Carpenter bringing collection to Ironton
By JIM WALKER
Tribune Sports Editor
John Carpenter is coming to Ironton and he’s bringing something special.
Carpenter owns the world’s largest private sports memorabilia collection with more than 7,000 souvenir items.
A portion of the collection will be on display from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall on Fifth and Vernon Streets in Ironton.
“There are a lot of things for people to see,” said Carpenter. “I’m excited about it and bringing the collection to Ironton. I hope people will come out.”
Admission is $3 for adults and free to children 18 and under.
Among the items on display will be a photo collection of home run slugger and Hall of Famer Babe Ruth that have never been seen before publicly.
Carpenter is an authority on Ruth and noted that “the man who saved baseball” once played in Portsmouth and at Armco Park in Greenup, Ky.
Carpenter also said Yankees’ Hall of Fame outfielder Joe DiMaggio played locally. In fact, Carpenter has a photo of DiMaggio and then-wife Marilyn Monroe that is autographed by Monroe.
Carpenter is feature in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and Ripley’s cartoon series viewed by more than 80 million people in 42 countries and printed in more than 200 newspapers worldwide.
Besides the exposure by Ripley’s, Carpenter was once featured on the Wheaties cereal box, he was on ESPN, and has a Carpenter bobblehead doll. The doll is in a Yankees uniform since Carpenter is an avid Yankees’ fan.
His collection has been compared to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. The late New York Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner once offered Carpenter $3 million for his collection.