"Baseball is magic": Meet the Colorado man with a big collection of baseball history

Epic baseball memorabilia collection

Marshall Fogel, an attorney, spent $121,000 for a Mickey Mantle card in 1996. He then started amassing one of the largest personal collections of baseball memorabilia in America. 

For Fogel, it's all about the love of the game. 

"I don't care if you're the banker or the town ... sheriff ... you know, certain ethnic or race. You all went to the game," he told CBS News' Barry Petersen. "You all sat pretty much together and you all rooted for the home team."

"It brought people together," he added.

Some of his pieces are now on exhibit at History Colorado Center in Denver, including the handprint Babe Ruth made for a palm reader and a receipt for roses that Joe DiMaggio sent to Marilyn Monroe long after their tumultuous 274-day marriage. 

Jason Hanson was the curator who put the exhibit together along with his own memories of going to games with his father.

"It's a chance to share time together which is an increasingly valuable commodity in this world," Hanson said. 

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Bats from Marshall Fogel's collection CBS News


Fogel has baseball's signs of changing times, like when players endorsed cigarettes or after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the all-white major leagues. There were comics so that young black children could believe their dreams would come true as well. 

And then there's Lou Gehrig, who developed ALS. Fogel has one of the last original pictures of Gehrig relegated to the dugout as disease stole his skills.

"If you look closely at his face you can see and imagine what he must be thinking something's wrong. Because he's sick and maybe I won't be able to play anymore," Fogel said.  "No matter how great, even in 1936 when he won the MVP award, he always was a gentleman always cared about people ... and you just can't help but want to use him as a role model even today."

It's still the same game on a summer's day: nine guys against one lonely batter. And as the man who has collected so many memories knows well, it's still what it has always been.

"It's so simple when life is so complex and when you add all that together it comes out that baseball is magic," Fogel said.

To hear about Marshall Fogel's most cherished piece of memorabilia and the story behind it, watch the video in the above player. 

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Marshall Fogel CBS News