Want to Know Everything Nolan Ryan? Enroll in a new Course at Stockton University

Baseball great Nolan Ryan was the first MLB pitcher to record a throw over 100 mph and the first ball player to earn a $1 million salary back in 1979 with the Houston Astros. Although Ryan seemingly has few ties to South Jersey – he also played for the New York Mets and the Texas Rangers in his 27-year career – the largest collection of his memorabilia has been gifted to Stockton University and will be the focus of a course on collecting next spring. Leo Ullman, a real-estate investor and former owner of Shore Mall in Egg Harbor Township, donated his vast collection of nearly 15,000 individual items to the university earlier this year.

The collection includes more than 8,500 baseball cards, about 3,000 of which are signed by hand. Some more unusual items include:
• signed cowboy boots and a full-size leather saddle featuring Ryan’s likeness
• high school yearbooks
• 7 hand-painted baseballs, one for each of Ryan’s no-hitters, by American pop artist Charles Fazzino and signed by Ryan.

“This collection is probably the largest private collection in existence and covers all types of memorabilia, from the mundane and common to the unusual and rare,” according to a report by appraiser Leon Castner. “This collection is not simply an accumulation of individual items. It is an archive of modern sports collectability.”

August 2022
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