Massive baseball card collection stolen

Thursday, November 6th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa man began collecting baseball and other kinds of trading cards when he was only 3 years old, until his collection grew in value to more than $100,000.

It was a hobby he now shares with his son, or it was, until someone stole his entire collection. News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright has his story.

"I walk in, I'm going out of town and walk in here for a suitcase and this is what I find. All these were full of boxes, full of boxes." Matthew Henderson's card collection was worth $100,000, one day it was here, the next day it was gone, a blow right to his heart. "I spent every allowance, every dollar earned from my uncle, my paper route. I became a childhood dream and hobby."

Matthew had every TOPPS complete set from 1971 to 2000 and had a unique way of storing them. Not from one to 800 like most people, but rather, one year in each box and then sorted by teams, with his favorite the Reds, always first, followed by Yankees, Dodgers, etc.

His star cards were mostly from the 50's and 60's and kept in books like this one and organized by player. “Every Pete Rose, every Nolan Ryan, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mayes." The collection had cards of every sport and even specialty cards from TV shows and movies. Pretty much any card made in the past 30 years.

It was a hobby Matthew now shared with his son and hoped to pass on to him someday. "All I want is the cards back and I'm willing to pay. If you want money, take my money, but don't take my cards."

Henderson didn't have insurance on his cards, it's not like an insurance settlement could ever replace a collection that's taken his whole life to amass. Henderson is offering a reward of up to $10,000 if his collection returned.

As always, Crimestoppers will pay a $1,000 to the person who turns in the thief. That number is 596-COPS.