When Barry Young passed away in 2015, he left behind a matchless legacy of service to his community and its youth through sports.
Young is known to many Chattanooga-area parents and players as the curly-haired blonde man who called baseball in the summer, football in the fall and basketball in the winter. When the seasons changed, so did his uniform – but his commitment to kids never wavered, says Brian Noble, lifelong friend.
“A lot of guys called games for the money, but not Barry,” Noble says. “He did it for the love of sports and the players. When a catcher would get popped in the chest during a softball game, he’d stop the game to make sure they were okay.”
Young built more than a legacy during his lifetime; he also amassed a sizable sports memorabilia collection. Over decades, he collected hundreds of caps, jerseys, uniforms, autographs and other collectibles that spoke of his fervent love of sports.
In the wake of Young’s passing on Aug. 5, 2015 due to colon cancer, his family has decided to sell his collection. The items will be auctioned off piecemeal via Compass Auctions & Real Estate’s website: www.soldoncompass.com.
Although Young enjoyed professional sports most of all, jerseys, jackets and caps from many college teams, including Southeastern Conference football squads, are a part of the collection.
Moreover, even though Young liked baseball and hockey over other sports, says Noble, he didn’t play favorites when it came to collectibles. This means football and basketball fans will have plenty of memorabilia to vie for.
Although little of Young’s collection could be considered vintage, there’s also plenty of product featuring older team logos and even some game-worn jerseys with the players’ names on the back.
Autograph collectors will have plenty of signed photographs of all-time greats like Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali to tussle over.
True autograph hounds will want to look carefully at the jerseys, Noble adds, as Young sewed numerous autographs – including signed photographs – into the inner lining of many of his jackets.
The lining of a bright orange jacket sporting the Denver Broncos logo contains an autographed photo of John Elway. A Pittsburg Steelers jacket sports a picture and autograph of Terry Bradshaw.
Other interesting items include opening day baseball pins, some of which date back to the 1950s, and a magnetic board on which SEC football fans could keep track of the division’s standings by swapping the logos as the team’s records changed.
People who knew Young might recognize some of the items, Noble says, as he often wore one of his jerseys, jackets or caps when he wasn’t on the field. “He always had something different on,” Noble adds.
When Noble met his friend at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in the 1970s, Young had already started collecting. Although Young’s collection grew and waned over the years, it totaled over 300 pieces at the time of his passing.
The family is selling every last item. Noble sees the auction as a way of ensuring Young’s legacy lasts beyond his years.
“Barry didn’t collect memorabilia to make money; he did it because he enjoyed it. It’s a collection of love,” Noble says. “This auction gives the people who remember him a chance to have something that was a part of that time.”
Pre-bidding is taking place now and ends Thursday, Jan. 26 at 9:59 a.m. EST. Online bidding begins immediately after pre-bidding ends and will last until 3 p.m. EST.
To place a pre-bid, visit www.soldoncompass.com, click on “Auction Calendar” and scroll down to and then click on “Sports Memorabilia-Collectibles Auction.”