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ABC to Premiere Sports Reality Series BALL BOYS, 3/24

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From the producers of cable's top rated "Pawn Stars," BALL BOYS follows the sports memorabilia business at iconic Robbie's 1st Base in Baltimore, MD, and the charming family-like relationships of the sports fanatics who work there - Robbie Sr. and Junior, Sweet Lou and Shaggy. The 12 half-hour episodes will feature the never-before-seen negotiation of buying and selling unique sports merchandise, both at the store and at off-site locations. In addition, numerous sports legends - from football pioneer Jim Brown to baseball great Pete Rose to former NBA star and current ESPN commentator Jalen Rose - stop by the store to join in lively debates, smack talk and comical antics with the staff. The show premieres with two half-hour episodes, SATURDAY, MARCH 24 (3:00-4:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

More than just a sports shop, Robbie's 1st Base is like an old school hometown barbershop where everyone has an opinion and is eager to share their stories and love of the game. Touching on the unique capability of sports to bring people together, "Ball Boys" tells the intriguing stories beyond the action on the field - using the symbolic value of the merchandise changing hands to represent a rare and valuable social bond uniting individuals across all ages, races, genders and economic classes. Never before seen on a broadcast network, both the collectors and the merely curious come to the store from far and wide to experience a shared affinity for the great stories of sport. And when the situation calls, the staff hits the road to buy and sell prized artifacts with some of the top collectors in the nation.

"Lord of the Ring" - In the premiere, store owner Robbie Sr. introduces viewers to his shop and searches for a very special Notre Dame gift for a client's husband on his birthday. Robbie is forced to buy an expensive item from an off-site dealer, hoping he can turn a profit with the client back home, knowing he risks never selling it to anyone else if she doesn't care for it. Later, a customer brings in a Cleveland Browns helmet autographed by Jim Brown himself... but is it an authentic signature? To find out, Robbie Sr. asks his friend, the football legend, to pay the shop a visit to have a look himself, and eventually Brown presides over an awkward negotiation over his own autograph. Plus, does an unsigned baseball caught by a fan over the glove of Baltimore Orioles Right Fielder Nick Markakis have any monetary value? One eager customer certainly thinks so... but does Robbie agree?

"Take Your Base" - In the second episode, the boys visit a multi-million dollar collection in search of a birthday gift for Senior, and end up haggling over a piece of Yankee history. Meanwhile, Junior is introduced to the man who invented the World Series, and Senior tries to buy a Packers jersey that belongs in the Hall of Fame.


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