The Green Diamond Gallery, one of the nation’s most advanced baseball memorabilia collections and home to regular gatherings of Hall of Famers and fans for nearly 13 years, is going on the auction block.
Bob Crotty, a long-time collector, has closed the Cincinnati area museum and consigned the hundreds of items inside to Hunt Auctions, which will offer pieces of it at various auctions through 2020. The first group of items will be among the highlights of the upcoming Louisville Slugger Factory & Museum Auction.
Crotty’s collection, curated over decades, is considered one of the most significant private collections to have ever been assembled. It includes over 100 Hall of Fame member jerseys, hundreds of game used bats (most Hall of Famers), thousands of autographs including a majority of the members in baseball’s Hall of Fame, stadium artifacts, photography, awards, presentational items, and original artwork. The collection features a number of items which are regarded as the best examples within their particular category.
In 2007, Crotty opened the Green Diamond Gallery museum in Montgomery, Ohio, which allowed him to share the items with fellow baseball fans through membership in the Wright Society. The private museum and club he created welcomed not only baseball enthusiasts but also playing host to a number of notable speakers such as Johnny Bench, Mike Schmidt, Reggie Jackson, and Randy Johnson to name a few.
The museum held its last event in late August and last Thursday, the collection was loaded onto a rented truck and shipped off to Hunt’s Easton, PA office for cataloging. Last month, Crotty told the Cincinnati Business Courier he closed Green Diamond Gallery because he spends half of the year living outside the area, membership in the club he started didn’t reach the number needed to make it a practical venture and his building lease was coming due at the end of the year. On Monday, Hunt Auctions announced he’d chosen them to sell his collection.
“The Green Diamond model existed to share my lifetime collecting journey and passion for the game of baseball,” Crotty stated. “I felt that the time was right in my life to make this collection available to the collecting public so that others can enjoy the items and the history of the game which I love so dearly. I am very excited to collaborate with Hunt Auctions to bring this collection to the public to baseball fans all over the country and the world.”
“I have had the great pleasure of counting Bob Crotty as a client and friend for over twenty years,” Hunt Auctions’ President David Hunt said. “Bob’s visionary taste and targeted approach have equated to a collection which I would succinctly rank among the very finest of its type ever assembled. The importance of this offering simply cannot be overstated.”
The first group of items will be sold in the Louisville Auction November 9.