Lutherville’s “Robbie’s First Base” will be the subject of ABC’s new reality show, “Ball Boys” which premieres next Saturday, March 24 at 3 p.m.
The show, produced by the same company that produces “Pawn Stars,” follows the business at the sport memorabilia shop located on Ridgely Road, across from the Yorkridge Shopping Center. It focuses on the “sports fanatics” who work there: Robbie Sr. and Junior, Sweet Lou and Shaggy. The 12 half-hour episodes will feature the buying and selling of sports merchandise, both at the store and at off-site locations. Sports legends, including Jim Brown, Pete Rose and Jalen Rose, stop by the store in some of the episodes. “Robbie’s First Base” is well known in the Baltimore community for being a great contributor to school auctions and other charitable events.
Here is what ABC TV has to say about the new show, directly from its website:
More than just a sports shop, Robbie’s 1st Base is like an old school hometown barbershop where everyone has an opinion and is eager to share their stories and love of the game. Touching on the unique capability of sports to bring people together, Ball Boys tells the intriguing stories beyond the action on the field – using the symbolic value of the merchandise changing hands to represent a rare and valuable social bond uniting individuals across all ages, races, genders and economic classes. Never before seen on a broadcast network, both the collectors and the merely curious come to the store from far and wide to experience a shared affinity for the great stories of sport. And when the situation calls, the staff hits the road to buy and sell prized artifacts with some of the top collectors in the nation.
Lord of the Ring – In the premiere, store owner Robbie Sr. introduces viewers to his shop and searches for a very special Notre Dame gift for a client’s husband on his birthday. Robbie is forced to buy an expensive item from an off-site dealer, hoping he can turn a profit with the client back home, knowing he risks never selling it to anyone else if she doesn’t care for it. Later, a customer brings in a Cleveland Browns helmet autographed by Jim Brown himself… but is it an authentic signature? To find out, Robbie Sr. asks his friend, the football legend, to pay the shop a visit to have a look himself, and eventually Brown presides over an awkward negotiation over his own autograph. Plus, does an unsigned baseball caught by a fan over the glove of Baltimore Orioles Right Fielder Nick Markakis have any monetary value? One eager customer certainly thinks so… but does Robbie agree?
Take Your Base – In the second episode, the boys visit a multi-million dollar collection in search of a birthday gift for Senior, and end up haggling over a piece of Yankee history. Meanwhile, Junior is introduced to the man who invented the World Series, and Senior tries to buy a Packers jersey that belongs in the Hall of Fame. new ABC reality TV series “Ball Boys” opens with the motto: “Every great moment in sports leaves something behind.”
Baltimore Sun TV Critic David Zurawik wrote about show over the weekend, and gives it a decent review.