The Most Romantic Gifts for Sports Fans

January 29, 2013 Leave a reply

These gift suggestions will truly knock the sports fan in your life off their feet.

  1. A sports date. Take your date to see his or her favorite team play.  Dinner and a game is a fantastic date for the sports fan in your life.
  2. Sports Roses bouquet. If your beloved is a football, baseball, softball, or volleyball fan, choose a Sports Roses bouquet.  This creative, unique gift will make you a winner in anyone’s book.
  3. The Shakespearean approach. Valentine’s Day is a big tradition—so why don’t you try being traditional? Read a romantic poem or write one yourself. Serenade them with a beautiful song. And speaking of being traditional, don’t forget to bring a box of chocolates and a sports rose!

With these romantic ideas, there’s not a doubt that you’ll sweep them away come Valentine’s Day!

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Baseball Cards From Way Out In Left Field

January 28, 2013 Leave a reply

left field cards - letterpress baseball cards by Amelie Mancini

Amelie Mancini’s artistic take on traditional baseball cards redefines the cards that baseball fans have been collecting for decades

Baseball Rose creator, Mark Ellingson, meets with Left Field Cards artist, Amelie Mancini, at her Brooklyn studio to learn the secrets behind her industry shaking creations.

By Mark Ellingson

In 1989, I was 10 years old. My daily after-school ritual comprised of watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Duck Tales, and Chip-n-Dale’s Rescue Rangers. It was around this time that I vividly remember my dad’s obsession with collecting baseball cards. We would make frequent visits to baseball card shops (which were everywhere at the time) and baseball card collector trade shows to find the cards he needed to finish his sets. He collected everything – Topps, Fleer, Score, Donruss, Bowman, and Upper Deck. This was a time when baseball card collecting was at its peak in America.

1989 upper deck ken griffey jr rookie baseball card

1989 Upper Deck #1 – Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie Card

One of my dad’s favorite baseball cards was a 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr rookie card. According to his Beckett price guide, it was worth as much as $90. My dad was really proud of that card.

In the 1990’s, the bottom fell out of the baseball card industry and my dad’s collecting fever started to wane. He was now on to collecting VHS movies for our brand new Dolby Pro-Logic surround sound system. But he still kept all his cards stored away in a closet.

I’m always reminded of my dad’s baseball card collecting days whenever I see new packs for sale at the checkout counters in Wal-mart. I never was a big baseball card collector myself, but I loved watching baseball games with my dad.

In 2012, I saw a Facebook post by the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse (makers of custom-designed baseballs located in Manhattan) that announced a store event for an artist named Amelie Mancini. The picture on their post showed the most artistic looking baseball cards I had ever seen. I click on the link to Mancini’s Left Field Cards Facebook Page to find out more about them.

Left Field Cards Marvelous Moustaches

Left Field Cards stood out from traditional baseball cards because they were sold in packs based on quirky themes – Bizarre Injuries, Marvelous Moustaches, and Edible All-Stars. They were illustrated with bright colors and vaguely resembled the players they were representing – they were fun, expressive, and creative. These were characteristics that were very foreign to me when I thought of baseball cards.

I decided to find out more about Left Field Cards and their creator Amelie Mancini. Mancini is french-born artist that came to the U.S. for her school studies in the mid-2000’s. She fell in love with the city and the friends she met and decided to make Brooklyn, NY her permanent residence. But she had never been to a baseball game or even understood the rules of the game until a 2007 visit to Shea Stadium. The Mets were playing the Phillies and lost, but she was bitten badly by the baseball bug. A fever swept over her that would change her life – her obsession with American’s Favorite Pastime spilled over into her career as an artist. In 2011, she started her own company called Left Field Cards.

Mancini’s work has found a niche in the previously unexplored space between baseball collectible and commercial art. – The Wall Street Journal

Left Field Cards studio tour led by artist Amelie Mancini

In October 2012, I stopped by the home of Left Field Cards to visit Amelie Mancini and find out more about her work and the story behind it. Mancini’s studio was located in a large old warehouse within a very religious orthodox Jewish neighborhood. I felt like I was visiting a completely different country with foreign customs I had never seen before (living in San Diego). The Marcy Houses (the projects where Jay-Z grew up in) were just across the street from Mancini’s studio. It was an area full of deep history and more history was about to be made with Hurricane Sandy arriving the next day.

I walked up the 6 flights of stairs and was greeted by Mancini’s smiling face. She gave me a tour of her studio. I quickly saw her eclectic sense of style in all the interesting furniture she had collected at local flea markets. Her studio alone was like walking into a different world full of exploration and adventure. During my visit, we talked about about each of our businesses. I told her the story of how Baseball Roses began and she showed me the creative process behind her work on Left Field Cards.

Mancini pulled out a box of old baseball cards that were the inspiration behind Left Field Cards. I asked her what was so special about these baseball cards that made her want to create her own.

“They’re just really cool! It’s a little bit like time-traveling. Every card offers you a snapshot of a player’s career, literally and figuratively. A rookie card is a promise of home runs to come, stolen bases, perfect games, great things to be accomplished. And a card of a player at the end of their career sums up everything they’ve ever done on the field, translated into those coded numbers. I also love the cards with the fun facts. And of course. I love the aesthetics of the old cards, reflecting their times through graphic design choices and moustaches, glasses, mullets, afros, tights pants…”

And what was so special about that first night going to Shea Stadium to watch the Mets and Phillies play that sparked her obsession for the game?

There wasn’t really one thing, it was the experience as a whole: the crowd, the foods, the uniforms, the obscure rules, the ballpark, the songs…

The Process

left field cards letterpress printing process

Each Left Field Card is carefully produced by hand on a Vandercook letterpress. Mancini starts out by sketching her design on paper and then carving the final drawing out of a linoleum block. Once she is happy with the design, Mancini prepares it for use on a Vandercook letterpress. Each sheet of cards is processed one by one and cut by hand. Finally, the cards are placed in a custom designed vellum pack and hand-sewn shut with red stitching. Mancini is involved with every step of the process.

Living in New York definitely has its advantages when it comes to anything baseball. Through networking connections Mancini has made at local events, Left Field Cards has been getting national attention by the Wall Street Journal, ESPN, and LA Times. The articles have helped to create demand for her work. Mancini and I share some similar experiences with starting our own businesses from scratch. I asked her what the most challenging part was for starting and running Left Field Cards.

When you work for someone else, you stop thinking about work when you go home. Running your own business is a 24/7 preoccupation. I have to force myself to take a night off, go see a movie, go to the museum, and even then, my business is always on my mind. I’m constantly making decisions, weighing options, planning, and I had no idea how exhausting that would be when I started. But of course it’s also what makes it so rewarding and exciting!

I know exactly what Mancini means about never getting business off my mind and spending 16+ hours a day in the office. It is very hard to catch your breath when there are so many things that need to get done.

I’m really looking forward to doing business with Left Field Cards and the possibilies for working together to make both of our businesses more successful. Left Field Cards and Sports Roses both bring new and creative ideas to the sports gift industry. During my visit, I left behind a special Baseball Rose arrangement themed for Mancini’s beloved Mets. I also brought home a case of Left Field Cards to add to the Sports Roses online store. You can purchase Left Field Cards here.

A few more bits of information about Amelie Mancini. Some of her favorite players are R.A. Dickey (but she is very sad he is no longer a Met), Keith Hernandez, and Harvey Haddux (who threw the perfect game that wasn’t for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1959). Mancini says no to the DH, “they make catchers hit, so why not pitchers?”

Keep a close watch on Left Field Cards, Mancini has many more exciting projects in store for sports fans.

Mark Ellingson posing with Amelie Mancini of Left Field Cards

Baseball Rose creator, Mark Ellingson and Left Field Cards creator, Amelie Mancini

A New York Mets Baseball Rose Arrangement at Left Field Cards studio

I left behind some Baseball Roses arranged with NY Mets accessories to add to Mancini’s studio decor

Purchase Left Field Cards on

Click Here To Purchase Left Field Cards

Super Bowl Predictions

January 24, 2013 Leave a reply

super bowl 2013 logo

No shortage of predictions out there on the web, on the networks, in the newspapers.  What do we predict?

The Superdome in New Orleans will be fully-outfitted for Mardi Gras!  Spectators coming to town the week before are making a smooth move, because Orleans Parish has moved their Mardi Gras parades to the week before the game to avoid conflicts.

We predict the half-time show will be one for the books.  Beyonce at Mardi Gras!  Beyonce may be joined by a reunion of Destiny’s Child, and possibly even her husband, Jay-Z.  Tune in for the half-time show if not for the game!

We predict that as this is the tenth time the Superdome has hosted the Super Bowl, the management knows how to keep it moving and organized.  And, supporting the game by attending will aid the city in its continuing recovery from Hurricane Katrina.  Further, we predict that CBS will reap a record-setting $4 million for an advertising half-minute.

We predict that if you attend the Super Bowl, you need more than a classy outfit to show off your fan-dom!  Set it off with a football sports rose corsage or boutonniere.  An elegant rose hand-made from a football cover is a unique personal ornament.

ravens 49ers super bowl football rose flower arrangements

Click Here to Purchase Football Roses and NFL Licensed Accessories

Your party, whether in a skybox at the stadium or in your own living room, will pop with a football sports roses bouquet topped by the mini-pennant of your favorite team.  A bouquet for both teams creates an all-inclusive Super Bowl party!  Your bouquet is not only a conversation-starter, it is also worry-free, with no water needed, and no wilting.

Oh, and the game?  Hard-fought, and filled with passion! The Ravens may be seen as a slight underdog, but they will come to play.  Starting Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is heading toward “elite” QB status, while second-year surprise Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers is a legitimate dual threat who has turned San Francisco’s offense into one of the most dynamic in the league. The coaching Harbaugh Brothers on opposing teams creates an intriguing Bro Bowl match-up, and we’re excited to see what happens on February 3.

How about your predictions?  And your suggestions for things that have made your parties fun? Tell us in the comments below.

Baltimore Ravens and San Franisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII

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25 Best Superbowl Commercials of All-Time

January 22, 2013 Leave a reply
matthew broderick panda and honda 2012 super bowl commercial

Matthew Broderick in Honda’s 2012 Super Bowl Commercial

What to watch out for in this year’s Super Bowl commercials

Aside from athletes and fans, there’s another group of people who are as excited and busy preparing for the Superbowl—the advertisers.

Business giants and emerging businesses are now strategizing how to get the attention of the Superbowl’s high viewership.

budweiser lizards frank and louis superbowl commercial

Budweiser Lizards Frank and Louis – 1997 Super Bowl

The event gives them a great opportunity to market their brands and new products, and they’re not hesitant to spend. Reports reveal that this year’s commercials cost roughly $3.8 million per spot.

You’re excited too! Most of these commercials are fun, entertaining and amazing. What are you excited about? Here are some bits of information about what to expect this year and then we’ll share our 25 favorite Super Bowl commercials all-time.

  1. Beginner’s Luck. Let’s learn from Century 21’s example. This real estate company used to spend a small amount for TV ads, and it was a surprise when they decided to venture out last year with their first Superbowl ad. Lucky for them, it worked; their web traffic rose 40% last year, while web traffic increase for the industry was only at 4%. We don’t know who’s trying their beginner’s luck this year. What we know is that Century 21 will definitely be back this year.
  2. The Large Patrons. They’ve done it before, they’ll do it again. Expect the big giants like Coca Cola, Pepsi, Audi, Hyundai, Oreo, Best Buy and the likes to grace your screens again. They do have a budget and they’re more than willing to spend to get a spot. We have no news yet of what they’ll be doing but we’ve confirmed that Danica Patrick will be back for Go Daddy. There were rumors that Go Daddy might go a different route, but Go Daddy recently confirmed that they weren’t planning to abandon the partnership anytime soon.

Here are our picks for the 25 most memborable Superbowl Commercials.

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How to Show your Love for the Game this Valentine’s Day

January 21, 2013 Leave a reply

sports roses for valentines day gifts
We love our sweethearts, and we love our sports!  This Valentine’s Day the ultra-fans and the dedicated athletes can win on both sides, as givers and as recipients.  What are some of the options for showing our love for the game, for both large and small budgets, this Valentine’s Day?

  •  Spring a plan to visit spring training on your sweetheart.
  • Spring a trip to Arizona or Florida in March for baseball in the sun, Spring Training Style!

  •  On a mild day, share a hike at a local park.  If your budget allows, add a pair of logo sports fleeces or sweatshirts for both of you.  If that’s outside your range this Valentine’s Day, make it just a single sports rose stem or two, with a mini-pennant of his or her favorite team attached.
  • Make arrangements to jog the local ball field while it is not in use, with your special someone.
  • Share something special with the team – a sports rose for each player and coach.  Volleyball, baseball, softball and football roses are available.
  • Help the team organize gifts of a Sports Rose for each team mom.  This can even be done as a fundraiser, working with

Sports Roses Valentines Day Arrangements
Do you spend so much time at the gym or on the field, so much effort training, maintaining gear and keeping up playing areas, that you feel as if you are married to the sport?  Or, do you support the athletes, transporting them and keeping them supplied with gear and rousing cheers, to the point you feel as if you don’t know another life?  This isn’t a pastime, it’s a way of life!  Why not acknowledge your dedication when you celebrate your connections on Valentine’s Day?

We’ve been adding small reminders at the end of weekly posts, and this is another reminder that Sports Roses offers a great fundraising opportunity for school and league teams with a unique product.  Your team can show a 360-degree love for the sport by giving Sports Roses, and by helping others place their orders so they can do the same.  Sports Roses offers both wholesale and sales referral fundraising for teams, to help keep the fires of competition burning.

How can you make sure that your fundraising plans come together smoothly?  First, it takes time to hand-craft each of the Sports Roses individually, here in the U.S.  Ball covers from baseballs, softballs, volleyballs and footballs are used in a painstaking process to create rose buds on an artificial greenery stem.  These roses never need watering, and never wilt!  Like your love of the people closest to you, and your love of your sport, these roses last, creating an enduring memory.

So make your plans and order without delay.  Take advantage of the discounts for volume purchase and shipping, or just select a bouquet or single rose in time for regular shipping.

What makes you feel “married” to your favorite sport?

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In Memory of Stan Musial – A Tribute to “The Man”

January 20, 2013 1 Comment

in memory of Stan Musial memorial from the Baseball Rose RIP

On January 19, 2013, the face of the St. Louis Cardinals, Stan “The Man” Musial, passed away at age 92.

Stan Musial, widely regarded as one of the greatest hitters in baseball history, played his entire 22 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. During his career, he was a 24-time All-Star, 3-time NL MVP, 7-time NL Batting Champion, and 3-time World Series Champion. In Major League Baseball history, Musial’s 3,630 hits ranks 4th all-time, 1,949 runs ranks 9th all-time, and 1,951 RBIs ranks 6th all-time.

In 1945, Musial would leave baseball for a season to serve in the United States Navy during WWII. Gary Suess of Bleacher Report ranked Musial #5 in the top 15 of Hall of Fame players that served in the U.S. Armed Forces. He would join other baseball greats that served their country in the military – Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Ty Cobb.

Stan Musial was a first ballot Hall-of-Famer, elected in 1969 with 93.2% of votes

On February 15, 2011, President Barack Obama honored Stan Musial with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor for a civilian. The President described Musial as “an icon untarnished, a beloved pillar of the community, a gentleman you’d want your kids to emulate.”

Stan the Man is a baseball legend that will truly be missed, but his spirit will continue to live on in the history of baseball.

a tribute the memory of stan musial from the Baseball Rose

“He didn’t hit a homer in his last at-bat; he hit a single. He didn’t hit in 56 straight games. He married his high school sweetheart and stayed married to her, never married a Marilyn Monroe. He didn’t play with the sheer joy and style that goes alongside Willie Mays’ name. None of those easy things are there to associate with Stan Musial. All Musial represents is more than two decades of sustained excellence and complete decency as a human being.” – Sportscaster Bob Costas in ESPN SportsCentury (ESPN)

Stan Musial loved to play the harmonica, let’s here him one more time. Share your Stan the Man memories in the comments below.

Sports Athlete Performance – What You Need To Know About Ice Baths

January 16, 2013 Leave a reply
Team USA Womens Gymnastics team dipping legs in ice bath during the 2012 Summer Olympics

2012 Team USA Women’s Olympic Team taking a dip in an ice bath. Source: Instagram user mckaylamaroney

A focus on body recovery with ice baths can help reduce injuries and maintain regular training to improve overall body condition for sports.

With baseball and softball season approaching, players are getting their gear ready for another exciting season on the playing field. Our last blog article focused on nutrition to help keep an athlete’s body in top shape for a season of high physical activity. This week we will look at body recovery using ice baths.

During the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, athletes from gymnasts to volleyball players were seen posting pictures on social media taking a dip in an ice bath after their performance. According to Runners World Ice baths suppress inflammation and “help to flush harmful metabolic debris out of your muscles”.

Kerri Walsh from Team USA Volleball takes an ice bath during the 2012 London Olympics

Kerrie Walsh, Team USA Volleyball. Source: Instagram User kerrileewalsh

Andy Schmidtz from USA Triathlon writes more on the theory behind ice baths.

The general theory behind this cold therapy is that the exposure to cold helps to combat the microtrauma (small tears) in muscle fibers and resultant soreness caused by intense or repetitive exercise. The ice bath is thought to constrict blood vessels, flush waste products and reduce swelling and tissue breakdown. Subsequently, as the tissue warms and the increased blood flow speeds circulation, the healing process is jump-started. The advantage of an ice bath submersion is that a large area of intertwined musculature can be treated, rather than limiting the cold therapy to a concentrated area with a localized ice pack.

Jackie Traina pitched on the 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide Championship team.

Source: University of Alabama

And top college softball players are utilizing ice baths to improve their ability to play during demanding performance schedules. Alabama Crimson Tide pitcher Jackie Traina spoke with during her teams run to the championship in the 2012 Women’s College World Series. Traina mentioned that she never ices her arm but instead uses a technique of icing her lower body to maintain a shape where she could pitch 600 innings over a 2 week period.

Traina’s level of performance took a lot of work building up her endurance and ice baths aided in keeping her training up. Alabama pitching coach Stephanie VanBrakle also added that Traina is “aware of when she’s sore. She knows the difference between being injured and being sore, because there’s a difference. She takes the necessary steps to take care of her body.”

So what should a player know before adding ice baths to their training regiment?

Andy Schmitz from USA Triathlon recommends the following tips for ice baths.

  • Don’t go too low with the water temperature. It shouldn’t be freezing cold, but instead a temperature of 54-60 degrees is ideal. Temperatures below 54 degrees can be dangerous.
  • Some people may be very sensitive to the cold water and can use booties made of wetsuit material to help sensitive toes
  • Don’t overexpose your body to the cold water. 6-8 minutes is all you need.
  • If you are uncomfortable with 54-60 degrees temperature, you can also see good results using higher temperatures (60-75 degrees). Ease your body into ice bath routines.
  • “Don’t Rush to take a warm shower immediately after the ice bath”. You want to gradually warm your body so try warming yourself with a blanket before jumping into the shower.
  • Apart from ice baths, active recovery with very light exercise can also help “facilitate blood flow to musculature”

As with any training and nutrition techniques, it’s a good idea to do your homework on ice baths and consult with a professional for questions about your individual body. Good luck this season and leave us a comment below on how you recover after your workouts and games.

The Origins of Valentine’s Day

January 15, 2013 Leave a reply

Valentine’s Day may not be your typical “holiday” because people still report to work and students have classes if it falls on a weekday. But it is one of the most celebrated occasions around the world.

We know what Valentine’s Day is about—everything that connotes “love”. But do we know what its origins are?

There are many versions and stories about St. Valentine’s and how the feast day was named in his honor. According to one story, Valentine was a Catholic priest who was thrown to jail for his teachings. It was a time when Roman emperors still mandated the people to believe in Roman gods.

While Valentine was in jail, his jailer, Asterius approached him with his blind daughter. He asked Valentine to restore his daughter’s sight—which Valentine successfully did with his miraculous power fueled by strong faith. On the day of his execution, Valentine wrote a farewell message to the girl, containing the words, “From your Valentine.” Valentine was beheaded on February 14, 270 AD—the day that we now celebrate as the month of love.

Another version of St. Valentine’s story was about a bishop of the same name who administered secret marriages against the order of the Roman emperor.

The feast of St. Valentine was first declared by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, who considered him among those “… whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God.”

Sports Roses Valentines Day ArrangementsThere is very little known about the history of Valentine’s Day but one thing remains for sure… It’s all about expressing your love to the people around you. If your beloved is a sports fan, consider a gift of a Sports Rose to make the occasion extra special.

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Super Bowl Party Ideas

January 10, 2013 Leave a reply
superbowl XLVII in new orleans

Photo credit: Molly Malone’s Irish Pub

On Sunday, February 3rd, the Super Bowl returns to the New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome!  Coaches, players and party-givers are already in full-swing strategy sessions to make it a winning day.  The whole Super Bowl experience starts hours before the actual game.  Each player must be status-updated for health, fitness and season history; each team must be cussed and discussed; every broadcaster demands attention and attracts comments in their turn.  That takes a lot of food and beverage for the spectators on the couches at home!  And some passion-inspiring décor.

Many websites offer Super Bowl Party ideas and amazing recipes … so we’ll start out with something a little different.  Here are some ideas to help out with the basics of a successful party for less-experienced and first-time party-givers, and perhaps some thoughts for everyone contemplating a Super Bowl party.  With luck someone will be inspired to take the plunge with their first Super Bowl party, or to enlarge their planned festivities.

The first planning tip – order now!  Providers become notoriously busy closer to the game.  From Football Rose centerpieces to deli trays, make sure your first choices will be ready when you want them.

This Super Bowl is held in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, so have some fun liberally draping Mardi Gras beads around your décor.  Beads can be obtained at party stores, and will drape in unexpected places from mantelpieces to beer glasses, to add color and energy.  Of course you’ll want beads in your favorite team colors – perhaps both team colors for competing guests.  And some purple, green and gold beads for classic Mardi Gras colors.

Order Football Roses for your Super Bowl PartyOrder your Football Rose centerpiece now to have it in time with regular shipping.  As a conversation-starter it is priceless, welcoming your guests with a football passion!  The blooms, made of the leather of real football covers, will long outlast the party, and don’t need the care of real flowers.

Some first basics of a Super Bowl party are space and seating – it is surprising how these two fundamentals affect your choices of food and décor, as well as furniture arrangement! 

Eating is a big part of a Super Bowl party as the pre-game and game last for hours.  Will everyone have not only a place to sit, but a surface to set their plates and beverages?  Floor-sitting and lap-eating are perfectly acceptable for a younger, physically-flexible crowd – but not so much for creaky-kneed veteran fans.  But, if eating from laps and eating while standing is the plan, avoid food with loose ingredients, such as tacos and build-your-owns, because stray bits of veggies will end up sprinkled on your floor!

Chips and dip NOLA style.

You can add both seating and table surfaces by borrowing or buying some deck chairs and t.v. trays.  Even camp chairs can be comfortable, and they offer a spot to hold a beverage.  Foldable chairs are also handy because they can easily be moved as needed.

Extra tip – have your guests write their names on anything they lend you or bring, from deck chairs to serving dishes.  After the party it all becomes part of an indistinguishable pile of detritus, especially if they forget it when they leave!

A well-attended Super Bowl party attracts all food preferences, in addition to the usual burger-and-hot-dog lovers.  Everyone from vegetarians to all-protein diets can be expected, with both heavy and light eaters.  In addition to your main course, offering dishes that are filling and avoid both meat and cheese are a great help to a successful party.

Stuffed peppers or mushrooms with no cheese or meat, in addition to those that are fully loaded, come in handy.   Mixed-bean salads are popular, as are baked potatoes with an abundance of toppings.  A bowl of meat-less pasta, with sauces on the side, can be a good side dish, but isn’t usually sufficient on its own.  Plan ahead that everyone will want to enjoy these dishes, not just the vegetarians.

A note that bar-be-que can be problematic indoors, as many people consider it a finger food.  Their fingers will inevitable smear a tad of sauce on many other surfaces.  The same is true of fried chicken.  Save any hand-held greasy food for the 4th of July picnic outdoors.

On another subject … is there another subject on Super Bowl Sunday?  Well, actually … just a thought that now is the time to plan your Valentine’s Day fundraising campaign through  Early arrangements are essential, so check the site for “fundraising,” both through order referrals and through wholesale sales.  It does take time to hand-craft Sports Roses in bulk, so don’t delay!

Please let us know – What have you done for a Super Bowl party that made it special and fun?

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2013 MLB Hall of Fame Class? No Inductees This Year!

January 9, 2013 Leave a reply

baseball hall of fame logo

No Player Received the 75% Required Vote By Baseball Writers’ Association of America

Sporting News reports that “for the first time since 1996 and just the eighth time ever, no player received the 75 percent of the vote necessary for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.”No inductees in the 2013 mlb hall of fame class

It is disappointing but not surprising to see the all-time home run leader Barry Bonds (36.2 % of votes) and the 3rd all-time strike outs leader Roger Clemens (37.6% of votes) getting a pass due to their involvement in steroid allegations.  Only time will tell if the negative publicity and asterisk hovering over their careers will fade in future voting years.

To fans and supporters of Craig Biggio (68.2% of votes) this came as shocking news since his stats show that he also had the stuff of a Hall of Famer – member of the 3,000 hit club and a man known for playing the game the right way.  But based on BBWAA voting, he wasn’t eligible to be a first ballot inductee.  This will add to the controversy about “First Ballot Hall of Famer”  honors being reserved for the baseball elite.  View First Ballot Hall of Famers in history

An MLB statement concerning the lack of inductees in the 2013 class:

Major League Baseball recognizes that election to the Hall of Fame is our game’s most extraordinary individual honor. Achieving enshrinement in Cooperstown is difficult, as it should be, and there have been seven other years when no one was elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. While this year did not produce an electee, there are many worthy candidates who will merit consideration in the future. We respect both the longstanding process that the Hall of Fame has in place and the role of the BBWAA, whose members have voted in the Hall of Fame’s elections since 1936.

37 candidates (including 24 on the ballot for the first time) were eligible for voting by the BBWAA.  In 2014, the expected top vote-getters for new candidates will include Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas.

Do you think Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens should ever be elected to the Hall of Fame?  Share your thoughts of the news in the comments below.

Top Three Dip Recipes for Your Superbowl Party

January 8, 2013 Leave a reply

Chips and dips are typically the “stars” of any Superbowl party. People love to dig in and keep themselves busy with food, chatting with friends, and watching their favorite athletes outdo their opponents.

It’s easy to find chips—they’re literally just around the corner. But what make these chips even yummier and more exciting are the dips.

Here are three great suggestions that you can use not only for chips, but also for other finger food like big crispy baguettes!

1.      Creamy Pesto Dip

Combine 1 cup of mayonnaise, 1 cup sour cream, 7 ounces of pesto sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper in a medium bowl. Make sure to mix well then serve, or cover and chill.

2.      Cheesy Beer Dip

You will need 8 ounces or 2 cups of Mexican cheese blend, ½ cup thick and chunky salsa, and ¼ cup of beer. Combine all these ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and the cheese is melted, stirring frequently. Be sure to serve immediately.

3.      Smoky Ranch Dip

Prepare 1 ounce of Ranch dressing mix, 1 and ½ cups of light sour cream, 2 teaspoons of finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce from can. Whisk all these ingredients together, and cover and chill for 30 minutes. This is great for potato chips or assorted raw vegetables.

Make your party design more fun with Football Roses. And with these easy dip recipes, your Superbowl finger foods will definitely be a big hit!

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Valentine’s Day is Coming Soon – Book Your Fundraiser Now!

January 5, 2013 Leave a reply

sports roses for valentines day gifts
Valentine’s Day is the time to tell your sweetie how special he or she is in your life.  It’s also a chance to help your sports team do some fundraising in a unique way.  We’ve been leaving little notes at the end of recent posts to remind you to plan and order ahead – and now is the time  – have you made sure everything is on track for Sports Roses fundraising for Valentine’s Day?

Having made your arrangements with, now is the time to put out the word, create some publicity and … take orders!  The ladies especially like sports roses, but the ball-cover leather roses are tough enough to give as gifts to guys as well.  What is available?  Football Roses; Volleyball Roses; Baseball Roses; Softball Roses.  One or more is sure to delight a special fan or athlete!

The teams are a great place to start – not just one team, but all the teams in your school or community league.  Team members, be they girls or guys, can add a single Sports Rose stem to dress up their Valentine’s gift to sweethearts and moms, at a cost under $20.  For their staunchest supporters, a bouquet or a full dozen is an engaging way to show their love and appreciation.  Or, take a few sports rose single stems and add them to a traditional flower bouquet.

What else can you do to encourage more orders?  Your publicity can remind everyone that the female athletes in their world will find Sports Roses a charming acknowledgement of their hard work and dedication.  Whether she is a champion or a committed performer, a sports rose is a unique gesture just for her … and it lasts much longer than real flowers!  Volleyball Roses and Softball Roses are available, just for her.

And don’t forget the sports ribbons printed with ball images, as well as the mini-pennants for professional and college teams.  A small pennant makes a perky decoration for a dessert, or tucked into a hatband.

How do you make sure all runs smoothly with your fundraising?  Because of the time to produce each rose by hand, it is best to order ahead.  Be sure your sports roses are on hand in plenty of time, with the convenience of regular shipping.  Sports Roses are available with volume discounts for orders of 25 or more roses, as well as fundraising through wholesale and referral orders.

Plan ahead to take advantage of the benefits of volume orders for team gifts, as well as personal surprises, for your favorite fans and athletes.

How are you planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year? Tell us in the comments below.

fundraising with Sports Roses this Valentine's Day

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