‘Til death do us part. Now, a Rio Rancho widow is looking to part with a large inheritance that she doesn’t have much use for.
“Phil Niekro, Carl Yastrzemski, Bob Clemente,” says Leona Stoffer-Tatum.
They’re just a few of the baseball legends immortalized in the pages of an avid sports fan’s massive baseball card collection.
“I wasn’t the one collecting the cards — my husband was,” Stoffer-Tatum says.
Stoffer-Tatum says her husband Larry died five years ago. She’s since dedicated an entire room in her Rio Rancho home to the thousands of baseball cards he left behind.
She says 24,000 of them are individually cataloged, like one card from 1909.
“Back in the day they were in cigarette packages prior to when they put them in gum packages,” Stoffer-Tatum says.
Stoffer-Tatum still has 644 boxes of un-cataloged cards, many of them unopened.
“This is a 1987 official complete set. The set has never been opened. It’s completely sealed in plastic,” Stoffer-Tatum says.
She estimates she has several hundred thousand baseball cards and after about three years of organizing them, she says it’s time to say ‘goodbye.’
“I would like to sell the collection but I would like the sell it as a whole,” said Stoffer-Tatum.
She also says she her husband would travel to baseball card shows and antique stores looking for cards to collect, so many of them come with a memory.
“Like the Frank Chance card. I could remember specifically when we found that card and when we bought it,” Stoffer-Tatum says.
She says it was always her husband’s intention to sell them after he retired.
“He probably would have held on to the ones that had memories or particular value to him,” Stoffer-Tatum says.
Stoffer-Tatum says she’s contacted several resale firms with an inventory of her collection. She’s hoping to sell it for at least five figures.
Her husband, Larry Tatum, was one of the first police officers in the City of Rio Rancho. He worked for the city for nearly 30 years.