Meet and Greet with the real-life “Rudy” at the Memorabilia Expert

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By: Megan Way and Su Phelps | Photos by: Su Phelps and Lawrence Oravetz

Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, best known for his awe-inspiring story of carving his name into the history books of college football and becoming the most famous graduate of the University of Notre Dame spoke at the Memorabilia Expert Showroom & Show on Jan 27th to raise money for the Veteran Transition Resource Center’s (VTRC). All the proceeds from the tickets and raffle tickets were donated to the VTRC. Chef J.B. donated and cooked the refreshments at the event.
B. Taylor, a global ambassador for the U.S. military, veterans, first responders and their families, came to the fundraiser to support the VTRC. Also among the guests were Co-Founder of VTRC R.J. Dough, Representative of LaGuardia Leslie LaGuardia, and Co-owners of Memorabilia Expert Victor Moreno and Kieta. Su Phelps Owner and Publisher of Veterans Reporters News interviewed Rudy’s agent Jon Jannotta and Victor Moreno Co-owner of Memorabilia Expert.
Interview with Jon Jannotta:
Su Phelps: Okay you’ve known Rudy for 20 years. I’m interviewing Rudy’s agent right now. John, right?
Jon Jannotta: Yes
Su Phelps: So you’ve known him for 20 years and he’s always been a resident of Las Vegas?
Jon Jannotta: Yes, he’s been a resident for the last 25 years
Su Phelps: And he helped promote the sports for this town
Jon Jannotta: He’s promoting his message of inspiration, that’s what he promotes. He speaks to many publicly traded Fortune 500 companies as well as small schools all over the country. So, he’s a messenger.
Su Phelps: Regarding patriotism and sports?
Jon Jannotta: It’s connected. He’s very patriotic. In fact, I have one of his shirts on, that says, “Courage”
Su Phelps: So, he’s a sports icon with patriotism.
Jon Jannotta: Patriotism and inspiration, both.
Su Phelps: That’s beautiful and what branch of service was he in?
Jon Jannotta: Ex-Navy, he went to Notre Dame after he got out of the Navy and then he played for two years for the football team from 74 and 75.
Su Phelps: I have a feeling Las Vegas’ transformation into sports entertainment of the world by Rudy’s film and Rudy’s been resident here for 25 years. I really think that has a lot of incentive in it.
Jon Jannotta: I agree with you, and more sports teams are coming. There will be an MBA team and probably a major league baseball team.
Su Phelps: That’s awesome. That will make a more positive image for our town. Thank you

Interview with Victor Moreno:
Su Phelps: When did you start this business?
Victor Moreno: I started this business in LA in 1980, when I was in the music business. Then I got out of music because I started this business.
Su Phelps: Art collection business?
Victor Moreno: Yes, it’s Memorabilia, I started it with my own collection and it was rock and roll, sports, celebrities, presidential, game used stuff that players wore in the games, you know that they actually used in the game. I started in 1980 then I moved to Vegas in 1986. We have an auction company that auctions off high-end autographs and high-end celebrity stuff. We had John Lennon’s piano we sold for about a million dollars. We had mickey’s mantle flannel jersey that he wore in the game sold for two fifty, two hundred and fifty thousand ($250,000). We had autographs from J.F. Kennedy to Babe Ruth to Lou Gehrig. We started up this a long time ago and splurged, we’re in a number of, we’re one of the best auction houses in the country. People give us consignments to sell their collectables.
Su Phelps: That’s awesome, thank you.
About Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger:
Against all odds on a gridiron in South Bend, Indiana, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, in one game, carved his name into history books as the most famous graduate of the University of Notre Dame. In 1993 TRISTAR Productions immortalized his life story with the blockbuster film, RUDY. The film is, to this day, known as the greatest sports film of all time. Today, he lives in Las Vegas, and is one of the most popular motivational speakers in the United States.