Bankrupt Sports Museum Holds Mementos Hostage

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2009 12:31 PM CDT
Billie Jean King talks about her exhibit at the Sports Museum of America.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – New York’s Sports Museum of America has filed for bankruptcy, and is holding some priceless memorabilia hostage, the Wall Street Journal reports. Though more established halls of fame saw the move coming and pulled out loaners, the trustee wants legal fees from owners of items still in storage, or they could go to auction. Items include Tony Hawk’s childhood skateboard and Jesse Owens’ Olympic gold.

“We’re being held up,” said a spokesman for the National Soccer Hall of Fame, which must pony up $1,500 to retrieve its memorabilia. The trustee says the fees are necessary to determine proper ownership, noting that the for-profit museum previously bungled returns. Brandi Chastain’s sports bra, made famous at the 1999 World Cup, is being ransomed for $250, but the soccer player isn’t sweating it: “Thank goodness I have another one.”