Junk Hauler Finds Treasure Trove of Autographed Memorabilia in Abandoned Storage Unit

Junk Hauler Finds Treasure Trove of Autographed Memorabilia in Abandoned Storage Unit

Here's a piece of advice for anyone asked to help clear out stuff left behind in a storage unit: make sure you check to make sure there isn't any valuable sports memorabilia mixed in with all of the junk.

That lesson was driven home in a surprising way for Faisal Ansari, an Orlando-area man who owns the city's franchise of the College Hunks Hauling Junk company. While cleaning out a marketing company's abandoned storage unit with instructions to donate anything salvageable to charity, Ansari discovered things that would make any sports collector's heart race.

Mixed in among the garbage were items autographed by a star-studded lineup of athletes from several sports. The haul included basketballs signed by Dominique Wilkins and Dikembe Mutombo and hockey sticks autographed by Grant Fuhr. And for the icing on the cake, there were baseballs with the signatures of some of Major League Baseball's greatest sluggers: Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Mike Schmidt.

Other pieces were found ruined, as the unit had no air conditioning, but Ansari told the Orlando Sentinel that 35 items were saved in all. Certificates of authenticity were also found in boxes with the memorabilia, giving employees of the company hope that the collectibles are legitimate.

Current plans are to auction off or sell the memorabilia and donate it to charity. Though Ansari is a big baseball fan and said part of him hoped to snag one of the Aaron balls for himself, his heart clearly is in the right place after his huge find.

"The more I think about it, the more I'd like to see it go to some underprivileged kid that likes baseball or basketball or hockey but would otherwise never have something like this, you know?" said Ansari to the Sentinel.

Charitable organizations near Orlando can make proposals for what to do with the collectibles or the money earned from their sale by contacting Kate Santich, the Sentinel reporter who broke the story, at ksantich@orlandosentinel.com.

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1955 Topps WILLIE MAYS #194 Beckett Graded BVG 1.5 Fair NEW YORK GIANTS
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1997 At The Ballpark Collector's Series "Hank Aaron" Hallmark Keepsake Ornament
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1971 (GIANTS) O-Pee-Chee #600 Willie Mays - EX-MT
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1971 (BRAVES) O-Pee-Chee #400 Hank Aaron - EX-MT
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1978 Original Candid Baseball Photo HANK AARON La Romana Dominican Republic
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1973 Original Vintage Baseball Photo WILLIE MAYS New York Mets Retiring
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1973 Topps 4 Card Lot All-Time Leader Walter Johnson Ty Cobb Cy Young Hank Aaron
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Willie Mays 1959 Topps Card PSA 3 #563 VG Very Good Sporting News All Star HOF
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Nick has been collecting sports cards and memorabilia, especially football, basketball, boxing and MMA, for over 25 years. He's been writing about the hobby for a while too, most recently for About.com. When cards and collectibles give him writer's block, Nick spends time editing and writing for BoxingWatchers.com, contributing to SLAM! Wrestling and reviewing music for HipHopSite.com. He lives outside of Hershey, PA (a.k.a. Chocolatetown, USA) with his wife Diane, daughter Beth and son J.T.

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