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Boston Police, Feds Probe Stolen Ballplayer Wills

The FBI and Boston police detectives are knee-deep in discussions with at least one memorabilia collector over the will of baseball pioneer George Wright, listed as stolen from the Suffolk (MA) Probate Court.

The document was part of a group of documents stolen in the late 1990s.

George WrightCourt employee Joe Schnabel admitted to stealing several baseball-related wills from courthouses in Boston and other locations and selling them.  He paid a fine and was placed on probation.

Since then, a few documents have been recovered but others have wound up in the hands of apparently unsuspecting memorabilia dealers, collectors and auction houses.

The effort to recover Wright’s will is part of a larger FBI investigation into missing papers and photographs from libraries and court records in New York, Connecticut and Boston.  Another will, signed by Babe Ruth just before his death, is among the papers missing from the New York Surrogates Court.

Police detectives in Boston know who has the Wright will and according to this story in the Boston Herald, are trying work out a solution with the collector who is now in possession of it.


About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].

Comments

  1. Michael Bowlby says:

    Interestingly, I was the person who discovered that the items were being stolen from the courthouses back in 1998. I received an auction catalogue from Leland’s at that time. One of the featured items was a probate document signed by Harry Wright regarding the estate of his brother. Knowing that the courts in Massachusetts do not get rid of their documents I knew it was stolen. I contacted the Register of Probate for Suffolk County (Boston) where Wright lived and died. I was able to help identify other items that were stolen around the state and also helped the FBI in this case.

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