Ben Weil

If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, the name Ben Weil might sound familiar. Ben is a fellow ballhawk. We’ve ended up at lots of the same games. We’ve become really good friends. And I’ve mentioned him often. See if this rings a bell . . .

Here we are at Game 3 of the 2011 World Series in Arlington.
Here we are after Game 5 of the 2011 ALDS in New York.
Here we are at a regular-season Marlins game at Nationals Park.

Do you remember this photo of Ben at Camden Yards or this one at Citi Field? Do you know what all these photos have in common?

One word: JERSEYS.

Ben has an insane collection, which is already somewhat legendary. Obviously, word has been spreading among the fans who always see him wearing different jerseys, but I’ve also been dropping hints on my blog about the enormity of his collection. Just how many jerseys does he own? Twenty? Fifty? One hundred?! I’ve never given an actual number, prompting some people to get competitive and claim that they have more jerseys than Ben. If you’re one of these people, settle down. You and all your friends combined don’t have as many jerseys as this guy. This blog entry will finally settle the dispute. Just last week, I went to Ben’s place — he lives with his mother in Queens — to see his collection with my very own eyes, and wow. Get ready for it.

Let’s start with a photo that shows the area just inside the front door; there aren’t any jerseys visible, but it’ll give you an idea of things to come:

Like I said . . . wow.

Here’s a photo of Ben in the hallway outside his bedroom . . .

. . . and here’s a shot of him in his room:

Here’s a closeup of something funny that you probably didn’t notice in the previous photo:

In case you can’t tell, that’s a Chipper Jones Bobblehead, dangling from the window with a miniature noose around its neck.

As it turned out, there was SO much stuff to see that I failed to photograph most of it. I did, however, film a nine-minute video inside Ben’s apartment, so I can at least share some screen shots. Here’s one that shows just a few of Ben’s jerseys bulging out of his closet:

In the screen shot above, did you notice the Garfield stuffed animals on the closet shelf? What about the Garfield calendar on the wall? As you’re about to see, Ben collects lots of stuff beyond jerseys, including anything/everything related to Garfield. Here’s a four-part photo that shows some more items . . .

. . . and by the way, the cat in the first photo (sitting on the table and looking at the camera) is named . . . yeah, you guessed it.

In the four-part photo above, the Garfield item on the upper left is a piggy bank. On the upper right, you’re looking at a Garfield clock and lamp. On the lower left, you can see a couple of Ben’s original Garfield drawings taped to the wall outside his bedroom, and on the lower right, there’s a bottle of Garfield hand sanitizer.

Here’s another screen shot of one of Ben’s collections:

Can you tell what he’s holding? Those are credit cards. He was approved for all of them at one time or another.

And then there are the caps. In the following screen shot, the stack of cardboard boxes is filled with them:

Here’s a number for you: Ben owns more than 900 caps, all of which are fitted.

Want to see more jerseys? Take a look at the stacks on top of the dresser in the hallway:

Wanna guess what’s inside the dresser?

Here’s a hint:

And oh, hey, look, here’s another closet FILLED WITH JERSEYS:

And what’s this over here? Why, it’s ANOTHER DRESSER FILLED WITH JERSEYS:

Before Ben closed the dresser drawers, he pulled out two different jerseys of Albert Belle:

In the screen shot above, do you see the stack of cardboard boxes on the right? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, but those are filled with jerseys too.

Here’s one of Ben’s favorites.

Here’s where he stores the baseballs that he’s snagged at major league games:

Here’s Ben wearing a “cheesehead” hat, which he plans to bring to Green Bay next year:

That’s right, Ben is a fan of football too. And basketball. And probably croquet. And bowling.

Actually, I’m being serious about bowling. Here’s a rack of bowling balls in his mother’s room:

Ben owns THIRTY-SIX BOWLING BALLS and once bowled a perfect/300 game. He even wears a ring to commemorate it. Ask him to show it to you next time you see him.

Now, speaking of Ben’s mother, here she is in the living room, graciously allowing me to take photos and not yelling at me for blocking her view of the TV:

In the photo above, do you see the colorful stack of stuff in the far right corner of the room? Those are foam fingers. See the life-sized cardboard cutout of Mike Piazza, just to the left of the lamp? See the stacks of clothes in front of Piazza? Those are jerseys. You know what you can’t see in the photo above? The 250,000 baseball cards that are boxed up and tucked under the couch or the 70-plus Mike Piazza jerseys that Ben owns.

Yeah.

Ben and his mother (yes, they’re in this together) also collect Bobbleheads. In the following photo, you can see some of them stacked up in their boxes on the right:

They also collect souvenir soda cups from various stadiums. Behold!

Here are some of Ben’s hats:

As you’ve probably gathered, Ben kinda likes Mike Piazza. Check out the light switch in the following photo:

Here’s a photo of Ben’s mother’s room. There are jerseys everywhere, and they don’t belong to her:

Ben and I hung out at the apartment for about an hour. Before we left, I got a photo of him with his mom:

Her name is Paula, and hey, did you notice his cap?

Then he and I drove to an Italian restaurant in Howard Beach. This was my view during dinner:

(Nice shirt, Ben. Stay classy.)

As for the number of jerseys that Ben owns, he estimates the grand total to be over 1,600. And some people think his blog URL contains “jerseyboy” because he’s from New Jersey? Ha. Ha. Ha. Not quite.

If you have any questions for Ben, fire away. He reads this blog (as well as all the comments), so you’ll get an answer directly from him.

Finally, in case you care, you can follow him on Twitter @Benny_Bang_Bang, and while we’re at it, you can follow me @zack_hample.

Actually, no, wait. One more thing. It’s easy to make fun of people who are obsessed with stuff — I’ve certainly taken my share of heat for my baseball collection — but let’s not be too quick make judgments and hurl insults. I wouldn’t want to live with my mother, but Ben has a specific/personal reason for living with his. I wouldn’t want to live in an apartment with so much clutter, but Ben and his mother don’t seem to mind. I also don’t give a damn about Garfield or football or foam fingers or jerseys. But if there’s one thing that I love and respect, it’s passion; Ben has as much of it as anyone I’ve ever met, and since he’s not hurting anyone with his hobbies and collections, I say ROCK ON, BROTHA! Keep doing your thing, and thanks for being an inspiration.

84 Comments

Wow! I can certainly relate to the love of collecting a lot of different stuff, so this was cool to read. It’s too bad Ben doesn’t display the different items better (rather than in boxes), but then again, he seems to have way too many to display. Thanks for sharing!
– Malcolm

http://theballparkguide.mlblogs.com/

Impressive collection but it’s a fine line, as the photos remind me a lot of a certain show on A&E that I have occasionally watched.

Question for Ben: What percentage of your jerseys are game-worn?

BEN. can i ask how you pay for all this stuff plus go to lots of games?

Jeebus. You’d need a 6,000+ square foot house to even semi-properly display all that stuff. I don’t even want to guess how much all that has cost at retail. 900 fitted hats at $20 a pop…. $18,000! Ben, do you have a hook-up or something?

Hmna, hmna, hmna… Sorry, I just had a minor aneurysm in my brain from reading theis entry. I actually similarly documented my Baseball “stuff” collection a few months ago (http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com/2011/11/20/collected-baseball-knick-knacks). I just realized how measly it really is and what my dream world may look like in a decade or two, once I mentally photoshopped the non-Packers football stuff out. I had some pretty big expectations when I heard the lore of his Jersey collection. What I didn’t realize is the magnitude of the other “stuff”.

I must agree with Joe, there’s collecting…but this seems to be overboard. Maybe it’s “organized” hoarding.

Mama Pajama! Now that is a collection! Right along side yours in terms of sheer magnitosity! My question is if it is an entirely U.S. teams collection of jerseys and hats, or if it goes international? Any Mexican Liga jerseys?

how does he pay for all of that?

I’ve seen Ben make some pretty sick home run grabs at Citi Field, so he definitely deserves an article on here.

Looks like Hoarders to me. Understand the passion, but taking up all the room in the house?

Malcolm- I wish I had the room to display my items better.

Joe – Hoarders save things with no value. If I sold my collection…well just look at what Donny in Houston wrote. And he doesn’t even mention my jersey collection of nearly double.

Jere80 – I think I may only have about 20 game-used jerseys. I’m not really into them that much, as I like to wear my jersey’s.

Randy Kiser – It’s a collection obtained over many years, and I commit all my finances to it.

Donny in Houston – I have a bit of a hook-up for the jerseys.

mlblogsfishfry55 – I may be able to get on board with the term “organized hoarding!” I don’t particularly like the term hoarding, cause hoarders collect things with zero value. For me, the Garfield stuff is very personal. The cups and foam fingers are things I collect from every stadium I go to, so I don’t think much of it. The bobbleheads are usually stadium giveaways, or players I really like, so a lot of those are free, and have resale value. Regardless, I like the term you provided!

kslo69 – I have very few international pieces. I have some World Baseball Classic jerseys and hats. I have some soccer jerseys (I went to the World Cup in South Africa in 2010), and I have a Ricky Williams Toronto Argonauts jersey. I can’t think if I have any other international jerseys though.

Jacob – Read above.

Nick – I appreciate that! Have we been acquainted?

Jimmy – If I had a bigger apartment; if I didn’t live in NYC, it would look as cramped.

Do you have any Chauncey Billups jerseys?

I don’t believe I do. I was never much of a fan of him…except when he beat the Lakers in 04.

I see the living room couch is completely off limits now.

And in terms of 0-value items, my wife would still love those beads…

To throw in my two cents: this collection is extraordinary. And wouldn’t you know it, but when I stayed in New York this past season, there was even room for a bed for me to sleep on and the couch was clutter-free! But in terms of the “hoarders” comments…you guys making them either aren’t big sports fans or just don’t understand the epicosity (yes, I said epicosity) of this collection. Ben could probably say more from an outsider’s perspective seeing me, but I was in total shock for hours on end looking through all of this stuff and seeing how much the collection really has to it. Props to Zack for this blog entry, and even I have been tempted to do the same thing since seeing this in person, but even a 3 hour documentary on the apartment wouldn’t do justice to the glory of the collection.

Amazing collection Ben! Can you give us a breakdown of the estimated % or # of jerseys by sport? MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAA, Other? Glad this article was posted. I tweeted you about it a few weeks ago and you mentioned it would be out around the new year. @cjf125

do you keep an inventory of these? if you want to wear one you how do you know where to locate it? also you must have a good hookup with the jersey and hat dealers if you buy that many. do you have any ncaa stuff?

I’m loving all these comments and questions. And to Ben: thanks for reading/answering them.

Props on the World Cup journey, Ben. Some friends have been talking of making a trip to Brasil for the next one, and I’m totally not going to be able to go, short of selling the ball-and chain around my ankle (aka restaurant).
Totally off the subject, anyone who enjoys modern cello music should check out “Takenobu” downloads from amazon. Good stuff. Sweet cover of Doc Watson’s “Shady Grove”.

This is pretty incredible, Ben.

I am an investment advisor who works with high net worth individuals. One of the most fulfilling projects that I undertook involved a client’s collection of midwest “stuff.” His house was like a museum of midwest collectibles… old guns, native american artifacts, paintings… for my client, this collection represented a huge portion of his “wealth” and so we wanted to do something to help enhance or at least preserve the value of his collectibles. By themselves, the individual pieces were worth a pretty penny but it was impossible to capture the sentimental value in pieces. So what we did was we created the “Joe Schmo Collection” (leaving my client’s name out of it, for anonymity). We created a high-quality, professionally bound book to highlight his collection and databased the entire collection… for my client, the experience of going through his collection and creating something that would be lasting and meaningful was very worthwhile. From a financial POV, it created something that could be easily sent to collectors/brokers. It essentially enhanced the value of his collection by creating a “buzz.” In your situation, Ben, I think that it is extremely important to make sure that your collection is well insured… fire/theft. Your homeowners or rental insurance might not be adequate (you might not have enough coverage to cover the value of that collection or it might not cover it at all). I hope this doesn’t sound too put-offish. I think it’s great… chaotic but great.

This is a really cool collection, and something I wish I could afford to do myself! Love the Garfield stuff! I’ve been saving the Garfield calendars I get each year, and I have a bunch of my favorite strips up on my refrigerator. (Frankly, anything with Pookie automatically makes the fridge!) My only question is, how do you keep track of where everything is? I have a much smaller collection of baseball memorabilia and bobbleheads and such, and I sometimes find it hard to remember where item X is in the whole mess. Got any tips? Have fun continuing your collection!

This is a very impressive collection. But I think you should go through it and organize it. get rid of some stuff (not jerseys) but keep the stuff you want and sell some of the rest, like your hats. 250,000 baseball cards is a lot. mabye keep your favorite 2000 and get rid of the rest so you can manage it all. you should be able to enjoy your stuff but also enjoy your house. like sit on the couch or do other things!

Nick

Citsade – Next time I see you! Or, you can always come to Queens ;-) Thanks for commenting!
Avi M – Thanks Avi!
PSU532 – I can give you a general breakdown of estimations as I know them (mind you all numbers are likely considerably greater than the estimated # listed):
NBA – 200
NFL – 600
MLB – 800
NHL – 20 (I’m not really sure how many I have, but it’s not that many. It’s at least 20, but probably no more than 35).
The sports below, I really don’t have many of, but still some (and I don’t really include them in my collection):
NCAA Basketball – 10
NCAA Football – 10
Soccer – 5
Randy Kiser – I try and inventory them as often as possible, but while I was away at college, I never kept up, and I receive an average of 3 – 5 jerseys a week, and as you all know, I am away a lot, going to games and such, so I do not do a great job of keeping up. I have about 1,400 inventoried, but I factually know the numbers are significantly greater than that. I do find jerseys I forget I have. For the most part however, I know exactly where the majority are. Like, I know the 3 different places, where my 3 different Darrell Armstrong Orlando Magic jerseys are. Or where my Rangers Rafael Palmeiro is, as compared to my Orioles one. My A’s Jose Canseco as compared to my Devil Rays one. And so on. And as you can see above, I don’t have much NCAA stuff. I have like 6 Tim Tebows, (I’m a Gators fan, and a Hoyas fan in basketball) a Brandon Lloyd, a Jim Harbaugh, a Grant Hill, Patrick Ewing, Allen Iverson, and a few others.
Zack – Thanks for writing this!
OCP22 – Hey man, it doesn’t sound one bit put-offish! It sound very, VERY helpful, so I really, truly appreciate your advice. Also, the project you worked on sounds incredible, and like something I would LOVE to one day. I feel as if I’d have to quit my job, and commit my life to completing that type of project though. But I’d definitely be interested in doing something like that, and I really, probably should. Thanks!!!
Andrew Meeusen – I don’t think I can express to you enough how much I love your comment, and how close to home it really come for me. First of all, I do have the calendars from every year as well, but sadly, as I’ve recently determined I need to start to clean my house up a bit, I threw some away last night :-( I still have all the desk calendars, but I threw away a few of the wall calendars, as I determined I’ll never really look at them again, so I don’t need them. As for comic strips, the ONLY reason I still get a daily delivery of the newspaper, is to read the Garfield strip, and I do same a bunch of them myself. As for Pooky(!!!!!!), yes, I save practically EVERYTHING with Pooky. Zack forgot to mention this, but I’ll say this:
Everyone- In regards to my Garfield collection, Zack didn’t mention that my collection includes a tattoo on my left arm!
Andrew Meeusen – That tattoo is Garfield holding Pooky :-) Also, as for remembering where everything is… I guess you need a good memory, as that’s what works best for me! But, I do try and make lists of the bobbleheads I have and write down which closet I put them in. That could certainly help!
Nick Gantz – In regards to the cards, at this point to me, they are a sunk cost, and something I don’t worry about. They are beyond salvation, and they are buried away, so I don’t think much of them. The jerseys prevent the couch sitting.

Where are all the Avril, Taylor and Mandy Moore items, Benny?
Props on the Ken Griffey, Jr. *in motion* photo on your bedroom wall. But you should move it above the fire place mantle!
Next time I see you, definitely show me your 300 ring. Very impressive. I used to bowl in a couple leagues, but my highest game ever was 244.
-Todd

Wow. I was skimming through this last night and I saw something about 90 hats in the comment section. I thought to myself, “Wow, that’s a lot of hats”, but when I looked today, it actually said “900”, so dang, that’s a ton of hats! The jerseys, forget it. ONLY 20 game-worn?? I don’t have a single jersey period!!!

PrimaPasta..good stuff

I have a little jersey collection, one day I’d love to have that many.

Now, the real question – are those all China knock off’s? Or, legit Mitchell & Ness jerseys…I’d bet China.

J- There’s a large difference between knock offs and Mitchell & Ness. For one, M&N produces older style jerseys and such. Brands like Majestic and New Era make the jerseys and caps that are considered authentic, and yes, Ben only buys authentic. Had to step in here since I knew the answer. If you saw them in person, more than half of them still have tags too lol

Ben,
Sorry you had to throw away some of your calendars…. Cleaning out a collection might be for the best sometimes, but it’s never fun. I’m kind of a baseball card hoarder, and once in a while when I run out of space, I go through and weed out duplicates I don’t need and which I don’t care to put in the time trying to sell, and I donate them to the local children’s home out here (in the hopes of maybe getting the kids more interested in the hobby). It makes a bit of space available for new cards, but it’s still sad to see them go.
If you ever get out to Arizona for a game or two, shoot me an email!

Todd – I LOVE that Griffey piece. It’s so gorgeous. And yeah, I’m a bowler. Well, used to be. Averaged 215. I don’t really have Avril or Taylor posters or anything, but I have all their CD’s ;-)
Dan Alfonso – GOOD CALL!!!!! Yes, it is the one and only Prima Pasta!!
J – Come find me at a game one time. I can show you my jersey, and then we can point and laugh at everyone together with THEIR China knockoffs.
Avi – Thanks.
Andrew Meeusen – Like you said, cleaning out is not fun, but it’s for the best. I work with kids in after school programs, so I gave away my pogs to my program, and other things the kids can make use of as well. And DAMN, I was just in Arizona this past season, for a week! Went to the All-Star game with Zack, and then 2 D’Backs games as well. Not sure if I’ll be out there this year again, but I will let you know.

Haha… I’m sure I was around there at the same time. I couldn’t score tickets to the ASG itself, but I went to the Futures Game. 2011 was a great time to come and watch the DBacks, though…. Best season we’ve had in a very long time! I’m hoping we can keep it up this year!

Ben- In regard to your response, we have not been acquainted, but I was at the Mets-Reds game near the end of the season, 9/26? I was also at the 9/11 Mets-Cubs game, both of which I remember seeing you. Do you mark your balls or record how much you catch each game? Do you have stats for those 2 games.

Ben, that collection is something else. But, dude, you are running into the restrictions of plain old mathematics. You can only store so much stuff in that apartment and most people would already say that you have far exceeded what they would be comfortable with.

When will your collecting end? If you don’t stop collecting now it will be just a short matter of time before there is literally no room for humans and felines in your place. Literally. I commend you for living with your mom. I know moms like nothing more than to be close to their boys. And when they start getting older they really need the help. When you are still single, there is no problem with living with dear old momma in my book. Take care and I hope to run into you on the road in 2012!
Big Glove Bob

The project sounds daunting but I think you would be surprised how much you could get done in a weekend if you had a few helping hands and dug your feet in… my client’s collection was worth millions so it was worth it to him to have a professional photographer and publisher help him create the book but I have no doubt that you could do an abridged version yourself (with the help of friends, of course).

I would bet that my client would rank the book as one of his most fulfilling achievements. Aside from being an avid collector, he’s also a world renowned scientist and avid hunter so making his “top 10″ list is no small achievement. I would bet that it would be something you would remember forever.

Awesome collection! (Minus the Chipper bobblehead).. Speaking of which, do you exclude Braves (or, more specifically, Chipper Jones) jerseys from your collection or are those still fair game? As an avid Braves fan, I still own 3 Phillies and 2 Mets hats, despite an ever-growing hatred for the two.. I did notice you have a cup from Turner Field (or so I’m guessing — the one that says “COUNTRY” — our cups this past season read, “THIS IS BRAVES COUNTRY”), so just curious about the Braves memorabilia. And also, what is your favorite stadium to watch a game, besides the obvious Citi Field? Thanks in advance for the response!

Nick – I do indeed remember being at both of those games. The 9/11 game I got 3 balls (and was also seen on ESPN during the National Anthem, which is way cooler), and I don’t remember my # from 9/26, but I think it was 2 balls. I keep track of my stats on mygameballs.com, and via my own personal Excel file. I separate my balls individually by keeping them in their own individual ziplocs, and writing a note in each one detailing how I obtained the ball. And definitely make sure to introduce yourself to me next year!
Big Glove Bob – I’m sure we will run into each other at some point, as I LOVE Target Field. I definitely want to get back there. I’m sorry I missed you when I was there this year. As for your mathematics argument, I happen to be a big math guy, and this has crossed my mind. Many, many times. As I noted prior, I’ve recently started cleaning up things, and throwing out old things in my apartment, essentially to make more space. I’m aware I do need to begin to slow things down, and I will. But I guess this is where I stand for now, and it’s hard to just break old habits. As for living with my mom, she’s not in the best of health, but at the same time, as I get older, I do need to, and will look to move out.
OCP22 – I have no doubt it is one of his most fulfilling achievements, and would be one of mine as well. I appreciate you putting the thought in my head, as it will not be forgotten, as I begin to sort through my collection.
AndTheHomeOfTheBraves – Obviously, it appears I grew up a big Mets fan, but that’s not entirely true. I was originally a Dodgers fan, and more specifically a Mike Piazza fan. The Dodgers then traded him, for the player I hated the most in baseball, Gary Sheffield. So as a 13-year old, I immediately abandoned them. They traded my favorite player for my least favorite player – what was I to do?!? And then, Mike came to play just a walking distance away from me, so I became a Mets fan. And a huge one. I obviously hated the Braves and more specifically, Chipper. Nevertheless, a collection is not a collection if it is not complete. I have quite a few Braves jerseys. I have Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Derek Lowe, Jair Jurrjens, Jason Heyward and Tim Hudson, just off the top of my head. I actually don’t hate the Braves anymore, as I no longer like the Mets nearly as much as I once did. I struggle to call them the team I root for at this point, and honestly have preferred rooting for the Marlins (I don’t even know why I chose them) over the last few years. I rarely wear a Mets jersey at the new stadium, which by the way, I HATE. That place is awful. Of the 5 Braves games I can remember going to there, I know I’ve worn a Braves jersey to all of them. Mind you, this is mainly because I sit behind the visiting dugout, but still. I recently thought of buying a Chipper jersey actually, but it can’t be forgotten how much I still dislike him. My favorite stadium, and actually my favorite physical location on this earth is Fenway Park. Nothing is more enjoyable to me than being at Fenway. But my favorite stadium, of the newer stadiums, is PNC in Pittsburgh, followed by AT&T in San Fran, and Target Field in Minnesota. But keep in mind, it’s unfair to compare any stadium to Fenway or Wrigley, and those will always be # 1 and 2. Oh, and aside from the jerseys, I don’t have much other Braves stuff, just 2 fitted hats, a cup and a foam finger.

Zack, This is the most interesting off season blog entry that I have read. Ben, I am shocked and jealous at the same time. I have a small hat, and Jersey collection – not even as big as your NHL collection and I wish I had more space to display them. Piazza was my favorite Dodger!

Rick

benny bang bang and Zack need to get a house /museum and rent a room to visiting ballhawks..put a ballfield in the backyard and name it Garfield. Is Queens affordable ?I Just saw coming to america filmed in Q.The mcdonalds was actually a wendys restaurant. mcdowells .is that your bldg where eddie murphy yells good morning neighbors?STF UP.lol..GO GIANTS AND SAINTS….pitchers report in 51 days. TC went to 160 games last season..only 5 game home runs.anybody beat me?mlballhawk goin for 162 in 2012

I am ignorant of how New York City operates and am spoiled by being in the midwest. I drive everywhere and can usually park in a place where I can be in the business I am going to in 10-15 seconds. The whole idea of subways and people paying big money for things like parking spots is really foreign to me. I am spoiled by all the room we have. In my suburb of St. Paul, I could just rent a garage sized storage unit within 5 minutes of my house and store that amount of stuff, but I am guessing in NYC, that isn’t possible or would be wildly expensive. I second what that guy said about making sure to have good insurance.

Big Glove Bob

All I know is, I’m such a geek when it comes to sports stuff like this. I love looking back at old games and stuff and looking at old tickets, etc. So I’d probably be looking through your collection for hours. Jealous haha

Girls must love it when you bring them back to your place. Nothing says romance like foam fingers, bobbleheads and Garfield in a grown man’s bedroom! No matter how you swing it, it’s a serious issue of “hoarding”. Ben you seem like a nice guy but might need some help.

Wow–and ithought my one room of memorabilia was too much. The only additional comment I’ll make is that having Chipper Jones hanging from a noose is very uncool.

Do you own any Packers’ jerseys? And do you have all teams in MLB, NBA, NFL covered too? What an amazing collection!

I hate to say it Ben but you do need to do something with all the memorabilia that you have in your house. If it matters to you I would put it in a storage unit and insure the contents. I would hate to see a fire or something else happen to your memorabilia because at that point all you would have would be worthless. Or a worse case scenario is the memorabilia catches on fire and falls over blocking a possible escape route and ends up killing you or your mother.

Dear “Single for life” —
I don’t know how much info Ben wants revealed about his personal life, but I can tell you that the man is doing very well for himself. I’ll agree that certain sports collectibles are not typically appealing to women, but hey, I’ve met women who are into atypical things that you simply wouldn’t believe. There’s someone for everyone; put yourself our there honestly and you’ll be more likely to find what you want.

Rick – Thanks a lot!
TC – A bit confused by your comment haha. Queens is not cheap by any means, but cheaper than Manhattan. And yes, that McDowell’s is a Wendy’s.
Big Glove Bob – Yeah, it’s not as easy as simply going to rent a storage unit. I wish it was, or that I lived even upstate New York, where I could buy 3 houses for what my apartment would cost.
Chris Hernandez – Even when I look through it, I go for hours!
Single for life – I’m sorry if you’re single for life, because I’m not. Any girl in the past I’ve brought back to my place has not had a problem, because this is who I am. I never hide from who I am. I have Garfield tattooed on, my arm. Can’t hide from that if I wanted to. When you enter into my car, you’ll be greeted with the musical stylings of Taylor Swift and Avril Lavigne. I’ve had a pretty good track record so far, and life has never been better than it is right now. As Zack said, put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to be who you are, because that’s what I do, and it works pretty damn well for me.
Father Puck – If I had a Tom Brady or Albert Pujols doll, they’d be hanging right there next to Larry. Sorry you disapprove.
Joe – Of course I have Packers jerseys. Ryan Grant, Favre, Robert Brooks, Ahman Green, AJ Hawk, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, Aaron Rodgers, and the list goes on. I have at least 3 players from every team in baseball and football. At least 1 for the NBA and not for the NHL.
Hooksfan – Thanks for your concern, but I’ll be fine.
Zack – Thanks for your support. I couldn’t agree more with what you said, but heck, you know that. I never hide from who I am. And things seem to get better by the day :-)

Ben…amazing collection! To anyone that criticizes, I say “live and let live”. Ben and his mom look happy and that is great. It is not anyone’s business to tell them or anyone else how they should live, what they should collect, how they should spend their money etc. If it works for you, enjoy it. I had a large baseball memorabilia collection for many years but just downsized as I moved 1,000 miles for work and didn’t want to pay to move it all or store it all and the home my wife and I relocated to, is much smaller than our last. The time was right for me and while I enjoyed the stuff I realize that I can always collect it again if I want. It’s just stuff after all. Take care. Bring on Spring Training! Chris

Ben,

There are a lot of storage options in Queens for rates less than I thought. $200 a month could clear a ton of that stuff out of your apartment and could get your mom back in her bedroom! Heck, just buy 3-4 less jerseys a month and reclaim some of the square footage at your apt.

http://www.storagedeluxe.com/locator.aspx

Chris – Thanks for your support!
Big Glove – A. I don’t have $200/month I wanna spend. Id sooner get myself health insurance with that money! And B. Larry Wayne Jones was given to me. I’d never spend money on him, or Tom Brady. So if someone ever gives me a Brady, he’ll be sporting an even tighter noose.

Awesome collection Ben. Look forward to seeing you and Zach at Comerica again next year.

Dave and David Jr…..

Zack, congrats again for topping the Top 100 FAN list, and here’s how you can grab your new Top 100 MLB.com Blogs badge: http://mlblogs.mlblogs.com/2012/01/09/top-100-mlbloggers-get-your-badge

Mark/MLB.com

Ben, out of curiosity, what’s your tally for Yankees and NY Giants jerseys (my teams)? Thanks

Dave – it was great meeting you this year!

Patrick – I definitely don’t know the number of Giants jerseys off the top of my head, but I can say I know I have at least 3 Eli’s, at least 3 Plaxico’s, 3 David Tyree’s, 2 Osi Umenyiora’s, Tiki, Justin Tuck, a Kerry Collins I burned during Super Bowl 35, one that I didn’t burn, 2 Lawrence Taylor’s, Sinorice Moss, Danny Kanell, and the list goes on. I’d obviously say at least 20, but I’d guess about 30 – 35. As for the Yankees, I believe 7? Arod, Reggie, Clemens, Mattingly, Wade Boggs, and there may be a couple more.

So, Ben, how did you like the game this weekend? I’m assuming you went. If so, are you planning to make they journey to the Tundra?
-Mateo Fischer

http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com

Hi Ben. Nice collection. As a fire chief, I must advise you to please fix your smoke detector that appears to be dangling above the Mike Piazza sign in the 2nd picture. Most of our fires are in “cluttered” houses and worse yet, we just had a fatality fire because there was no functioning smoke detector. Stay safe and see you at the games, DevoT, Anaheim

Mateo – I did not go to the Giants game. I have no interest in spending $100+ going to a game when I know when I know who is going to win, especially if the teams I’m seeing are not my favorites.

Devo – That’s not where my smoke detector is. It’s actually just around the corner near the front door. But thanks!

To be sure, this is, by far, the most interesting off season post/thread I have ever seen on this blog…and that is really saying something. :)

Kurt – I imagine that really does say a lot, so thanks!

Everyone-
I have removed an inappropriate comment, along with several replies. Just thought you should know.

started my collection last night. wife brought in a box from her vehicle. it had two hokies hats two tarheel hats two nationals hats two old school reds hats a tennessee titans hat and a fedora. amazon is an amazing thing.

Randy Kiser – We all gotta start somewhere! I started with a Shaquille O’Neal jersey in 1994!

Hey Ben,
Love the collection man! Not too much of a jersey guy but i love fitted hats have a few myself! I was actually wondering if you wanted to buy a jersey from me, I have a Gary Matthews authentic jersey that I got at a Phillies game a few years ago still has tags on it and everything never worn. I don’t have much use for it being a Yankees and Rockies fan and I could definitely give you a good price for it (saw one going for $275 on mlb.com http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11742086&cp=1452362.1452849.1717215 looks just like that except home jersey i have a pic if you want sorry if this is not allowed zack just thought it’d be a win win situation for both of us!
-Alex

No problem, Alex.

Alex – Thanks! You are more than welcome to email me at idemento28@aol.com with pictures and price details, but I’m not sure I’d really be interested. I’m not much of a Phillies or Gary Matthews fan, but thanks!

Hey, he pays for them, he can have anything he wants. I wouldn’t be able to keep the stuff organized.
I personally have eleven and don’t keep them as organized as I’d like.

ben, as amazing as your collection is, your attitude is even more amazing – your responses are so level-headed and positive – kudos

This is an awesome collection!!!!!!!

Patrick L. Cooley – Thanks for your understanding and appreciation!

Leggman – Thanks a lot! I really appreciate that comment. It means a lot to me. I work extensively with kids in elementary schools, so I think it helps me maintain that type of an attitude, as positivity is important, and goes a long way, especially with young people. Truly, thank you!

NYBisons – Thanks a lot!

Just get storage, for 50 bucks a month you could store half of that crap.

To live like that is disgusting. Hoarders collect all things, not just things of zero value. You’re in denial.

J Wood – I can choose to live however I like. Just beacuse you do not agree with it does not make it wrong, or disgusting. Why don’t you blog about your home and let everyone judge you based on it? I made a choice to show the world my collection. If you can’t appreciate that, say that. Don’t judge things you don’t know.

Ben,
Reading these negative comments has reminded me how accepting the Ballhawk community is of peoples various hobbies and collections. Because even though they might not be able to relate to the specific hobby, they can always relate to having something that they enjoy doing and they take pride in. It’s unfortunate that people have grown to think that anything uncommon is negative. Conversely, those things should be celebrated as something that makes you unique. I admire your collection and look forward to following your blog this year.
Jeremy Evans

Jeremy Evans – Thanks a lot man! I really appreciate your positive comments!

Where are the dozens of cats?

Michael Gary – They’re being paid for to be kept in shelters, by the thousands of dollars my collection is worth.

Hey Ben. So have you started the book like OCP22 brought up? If so, was just wondering if you unearthed anything that you might have forgotten about that you were stoked to see? Love the collection man! Seriously. Good stuff!!

Hey Brian,

I have not started a book, but the idea actually re-entered my mind recently, as I want to catalog everything. I have been going through stuff, a lot, over the past year, and have definitely found some hidden gems, as well as finding some awful players, that somehow I had 2 of! I don’t just have baseball, so I found some really cool old basketball jerseys, some great Champion ones, like a World B. Free, and an NBA at 50 Wilt Chamberlain, and some others I thought were cool. I found a 1997 All-Star Ken Griffey Jr., a Blue Jays Dave Stieb, amongst others. It’s definitely been a fun ride. Thanks!

Zack needs to do a follow up showing some of Ben’s more interesting jerseys

I think Ben should post his own follow-up.

I no longer feel weird about my collection of ball caps.

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