Former Mets Clubhouse Manager to be Charged with Theft of Baseball Memorabilia
Charlie Samuels had been the New York Mets clubhouse manager for 27 years when he was fired in November of 2010 after being caught making illegal bets and supplying insider information to the mob. That arrest eventually prompted police to discover a treasure trove of Mets baseball memorabilia scattered between his office and a rented storage unit that he controlled. And we're not talking a few balls here and a few bats there - but, rather, as much as a million dollars worth of Mets sports collectibles.
On a typical major league team, the positions of clubhouse manager, equipment manager and traveling secretary could be held by as many as three different people. Samuels occupied all three positions for the Mets. This unique position allowed him to carry out his wishes virtually unchecked. Because player autographs are a commonly requested from pro players for publicity, charity, auctions and the front office, the reason for the autographs was not questioned. Combine that with his ability to order as much equipment as he needed and one can quickly see how he was able to get away with this practice for so many years.
Most of the stolen memorabilia consisted of items that had been autographed by Mets players during his tenure with the team. Some of the big name players that contributed to the collection include Tom Glavine, Mike Piazza and Roberto Alomar.
Although he is just now being charged, rumors had surrounded Samuels for years. He developed strong relationships with the players and could be counted on to help whenever they required assistance. This bond kept Samuels in his position and gave him access to a large volume of memorabilia, as well as many of the ultra rare one of a kind items like a full set of autographed 1986 Mets World Series uniforms and an autographed 9/11 commemorative uniforms from the games played by them a few days after the attacks.
The official charges are expected very soon , at which time the full extent of the thefts will likely be disclosed.