Operation Bullpen announcement makes big news

The announcement yesterday that superstar sports agent Harlan Werner had acquired the movie rights to Operation Bullpen made news around the world. You think I’m kidding? I saw the news reported on Reuters, the famous British news agency. Of course, most of the interest was in and around Los Angeles, which is where Werner’s Sports Placement Service agency is located. In case you missed it, here is a copy of the release:

Top Sports Agent Acquires Rights To Operation Bullpen Crime Story

PR Newswire

LOS ANGELESJune 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Harlan J. Werner, the renowned sports and marketing agent who represents Muhammad AliJoe Namath, Sandy Koufax and many other superstar athletes, announced today that he has secured the motion picture rights to Operation Bullpen, the sensational story of the most notorious and successful gang of forgers and memorabilia crooks in American history.

Werner, who is a long-time sports memorabilia collector and dealer as well as co-owner of a national chain of retail movie memorabilia stores, made the acquisition along with film and television producer Art Horan.

“This story is a cross between ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and ‘American Hustle,’” said Werner, referring to the Operation Bullpen saga in which a dysfunctional family of con artists, led by a conniving grandma and her pot-smoking son, fooled the FBI for years and ripped off a gullible American public for a cool $100 million. “It’s a great story.  It’s very cinematic with broad appeal.

Operation Bullpen, by award-winning author Kevin Nelson, is widely regarded as the definitive insider’s account of the explosive case that shook up the $1 billion a year memorabilia industry. The forgers and their accomplices were ordinary middle class people who went wild, living the Vegas high life, indulging in sex romps and spending lavishly, all the while churning out hundreds of thousands of fake autographs that were sold on TV, the Internet and in stores across the U.S.

Werner himself actively participated in the FBI’s undercover investigation of the gang, as did his client Muhammad Ali. (The FBI’s dramatic bust of the gang was the largest one-day takedown in Bureau history.) Ironically, Ali, Namath, Koufax, John Riggins and Jim Brown—all clients of Werner’s at his Sports Placement Service firm—had their autographs forged and sold by the crooks.

In addition to his personal knowledge of the memorabilia and autograph industry, Werner executive produced the movie “Tyson” and consulted on “One Night in Vegas” for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series.

Horan, a former Warner Bros. executive, was president of WMG Film Group where he was Executive Producer of “The Usual Suspects,” a two-time Academy Award-winner. Horan recently was Executive Producer of “Ring Girls,” also for ESPN, directed by academy award nominated director Amy Berg and is co founder of Undisputed Champion Network, a digital channel dedicated to the combat sports.

For more information, please contact Harlan Werner, SPS, 330 West 11th Street, Suite 105,Los Angeles, CA 90015. Phone: 213-744-1308. Email: agenthjw@aol.com.
www.sportsplacement.com.

SOURCE Harlan Werner

Muhammad Ali’s agent acquires Operation Bullpen film rights

Harlan Werner, sports agent for Muhammad Ali and other celebrity superstar athletes, has acquired the rights to Operation Bullpen. Read about it in Reuters right here.

Muhammad Ali, seen here in a fight with a wrestler late in his career, is represented by sports agent Harlan Werner, who has acquired the film rights to Operation Bullpen. Operation Bullpen depicts a major scam that sold millions of dollars in forgeries, such as this fake autograph of Ali.Muhammad Ali, seen here in a fight with a wrestler late in his career, is represented by sports agent Harlan Werner, who has acquired the film rights to Operation Bullpen. Operation Bullpen depicts a major scam that sold millions of dollars in forgeries, such as this fake autograph of Ali.

Police detective weighs in on Operation Bullpen

Bullpen resizedJust received this text message from a police detective, who served 30 years on the force, after reading Operation Bullpen:

Read the book. Man you nailed it describing the FBI. Someday we should meet at Starbucks and I’ll give you some background info. I went to DEA school in Quantico with FBI geeks. Truly believe it would be a great story on screen.

Agreed. More news forthcoming soon on Operation Bullpen, the movie.

What do Merryvale Vineyards and Bouchon Bakery have in common?

Macaroons and other delights at Bouchon Bakery.
Macaroons and other delights at Bouchon Bakery.

“Quick,” I ask. “What do Merryvale Vineyards  and Bouchon Bakery have in common?”

“Well,” you answer, “both are in Napa County. Merryvale is in St. Helena and Bouchon in Yountville, and they are both off Highway 29. And both produce, in their own respective ways, excellent food and drink—Bouchon the former, Merryvale the latter.”

“Yes, yes,” I respond impatiently, “all that is true. Anything else?”

“Can’t think of a thing,” you say.

The full and complete answer is that both Merryvale and Bouchon were recently profiled in two delightful pieces by the person who is writing this blog and who is supplying both sides of this imaginary conversation. Have a macaroon at Bouchon Bakery here and sample a Merryvale red right here. You won’t regret either.

Traveling in Napa Valley: Wine Train, wineries, shopping and more

Lately most of my writing has been on travel, specifically travel in Napa Valley. If you’re interested in traveling to California’s leading wine region, or if you just like good writing, dip into one (or more!) of these articles on the Castello di Amorosa, the Napa Wine Train, shopping in St. Helena and more:

Exploring the fantasy adventure of Castello di Amorosa

Riding the Gourmet Express on Napa’s Wine Train

Seven ways to enjoy yourself on St. Helena’s Main Street

Five top Napa winemakers tell what inspired them to make wine

Readers’ picks #2: Hitching Post Pinot, bocce, marriage in the olive groves

Shafer Vineyards: A hidden gem on the Silverado Trail

The Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga is the subject of a recent travel piece by Kevin Nelson.
The Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga is the subject of a recent travel piece by Kevin Nelson.

 

New third edition of Everything Father-to-Be Book hits shelves

Everything resizedOne hundred seventy-five thousand people can’t be wrong, can they? Well maybe they can on some things, but not on this one. That is the sales figure to date for The Everything Father-to-Be Book—a brand new third edition of which was just released and is hitting bookstore shelves all across America as we speak.

Pass the word along if you know any expectant fathers. As the father of four, I wrote the book with humor and lots of practical advice about this most amazing and challenging adventure in a man’s life.

Napa Valley Travel Examiner: Now covering good food and wine

Within the past few weeks I have joined examiner.com and become its Napa Valley Travel Examiner. My beat is the Napa Valley and wine country. I will be writing about places to go in the valley, things to do, food to eat and drinks to drink.

If you’re at all interested in hearing about one of the great wine regions on earth, I invite you to come along for the ride. Should  be fun.

A witty piece of corkscrew art seen at Uncorked, across from the Oxbow Public Market in Napa.
A witty piece of corkscrew art seen at Uncorked, across from the Oxbow Public Market in Napa.

Click here and it will take you to my profile page on the site. In the author box next to my picture there is a Subscribe button. This will bring up a window in which you put your email address. They will then send you an email to confirm your subscription and you’ll be good to go. Cheers!

 

USS Arizona Memorial: A Significant, and Deeply Meaningful, Sacred Place

Visitors at the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii.
Visitors at the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii.

Every American—every citizen of the world—ought to pay a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu. It’s an important place of U.S. and global history. You will learn something there and you will be moved.

Pearl Harbor is like the 9/11 sites in New York and Pennsylvania, or Gettysburg; it is sacred ground. It was where, on December 7, 1941, a surprise attack by the Japanese killed more than two thousand men and launched our entry into World War II. But not just Americans go there.  Many Japanese do, too. They learn about their country’s history and are moved as well.

The Pearl Harbor Visitors Center and the USS Arizona Memorial are popular sites for travelers around the world—more than 1.5 million a year. Reservations are a must, especially during the busy summer months. As soon as you know the dates you’ll be in Oahu, book your reservations here.

A trip to the watery grave that is the USS Arizona Memorial begins at the Pearl Harbor Memorial Theatre with a sensitive and well-made 23-minute documentary. Narrated by actress Jamie Lee Curtis, it describes the events leading up to the attack, the attack itself, and what followed it. It shows powerful footage of these momentous events. 

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