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Baseball tries selling with star power

The giant display at Citi Field in New York

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Steve Chiotakis: Time to play ball at the brand-spanking-new Citi Field in New York. The Mets host the Red Sox there tonight, and the baseball players union is hoping for a home run in its experiment with a new retail concept. They have a store dedicated not to any specific team, but to star players. Here's Marketplace's Dan Grech.


Dan Grech: The Players Clubhouse will be on the second deck of Citi Field, behind Section 327. The store will be set up like a locker room and filled with jerseys, mugs and bobblehead dolls. But unlike the usual Major League Baseball store, every object must include a star player's name or likeness.

Maury Brown is president of the Business of Sports Network:

Brown: Fantasy baseball is a large part of this. In that respect, you're following a player irrespective of what team they're on.

The union uses the money to operate, then divides what's left over evenly among players. Brown says the players union is taking advantage of a new trend in baseball. Fans increasingly follow players rather than teams.

Maury Brown: The minute a player's name is associated with a piece of merchandise, the Players Association gets a cut of that.

Baseball is following the lead of basketball, which glamorizes its big stars. The union hopes to bring The Players Clubhouse concept to other stadiums soon.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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