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Editor’s Blog: Halper’s Son Speaks, X-Rated Photo Buy, Heisman Ring, The National…and More

Some of the items in the legendary Barry Halper collection have been revealed to be something other than what we once thought.  Halper, who is no longer around to answer questions, was even recently accused of being a “con man”.

Harsh words for someone who is considered by most to have accumulated the world’s greatest baseball memorabilia collection this side of Cooperstown before it was broken up and sold in 1999.  Tougher still, considering that there were no professional uniform authenticators around when he was accumulating his stuff.  No one publicly questioned anything.

An article in the New York Post, essentially re-published from a blog, tried to connect  Halper to thefts from the New York Public Library and even indicated the FBI had carted off some items Halper had obtained.

Baseball Digest columnist Mark Healey has issues with the article’s lack of sourcing.  He also has the reaction of Halper’s son Jason to some of the accusations.

Read the story here.

And we now have the reaction to the reaction here.

And…we now have the reaction to the reaction to the reaction here, courtesy of former New York Times reporter Murray Chass, who laments the New York Post’s lack of journalistic standards.

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So who bought the naked picture of Joe DiMaggio?  John Rogers, owner of the Rogers Photo Archive in North Little Rock, Arkansas, announced this week that his company was the buyer of the item in Lelands auction–at $17,233.07.

The photo, taken in the Yankees’ clubhouse in 1936, is a joltin’ image of Joe D., starkers and horsing around with a teammate.

Arkansas resident Rogers, who owns the largest collection of historic images in the world, has previously acquired entire archives of publications, including the recent additions of the Seattle Times and Boston Herald.

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Rashaan Salaam’s 1994 Heisman Memorial Trophy ring is on the auction block.

As a junior, Salaam had one of the most spectacular collegiate seasons ever rushing for a school record 2,055 yards and capturing the 1994 Heisman.  He declared for the NFL Draft after his junior year and was drafted in the first round by the Chicago Bears. He ran for over 1,000 yards as a rookie, but injuries derailed a promising professional career.

The ring, with over 20 diamonds is estimated to sell between $15,000 and $25,000 according to auctioneer Nate D Sanders.  It’ll be on display at the National Sports Collectors Convention next week.  No word on why Salaam is selling.

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New Jersey cardiologist Dr. Nick DePace is planning to open a museum in Collingswood to show off some of his immense and valuable collection of vintage sports cards and memorabilia.  We told you about that earlier this month, but now, Patch.com offers a few photos of some of his best stuff.

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It’s been a good time to be a seller of sports goods in New England.  The Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and now the Bruins have kept loyal fans coming in the doors to purchase cards, autographs and other memorabilia.

Ken Wright, the 67-year-old owner of KC Sports in Quincy is enjoying the run.  He’s a former crane operator who is sort of enjoying a second career, according to this story in the local paper.

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Angels rookie Mike Trout hit his first home run ball last weekend.  Luckily for him, it wound up in the hands of another charitable fan.

Trout is a budding star and in a few years, the ball may have commanded a decent price at auction.  But…

New York-based writer and collector Zack Hample, who caught Trout’s first home run ball Sunday in Baltimore, said he was offered $500 for the ball as soon as he caught it. But Hample gave the ball back to Trout instead.

“I just don’t see dollar signs when I catch these balls,” Hample, 33, said Monday. “I just wanted the kid to get his ball back, you know?”

Hample has literally written the book on snaring baseballs at games.  He talked with the L.A. Times.

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Are you heading to the National next week?   I’ll be there and as usual, we’ll offer coverage before, during and after the show.  I’ll be walking the floor starting Wednesday afternoon.  It’s part business, of course, but we’re also going to enjoy the hobby’s biggest event.  If you’ve got a booth, by all means let me know and I’ll be sure to stop by.  Shoot me an email ([email protected]) and I hope to see you at the Stephens.

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].