Former Kansas City Royals owner Avron B. Fogelman’s vast collection of sports memorabilia is going to have a new home. The Boca Raton resident has turned it all over to Florida Atlantic University. The total gift, valued at more than $10 million including memorabilia and cash, is the fifth largest one-time donation in the university’s history.
The collection includes 562 pieces and will be displayed in a new 3,500 square-foot exhibit – The Fogelman Sports Museum at the Schmidt Family Complex for Academic and Athletic Excellence – scheduled to open in December.
Some highlights of the memorabilia on display will include uniforms and game-used items from Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Roger Maris and Hank Aaron, cleats worn by Jim Thorpe, baseballs signed by sports legends, entertainers, historical figures and politicians, a 1985 Kansas City Royals World Series trophy and World Series ring, the 1969 Ryder Cup trophy and other one-of-a-kind artifacts.
The museum will offer visitors a visual progression of American sports alongside vignettes of the country’s growth, providing historical context, opportunities for intergenerational connections and unique storytelling. A $1.8 million cash contribution from Fogelman will cover design, construction, and furnishing costs for the new space, as well as hiring and training of museum staff.
“Creating an exhibit to display this collection is a way for us to protect our history; it is a living, breathing account of our country’s history, America’s Pastime and other sports told through artifacts, my own personal stories and the stories of my friends,” said Fogelman. “If we forget our history we cannot serve as good stewards of our future. FAU understands how to display this collection so it educates and inspires as many people as possible.”
According to FAU President John Kelly, the exhibit will serve the university’s academic programs including MBA Sports Management. Space will be allocated for lectures and post-tour discussions, and the museum will be a free attraction for locals, tourists and sports aficionados alike.
“Securing this collection is a point of pride for our university,” Kelly said. “Avron’s passion for sports, coupled with his lifelong dedication to education are evident through this generous donation. His desire to bring sports history to life will manifest through our plans for academic integration and community engagement.”