Larry Yanos' sports memorabilia collection to be auctioned off

Late former sports editor and writer had 40 years to accumulate the items

April 08, 2011|By DON AINES |
  • Ron Hamner owner of Hub City Auction Co. in Smithsburg, holds several of the hundreds of rare and hard to find sporting event programs that belonged to the late Herald-Mail Sports writer and editor Larry Yanos. Monday evening is the first of four auctions containing Yanos' programs, press passes, and sports memorabilia.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

Larry Yanos didn't live to attend this year's NCAA Basketball Tournament, but friends and family got to attend games courtesy of the late former sports editor and writer for The Daily Mail and The Herald-Mail.

"He must have ordered them way back," sister Dorothy DeGrange said Friday of her brother, who died in October at age 65. Yanos attended thousands of sporting events over the more than four decades he spent pursuing the passion that was also his job.

But the Frederick, Md., resident left behind more than game tickets. Over the decades, Yanos accumulated hundreds of sports programs from contests big and small, some for teams that exist only in memory now, such as the New York Yankees football team.

On Monday, the first lots from Yanos' collection will be on the auction block at Hub City Auction Co., 3 Maple Ave., Smithsburg, owner Ron Hamner said. Starting time for the auction, which includes sports memorabilia from other collectors as well, is 5 p.m., he said.

"I like the press pins. They're exclusive," Hamner said of his favorite items in the collection. "Anybody can go to a game and get a program," but the pins are media passes for those games, he said.

Among the game programs, some of them are being sold online, Hamner said. For example, a program for the 1940 NFL championship game in which the Chicago Bears beat up the Washington Redskins, 73-0, went for $860, he said.

There are also Baltimore Orioles programs from 1926 to 1953 when the O's were a minor league club; a 1927 program for a Navy-Notre Dame football game; an autographed team photo of the 1941 Hagerstown Owls; and scores of glasses from Kentucky Derbies.

Hamner pulled out one of several albums of newspaper clippings peppered with names such as Roy Campanella, Bobby Thomson and Mickey Mantle.

"This is like the history of baseball in the '50s," Hamner said as he flipped the pages.

Yanos' memorabilia, much of it in catalogued lots, will be auctioned off with sports cards, pennants, equipment and other pieces of gridiron, diamond, court and track history for other people's collections, Hamner said.

"I don't think he even knew what he had," DeGrange said of her brother and his collection. Many of the programs and press pins came from events he covered, including World Series games, but some might have been given to him by friends, she said.

Whatever the sources, he had more than 40 years as a sportswriter to accumulate the items, DeGrange said. From the time Yanos was in high school, "he said he wanted to be a sports reporter," she said.

Yanos started as a proofreader for a newspaper in Frederick, Md., right out of high school, DeGrange said. In 1967, at the age of 22, he became the sports editor of The Daily Mail in Hagerstown.

Yanos will be inducted into the Washington County Sports Hall of Fame in July, the hall's historian Rick Schultz said.

Portions of Yanos' collection also will be featured at auctions on April 23, May 7 and May 28, Hamner said.


If You Go

What: Auction of sports memorabilia — programs, photographs, media pins and more — from the estate of the late Herald-Mail sportswriter Larry Yanos.

Where: Hub City Auction Co., 3 Maple Ave., Smithsburg, Md.

When: Monday, April 11. Doors open at 3 p.m., with the auction beginning at 5 p.m.

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