An announcement of a rather consequential decision by APBA CEO John Herson came down the pipes yesterday:
July 28, 2011
For almost 60 years APBA has been based in the Lancaster area. After a lot of consideration and soul searching, APBA will be relocating to Alpharetta Georgia during the month of August. During this relocation, there will be few days when APBA is unable to take orders or ship products. As the relocation plan is finalized, we will share those dates. This was a hard decision to make but I believe it is necessary.
There will be a subsequent letter discussing the details of the transition, including roles for the current APBA team members.
There will be a warehouse sale of card products. Please check out the specifics at APBAGames.com.
There are two other things I want to discuss. Unfortunately, but not unexpected, the new printer is having issues programming the baseball cards. The issue is that the result numbers on the cards do not line up in the APBA format. The printer is working with Kodak’s programmers to resolve this issue. With this delay, the 1960 and 1964 seasons will not be shipping the week of August 2nd. This is disappointing but APBA remains committed to digital printing and just-in time inventory management.
With the relocation to the Georgia, I need to know where do you want have the 2012 Convention. Marc has set-up a discussion on the forum for your replies.
I know this is a big change for APBA. This decision is four years in the making. Only the location has changed not the commitment to customer service or quality products.
I would like to thank all of the APBA team for their years of services and contributions especially in the dark difficult days when baseball cards were not issued until the following summer. I also want to thank the APBA community for its support.
Let’s put aside the printing issue, for NOW.
The company’s move to Georgia… now that’s an issue that’s going to raise some eyebrows at the very least.
Newcomers to the game may not think much of it. However, those of us who have been playing APBA for a while and associate the game with the town of Lancaster, PA, that’s a different story. Is it simply a prudent business move or as one APBA fan said (rather melodramatically), “APBA died today”?
I’m generally not a sentimental person. But there is something to be said for uprooting a yourself (as a person or a company) and moving away from where you were incepted and resided for 60 years. Do you lose something in the process?
Only time will tell.
Apparently, you do lose some people. Product Manager Veryl Lincoln will no longer be with the Company. Neither will President Marc Rinaldi. Jon Sellers, the web master, will also not be be going to Georgia.
Marc,Veryl and Jon will not be retained. Skeet Carr has tentatively agreed to continue to work part time at home for some card development work. He’s been part time over the last couple of years, since he retired.
Let me say that I will miss Veryl and Marc. They’ve had great customer relations skills and were great guys (never met Jon myself). Marc had the patience of Job when dealing with irate customers on the forums, a task I’m sure that wasn’t easy.
Lots of changes in store for the Company and they’ll have to work to ensure the trust of the customers. Call it a “proving ground”. Unfortunately, the comments on the APBA forums are not full of optimism. The aforementioned printing issues are not giving them a head start either.
But having said all that, I urge people to not let sentimentality cloud their judgments on this issue. Let’s make our calls on the practical matters (ok, the printing issue falls in that category). Yes, our APBA packages’ return labels read “Lancaster, PA” since we were kids but times change.
The next year in APBA will be key, no doubt.