The sports memorabilia hobby has lost an icon.
Josh Evans, the chairman and founder of Lelands, one of the hobby’s longest running and most prolific auction houses, passed away Sunday. He was 59 and had been dealing with health issues for several years.
Known for his wide-ranging knowledge, his sense of humor and passion for collectibles, Evans was well-respected in the hobby and a mentor to many younger dealers and collectors. His company received numerous high-profile consignments and held well-publicized events many years before sports collectible catalog auctions became mainstream.
Evans’ love for buying and selling collectibles and antiques was learned at a young age. He grew up as the son of east coast antique dealers Stuart and Maxine Evans, setting up at his first show in 1969 at the age of eight. Eventually, he branched out on his own to buy, sell and trade sports memorabilia and founded Lelands in 1985.
Evans was a fixture behind the company booth at most of the hobby’s largest sports card shows for the last 35 years, including the National Sports Collectors Convention.
The National passes along its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Josh Evans from @Lelandsdotcom a true original, his knowledge and humor will be missed by the hobby. pic.twitter.com/8AYn6VrUuQ
— The National (@nsccshow) December 27, 2020
Evans was also an avid collector of non-sports cards and unopened boxes.
He’s survived by his mother Maxine and sister Andrea. He was preceded in death by his father in 2009.