It’s one of the longest continuously operating sports card stores in the country. The Ballpark, a fixture in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area since 1988, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
Owner Calvin Havercamp moved his shop once, but that was 17 years ago and he remains entrenched in Apple Valley, MN. The Ballpark is popular with old school collectors who appreciate his inventory of vintage cards but he also carries newer material and a few other types of collectibles and conducts autograph sessions on occasion.
“It’s amazing. When you think about it, I’ve been able to do a job I love for half my life, “ he told a local newspaper for this story.
The earliest Lou Gehrig professional baseball contract is up for auction.
Dated August 2nd, 1923, the contract sets forth the terms by which Gehrig was assigned by the Yankees to play for Hartford of the Eastern League. Steiner Auctions is offering the contract in its Summer catalog, which also includes a Ruth bat and signed baseball among more than 1,000 lots.
The Gehrig contract features a signature of Jacob Ruppert that was executed by Ed Barrow, the General Manager of the New York Yankees. It was common for Barrow to pen Ruppert’s name on the contracts of players throughout the tenure of his ownership.
Last year, Gehrig’s 1924 contract, in similar condition, sold for $480,000.
If you’ve read SC Daily for a long time, you might remember our story about Red Sox bat collector Jeff Boujoukos. He owns a bat for nearly every player who suited up for the team since 1960—a collection that’s now pushing toward 800.
Yes, he has Ted Williams and Carlton Fisk and Jim Rice and Fred Lynn…but he also has Ramon Aviles whose entire Red Sox career consisted of one sacrifice bunt 41 years ago.
“I get a real thrill finding some of these incredibly obscure bats that I never thought I would find,” Boujoukos told the Boston Globe, which published a terrific feature story on his collection, part of which is on display at Fenway Park. You won’t believe the work it took to get the photo that leads off the piece.]
The collection as a whole, bat by bat, can be seen at bostongameused.com.
TriStar Productions had its annual summer show in Houston over the weekend. Among the guests was Tony Kemp of the Astros, who is known for his “Hugs for Homers”. The 5’7 Vanderbilt product leaps into the arms of much larger teammate Evan Gattis anytime Gattis hits one out. It’s a funny scene and at the show on Saturday, one fan/collector paid for a photo op with Kemp:
— Tony Kemp (@tonykemp) July 7, 2018
There’s a charity element to the Hugs for Homers campaign, too. T-shirts with the slogan are sold to help buy baseball equipment for kids who can’t afford it. You can order here.