Sunday, November 2, 2014

Baseball card story from Ray Suplee

Outfielder Ray Suplee played six seasons of professional baseball, mostly in the Yankees organization. In 468 games he hit .260 with 26 HR and 221 RBI. Now Vice President, Investments at Raymond James Financial in Atlanta, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"There was a greens keeper in Asheville, NC (Tourists – SAL) in 1993 that had an unbelievable card collection.  We heard about his cards on our first day in town and called ‘bunk’ (claimed to have Shoeless Joe Jackson, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Mantle, DiMaggio, etc. rookie cards).  Prior to the next day’s game, he showed us a cigar box filled with unreal cards (including all he claimed to have the day prior).  We had no idea as to their value (knew it was a lot) and asked him why he didn’t sell them and enjoy the proceeds.  His answer (as if we were crazy to ask), “Then I wouldn’t have them anymore – no way”.  He mentioned his father owning a bar across from Fenway Park and patrons leaving cards to reserve a seat or while finding money to pay for their drinks.  I have no idea as to his name or how you could research to determine, but if you could track him down, that would make for a fun discussion and a great collection to review."

Thanks! I contacted Jim Clemmons in the Asheville Tourists Front Office and he shared that the groundskeeper was named Grady Gardner. I will look him up for an interview:

1 comment:

  1. I saw Ray play in 1994. Got him to sign that card you have pictured.
    As for finding the Tourists' grounds crew guy, I'm sure someone out there has a Tourists game program from 1993. The grounds crew would most likely be listed in there.