Four decades of baseball card collecting swiped in a matter of minutes. A valley man is now trying to find the person responsible for stealing more than 10,000 signed baseball cards from his home.
“I started collecting baseball cards in 1975,” said Scott Cooper.
Cooper says thieves targeted his north Phoenix home near Honda Bow and New River roads east of Anthem on August 25 just before 6 a.m.
“I had some of the stuff in those cabinets…and then stuff over in that white cabinet,” said Cooper.
He says he came home to find his garage open and ransacked. Video surveillance from a neighbors home shows a silver four-door car arrive and then take off about an hour later.
Cooper believes he was targeted because they entered through the back door of the garage where his collection was.
He started his collecting when he was seven-years-old when his brother gave him a stack of cards. That triggered his love for baseball, and he remembers spending hours at the store looking through decks of cards and buying them for a nickel a piece.
He says he’s spent countless hours standing in line to get signatures from some of his favorite players.
“There’s a lot of old Hall of Famers that I had back from the 50’s and 60’s,” said Cooper. “Mickey Mantle, Joe Dimaggio, Satchel Paige…I can’t replace that.”
Each card brings back memories of his parents.
One that stands out the most is the autograph he got from Dave McNally, a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. He says his mom used to babysit him when he was younger and when his mom told him that story he had to get his autograph.
It’s memories like these that remind him of his parents this theft not only taking a treasured possession but his memories of his parents.
“Disheartening…empty…a big pit in my stomach,” he said.
Cooper says he never got his stuff appraised but given the many signatures he acquired over the years he estimates it to be in the thousands.
“It could be anywhere between 100 to 200 thousand dollars,” Cooper said.
Cooper says he reported it to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. ABC15 has reached out to the Sheriff’s Office to get more information.
In the meantime, Cooper is offering a $20,000 reward to anyone who returns his entire collection in full.
If you know anything you’re asked to contact the MCSO.
“Every single one of those cards I got in person so, I mean, it makes it difficult,” Cooper added.