So, where did the my souvenir helmet collection develop and begin? My collection dates back all the way to a starting point in 1990 when I was a senior in high school. It was the Teutopolis, Illinois, Sesquicentennial and the usual carnival atmosphere followed along with the celebration. Amongst the rides and stands was the infamous Guess Your Pitching Speed game. The game I played was even more simply made than the one at right. It consisted of a net, a tarp to stop the ball, and a radar gun. Nothing fancy about that game. Amazingly enough, I was able to win on my very first attempt (No, I won't tell you my speed!) and of course the helmet I grabbed was none other than a Los Angeles Dodgers helmet (I bleed Dodger blue.). I decided to play a few more times with my friends and I also walked away with a Pittsburgh Pirates helmet that evening. This is where the story disappears for quit awhile.
It wasn't until I went to Tiger Stadium in 1998 to see a game, before it closed down the following year, that this story began again. I got to see a historic ballpark and after the game a gentleman was selling souvenir helmets outside the stadium dirt cheap out of large, clear plastic bags. I thought it might be neat to start a small collection of these helmets and if I remember correctly, I think I came home with ten helmets total that day but I have no clue which ones they are in my current collection. I also discovered that same year a website called EBay, and thus an obsession with collecting souvenir helmets began.
For the next couple of years I found various helmets on EBay and none of the like were anything to get too excited about. I also had a good friend who went to a lot of garage sales and would bring me various items from time to time free of charge. Early on I didn't really know what was actually out there until I lucked into some helmets one day. I consider this lucky break one of my best purchases. While browsing on EBay I came across an auction for 12 souvenir batting helmets. The helmets were stacked on the ledge of a backyard deck and the picture quality was just terrible. I couldn't even make out any of the helmet logos, but I noticed that the colors of some of the helmets were really strange. One helmet was bright green and another had a white top and red bill. The auction went for a full six days and nobody had placed a bid. The original starting price was $9.99, so I decided to write to the guy and I offered him $60 for the entire lot if he was interested. He agreed to the sell and I thought I had just paid $60 for a bunch of junk helmets, but that all changed when the package came in the mail.