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Maryland sports collector tells Baltimore's baseball story through decades of memorabilia

Maryland sports collector tells Baltimore's baseball story through decades of memorabilia
Maryland sports collector tells Baltimore's baseball story through decades of memorabilia 04:48

BALTIMORE -- Steve Terman is a collector by nature.

"Started collecting coins, collected stamps, then collected political stuff," Terman said.

He is a history buff at his core. 

"Collecting a lot of the stuff I have is based as much on history as it is on big names," Terman said. "Everyone wants Babe Ruth or Brooks Robinson or Johnny Unitas. I wanted those, but I also wanted stuff that represented the history of the Baltimore Orioles."

As a child, Terman loved sports.

"I was always into sports," he said. "I played sports. I followed sports. I read the sports page every day."

And now, after more than 40 years of collecting pieces of Baltimore history, Terman's Eastern Shore home could double as a Baltimore baseball museum. 

"That's the Baltimore Black Sox. They were a very well-known team," he said.

Every picture, pin, paperweight, ticket, scorecard, jersey, hat, helmet, bat, glove, ball, trophy and ring helps tell Baltimore's baseball story. 

"I have a lot of the 1966 Baltimore Orioles jerseys there," Terman said. "That was the year they won their first World Championship. I can remember, like it was yesterday, listening on the radio, and watching Curt Gowdy on TV. All of those memories come back."

Those are memories of when the Orioles were atop the baseball world. 

"To me, the Orioles started in 1954, but this is where the Orioles started being great," Terman said.

Terman has a number of 1-of-1 items in his collection, but one of his favorites features the lineup cards from Game 4 of the 1966 World Series when the O's clinched their first World Series championship.

"To me, that is history beyond," Terman said. "I mean I feel wrong sometimes having something like that because that is such an integral part of Baltimore Orioles baseball history."

And you can't tell the story of Orioles baseball without mentioning Terman's favorite player - "Mr. Oriole" Brooks Robinson.

"I guess it was just his abilities," Terman said. "After years, I found out he was as good a baseball player as he was, a Hall of Famer, he was a far better human being. He was the nicest man ever."

Terman collected several significant Brooks Robinson items over the years. 

"I'm still looking for one of Brooks Robinson's helmets with the sawed off brim and I'm looking for a real Brooks Robinson glove," Terman told WJZ when we met him in 2004. 

Two decades later, he has both.

"Just a gorgeous Brooks Robinson glove," Terman said.

But some of his favorite collectibles have a personal touch. 

"These are his cufflinks," Terman said. "A lot of my friends say why would you want? To me, the connection to Brooks was stronger, really, with this than a lot of the other stuff because this was Brooks the person as opposed to Brooks the Hall of Fame, third baseman for the Orioles."

And one of Terman's gems tells the story of a missed connection. 

"A friend of mine went to Las Vegas and told Brooks that his partner collected Baltimore Orioles and Brooks Robinson stuff, so Brooks wrote to me, 'Sorry I missed you in Las Vegas, understand you have a collection, would like to see it. My Best, Brooks Robinson.' That is one of my prized possessions."

Terman said he has stopped collection, for the most part, but there are two items he would like if he could afford it.

"The two premier pieces were his 1966 World Series ring and 1970 World Series ring," Terman said. "If I had the money and could sell a bunch of stuff to buy it, I would buy those, but I'm sure both of those rings are in nice private collections."

Terman says he is open to selling some of his collection, but there are two items he told himself he would never part with - a Babe Ruth bat and a special Brooks Robinson jersey. 

And he has given his wife has clear instructions on what to do in the future.

"When I am dead, I want you to make sure that the Babe Ruth bat and the jersey go with me into the coffin," Terman said. "I have since sold the Babe Ruth bat, but I do still have the jersey."

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