88 year-old Jimmy Palermo and his family have some very nice old game-used bats. His stories as a former St. Louis Browns clubhouse attendant are even better.
Jimmy Palermo ran a tavern across the street from Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis. That was years after he served as a batboy and clubhouse attendant and it all added up to a collection of baseball memorabilia he latched onto along the way.
None of it was worth the kind of cash it would fetch today, but that’s why the bar became a magnet for things like Hank Aaron and Stan Musial bats.
Palermo got those in the 1950s. In the 30s, he helped a dying Lou Gehrig put on his shoes and socks, fetched a bat-rubbing bone for the Babe and acquired an autographed baseball from the 1933 American League All-Star team. Just don’t ask him what happened to it. He knows–and it’s a sad family secret.
Palermo has two collections we all dream about. The physical one–and the memories of hanging out with some of the game’s all-time greats.