We don’t have any statistics to prove it, but it’s fair to say Dave Chaffin has one of the biggest collections of sports memorabilia in the Midwest.
The Wichita, Kansas restaurant owner has an extensive stash that includes game-worn jerseys and helmets from Hall of Fame football players, autographed pieces, Hartland statues, programs, ticket stubs and even a fight-worn Muhammad Ali robe.
In 2009, he made headlines around the state when burglars broke into his sports bar/restaurant called Players and made off with a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, several championship rings and a Babe Ruth autographed baseball. At least some of the items were eventually returned.
Now, though, they’re all about to leave the building.
About 1,000 items will be up for sale beginning early next month and what doesn’t sell, he says, will go into major auctions.