posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 07:17 PM
today must be the day for sports collectables storys, here is another one from the seattle times
Man gives 1.3 million sports cards to aid charity
By Christopher Schwarzen
Times Snohomish County Bureau
When Bellevue resident Jerry Hatfield recently decided to send a local thrift-store chain a card for Christmas, he figured it might be even better to
send 1.3 million.
The long-time sports-card enthusiast, looking to trim his personal collection of nearly 5 million cards, thought Value Village could benefit from a
piece of his hobby. The chain is known for supporting local charities through the goods it resells to the public.
Value Village gladly accepted the donation and plans to sell the cards at its four Snohomish County stores beginning Saturday. Fifty percent of the
proceeds will go to the partner charities for those stores: the Moyer Foundation, the Northwest Center, and Community Services for the Blind and
The donation isn't Hatfield's first. Last year, he gave 1.2 million cards to the Federal Way-based nonprofit World Vision. He plans to give away 1.5
million more next year as he and his wife prepare for his retirement and a move to a warmer climate, splitting time between homes in California and
"My wife gave me an ultimatum," the 62-year-old CEO of a Bothell insurance-brokerage firm said. "She said I wasn't taking them with me. She gave me
three years to get rid of the bulk of the cards."
Buyers are unlikely to find Mickey Mantle or Johnny Unitas rookie cards, some of which Hatfield owns, but at least 1 million of the cards will please
baseball and football fans. The remainder are basketball and hockey cards as well as non-sports collections including Coca-Cola, Harley Davidson and
Looney Tunes cards.
Value Village will sell most of the cards in boxed sets containing 3,000 cards. The boxes will be sorted by sport and year and will be priced at
$9.99. Additional unopened sets will be value-priced.
Hatfield's love of collecting began at age 7, he said. The lure of finding rookie cards during the 1949 season was enough to hook him. By age 13, he
had upped the ante to start a football-card collection.
After years of investing in complete sets — including 1984 Topps brand football cards with the likes of rookies John Elway and Dan Marino — he
says now he simply trades with a few friends.
And finding a Barry Bonds or Michael Jordan rookie card late at night after his wife of 35 years has gone to sleep still brings a childlike rush.
"My wife has compared it to a golfer hitting a hole-in-one," Hatfield said. "It's fun."
With 200 stores across the United States, Canada and Australia, Value Village receives the occasional donated vehicle, which is then sold for charity,
or the occasional surprise find — a store in Vancouver, B.C., recently found diamonds worth $25,000 inside a purse.
"But this is a very generous donation," said company spokeswoman Gina Cohen. "This is a first of this quantity."
The charities receiving the donations also say they're excited about the opportunity.
"When things like this happen, it not only raises money, but it also raises awareness of the foundation, and that's also very important to us," said
Gary Pollock, executive director of the Moyer Foundation, which was started by Mariners pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife, Karen.
Hatfield said it's always sad to give up part of his collection, but he realizes that charity also is important.
"Card collecting can be [financially] profitable," Hatfield said. "But helping out those [charities] is also worth it."