Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Gary Cypres - Dodgers Most Impressive Collector Sits Down for a Interview

Tom Hoffarth at the Long Beach Press-Telegram wrote a great piece the other day featuring super-collector Gary Cypres.  As you may know, he owns and operates the Sports Museum of Los Angeles.  His museum is filled with all kinds of sports memorabilia; including a huge collection of Dodger goodies.  It is, without a doubt, the most impressive grouping of True Blue memorabilia I've ever seen.

Well, Cypres sat down with Hoffarth to talk a little bit about the museum, as well as, the state of the hobby in general.  To this collector, I found it utterly fascinating to read.  Check it out here.  BTW, there is also a short video to watch.

Below are some highlights:
Q: You've probably seen some of the things the Dodgers franchise has in its own collection. They've considered opening its own Hall of Fame or museum on its property. Is there any working relationship about either you or them buying items that come up in auctions?
A: No, because I think the Dodgers usually refer things that come up to me. Their view of it is mostly to duplicate things. For their purposes, it was quicker and more efficient to do that. That's not me. The heart of any museum is the real stuff. The Dodgers have their view and I have my view. I collect very deeply, anything with the Dodgers from balls to bats to contracts to correspondence, hats, trophies. I have a different purpose and different collecting feel as to what I want and what's important to me.

Q: If someone doesn't have the financial means to start collecting things the way you have done it, do you have a suggestion on how they can get started without bankrupting themselves?
A: I think you start with the idea that it's the collecting that's fun. If you have limited resources, even within the baseball world, there are all kinds of things to collect that doesn't have to be high-end stuff. Think of all the bobbleheads or other giveaways over the last 20 years for just the Dodgers. A funny story: A senior judge in the state of California came by here one day, very distinguished man, impeccable credentials, Ivy League educated -- he collects football programs. You'd never know what people collect. Football programs don't involve major dollars, but here's someone, an intellectual, sure as can be, just this quiet collector. It doesn't matter what profession. Collectors are collectors, in their blood from when they were little.
I though I would add a few photos that were passed along to me earlier this year by a reader named Cathy from an event at the museum.  I had originally posted these photos here.

A Brooklyn Dodgers Sym-Phony bass drum is on the top left, and a real Babe Ruth Dodgers jersey is on the top right.  Below are Don Newcombe's Cy Young, MVP and Rookie of the Year awards.  Click any pic to embiggen.

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