View Full Version : Barry Halper has passed away

12-18-2005, 09:11 PM
For those of you that have not heard, Barry Halper has passed away. One of my friends called me today and gave me the bad news. He will be missed.

Marcus Sevier

12-18-2005, 09:18 PM
What a great, great man. He was an incredibly generous and kind man, always taking my call when I needed his wisdom. He always had a trivia question ready to try to stump you. It's hard to believe he's gone. may you rest in peace, Barry.

Seth Swirsky

12-19-2005, 04:40 AM
The King. For those not familiar with him get Cabin Fever Videos,"Baseball Time Capsule:The Barry Halper Collection". His house/collection is The model which we all tried to emulate.

12-19-2005, 09:37 AM
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com (http://www.nydailynews.com/)Halper, renowned collector, dies
Monday, December 19th, 2005

Barry Halper, the New Jersey businessman and limited partner in the Yankees who amassed what has been acclaimed as the most extensive and valuable collection of baseball memorabilia, died yesterday from complications of diabetes. He was 66.
In the course of his often-relentless pursuit of baseball artifacts, Halper developed close personal friendships with many of the most prominent members of the baseball community, including Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, Pete Rose, Lou Piniella and Bobby Murcer. He turned the lower level of his spacious former home in Livingston, N.J., into a baseball shrine - or "Cooperstown South," as it was dubbed in the various collecting publications - and many Hall of Famers were frequent dinner guests there.
Halper caught the baseball collecting bug at age 8 when, hanging out by the players' gate at Bears Stadium, home of the old Newark Bears of the International League, he was given a uniform jersey of Barney McCosky, one of the Bears' players. He went on to collect 1,068 uniforms, many of which were kept on a computerized dry cleaning rack in his home.
In all, the Halper collection, which was ultimately sold at auction by Sotheby's in 1999, contained over 100,000 pieces ranging from the truly historic (Babe Ruth's famous camel hair coat, Shoeless Joe Jackson's "black Betsey" bat, the papers of correspondence between Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and Red Sox owner Harry Frazee on the sale of Ruth in 1919), to the truly bizarre (the rifle Ty Cobb's mother used to shoot his father, Cy Young's dentures, and a weather vane that had rested on the roof of a Waterbury, Conn., factory that had once been the home of 19th century Hall of Famer Roger Connor).
At his press conference in Dallas in 1994 announcing his successful liver transplant, Mantle spotted Halper in the audience and cracked: "Hey, Barry, did you get my other liver?"
Another time, Halper was sitting with former President Richard Nixon at a Yankees game and asked him to sign a ball - but not with just an ordinary signature.
"Can you sign, 'Tricky Dick'?" the irrepressible Halper asked.
"Oh, no I couldn't do that," Nixon replied. "But how about 'The Trickster'?"
"Anybody who was ever around Barry loved him," Piniella said last night from Tampa. "He was just such a genuine guy. I never knew anyone who loved baseball more than he did and he was so proud to be a limited partner in the Yankees."
It was at the outset of his affliction with diabetes that Halper reluctantly decided to sell his collection and the Sotheby's auction netted $22 million. In addition, Major League Baseball contributed $5 million for some of the most precious artifacts that were donated to the Hall of Fame.
In addition to his baseball connections - he briefly served as CEO of the Yankees - Halper was a trustee for the St. Barnabas Hospital burn unit in Livingston, and raised tens of thousands of dollars for that institution by having his baseball friends, DiMaggio, Rose et al, speak at fundraisers. Halper is survived by his wife, Sharon; two sons, Steven and Jason; and a daughter, Marnie Stark.

12-19-2005, 04:06 PM
I still look at my Sothebys catalog from 99, and am still amazed at how AHEAD OF THE GAME, Barry was. I would of have like to see his home when all of these items were in place. the things went for 22 million in 99. I would easily bet he would get close to 60 million today

12-19-2005, 09:53 PM
The collection was truly amazing. I had the opportunity to have Barry give me a guided personal tour in '95. Words could not do the collection justice, not to mention the kindness he showed over the years. He will truly be missed.

01-04-2006, 06:03 PM
I've posted a new entry in my blog (http://aaronsroom.blogspot.com/) devoted to Barry and the inspiration (completely unbeknownst to him) he provided to my collection when I was younger, plus resources to material to learn more about his collection.

Halper really was the first of the great baseball memorabilia collectors!


01-04-2006, 09:59 PM
I was fortunant to have bought a collection of game used books on ebay and with it came the sotheby catalog that showcased barry halper's collection. the catalog consisted of two volumes and were categorized by time periods and gave photos and description of each item in his collection. his collection really showed the love of the game and the willingness of professional athletes to be a part of his collection because mr harper was first and foremost a collector. i was especially impressed with his theme balls that he created such as the ty cobb and pete rose theme ball. most collector would not think of making a single signed baseball of ty cobb into a theme ball. he will be surely missed but his love of baseball will be forever remembered by collectors like ourselves that share his admiration of baseball and strive to have his passion for the sport through collection of baseball artifacts.