Jim Smiley isn’t the type to brag about his collection, but you can count him among the hobby’s most passionate collectors.
Like most who are involved in the hobby as adults, the southern California resident started with baseball cards and bubble gum. Years later, he acquired a Ty Cobb autographed check for a price that will blow your mind and a new collecting interest took shape.
“That was kind of the beginning; it was the summer going into my senior year of high school,” Smiley said.
When he shows off the collection, he’s got a story behind every piece including how he acquired it and the significance behind its inclusion in his collection.
He is a Hall of Fame autograph collector. He now owns signatures from all but three Hall of Fame inductees whose careers began in the 20th century and beyond.
The Glendale News-Press stopped by to get a look at everything.