New York City is filled with with passionate and obsessed sports fans who are always looking for different ways to express their admiration for their favorite teams and players. Sports are a way of life in the Big Apple, and there’s an undeniable level of enthusiasm in the air when teams like the Knicks, Yankees, or Giants are on a roll. People seem to bond over a certain high that often goes unmatched.
There are many different ways that fans enjoy displaying their love and paying tribute to their sports heroes. With the rise of Kristaps Porzingis, there are many who don jerseys of the Latvian Stallion both in The Garden and across New York City. But the fact remains that classic never dies, and jerseys of past standouts like Patrick Ewing and Anthony Mason can still be found worn by fans today. The big names of yesterday are undeniable, but what if someone wanted to really shock their friends and impress diehard fans with an obscure jersey of Chris Dudley? Where can they go to tap into such nostalgia and find such a steal?
Longtime NBA and Knicks fan Michael Spitz has the answer in the form of his Mr. Throwback store, located on East 9th Street. With retro video games, old Yankee Stadium seats, a locker room atmosphere, and the movie Space Jam on an endless loop, the vintage stop allows fans to step right out of 2018 and back into their dream ’90’s bedroom or man-cave.
Of course, creating an experience and making people feel at home is one thing. But at the heart of Mr. Throwback’s appeal is all the classic apparel: from old school jerseys, Starter jackets, hats, sneakers, and everything else in between, Spitz and Co. have fans and all their desires covered.
Remember how good Michael Finley was? Ever consider how unique Michael Jordan’s #45 jersey is? Ever want to to don a Team USA or Dream Team jersey, or raise eyebrows with a 76ers’ jersey of journeyman Clarence Weatherspoon? Go visit Mr. Throwback.
“We tailor to everyone’s needs. People appreciate that. I know my product, brand, and size. My parents are in retail, so it’s in my blood. I’ve been around it for so long. If you’re passionate about your business, you need to know everything about your product,” Spitz told KnicksJournal.com. “That customer who walks in needs to feel worth it. That speaks volumes to what we do here. Jarrett Jack reaches out to us when he needs something, and that’s my personality. It’s about going above and beyond. If you can’t afford it, we’ll help you out. It’s New York City. Everything is expensive, but everything is in mint condition.”
True to his word, Spitz and his team go to work to accommodate one and all. Upon observing a customer glowingly try on a jacket and surprisingly put it back on the rack, they determined that the customer would go home happy if they were greeted with a more favorable price. After taking care of the customer, the appreciative individual told Spitz, “You were really cool with me the last time I was here, too.”
Next up, a woman came in looking for a Seattle Sonics jersey for her brother. After counseling the customer about fandom, size, and more, Spitz pinpointed a Luke Ridnour jersey from the shop’s vast collection of product. It’s no surprise that she, too, walked out with exactly what she wanted.
“I love wearing obscure jerseys. I like going to games and having people look at my jersey and ask why I have that,” Spitz said.
It’s safe to say he isn’t alone. Spitz’s clientele includes NBA alums like Jarrett Jack and Dahntay Jones, and celebrities including Fabulous and Adam Pally. Mr. Throwback’s new location opened this past December, but providing diehard fans with vintage and fun clothing has long been an interest of Spitz’s. It’s an interest that became a hobby and quickly transformed into an unique business.
“I started collecting NBA Champion jerseys as a kid. I went to a flee market one day, and thought I should really start selling my stuff. I started doing it every weekend and fell in love with it,” he said. “I fell in love with the people, negotiation, and the excitement. I had jackets, jerseys, and sneakers. People want that stuff.”
“No one was selling this genre of vintage. I became the New York guy for it: Mr. Throwback. “Mr.” is a sign of respect and “Throwback,” is a word associated with all these epic jerseys and hats. This is a store straight out of the ’90’s. It allows me to collect, find, and sell all this stuff that I wanted as a kid. It’s really cool to find product. I love when people come in and sell us stuff. Growing up, I was a huge Patrick Ewing fan. I found his Seattle Sonics jersey and was thrilled.”
Basketball (and sports) fans bond over this passionate culture, and now, there’s a way for them to show off their fandom in the best possible fashion, literally. Mr. Throwback is an one-stop shop for all possible needs and it’s an enjoyable experience for all those that can walk over and take it all in. But fear not, if you don’t live in New York City, Spitz and Co. ship these classic looks.