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Tuesday, February 25 News

Life’s a Pitch swings into New Milford business scene

A new sports memorabilia business has opened in New Milford.

Chandler and Justin DeGrenier are the owners of Life’s a Pitch at 160 Danbury Road.

The couple is enthusiastic about sharing the love of sports with its customers through the sale of memorabilia, accessories and more.

Life’s a Pitch, which opened mid-October in the building in front of Ski Haus, carries autographed pictures, lithograph photos, sports cards helmets and balls (including baseballs, basketballs and footballs).

In addition, high-end higsports card packs, and a variety of accessories such as duffle bags, drawstring bags, sports earrings and hair bows are sold.

Some items made locally — cornhole sets, elderberry syrup and knit hats with the names of sports teams — are also available to purchase.

Custom items with a sports team’s name engraved on it are also available, said Chandler, who graduated from New Milford High School in 2011.

If a customer wants to order something, just ask, Chandler said.

The DeGrenier’s also offer special events, with the next one being a Super Bowl party Feb. 2 from 5 p.m. until the game is over.

They offered a similar event for the World Series.

A large TV, couch and tables are features of the lounge room, custom decorated in blue and white.

An additional TV is one of the shop’s room so customers can browse and mingle and still watch the game.

Future events will include a kids’ trade night Feb. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m., an adult trade night Feb. 9 from 6 to 7 p.m., a Kids’ sports crafts event Feb. 15 from 1 to 3 p.m., and an autograph signing featuring Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd of the Red Sox Feb. 22 from 1 to 3 p.m.

The store streams all major sporting events, Chandler emphasized.

Chandler, who operates a wedding/event planning business and runs the store, said she and her husband added pops of color to the walls when they first opened the business.

They incorporated sports teams colors - blue, orange and red - and even added a pink room.

Both Chandler and Justin grew up around and with a passion for sports. The Orioles and Ravens were popular teams in Chandler’s home, since her father was from Baltimore. Justin grew up in New York and roots for the Mets and Giants.

“We tied in our teams to the store to customize it,” Chandler said. “And it’s not only to serve the sports needs, but to have a flashier feel.”

Sports fans and collectors have already found some treasures at the store.

Andrew Constant of Sherman is a regular on the lookout for trading cards.

He said he has four million-plus cards and checks in with the DeGreniers to see when new items come in.

“They’re nice owners and it’s a friendly atmosphere,” Constant said.

He described collecting trading cards as “an art.”

Chandler said she has enjoyed her interaction with the customers, among them “die-hard fans” and collectors.

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“It makes them happy” to something special, Chandler said. “That’s what’s important.”

The co-owner emphasized the store aims to “keep prices low to serve our customers and establish relationships.”

All autographed items in the shop come with a certificate of authenticity.

On top of general sales, the DeGreniers are also giving back to the community through a sports scholarship.

Occasionally, raffle tickets for sports items are sold, with the proceeds from the raffle used to support a local family who needs financial assistance for a sports activity.

Proceeds from a recent raffle paid for two children to attend a basketball program, and receive a bag for their gear.

“I’ve always wanted to give back to people,” Chandler said. “And people have a had hard time getting into activities.”

Life’s a Pitch at 160 Danbury Road (Route 7) in New Milford is open Sundays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 203-241-2448 or email lifesapitch06776@aol.com.

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