There’s an $11,000 reward in connection with the theft of 33 autographed baseballs from a case inside Don & Charlie’s Restaurant in Scottsdale, AZ.
Scottsdale Police say someone smashed the restaurant’s front door around 2 AM last Wednesday, ran inside and swiped the baseballs from a trophy case. They are a small part of a massive collection of signed sports items and other memorabilia accumulated over the years by Don Carson, the restaurant’s owner.
Many of the missing baseballs were signed by Hall of Famers who visited the restaurant over the past four decades. Several were personalized with various inscriptions including those from Ted Williams, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays (2), Warren Spahn and Joe DiMaggio.
Other missing baseballs include those from Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Frank Robinson, Stan Musial, Yogi Berra, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Harmon Killebrew and Whitey Ford. A signed ball bearing Babe Ruth’s name is also missing. We’re told that was the only baseball Carson ever purchased and there was no word on whether it had been authenticated. Not all are in pristine condition. Photos provided by the restaurant show staining on some of them. A gallery of some of the baseballs is below.
Carson has put up most of the reward money.
“It’s not the most tragic thing that has happened in the world in last 36 hours, but it is important to me,” Carson said. “I’d like to have my stuff come home.”
The restaurant has been popular with locals, with past and present players and with fans who come to Arizona. It is scheduled to close April 10 after 38 years in the area. A hotel is scheduled to be built on the site with a scaled down restaurant that pays homage to Don & Charlie’s included in the plans.
Police are examining surveillance videos and believe the thief targeted the baseballs. None of the other memorabilia inside was stolen.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Scottsdale Police Department at 480-312-5000. Anonymous tips may be provided to Silent Witness at 480-948-6377 (480-WIT-NESS) or via the Silent Witness website at www.silentwitness.org.