Those invited to see Gary Cypres' collection during last year's National Sports Collectors Convention in Anaheim, came away awed. Now, he's using the 30,000 square foot museum as the backdrop for a special fundraiser.
The largest private collection of sports memorabilia in the world, Cypres Sports Museum will open its doors for the first time to benefit a children’s charity in Pasadena, CA. On May 10, guests of “Going to Bat for Hillsides” will view amazing artifacts housed in exquisitely designed and lighted space in downtown Los Angeles.
Event table sponsors and guests will have an exclusive tour of the priceless collegiate and professional sports collection. Owner Gary Cypres displays the artifacts, equipment and graphics in gallery after gallery of museum-quality installations and exhibits.
Wishing to raise money for Hillsides, a residential and community treatment center that creates safe places for children at risk and their families, Colin Hurren, event chair decided to approach Cypres. When Cypres was asked who views his collection, he replied, “Just a few of my friends.” Then he quickly added, “However, I would like to use the collection to help charities.”
With that in mind, Hurren told him about Hillsides where he volunteers weekly as a mentor to one of the young children and is also the treasurer of Hillsides Volunteer Network.
“This event promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a win-win for sports fans--helping kids in need while reliving the dreams of their own youth,” said Hurren, also owner of Skin Deep Laser Medspa in Pasadena.
From the world’s earliest bats and balls like the first thrown from Ebbets Field’s mound in 1913 to tennis rackets dating from the 1700s, the Cypres Sports Museum has extraordinary pieces to view that trace the evolution of international and national sports.
Other exhibits comprise a baseball card room that houses all the great card sets starting in 1887, including a rare Honus Wagner card, uniforms from a wide variety of sports showcasing game-worn jerseys of baseball greats Babe Ruth (1934 Japan tour), Joe DiMaggio (1930s San Francisco Seals and 1951 New York Yankees World Series), and Jackie Robinson, and those of basketball’s top centers, George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain (Overbrook High School), and Shaquille O’Neal, among countless others.
“My collection celebrates the evolution, excellence, and pure enjoyment of sports,” said Cypres to a reporter at the Professional Sports Authenticator. “The Halls of Fame honor the individuals of sports. This collection honors the evolution of sports - the equipment, uniforms and venues.”
The museum’s one-of-a-kind pieces include personal effects such as Babe Ruth’s locker and travel trunk (among many other Ruth’s items), a photograph signed by all members of Notre Dame’s 1924 backfield, the legendary “Four Horsemen,” a letter from Frank Sinatra to Joe DiMaggio, and the 1941 Heisman Trophy awarded to Minnesota halfback Bruce “Boo” Smith after he lead the Gophers to their second consecutive national championship.
A highly successful entrepreneurial businessman, Gary Cypres has amassed an extraordinary collection of artifacts of increasing historical and financial value. His collection’s especially sharp focus on the evolution of sports venues, equipment, uniforms and associated graphics make it unique in the world--acknowledged as such by no less than the Smithsonian Institution.