Steve Grad, Pawn Stars and Authenticator for Beckett Authentication Services



If you’ve seen Pawn Stars, you’ve seen Steve Grad authenticate autographs. In my opinion, the premiere autograph authenticator in the world.

Grad joins me from Industry Summit in Las Vegas to talk about what’s hot in autographs and some of the current topics in authentication. That includes talking Michael Jordan autographs and how many fakes are out in the wild.

Since 2013, whenever someone brings in an autographed item of significance Rick Harrison of Pawn Stars will “call his guy”, which is Steve Grad.

“In the world of collecting, my opinion might mean something to friends, but to the rest of the world, it means nothing. You need Beckett Authentication. That’s what you have to have if you want to sell it”, said Rick.

Grad got his start collecting autographs over 25 years ago, acquiring more than 100,000 in-person autographs. He took his passion and knowledge of autographs and turned it into a successful business. Formerly working for a leading authentication company, Grad built their autograph authentication business during a 15-year tenure before moving to Beckett in 2016 to spearhead the launch of Beckett Authentication Services

A renowned expert in his field, Grad has authenticated many of the finest pieces in the sports collectible hobby including the Laws of Baseball, the highest-graded Babe Ruth single-signed baseball, the only known Joe Jackson signed photograph and numerous other high-end pieces of American sports history.

Since 2013, Grad has served as an autograph expert on History’s “Pawn Stars”, appearing on over 135 episodes to date.

Great to be joined by my friend, Steve Grad!

 


Mark Frissora, Former Chief Executive Officer and President of Caesars Entertainment



Talking everything travel, Las Vegas and wagering this week with Mark Frissora, former CEO and President of Caesars Entertainment.

Mark P. Frissora was previously the Chief Executive Officer and President of Caesars Entertainment. He also has served as the chair and CEO of two Fortune 500 companies, Hertz Global Holdings, and Tenneco, Inc. With over 42 years of business experience, Mr. Frissora’s expertise spans across all levels of managerial and functional roles. He is known especially for consistently generating stakeholder/shareholder value at highly leveraged companies in both private equity and public markets, and successfully leading companies out of bankruptcy. Mr. Frissora credits his success to a strong work culture that focuses on customer-centricity, diversity, and employee engagement.

Great talking with Mark as he has his finger on the pulse of so many things.


Scott Shipley, Olympian, Montgomery Whitewater Center



Rick is joined by Olympian, Scott Shipley this week to talk about a new exciting whitewater facility in Montgomery, Alabama.

The center, currently under construction in Montgomery, AL, is the future training ground of Olympians.

Easily accessible from 1-85 and 1-65 exits, the Montgomery Whitewater Center is a world-class outdoor activities center within walking distance of the city’s burgeoning downtown. The development, which broke ground in June 2021 and is scheduled to be completed in 2023, will be anchored by an Olympic-standard recirculating whitewater course, which will allow users of all ages and skillsets to participate at difficulty levels ranging from beginner to expert. The Montgomery Whitewater Center will also include a variety of dry-side outdoor activities such as climbing areas, ziplines, ropes courses and trails for hiking and biking with the idea that visitors can have a great day with or without ever getting in the water.

Construction of the Montgomery Whitewater Project is expected to employ 640 people and have an economic impact of $39.8 million.

Shipley brings a varied background to the table. Scott Shipley is among the best-known American kayakers in the world today. A veteran of three Olympic games (’92, ’96, ’00) and holder of four world titles, Shipley has more than 25 years experience as a whitewater competitor. Scott also holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from top-ranked Georgia Institute of Technology.

Shipley’s combined expertise in both Whitewater and Engineering Design has made him the go-to designer for some of the world’s most demanding whitewater design projects. Shipley has been credited with driving innovation in the whitewater park industry by pushing the design envelope. Shipley’s innovations include a patented Whitewater Terrain Park system that redefines whitewater recreation and a patented moveable obstacle system that is the world’s first three-dimensional modular obstacle allowing for complete reconfiguration of an existing whitewater park.


Mark Merklein, Grip MD



Grip MD is a revolutionary new unique training device developed by two former collegiate tennis stars with the goal to aid players of all levels how to perfect the proper volley, serve, and slice grip.

Grip MD is the creation of former ATP World Tour doubles No. 38 and NCAA Champion Mark Merklein and former Notre Dame No. 1 Matt Daly. The device simply slips on to the handle of the racket, allowing the player to feel the perfect Continental grip. The Continental grip is used for the slice, serve and volleys in tennis and is vital to a player’s development.

Rick is joined by Merklein this week.

“Having worked with players of all levels from beginners to pros, I have found that teaching the correct grip is the most important part of any player’s technical development,” said Daly, Co-Founder of GripMD. “It is also extremely hard to teach and commonly misunderstood. This device greatly simplifies the process, allowing players to find the perfect grip in a short period of time.”

Merklein appears in several information YouTube videos demonstrating how to master the slice, volley and second serve using Grip MD.

Take advantage of a special offer now. Get three Grip MD products for the low price of $99. Or buy one for $39.95. To purchase and for more information or to purchase GripMD, visit at: https://www.thegripmd.com.


Christopher Clarey, Author “THE MASTER: The Brilliant Career of Roger Federer”



Chris Clarey joins Rick this week to talk a little tennis and his new book on Roger Federer.

There have been other biographies of Roger Federer, but never one with this kind of access to the man himself, his support team, and the most prominent figures in the game, including such rivals as Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Roddick. In THE MASTER: The Brilliant Career of Roger Federer (Twelve, August 24, 2021), New York Times correspondent Christopher Clarey sits down with Federer and those closest to him to tell the story of the greatest player in men’s tennis.

THE MASTER tells the story of Federer’s life and career on both an intimate and grand scale, in a way no one else could possibly do. Fantastic timing as Federer is in the news that he will not play again in 2021.

Great to talk to Chris leading up to the US Open and a great read!


Chris Ivy, Heritage Auctions’ Blazing Summer Platinum Night Auction



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Sports collecting has reached a fever pitch, and Chris Ivy of Heritage Auctions is here to talk with Rick.

Lots to talk about.

$20 million worth of sports history will be up for grabs when Dallas-based Heritage Auctions conducts its star-studded Summer Platinum Auction which is underway and continues through August 21-22. The event features a treasure-trove of sports memorabilia including a vintage Babe Ruth rookie trading card worth more than $1 million, the finest known baseball signed by Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe, Magic Johnson’s title-clinching jersey from his rookie season with the Lakers, another $1 million artifact, and the collection of San Francisco Giants beloved icon Willie McCovey.

All of this and more with Chris Ivy.