Just call him the Anti-Barry Halper. The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold on Vermont’s Herb Pearo, in the process of unloading his vast Montreal Expos memorabilia collection (link copped from David Pinto’s Baseball Musings) :
He began a concerted effort to gather Expos gear, pursuing relics of the team’s players — many of whom would be lucky to get historical-footnote status — as if they were Hall of Famers. That included his spring-training dumpster diving, which might yield uniforms the team was throwing out, and his longtime relationship with an Expos equipment manager who would call up and offer to sell truckloads of used equipment.
” ‘Bad day at the racetrack,’ ” Pearo remembered the man saying. ” ‘Come on up, I’ve got something for you.’ ”
One such transaction left Pearo with one of his most unusual treasures: long underwear owned by Steve Rogers (above), an Expos pitcher from 1973 to 1985.
“They’re autographed,” he said.
He’s also quite proud of a bat used by John Boccabella, a backup catcher on the original 1969 Expos. This was a rare find, Pearo says, because bats are usually discarded only after being broken, and the weak-hitting Boccabella didn’t usually swing hard enough to make that happen.
“I think I had to sell the wheels off a car” to pay for that bat, Pearo said.