publicist

  3. Vinny, I can relate to where you're coming from on many levels and hope that this is the year that everything comes together for you! In the mean time, enjoy the road to #28 and may it only rain when the Yanks are on the road!

  4. Even though I'm a Met fan *please no hatred or throwing things at me!* I have the utmost respect for you, The Yankees and the Creatures. Good luck and hope that you make it this year!

  5. Vinny I'm VERY happy that you will be in the bleachers this season. I bought tickets to opening day for the first time ever this season. It cost me over $300 for 2 seats in section 203 but i just couldnt imagine sitting anywhere else. I've been sitting in 203 for 15-20 games per season for 5 years now including one game with my father, his first ever at the new stadium, which was one of the best times in my life. He's normally a fairly quiet and reserved guy and i told him before the game about the roll call and how it works and he seemed a bit timid about taking part. Well I'll be a monkeys uncle if he wasnt shouting just as loud as you!!!! I couldnt believe it. That day proved to me that you have a fire inside you. A way of spreading your excitement for the team you love. My father made me a fan of the Yankees and now my arms are covered in Yankees tattoos so I can confidently say I'm the biggest Yankees fan anywhere around here (I live in NH which is "red sox nation"). I believe you are a great fan of the Yankees also. Whether the Yankees see it or not doesnt really matter. You have fans (like myself) that will always follow you like you follow the Yankees. Something good is bound to happen for you Vinny. Keep your head up and keep trying...

  6. Should took the Mets job..... jk

    I'm a big believer in things happen for a reason. Don't lose one thing and you'll be fine - resolve. Do whatever it is u do, but do it well. God speed my friend. And Go Yankees!!!

    1. LOL yeah that Mets job was quite the offer :)

  7. Glad you'll be back! I'll try & help as best I can (support, spread the word, whatever I can do). I've told you a few times - you're the people's fan. I can't be at 75+ games. But you can & are there! You rep for me & all the other fans that share your passion. You're facing do or die - and we need do what we can to help you. I plan on trying my best to help! Great to have you back & hope you're able to keep coming back!

    See you next week! #Mission28

  8. I'm glad you're back! Hang in there. Something good will happen!

  9. Glad you're back. Try contacting Fox network for publicity. Unlike games aired on YES, Fox always highlights the Roll Call *and* the Creatures when they carry the games.

  10. Hey - you can even start advertising on you blog I do it on mine only a couple dollars generated on mine but you have lots more followers than me. So glad you'lll be back this season. will look for you on visit to the stadium!

  11. Agree with the fellow who said you need a publicist, though they are expensive. Meantime forget the front office, they've shown their hand. What you should do is talk to the players! Swisher for sure would speak out for you, as I'm sure many of them would. I know you aren't on like a phone call basis, but drop them like an email or a twitter DM. If one of them would give some press to the issue, you might get more exposure and more business. For my part, I'll keep buying apparel, and when I'm in NYC and you need some photos, I'll be glad to give you a free shoot :D cheers, Vinny.

  12. People forget that the business of professional sports is ultimately a cutthroat, bottom-line enterprise. Teams purchase and trade players almost as if they are things, not people. Players are expected to generate revenue for the team, despite their often significant pay. Now, please don't misunderstand, I am a die-hard Yankees fan and I have been living vicariously through you for years. I would LOVE to see you become an overnight sucess that is years in the making. The Yankees are the most popular franchise on the planet. They don't have to market themselves the way the Pirates or Royals do. As such, I struggle with how one fan, even a super fan, can measurably affect their bottom line. That said, I would think that your best chance at success is to work with the local/national media somehow who DO have marketing competition or come up with a way to give the Yankees something only you can provide that will impact revenue. I hope you find success in whatever direction you go.

  13. Glad you're back, it wouldn't be the roll call without you. Seriously, you should have a shirt made up with your Bald Vinny T-shirts and URL to be worn when TV shows up to broadcast the roll call, get a little free advertising. Hell, maybe we should all wear them (after we buy em, of course!) , they can't edit everyone out. ;)

  14. Vinny, go back to college maybe? Get a degree and work as a manager/chef at NYY Steak. They have great food. You'd get free food AND get money

  15. I know what you mean, though about not being able to get jobs w/o certifications and degrees