Collector Locates Historic Photo; Donates It

The Boston Public Library is getting an assist from a big-time collector.

From the Boston Herald:

Calling Pete Nash a collector of sports memorabilia is a bit like calling Tom Brady a quarterback: It’s accurate but not sufficient. Nash is a baseball obsessive whose Boylston Street bar, McGreevy’s 3rd Base Saloon, is like a little museum, a faithful re-creation of the baseball-themed bar owned way back when by Michael "Nuf Ced" McGreevy. When McGreevy closed his place during Prohibition, he handed over his impressive collection of black-and-white baseball prints to the Boston Public Library.

Nash’s bar, which opened last summer, features many of those images – that is, the ones that weren’t swiped from the library 20 years ago. Well, last week, Nash was tooling around the Internet and discovered an antiques dealer selling a historic shot that once belonged to the BPL. It’s a picture of former Sox player/manager Jimmy Collins sitting in a dugout with heavyweight champ John L. Sullivan.

"I called the library and said, ‘Hey, I’m going to buy this and give it to you guys,’ " Nash told us yesterday. "We’ll put a [reproduction] up in the bar." (In case you’re wondering, Nash paid $1,000.) The BPL, of course, is thrilled. "Every time we get one of these back, it’s like a homecoming," said Aaron Schmidt, who works in the library’s print department. "Of all the ones that we’re missing, this is No. 1 in terms of importance."