ESPN2 to air Carpenter#039;s collection

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 25, 2004

FIREBRICK, Ky. - In Major League Baseball's "Year of the Fan," the biggest fan is heading for the spotlight.

John Carpenter, listed by Ripley's Believe It or Not as the owner of the world's largest personal memorabilia collection, has been targeted for a guest spot on the new ESPN2 morning show "Cold Pizza."

ESPN2 trucks and crew members were filming some segments Saturday.

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"A man said, 'Do you know where we can find John Carpenter?' And I said, 'That's me.' They had a notebook with a lot of information about (his collection)," Carpenter said.

A feature on Carpenter's collection of more than 5,000 items is expected to be taped by ESPN2 Monday, May 3. ESPN is also in the area to do a feature on the Kentucky Derby which will run Saturday.

Jay Crawford, who co-host Cold Pizza, filmed the 1996 National Hoops Classic in Columbus, Ohio. Crawford once worked in Hazard, Ky., and talked with Carpenter about the collection.

Cold Pizza airs from 9-11 a.m. each weekday.

Carpenter is no stranger to attention. He has received phone calls from George Steinbrenner, Joe DiMaggio and President Bush regarding his collection.

"It's hard to say what's more exciting," Carpenter said.