Then it was the 27th World Series championship.
What a year it's been for Yankees Steiner -- and for you, if you love Yankees memorabilia.
"The Yankee hype is the strongest it's ever been, and I'm including the Subway Series of 2000," said Brandon Steiner, founder of Steiner Sports, which collaborates with the Yankees to help fans commemorate their love for the Bronx Bombers.
"The combination of Mariano Rivera's 500th save, Derek Jeter breaking the [franchise hits] record, the walk-off wins, the first year at the new Stadium -- the story goes on and on. Just an unbelievable season all around and we are happy to provide the fans with a piece of it, however big or small they want it to be."
Holiday shoppers are continuing to grab those "big or small" memorabilia items alike. This opportunity never existed after any of the previous 26 titles for Yankees fans -- a dedicated online treasure trove where you can conveniently and safely snag gifts for others or keepsakes for yourself. Here are 10 great examples to consider:
1. Yankee Stadium Seat Package: Did you get your seats yet? This is an MLB.com exclusive that is the stuff of dreams for many. It includes two seats from old Yankee Stadium; a Jeter signed cap; an Andy Pettitte signed replica Yankees jersey; a Robinson Cano signed bat; a Don Larsen signed/inscribed Perfect Game ball; a Rivera autographed Final Pitch at old Yankee Stadium 16x20 print; a Reggie Jackson signed ball; and a 2008 commemorative framed collage with field dirt.
2. That one's $3,999. If you can do without the items from Cano, Larsen, Rivera and Jackson, there also is an MLB.com exclusive Yankee Stadium Seat Package that goes for $2,999. Just think about your days and nights at the old stadium. You remember the moments, the first and last times, the good and not-so-good times, the people you were with, the electricity and the meaning, the sections and the rows. This is a tangible reminder forever.
3. Authentic Yankee Stadium Freeze-Dried Sod with glass display case: Removed from the old stadium, this artifact comes with no care or maintenance needed. It will stay like that forever, and it comes with an engraved nameplate on the glass. This has remained the top seller at Yankees Steiner since the remnants went on sale or auction back in May -- with the Monument Park bricks a close second -- and at some point it will run out.
4. Foul Pole Piece: Order this for $79.99 and you will get it in a glass display case with an engraved nameplate. The poles measured 314 feet down the line in right and 318 in left. These are the originals, cut up into sections so that fans can share in their memories.
5. "The Black": It was an important fixture at old Yankee Stadium: the center-field bleachers that served as a batter's eye, providing contrast against the white baseball and also as a target for power hitters. Own a chunk, complete with glass display case.
"Really one of the most fun parts of this season for us has been creating the product line from the new stadium to go alongside the stuff we put together from the old stadium," Steiner said. "By now, most fans have seen the freeze-dried sod, the bricks, and of course the seats from the old building, and those are definitely the best sellers. They will be gone soon. But don't forget the historical significance of this brand-new stadium, especially the dirt from the new field."
6. Core Four Signed World Series Baseball Set: This MLB.com exclusive item is $999.99 and has been popular among collectors ever since the parade. Jeter, Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Rivera each hand-signed the balls that go into this stunning display case, one that stands as a tribute to the quartet's long-time contributions to the franchise.
7. Team-Signed 2009 World Series Baseball: A minimum of 20 Yankees autographed this limited edition collectible of 250 balls, including the aforementioned Core Four, Mark Teixeira and manager Joe Girardi. You could display this right next to a Team-Signed 2008 Final Season Ball.
8. CC Sabathia 2009 World Series Champions Autographed Home Jersey: When we say this one's big, we mean big. Other than maybe Cecil Fielder, it probably is the biggest pinstripe jersey ever worn. Babe Ruth's would be up there, because those were not fitted and if you were lucky enough to look at the one in the basement of the Hall of Fame, it looks like a giant piece of square fabric with a hole cut out and a string attached. In any case, 2009 was a big season for Sabathia as a Yankees newcomer, and he signed this garment, which includes the World Series and Inaugural Season patches.
9. Teixeira Autographed Bat: The Yankees first baseman signed this Rawlings model, like the one he used while tying for the American League lead with 39 home runs and leading the AL with 112 RBIs.
10. Magnetic Acrylic Ticket Paper Weight: It features a commemorative 2008 Final Game ticket, and although it has magnets to hold it closed, you can add your own ticket if you were there for that historic sendoff. It is only $19.99, indicative of the wide range of pricing throughout the Yankees Steiner collection.
Before you know it, the Yankees will be opening another season, this one at Fenway Park against the rival Red Sox, and expectations will be as high as always. Right now, it is time for Yankees fans to bask in the moment, and to savor what is available for the collector in a year that has featured the selling off of old Yankee Stadium artifacts and the celebration of a brand-new title.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less