Dennis Schrader spent his childhood years as a ball-boy for the New York Yankees during spring training in St. Petersburg, Florida. One day at Al Lang Field in 1956, he picked up a ball just as some guy name Mickey Mantle walked by. Mantle signed the ball and Schrader was hooked on autographs.
Almost 60 years later, Dennis is still collecting autographs and is closing in on 4,700 autographed baseballs (4,673 according to The Tampa Bay Times). His collection is recognized as the largest collection of autographed baseballs in the world. For decades, he has kept his collection inside a concrete vault. Today his collection is going on the display at the St. Petersburg History Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Known as "Little Cooperstown," the exhibit opens today at 10:00am. The collection includes baseballs from Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson and Shoeless Joe Jackson. There are hundreds of autographs from former Negro League Players and the Women's Professional Baseball League (Inspiration to : A League of Their Own). There's even a baseball autographed by former Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro.
St. Petersburg History Museum
335 Second Avenue, NE.
St. Petersburg, Fl 33701
Labels: Dennis Schrader, Florida, Little Cooperstown, St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg History Museum, Worlds Largest Collection of Autographed Baseballs