Baseball card treasures lost to theft

December 15, 1992|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff Writer

Where have you gone, Jackie Robinson?

That's what a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. employee whose $3,000 baseball card collection was stolen from his locker last week would like to know.

Gregory Evans, 33, senior plant operator at the Brandon Shores Power Plant in Pasadena, took his collection of about 500 cards to work Dec. 7 to show a co-worker.

"I have some very unique cards," Mr. Evans said, "and I brought them all to work to let John [Bullock] see them. He put them in his locker."

Mr. Evans later returned to his co-worker's locker to get something. The card collection was still there.

According to the police report, the cards were stolen between 9 a.m. and 3:45 p.m., when Mr. Bullock returned to his locker, found the door unlocked and ajar and the collection gone.

Mr. Evans' collection dates to the 1950s and includes many players from the old Negro Leagues, established before black players were allowed to play in the major leagues.

His most valuable card, estimated to be worth $1,200, was of legendary pitcher Satchel Paige.

Mr. Evans managed to salvage one card -- a 1956 Ernie Banks valued at about $100 -- that was not with the other cards he took to work.

"That's one my wife gave me for Christmas one year," he said.

Mr. Evans said he got most of his cards from a shop in Reisterstown or in flea markets around the country.

"Some of my cards were also of the white guys who helped the guys make the crossover to the [major] leagues," he said.

Mr. Evans said he started the collection with his son about seven years ago.

"We went to the library and looked up all the names of the players who were in the Negro Leagues," he said. "The Negro League cards are the most valuable. They are harder to find and hold their value better than the newer card."

Many employees in the building had seen the card collection, and Mr. Evans, of Baltimore, said he thinks a plant worker took the cards.

"That's what hurts the most," he said. "I was never a really big sports fan, but this collection meant something to me, and it had a purpose. It was also a good investment."

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