leisure 04.30.14

Bergino Baseball Clubhouse

Here's something you might not know. There's a Gotham Base Ball Club that plays the game old school—1860s old school.

You know who would know about that? Jay Goldberg. He was a political consultant who became a sports agent. He started making baseballs in 2001. In 2010, Mr. Goldberg got to do what he always wanted: talk baseball.

He did it by opening Bergino Baseball Clubhouse, 67 E. 11th [Bway/Univ] 212.226.7150, which sells handmade baseballs with all kinds of designs: city maps, a New York Times crossword puzzle baseball, one that says simply, '1947 Thanks, Jackie.'

There are other baseball-themed items and all are snazzy-looking, like vintage ballpark cuff links made from wooden seats that used to be in Major League stadiums. In a business where there's a lot of sketchy vintage merchandise, if Mr. Goldberg says it's authentic, it's authentic. (An authenticity card comes with it for the skeptical.)

The other nice thing about Bergino is that it really is a kind of clubhouse and a passion for baseball is all you need to be part of it. There are events held here such as book launches – when the subject is baseball, of course. The next is the Spring Art Party featuring The Baseball Paintings of Will Johnson on May 2 (pictured at top). On May 7, author Ed Sherman discusses Babe Ruth's Called Shot: The Myth and Mystery of Baseball's Greatest Home Run.

Mr. Goldberg says, "A few months ago, a customer walked into the Clubhouse for the first time, took a look around for a couple minutes, then said: 'There can't be another store like this anywhere in the world.' A better compliment has never been heard."

A correction about yesterday's article on the return of 20x200. We said that each print is signed, which is incorrect. Each print comes with a certificate of authenticity that is signed by the artist.





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