Posts Tagged ‘players’

As American as Baseball and Apple Pie!

Monday, July 19th, 2010

The month of July will forever be linked with the game of baseball.  The classic saying, “as American as baseball and apple pie” comes to mind as families across the United States flock to stadiums to watch firework spectaculars on our nation’s birthday.  July offers baseball fans All Star games, the MLB Futures Game, short season league baseball and many other reasons to spend a warm summer night cheering on our favorite teams and players.

Looking back through our own history, we are amazed at how many important Vinci milestones occurred in the month of July and we wanted to take some time to reflect and share some of the highlights with you.

July 26th, 1942: Benjamin Vinci is awarded the Purple Heart.

Benjamin Vinci receives the Purple Heart.

Benjamin Vinci receives the Purple Heart.

Anyone familiar with our story knows that every Vinci glove features the signature of Benjamin Vinci, a true American hero. Benjamin was gravely wounded on the morning of December 7, 1941 in the infamous attacks on Pearl Harbor. After nearly 6 months of treatment (and with a 50 caliber bullet permanently lodged near his heart) Benjamin did what any patriot would do, he returned to active duty. On July 26th, he was awarded the Purple Heart for his valor on the battlefield.  Almost sixty years later on July 27, 2001, US Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton (from Benjamin’s Home State of New York) led the US Senate in honoring his bravery. It was with a promise to Benjamin Vinci that “One day he would see his name in the big leagues” that Vinci (the glove) was born.

July 13th, 2008: Wilkin Ramirez Plays in the MLB Futures Game

Ramirez hits a homer on his first MLB at bat!

Ramirez hits a homer on his first MLB at bat!

On July 11th of this year, those who tuned in to watch the US take on the World at the MLB Futures Game were treated to a closing camera shot of a pair of Vinci Sport Sunglasses in the dugout of the World Team. Those glasses belonged to outfielder Wilkin Ramirez, and 2010 marked his second trip to the future. In 2008, Wilkin was a member of the World Team that won in a 3 -0 shut out over the US. We were very proud that Wilkin chose to wear a PJV16 Fielder’s glove and he logged a base hit with his #5 Vinci Batting Gloves and Vinci Baseball Bat (you can purchase the signed bat here). It was a great moment for Vinci to celebrate the future of a valued friend as well as our own future in the big leagues. Wilkin would go on to play for the Detroit Tigers where (while wearing his #5 Vinci Batting Gloves) he would become the first Tiger since Reggie Sanders in 1974 to hit a homerun on his first at bat.

July, 19th 2008: Vladimir Nunez, the first player to wear Vinci in the Majors

Vladimir Nunez, the first player to wear Vinci in the majors.

Vladimir Nunez, the first player to wear Vinci in the majors.

Just 6 days after Ramirez hinted at Vinci’s big league future, the future arrived. On July 19th, Vladimir Nunez, a right-handed relief pitcher was called up to the Atlanta Braves. Based in Richmond, Virginia, Vinci had developed a friendship with Nunez earlier that year. In April he began wearing Vinci gloves for the minor league AAA Braves affiliate team, the Richmond Braves. When Nunez was called up that July, he took his Vinci MV3 glove with him. It was a magical evening for us at Vinci as we watched Vladimir kiss his glove for luck when he stepped to the mound.

July 22nd, 2009: Carlos Torres makes his Major League Debut

Carlos Torres make his MLB debut.

Carlos Torres make his MLB debut.

Vinci had officially broken the major league barrier in July 2008. There were several other Vinci sightings in the year that followed, but no list of Vinci milestones would be complete without mentioning one of our favorite players, the 2-time Minor League All Star and only the 9th player ever to be named Minor League Pitcher of the week 3 times in a single season. Carlos Torres, the 26-year-old right-handed relief pitcher brought his Vinci MV30 along when he was called up to the Chicago White Sox. He made his debut July 22nd against the Tampa Bay Rays where he pitched six strong innings to record a quality start.

July 14, 2010: Carlos Torres named starting Pitcher for MiLB All Stars

One year later, Torres continues to have one of the most decorated careers in AAA Charlotte Knights history and on July 14th, he was again named the starting pitcher for the International League All-Stars. He pitched 2 innings of the nationally televised game while wearing his Vinci MV30.

July, 2010: Elmer Dessens lights up the NY Mets Bullpen

Dessens and his glove earn compliments from Keith Hernandez.

Dessens and his glove earn compliments from Keith Hernandez.

And finally, we thought we’d tell one of our favorite current stories. Elmer Dessens has been called a lot of things in his 17-year professional baseball career. But recently he’s been bucking the odds by being called the “savior” of the New York Mets bullpen crisis. At 40 years old, this veteran of 9 major league franchises landed in New York (the place where it all started for Vinci).  And he has been racking up the wins ever since.

En route to a recent win (alright this one officially happened on the last day of June, but we’ve been talking about it a lot this July) Elmer Dessens’ Vinci MV30 glove caught the attention of New York baseball legend (and Mets analyst) Keith Hernandez. You might remember Hernandez from his World Series winning career with the Mets and the Cardinals, from his 3 best-selling books, or from his many guest appearances on Seinfeld.  But for those of us at Vinci, Hernandez will now be remembered as the New York legend that chose a nationally televised game to plug our glove. During the fifth inning, Hernandez saw Elmer’s glove and asked the viewing audience, “What’s that label on his Glove? Vinci? Like Leonardo Da Vinci? I’ve heard of that glove company.”

To hear a New York baseball legend talk about a glove that bears the signature of a New York war hero just 2 short years after Vinci gloves broke into the Big Leagues was surreal to say the least. And it’s just another reason that, here at Vinci, July will always be among our favorite times of year.

Do you have any favorite July baseball stories? If so, drop us a line, we’d love to hear them!IMG00431-20100603-1255

An interview with Chicago White Sox pitcher Carlos Torres.

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

It is the professional athlete who first draws us to any sport. Pro-athletes focus our attention, magnify our excitement and serve as models for our aspirations.

In the big leagues, where players spend years searching for any possible advantage over their competition, choosing the appropriate athletic equipment can mean the difference between winning and losing. We are proud that, over the years, many pro-athletes have chosen to use Vinci gloves.

We recently spoke with one of our favorite players – Chicago White Sox and 2010 MiLB All-Star pitcher Carlos Torres – to discuss his life, his game, and why he uses Vinci gloves. Here are some highlights of the interviews.

Vinci (V):  Carlos, I want to congratulate you on your recent honors. (Carlos is just the 9th pitcher ever to be named AAA pitcher of the week 3 times in a single season.) I also want to thank you for taking time to answer our questions.

Torres (CT): De Nada.

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Carlos makes his debut in 2009 for the Chicago White Sox.

V: We know that you were drafted by the White Sox organization in 2004 out of Kansas State but can you tell us a bit about the role that sports played in your childhood?

CT: To tell you the truth, I never really liked sports growing up; it was the competition that I craved. My father was my biggest influence. When he would get home from work, he would make time to teach me anything he could about sports. Drills and bullpens were usually our thing. That was really the only thing that was ours. In high school I wanted to stop playing a few times but never did because that was how my father and I shared feelings and emotions.

V: I’m sure a lot of folks in Chicago and Charlotte are happy that you stuck with it. Do you have any favorite baseball memories?

CT: All of little league if I have to say. It was one of the few times you played because it was fun and pure. My favorite baseball movie is The Sandlot. Just because those were the times where baseball was the best.

V: Cool. Let’s talk a little about gloves. How important is it for a pitcher at your level to have a high-quality glove?

CT: Gloves are as important to a pitcher as a bat is to a batter.  They save you from getting hit by a ball every day. I grew up poor, so I had plastic gloves my whole life until college. They always ripped and the laces would break. Having quality makes you realize what you missed out on.

AAA All-Star Pitcher Carlos Torres called up to the bigs!

AAA All-Star Pitcher Carlos Torres called up to the bigs!

V: You currently use 3 models of Vinci gloves: a 12″  MV30 Custom Pro, a VN75-L (also a 12”) and a


PJV0416-L (12.75”), do you have a favorite?

CT: I am partial to the MV30; it’s the first glove I pitched with in the major leagues. It is also the first glove I have ever put a finger in every slot and didn’t put two in the pinkie, like outfielders do.  I usually do that because I want to feel a deeper pocket but with this model, I like the feel of its pocket.  Also, the outfielder’s glove (PJV0416-L) singlehandedly saved me 6 hits this year. It’s the size of an outfield glove but the same weight as a shortstop’s glove; that means you’re pretty good at fielding your position.

V: How many different brands of gloves have you used playing college and professional baseball?

CT: I went to 5 colleges in 4 years and every college had a different sponsor.  And in professional ball, I had three other brands until I was introduced to Vinci by my homey for life (Chicago pitcher) Derek Rodriguez.

V:   How do your Vinci gloves compare with the other brands you’ve used?

CT: Vinci has a better feel. Mass-producing makes you look for every corner you can cut to save money.  Vinci doesn’t do that.  They are quality and you feel it when you get it. I haven’t had a lace break yet.  I have taken my gloves to the edge and am trying to find out how long it will take, but I haven’t done it yet and it has been 2 years.  I keep tightening my gloves and not changing laces like you should, just to see how the glove holds up.  And it does!

I haven’t run into another company who cares, like, literally cares, as much as Vinci.  I have buddies with every glove you see and none of them ever receives what they asked for, or they can’t get a hold of their rep, or the glove takes too long to get there!  I could make one phone call and I could have it the next day no question.  Exactly what I ask for every time.

V:  Vinci has always been about family so it’s nice to hear how instrumental your father was in your development as a player.

CT: I asked Pete Vinci for two favors.  I asked him to put my daughter’s name on my glove and to put my father’s name on my glove.  The two people who have impacted my life beyond everyone else, and he did.  Those are people who care. Read the Vinci story and about Benjamin Vinci off of the website and you will realize how different this company is.

V:  Well, thanks again for taking time to answer our questions. We wish you continued success in Chicago and Charlotte.

Torres wears his Vinci MV30 in black in a game against the Cubs.

Torres wears his Vinci MV30 in black in a game against the Cubs.

CT: I’m just happy to be pitching.

Carlos Torres has just been named to the 2010 International League All-Star Team as the starting pitcher for the second year in a row. The game will be nationally televised on July 14, 2010.  Torres has used Vinci gloves since 2008. His first major league appearance was July 22, 2009 with the Chicago White Sox playing the Tampa Bay Rays where he pitched 6 strong innings to record a quality start. Torres continues to have one of the most decorated careers in AAA Charlotte Knights franchise history.

Players Wearing Vinci-Elmer Dessens New York Mets

Friday, June 25th, 2010


It is the professional athlete who first draws us to any sport. Pro-athletes focus our attention, magnify our excitement and serve as models for our aspirations.

Like any of our customers, pro-athletes only use Vinci for the right reasons — because our gloves meet or exceed the most demanding athletic requirements. They use Vinci because the quality of construction and aesthetic beauty can withstand the rigors of intense competition and inspire athletes of all levels to “make the play”. Considering the number of outstanding gloves currently on the market, it is flattering that many of the world’s top players prefer to use Vinci.

Players Who Wear Vinci is our way of acknowledging and thanking the growing legion of MLB players who choose Vinci gloves.

Elmer Dessens (Team: New York Mets. Glove: Vinci MV30 in Burgundy)

27791_412252986304_96663846304_4369083_7918330_nElmer Dessens is the very definition of a professional journeyman. Signed as an amateur free agent in 1993 by the Pittsburgh Pirates, this right-handed finesse pitcher from Hermosillo, Mexico made his major league debut in 1996. After several seasons with the Pirates, he went on to pitch for Arizona, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Colorado, Milwaukee and Cincinnati, before returning to his native Mexico to pitch (and win) the Mexican League Championship with Diablos Rojos del México in 2008.

Against the odds, the 37-year-old pitcher once again caught the attention of MLB and, in August, he signed with Atlanta. After 4 games as a relief pitcher for the Braves, Dessens inked a deal with the New York Mets. His Mets debut came that June against St. Louis relieving Liván Hernández with 2 innings of no-hit ball.

In 2009, the average player in Major League Baseball was 27 years old, and at 38, Elmer Dessens began to consider retiring 31841_409319921304_96663846304_4289459_3683328_nfrom the sport he’d played his entire life. “I told my wife I was going to retire,” Dessens said. “But then I pitched winter ball, and I felt pretty good, so I decided to take one more chance.”

After a very successful spring training, Dessens spent the early part of 2010 pitching as the closer for the AAA Buffalo Bisons. He was called up on May 21, when the Mets put John Maine on the disabled list.

Dessens was moved into an important spot as setup pitcher against the Yankees about an hour after he arrived at Citi Field and the reviews have been glowing ever since. The New York Daily News said, “Out of nowhere (Dessens) has emerged as a savior for the Mets’ bullpen crisis.” Mets manager Jerry Manuel praised Dessens’ poise under pressure. “When you can throw a 3-2 slider and not flinch, that’s huge.” Said Manuel, “When you can throw strikes behind in the count, that’s a huge plus in this ballpark.”

At 39, Dessens may be the oldest player on the New York Mets roster, but a wise man once said, “With age comes experience.” And Elmer’s “experience” is now paying huge dividends to the New York Mets bullpen.

Dessens has used many baseball gloves throughout his 16+ years as a pro-athlete. We at Vinci were extreme ly proud to discover that in 2009, Elmer began incorporating our gloves into his game. When he recorded his first MLB win of the season on May 30, 2010, Elmer Dessens was wearing his burgundy Vinci MV30.

*May 21 - 00:05*

Congratulations to Elmer for an amazing career and a limitless future.



In Honor Of a Father and Grandfather

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

We at Vinci would like to wish everyone who is a father a Happy Fathers Day. This Video is a fitting tribute. Watch and we hope it inspires you to do great things, sometimes when no one else thinks you can.

Vinci Sighting-Elmer Dessens plays Major Role in Mets Win

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Vinci sighting- Elmer Dessens plays Major Role in Mets win

Elmer DessensFrom the New York Daily news article:Out of nowhere,a 39-year-old righthander who couldn’t make the ballclub out of spring training has emerged as a savior for the Mets’ bullpen crisis. Elmer Dessens, the very definition of a journeyman, is a very nice story indeed.

Spring Training 2010: Part 3

Monday, March 29th, 2010

As March Madness sets in and sport’s fans across the nation focus their attention towards college hoops, the Vinci Company is busy making the rounds at another March tradition – Big League Baseball – The Spring training version.

For the past 8 years, Pete Vinci of the Vinci Company has traveled south every March to mingle with players, coaches and coordinators; talk baseball; and show off some of the latest Vinci designs. Here are a few more highlights from this years trip.

March 6th

As the week comes to a close, Pete travels back to Lakeland to watch the Detroit Tigers take on the Baltimore Orioles.

Pete spoke with Baltimore pitcher Alberto Castillo after the game. Castillo talked about his new  VN75 glove. He called it “the best glove I’ve used in my pro career” and said he “can’t wait to break it in”.

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“Where’s Vinci?” shouts Detroit Tiger (and long time Vinci friend) Wilkin Ramirez as he emerges from the clubhouse. after a few minutes catching up, Wilkin heads off to the field for a game.

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Here Ramirez, wearing white framed Vinci Multi Lens Sport Sunglasses, steps into the batter’s box. Wilkin says he loves how the glasses cut the glare of the Florida sun and help him catch those fly balls when he plays left field.

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Joe Depastino prefers the grey frames on his Vinci sport sunglasses. Here he is on the warning track at Lakeland Field.

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Tigers manager Jim Leland watches as his players take on all stars from Southern Florida College. “You gotta admit it, ” said Pete,”these college players are good.” Maybe they’ll all be sporting the Vinci “V” someday.

That’s all from Florida and Spring Training 2010! It’s time for Pete to head back to Richmond, Virginia. Have a great time watching this season as some of your favorite major and minor league players sport their Vinci products. And be sure to visit www.vincipro.com to learn more about our gear and how,  just like the pros, Vinci can help you “Make the Play.”

Spring Training 2010:Continued

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

As March Madness sets in and sports fans across the nation focus their attention towards college hoops, The Vinci Company is busy making the rounds at another March tradition – Big League Baseball – The Spring Training version.

For the past 8 years, Pete Vinci of the Vinci Company has traveled south every March to mingle with players, coaches and coordinators; talk baseball; and show off some of the latest Vinci designs. Here are a few more highlights from this years trip…

Wednesday, March 3rd

03092010VladNunezIt’s day three of spring training 2010 and its back to Orlando for the first Atlanta Braves training game of the season. It was a chilly 50 degrees in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Stadium as the Braves defeated the New York Mets.

Atlanta relief pitcher Vlad Nunez warms up with his Braves teammates. Vlad wore his Vinci VN-75 glove for the game.

During the game, Pete spoke with iconic former New York Mets manager (and current ESPN contributor) Bobby Valentine. The two discussed the good old days playing high school ball against each other in New York. Once, down 10-0 in the ninth, Valentine hit a home run on a Vinci 0-2 fastball down the middle. Pete never made that mistake again!

Thursday, March 4th

Clearwater, FLA: New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies. After a thirty-minute wait for a world famous Philly Cheesesteak (time well spent), Pete watched from behind the Yankees dugout as New York lost a close one to the Phillies.

Baseball icons in attendance that day included Yankees legends Reggie Jackson and Yogi Berra. After the game Pete went to dinner with Mr. Berra where they happily talked about food, family, and of course, baseball.

03092010NYYOfficeFriday, March 5th

Tampa, FLA: New York Yankees training camp at Legends Field.

Pete took time to appreciate “fine art” in his spare time. This “Bronx Bombers” tribute sculpture welcomes visitors to the Yankees offices.

03062010WoodySaylorPete also spoke with Woody, a Yankees spring training security guard from Pennsylvania.

Here, Woody shows off his Vinci Baseball Pullover that he wears as he watches out for the Yankees players. (The baseball pullover is available in black and red.)

That’s all for today, check back  for the final installment of “Vinci Spring Training, 2010″.