“Steady Eddie” is ready to sell more memorabilia.
Ed Kranepool joined the expansion New York Mets as a 17-year-old in 1962 and played for the franchise for 18 seasons. He was part of the 1969 Miracle Mets squad, but his biggest miracle came last month when the 74-year-old former first baseman received a kidney transplant.
The life-saving surgery was made sweeter because the donor was a longtime Mets fan, 56-year-old Deborah Barbieri.
But there are still major medical bills to pay, so Kranepool is offering collectors the chance to meet privately at his Long Island home to buy Mets and New York Yankees memorabilia.
It’s not the first time Kranepool has sold things to pay his medical expenses. In 2017, Kranepool put his 1969 World Series ring and one of his game-used first baseman’s mitts up for sale. Goldin Auctions sold the ring for $62,475.
This summer’s sale will be handled by Momentum Sports Management Inc. of New York City. The Manhattan-based company will schedule by-appointment-only visits to Kranepool’s home in Nassau County to view and purchase items.
Those meet and greet showings will begin this summer, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays. According to a release from Momentum Sports Management, Kranepool also will be available on weekends.
Some of the items for sale will include autographed vintage photographs, autographed baseballs — team and individual — unsigned personal photos from Kranepool’s career, along with memorabilia from other sports.
Momentum Sports Management President Martin Gover said many items will carry a $100 to $500 price tag, while others will sell for between $500 and $1,000.
What kind of magic does Kranepool’s name hold for memorabilia collectors and fans?
Let’s ask a man who gives opinions for a living.
Louis H. Schiff has been a Broward County judge in Florida since 1997. He also is co-author of the 2017 SABR research award-winning book, Baseball and the Law. A distinguished judge and accomplished author, Schiff said he turned to jelly when he met his idol — Kranepool — in 2006.
“When I met him I was shaking and trembling, and I was a 50-something year old man,” said Schiff, who grew up rooting for the Mets from his Brooklyn, New York home. “He was the first baseman I always wanted to be—and knew I didn’t have the ability to be.
“He was gracious and kind and he was eager to meet this kid who idolized him as a child. I told him, ‘I could now die and go to heaven, because I met Ed Kranepool.’”
Kranepool’s memorabilia items certainly will be nostalgic for longtime Mets fans.