Steve will be playing in Division 4. His team name will be the Law's Cubs.I read a interview on Steve a few years back and I thought it was interesting. I thought I would share it with you.This was done after ESPN named him owner of the week.
Owner of the Week Steve Schreiner - Gig Harbor, Washington
While juggling his law practice, four teenage daughters, a pregnant wife and a baseball memorabilia collection, Steve happily scours the waiver wire for hidden gems within his 10 fantasy baseball teams. In fact, the 36-year-old lawyer finished 0-1-1 against his wife, Ronna, in the Head-to-Head Northwest Bleacher Bums league. He hopes to reclaim his status as "head of the household" if he faces her in the playoffs. To underscore his passion for all things baseball, Steve owns more than 300 autographed baseballs, including ones by the 60-plus home run hitters Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire.
Read on to learn how Steve handles his household of "Estrogen Acres" (By God, he has another daughter on the way) and battles other fans to procure autographs from closely guarded players.
Steve explains the background in the picture: The stain on my shirt is from the BBQ at the Mariner game today (Labor Day) ... the baseball in the big case behind us is signed by Babe Ruth, the M's hat on top is signed by A-Rod. I have about 300 baseballs signed by various players, including Ruth, Roger Maris, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire ... the only four 60-plus homerun hitters in history. I also have the bat A-Rod used to hit his second career grand slam against Baltimore on 5/17/96. Needless to say I built my collection before I got married, with various items added since then like McGwire and Sosa. A lot of them I got signed at spring training, plus I represent a large Sportscard shop in Tacoma. I thought I'd mention it since it is a unique backdrop for a picture to be used for this!
Here's Steve's Tip of the Week:
Keep an eye on the waiver wire, it can lead to better acquisitions than trades, especially early in the year. People tend to give up on players too soon. I've picked up Jeff Zimmerman, Dean Palmer, and Bobby Abreu this year. Also, have patience with veterans. When I picked up Palmer he was hitting about .230 with 1 home run. He has done very well for me since I got him around May 1st.
In 100 words or less, why should you be the "Owner of the Week"?
I'm managing to juggle my own law practice, four teenage daughters, a pregnant wife and 10 fantasy baseball teams, and doing it all successfully! In fact, my wife and I are still speaking even after her head-to-head team notched three of the five grand slams hit in one night (Jay Buhner, Fernando Tatis, and Bernie Williams) the week we played each other!
What do you enjoy about fantasy sports?
Being able to watch the actual games (no matter what sport) and feeling like you have a stake or ownership in the players and in the outcome. Also, it provides an escape to be able to deal with my teams. I've gotten my wife and oldest daughter involved too, and we all watch Baseball Tonight together and cheer on our players. I may someday live down playing my wife in head-to-head the day all three hit grand slams for her team!
What's your best sports memory?
Being at the Kingdome, 10th inning, Game 5 of the Divisional Series, Mariners vs. Yankees, and watching Junior score from first on Edgar Martinez' double down the left field line to end the series and sending the M's to the ALCS. It was the loudest I've ever heard the Kingdome, and watching the joy of the players dogpiling at home plate was beyond description!
What kind of law do you practice?
I used to do a lot of litigation of civil rights cases, along with real estate litigation and personal injury. I have refocused my practice to wills, trusts, estates, and real estate escrows.
What's your advice for those who want to practice law?
Find something else! Seriously, it can be a very rewarding profession, but it can also be a lot of long hours and hard work. If you are considering it now, get a good, strong background in English, both writing and literature. You will be spending the rest of your life during and after law school reading and writing. Much like a contractor uses a hammer or a plumber uses a wrench, lawyers use words. It is the only tool we have, so a strong ability to write is extremely important.
What are the positives and negatives of being a lawyer?
The biggest positive is being able to truly make a person better off than they were when they met you, or helping someone who is seriously ill get their affairs in order to make it easier on the surviving members of their family. A lot of times you can never make a person whole again after a serious injury, but you can give them some closure which helps psychologically. The biggest negative is attempting to argue the law and the facts of the case and having opposing counsel spend their time running you and your client down. I don't understand why this seems to happen so often when we are there to argue a point of law based on past case law applied to the facts of the current case. There is a lot of negativity involved in litigation, which is why I am doing the more rewarding things now. I know I am helping my clients and their families.
How do you balance family, career and fantasy sports?
I actually use fantasy sports as some of my time for me. I can go in and change pitchers and set my lineup and that is my time. My girls are getting into baseball and, to a lesser extent, football. As I mentioned, my wife and oldest daughter have teams and we watch Baseball Tonight together, and Sportscenter. It provides a welcome break, even if only for a few minutes, from both my career and family. Of course, I keep things in perspective too, while it is a great escape my wife and daughters are the most important parts of my life, and my career allows me the flexibility to spend quality time with them and provide for them.
How do you live with four teenage daughters? What are their ages? Do they drive you crazy?!
I was waiting for this one! We have named our house "Estrogen Acres!" They are ages 19 (more of an adult every day!), 15 (Yes, she has her driving permit!) and twins that are 14 and starting high school on 9/7. As far as driving me crazy, yup! But it goes both ways, I know I drive them crazy too. In fact, it is one of my hobbies!
What is some of the banter that goes between your wife and you when you faced off against each other?
My wife doesn't spend nearly as much time as I do on her team, yet she still manages to stay competitive. We are competing again this week, and of course she has Edgar Martinez. 2 HR's, 7 RBI's, 5 runs, and a stolen base on MONDAY! She just giggles a lot while I gnash my teeth. Right now, with one day to go, I am leading 6-4. We are both going to make the playoffs and if everything goes right we may be competing for the league championship. That should make the end of September interesting! It is the Northwest Bleacher Bums League. Her team is Ronna's Bad Dogs, mine is North-wet Cub Fan.
Do you help your wife or does she help you in fantasy games?
I help my wife. I helped her set up her draft, and I have NEVER had a draft as good as hers. Kevin Brown, Andy Ashby, Jose Lima. Three No. 1 starters! Oh by the way, Kevin Millwood too ... Also, Fernando Tatis, Sean Casey, Derek Jeter, Jose Canseco, and Bernie Williams. I helped her by adding Luis Castillo and Al Martin when Canseco had surgery. I wish my draft had gone as well! She does enjoy watching her guys, and she has several Mariners, which is nice.
Who would you say is the head of the household?
My wife and I are a team. We both have strengths and weaknesses. We make the major decisions together. I suppose there is the perspective that as the only male in the house (except for two neutered dogs ...) that I am "The Head of the Household" but it is really a team. Also, the girls are old enough and mature enough that they can provide valuable input at times. What's your favorite sports quote? "I never heard of anyone going on the disabled list because of pulled fat." -- Rod Beck.
What celebrity do you like?
Sammy Sosa, because he is a class act, plays for my favorite team, has a great sense of humor ("Mark is Da Man in the United States, I am Da Man in the Dominican Republic"), and does a lot of charitable work both in the United States and in the Dominican Republic. He knows he is blessed with talent, and believes in sharing his financial blessings as well. He is, unfortunately, the exception rather than the norm with professional sports athletes today.
Who's your favorite fantasy player and why?
A-Rod. Why? Look at last year (40-40) and what he has done this year despite missing 33 games with a knee injury (.313 avg., 33 dingers, 91 RBI's, 90 runs). The guy is phenomenal, and if he stays healthy will probably be even better than Ernie Banks (though it pains me to say that ...)
Which fantasy player do you most dislike?
Darin Erstad. I had him ranked high and was looking for stolen bases, average, and some power and RBI's. He, along with all of the Angels starters, has been a royal bust!
What celebrity do you most resemble?
Schreiner Carey Drew Carey without the Harry Caray glasses!
How long have you been a Cubs fan? How did you start being a Cubs fan?
I've been a Cubs Fan all my life. My whole family, except for me, was born and raised in Chicago. I was born and raised in Seattle. However, I have 5 older brothers who trained me well. I was a Cub fan before there were Seattle Pilots (now the Brewers), much less the Mariners!
How have you managed to keep being a Cub fan through all their losing seasons?
Just wait 'til next year! Being a Cub fan teaches you a lot about life ...
How would you describe Wrigley Field for those who've never been there?
Hmmmm... a temple, a shrine... I have season tickets to Safeco, and it doesn't compare to Wrigley. Don't get me wrong, Safeco is spectacular, but it is new. Combine the feeling of a ballpark placed in the middle of a neighborhood with the ivy and brick, and you can picture the ghosts who have played there like Ruth and the others. It really is hard to describe, it must be experienced. Fenway and Tiger Stadium come close, but there is no place on earth like Wrigley Field for a baseball game. I took a buddy of mine to Wrigley during law school. He grew up in New York as a Mets fan (I won't EVEN go there!) and went to college in Boston. While he allowed that Shea wasn't close, he said no way could Wrigley be better than Fenway. One afternoon in Wrigley changed his mind! I also got to take my girls there for the first time last year. After only experiencing baseball in the Kingdome (aka concrete blister...), they were awestruck by how beautiful Wrigley Field is.
What would you teach your daughters about fantasy sports? Any benefits for them in playing fantasy sports
I'm teaching my oldest about fantasy sports right now. She really enjoys it, and her boyfriend helps her out. They compete against each other as well. All of the girls are learning that competition is a lot of fun, but it needs to be kept in perspective as well. As far as benefits, it is making them more familiar with players on other teams, as well as applying some of the math they have learned to baseball situations.
How did you become interested in fantasy sports? Why did you pick ESPN's?
I was in a fantasy baseball league with my friend from New York during law school, competing with other law students. Neither one of us had a clue and had never played before, but being baseball fans we knew the players so we figured we'd try it. We finished 2nd, 1 point away, and won enough money for a night of pizza and beer. When I started getting into the internet, one of the first places I went was ESPN.com. When I found out about the fantasy sports, I decided to try it. I was hooked!
How many years have you been going to Spring Training? Where do you go? What's your favorite spring training site? What do you like about it?
I started going in the late 80s when I lived in Scottsdale. I have been to spring training probably nine of the last 12 years. I always go to Arizona since I am familiar with that. I like all of the Arizona sites, they are all unique. Of course, HoHoKam (Cubs) and Peoria (Mariners and Padres) are my favorites. Both have new parks with great berms for watching the game, and the seats are awesome too. It is also more intimate than a big league park.
How do you obtain autographed baseballs at Spring Training?
It used to be a lot easier to approach the players. Now, it takes strategy and being up early, and they can still avoid you if they want to. We try the outfield during batting practice and on the ramps as the players leave. You can also stake out the parking lot early in the morning and after the players leave. In addition, I introduced Ronna to the Cub Convention this past January. If your team has one, that is a GREAT place for autographs. We got Mark Grace, Kerry Wood, Rod Beck, Kevin Tapani, Gary Gaetti, Jim Riggleman, Jon Lieber, Ernie Banks, Ferguson Jenkins, Don Kessinger, Glenn Beckert, etc. It involves a lot of standing in line, but it is a lot of fun and there are a lot of other neat activities as well. I've been twice, and between the two trips I have probably added about 60 signed baseballs to my collection. I wish the Mariners would start one, I think it would do well in Seattle!
Have you paid for any of your autographed baseballs?
I've paid for some of the balls ... usually not market price because I know a lot of people in the industry. I'd rather not disclose what I spent on the Babe Ruth ball, but there is a neat story behind the ball. After Ruth finished playing, he toured ballparks. He was at Wrigley Field one day, and signed the ball for one of the ladies who worked at the park. She kept it in a sock for years and gave it to her son. I got it from her son. For me, it means a lot that the ball was signed at Wrigley!
What do you think of Todd McFarlane paying $3.005 million for McGwire's 70th home run?
As far as Todd spending $3.005 million for the 70th ... well ... if I had that kind of money I'd have bid on it, but probably not that high! Besides, it looks like Sammy may be giving 70 a run this year... he is at 58 as I write this!
What other memorabilia would you like to own?
As far as other memorabilia, outside of a few bats and a bunch of baseballs, probably just more balls. I enjoy collecting players I like, classy guys, that sort of thing. Garth Brooks signed for us at spring training this year, that is a fun ball to have. I do have a basketball signed by the Gonzaga Team from '98 that made it to the Sweet 16, which I bought at auction this spring, that is a fun item. No other big memorabilia goals, just build a nice baseball collection over the years that my daughters can sell as part of my estate someday!
How did you meet your wife?
I wish my story of meeting Ronna was more glamorous, but she and her business partner came to my office to sell some key man insurance to my partner and I at the time. We started as professional friends, then became friends, and didn't start dating until we had known each other for about three years. There were other relationships for both of us, etc. We started dating in '97 and were married on Catalina Island April 16, 1998. I adopted the girls on November 17, 1998, and our first daughter together, Samantha Catalina, is due January 17, 2000. We already have a lot of Cub gear and Mariner gear for her!
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