Sunday, January 6, 2013
There's no price tag that could ever capture it's worth, especially now that it's gone.
"Putting monetary value on that is kind of hard to do," Wichita's Christopher Fevurly said. "I'm at a loss for words."
Fevurly's homage to Ken Griffey Jr., his favorite player of the past, was snatched as he sat at the Fiesta Bowl watching the star Kansas State players of the present.
"(Ken Griffey Jr.) was the kid. He wore his hat backward. He had the sweetest swing," Fevurly said.
During the nearly seven days he was gone in Arizona, his collection of more than 500 Ken Griffey Jr. cards went out the window, literally.
Fevurly says burglars used his daughter's high chair to smash out the window to his son's bedroom. Once inside, they took the baseball card collection along with a television and a computer monitor.
"This is a group of cards that I've been collecting my entire life," Fevurly said.
In fact, Fevurly says he got his first card of that collection in 1989 when he was just 11 years old.
"It was the first year Ken Griffey Jr. played (in the major leagues)," Fevurly said.
He says some of the cards in the box are rather special and are worth $50 to $75 each. But he says the majority of the cards hold more sentimental value than anything else and are probably closer to 50 cents or 75 cents a piece.
All of them are equally important to him for a much bigger reason than their monetary value.
"I've got a six-year-old boy here and this is something I could pass along to him," Fevurly said.
Local sports cards and memorabilia dealer, Vince Oliver, says he's no stranger to hearing of stolen collector's items.
"I get calls on a weekly basis from other dealers and collectors who say, 'Hey be on the lookout, I had this taken from me,'" said Oliver, who owns Oliver's Sports Cards and Memorabilia on W. 31st Street just west of Seneca.
He says sometimes these situations end well.
"I've actually been a part of several where we caught some people who have stolen from somebody else and then tried to sell to me," Oliver said.
But that's the exception not the rule. So, he says, it's important that if you have a collection, catalog it. Many of the cards are part of numbered sets. The card's unique number could come in handy for a dealer trying to identify if an item is stolen. Company's such as Beckett have websites that will assist you with that process, Oliver said.
Once it's cataloged, he says, lock it down.
"Spend the $100 or $200 and buy a safe," Oliver said.
Oliver says if you do have something stolen, check Craigslist and Ebay for posts from not-so-smart criminals. Also, don't hesitate to give him or another dealer a call to alert them to the stolen goods possibly on the local market.
Fevurly has a couple things he might have done differently, such as leaving the box of cards in a different spot and not talking about his trip so much on social media.
But he's now focused on what he will do in the future.
"I'm definitely going to try and replace them," Fevurly said. "They can be replaced. I'm just lucky we weren't here. You can't replace a human life."