My interest in sports memorabilia started at a young age when my grandfather gave me a baseball signed by one of the greatest to play the game.

The story goes that he went to a Yankees game and was able to get a signed baseball from Mickey Mantle. My entire family, being from New York, has been around Yankees and Mets forever. The ball, which has forever sat in its case, has the "official ball, American League" engraved on it on the other side of the signature. Even though it's been around longer than my life, I've never taken it in to get it authenticated. I've always held it as a treasure from my grandfather.

Joining that are two signed baseballs from legendary catcher Johnny Bench and fellow hall-of-fame member Dave Winfield. Those signatures I've been able to collect from my time spent with the Legends for Kids banquet here in town.

Those that know me also know that I'm a huge fan of the Minnesota Vikings. A couple of other cool items that I own include a chair back from the old Metropolitan Stadium, a chair from the Metrodome, and a helmet signed by Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph, CJ Ham, and Chad Greenway.

Speaking of the Legends for Kids banquet, a couple of years ago legendary coach Bob Knight came to town. Jeff Thurn was able to get him to sign two chairs. As far as I know, we might be two of the only people to have an actual chair signed by Bob Knight!

Here's a tour of some of the items that I have sitting around my basement. I have plenty more, but these are my favorites for multiple reasons.

Seven Unique Sports Items that I have in my Basement

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