Anybody who plays the game of baseball for twenty years and then spends the next thirty years of his life as a scout has his share of stories to tell. The late Earl Rapp (who passed away in 1992) is telling some of his stories through the memorabilia collection he left behind.
Rapp played 15 seasons in the minor leagues between 1940-59, missing several years for military service during WWII. Incredibly, his best seasons occurred between his late twenties through his mid-thirties while he played for the Oakland Oaks and San Diego Padres in the Pacific Coast League. At the age of 34, he hit .302/.407/.521 with 30 HR and 133 RBIs.
He also played 135 games at the major league level with the Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, New York Giants, St. Louis Browns and Washington Senators between 1949-52. Bouncing around so many organizations put him in contact with some amazing players and managers. He took advantage of that and began collecting memorabilia before the craze became popular.
His collection, which will be made available on the Hunt Auctions website later this week, includes a baseball signed by Bobby Thompson, Willie Mays and the rest of the 1951 Giants. It has an estimated worth of $10,000-$20,000. It also includes autographed baseballs by Gabby Hartnett (according to this site, he didn't sign many), Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Billy Martin, in addition to contracts, scorecards and letters by former players.