Atlanta, Georgia – January 23, 2009 – Take the hood of a Chevy Tahoe; bring it to six Major League Baseball parks; have more than 220 players sign it, including the biggest names in baseball today, Baseball Hall of Fame members and future stars of tomorrow; and what have you got? One of the most unique pieces of baseball memorabilia ever created.
AutoTrader.com Drive to a New Start Spokesperson Goose Gossage, top bidders Diane and Tom Day and Barrett-Jackson Chairman and CEO Craig Jackson pose with the hood of a Chevy Tahoe signed by more than 220 Major League baseball players and coaches and the tricked-out Chevy Tahoe the Days bought at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Friday, January 16. Photo courtesy of Barrett-Jackson.
This one of-a-kind piece of baseball memorabilia and a unique, baseball-themed Chevy Tahoe fetched a final bid of $100,000 at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Friday, January 16. This $100,000 will be added to the $100,000 AutoTrader.com raised during the 2008 baseball season through the company’s Drive to a New Start program and all $200,000 will be donated to youth baseball programs in the six cities AutoTrader.com visited with the program.
The winning bidders, Tom and Diane Day of Corona, Calif., are big baseball fans and Los Angeles Angels season ticket holders. They plan to display the Tahoe and the hood with several other collector cars they have purchased over the years.
“The entire Day family is excited about having this terrific car and sports collectible and we’re happy the proceeds will go to benefit youth baseball,” said Tom Day.
The hood is signed by stars like Derek Jeter, Ryan Howard, Mariano Rivera, Francisco Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero, Carlos Zambrano, Chipper Jones, Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum. The hood also made a stop in Cooperstown, N.Y., for the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in July, where Hall of Fame members Yogi Berra, Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith, Tom Seaver, Whitey Ford and others also signed. And front and center on the hood is the first signature from 2008 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Goose Gossage, who toured the country with AutoTrader.com as the spokesperson for the program.
All signatures on the hood were authenticated by Steiner Sports, the leader in sports memorabilia authentication and sports marketing.
In total, about 220 current and former players signed the hood. The six teams who hosted Drive to a New Start events were the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Angels, the New York Yankees, the Philadelphia Phillies, The Chicago Cubs and the San Francisco Giants. Youth baseball programs affiliated with each team will split the $200,000 final tally raised through the Drive to a New Start program.
The Chevy Tahoe, which was auctioned with the hood, has been dubbed the Ultimate Baseball Ride because of some special upgrades. In addition to “standard” luxury features like top of the line stereo, DVD player with several screens and custom paint, the SUV features Rawlings baseball glove leather seats and steering wheel and baseball-bat ash wood dashboard, door panel and steering wheel accents.
Drive to a New Start was one of AutoTrader.com’s 2008 marketing and community outreach programs. In each city Gossage visited with AutoTrader.com, he hosted a youth baseball clinic for inner city children, met fans and signed autographs at pre-game events and conducted on-field or in-box media interviews. At each city, Gossage helped collect players’ and coaches’ signatures on the hood, with each signature garnering an AutoTrader.com donation to youth baseball programs in those cities.
“It was a real thrill to be involved with this program,” said Gossage. “Touring the country, collecting these signatures and helping kids learn about baseball was all very rewarding. I’m glad this fetched such a high bid at the auction. That money will go a long way to helping some great kids.”
AutoTrader.com, created in 1997 and headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is the Internet’s leading auto classifieds marketplace and consumer information website. AutoTrader.com aggregates in a single location about 4 million new, used and certified pre-owned vehicle listings from 40,000 dealers and 250,000 private owners and the site attracts about 14 million unique monthly visitors. Through innovative merchandising functionality such as multiple photos, videos, detailed descriptions and comprehensive research and compare tools, AutoTrader.com unites new and used car buyers and sellers online to improving the way people research, locate and advertise vehicles. AutoTrader.com is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. The venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit www.autotrader.com.