Ohio gallery is mini-Cooperstown for baseball fans

MONTGOMERY, Ohio (AP) — A club of dedicated baseball fans gathers monthly in a southwest Ohio suburb to hear inside stories from the game’s stars amid one of the largest collections of rare memorabilia outside the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

The Green Diamond Gallery is more than a showcase for a businessman’s lifelong hunt for artifacts from Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson and others. Club members in recent months have been able to question pitcher Jack Morris about narrowly missing the Hall of Fame, slugger Jose Canseco about steroid use and manager Tony La Russa about coaching secrets.

The gallery also supports a foundation to benefit disadvantaged children.

And owner Bob Crotty is still adding: recently, a Shoeless Joe Jackson bat and pitcher Warren Spahn’s Hall of Fame ring.

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