Sport Collectors Digest contributor David Moriah has assembled quite a sports memorabilia collection of his own over the years.
The former New York Mets bat boy has crossed paths with a lot of big-leaguers during his more than 50 years as a “baseball lifer.” He has autographed photos of himself with such legends as Casey Stengel, Stan Musial and Cal Ripken Jr., as well as signatures from such immortals as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Cy Young and Honus Wagner.
Moriah also knows a thing or two about halls of fame, having covered every Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony since 1989 for SCD and interviewing such hall of famers as Dave Winfield, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez.
Moriah’s love for the game and sports memorabilia sparked an idea for honoring the hobby’s most passionate collectors.
“Witnessing the recognition of the game's greats got me thinking about some of the amazing collections and collectors of sports memorabilia I have encountered over the years,” Moriah said. “I thought, ‘Suppose we searched for the most passionate and prolific collectors out there and honored them for their efforts.’”
Moriah’s idea sparked the launch of the inaugural SCD Collectors Hall of Fame. The 2021 class features inductees in seven categories: card collectors; autographs; memorabilia; best man cave; the persistent pursuer; a goodwill ambassador; and a sports artist whose work has contributed to sports and the hobby.
The inaugural class features some of the most passionate and dedicated collectors in the hobby, some who have been featured in SCD before and some who are appearing for the first time.
The 2021 class features the collector who owns what is believed to be the largest baseball card collection in the world; the world record holder for the most autographed baseballs; and two collectors who own impressive memorabilia collections from their favorite teams. It also features one of the most committed collectors in the hobby — one who spent 17 years pursuing a must-have signature. It also features a priest who used his valuable collection for a higher calling, and a well-known artist who has blessed the hobby with some of the most beautiful portraits in sports history.
The class was nominated and selected by a panel that includes: former SCD Editor Dave Strege; current SCD Editor Jeff Owens; Editorial Director Paul Kennedy; SCD Editors-At-Large Greg Bates and Larry Canale; and, of course, Moriah, a long-time contributor and our resident hall of fame expert.
We honored the inaugural inductees in the June 1 issue of Sports Collectors Digest. We hope you enjoy their stories and appreciate the contributions to the best sports hobby in the world.