Traverse City Sports Collector Reflects On All American Sport Le - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Traverse City Sports Collector Reflects On All American Sport Legends

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Friday is the Detroit Tigers' home opener for the 2017 baseball season.

While some are celebrating today, many sports lovers are also reflecting on years past.

A Traverse City sports fanatic is one of those fans, sharing some of his greatest baseball memorabilia as we cheer on our Tigers.

Richard Bannatyne says he grew up a sports fanatic, “I love sports I've loved sports ever since I was a youngster.”

Collecting baseball and football memorabilia was simply a favorite hobby.

Fast-forward a few years, now it's his livelihood.

“We sell sports card, memorabilia, autographs, pictures, all kinds of different knick knacks for the hobby,” Bannatyne’s talking about his Traverse City shop, Nothing But Sports, a paraphernalia heaven for sports lovers.

Bannatyne remarks, “Pieces of memorabilia, you can come in here and get a chunk of a jersey, or a chunk of a bat of a player for as little as a dollar. On a card the skies the limit.”

Roaming the aisles you'll find signatures by legends like Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, and Ted Williams.

Autographs that Bannatyne says are less common than you might guess; “Today's stuff, we put the new players right in the packs of cards. They'll sign stuff, sign the cards and put them in. That didn't happen back in the day, and people didn't collect autographs as much back in the day, so some of those players didn't sign as much as today's players.”

Along with various card collections are signed game day balls and even pieces of some iconic player's equipment.

“A product like this just came out, has Babe Ruth chunks of his bat that he used in games back when Babe Ruth played. So these are kind of interesting,” reflects Bannatyne.

Although time passes and new sports stars rise, Bannatyne says there's something special about the kings of the sport, the one's we'll always collect and never forget; “That never goes away, everybody wants those players, collects those players, cause then they were the best to ever play the game.”

Bannatyne says collecting cards is actually a great way for kid's to gain memory skills.

For every kid that comes into Nothing But Sports with a good report card, he'll give them a piece of memorabilia for free!