Sports Collectors

Notes: Rich Altman Passes; Maris ’61 Jersey Donated to HOF; More

The sports memorabilia world lost one of its long time fixtures Thursday with the sudden passing of dealer Rich Altman.

Rich Altman

Altman started Hollywood Collectibles in 1986 and was still running the Dania Beach, Florida-based company, which specialized in autographs. 

He had exhibited at major shows across the country since the 1980s and had been a regular at the National Sports Collectors Convention for 35 years, including the recently concluded 2021 event at in Chicago.  Altman also promoted his own shows in the Boston area and more recently in Nashville.  His latest Boston show had been planned for later this month with the Tennessee event scheduled for this fall.

During his long career in the memorabilia world, Altman also forged autograph deals with a variety of athletes, most notably Bill Russell, who became a long-time friend, and Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade.

A 1961 Roger Maris jersey has been donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame, which is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the “Maris-Mantle” home run chase.

The home white pinstripe donned by Maris during the 1961 regular season is now a part of the Hall of Fame collection, thanks to former MLB executive Andy Strasberg, who was a friend of Maris’ during his playing days and beyond.

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Notes: Rich Altman Passes; Maris '61 Jersey Donated to HOF; More

Maris’ No. 9 Yankees jersey was donated by Strasberg, who will be featured in a Hall of Fame Virtual Author Series program Aug. 18. Strasberg’s “My 1961” was published earlier this year and recounts his journey as a 13-year-old fan following Maris’ pursuit of the record.

The jersey is on exhibit on the Museum’s second floor in the Timeline display dedicated to the 1950s and ’60s Yankees dynasty.

“The greatest summer of my youth happened in 1961,” Strasberg said. “For decades I have treasured this Maris Yankee pinstriped jersey with the shortened tailored sleeves. But now, on the 60th anniversary of that memorable baseball season, with the approval of the Maris family, it’s time to share it with fans who visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.”

The Yankees went on to win the 1961 World Series in five games. Maris was named the league’s Most Valuable Player after totaling 141 RBI to go with his record-setting 61 home runs.

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An Arizona man has been sentenced to five years in prison in connection with the theft of big league manager Terry Francona’s World Series rings.

Jeremy Estep, 35, had pleaded guilty to trafficking in stolen property.

Francona returned to his off-season home in Tucson after the 2019 season and found the two World Series rings along with three All-Star Game rings missing.  The All-Star rings haven’t been recovered, according to this story from News12.

Auction house reps, vintage card dealers and others in the hobby offered some of their picks to click as the best sports card and memorabilia investments to buy and hold over the next 3-5 years.

MeiGray Auctions is offering a stack of game-worn and game-issued NHL and ECHL jerseys through its eBay page.  Some of the jerseys date back as far as the 2009-10 season.  Skates are also part of the company’s current slate of auctions.

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