Originally posted on Hall of Very Good  |  Last updated 7/12/13
If you’re a baseball fan, it’s probably safe to assume you have an obsession of sorts. And if your obsession involves a particular player, you’ve probably had their poster on your wall, their number on your back…you’ve probably got more than your fair share of their baseball cards. But shower shoes? Meet Wade Boggs superfan Richard Davis. HOVG:  First off, I’ve gotta know…why Wade Boggs?  What is your connection to the former third baseman and how and when did you get started? DAVIS: It was Christmas, 1985. My parents had bought me a baseball card collector starter kit. Inside was an unopened 1983 Donruss wax pack. So I opened it and on top was Wade Boggs’ rookie card. I knew then that the card had a $10 value, and as an 11 year-old, that was a lot of money. Ever since that card, I began following his career and collecting his cards. Every year, when the Bo Sox would come to Chicago, my father would take me to old Comiskey Park and he’d get tickets along the third base line so I could watch Boggs play. I played third base in Little League because of him. It wasn’t until 2011 when Mr. Boggs came to Chicago for a baseball card show that I got to meet my boyhood hero for the first time. And it was exciting to say the least.  HOVG:  What did he think of your collection and what did you talk about? DAVIS: I have met Mr. Boggs four times now and will again in a few weeks when he comes back to Chicago for the National Sports Card Convention. He has been very kind and approachable each time I’ve met him. I’ve never gotten the chance to sit down with him to tell him about how extensive my collection is. I’m afraid he may think I’m obsessed. (Laughs)  I’ve tweeted him and have had several tweets back. It’s always exciting when that happens. It’d be cool to have him over for a chicken dinner and then show off my collection. I met Wade for the fourth time last summer on Ron Santo’s Hall of Fame induction weekend in Cooperstown. He was an hour late for his signing, but was very apologetic. He was out golfing with some other Hall members and he was a little inebriated, but he remembered that he had seen my father and me three weeks earlier at a show in Chicago when we had a photo op with him. He’s cool like that.  HOVG:  Alright, you’ve got a room in your house dedicated to your Boggs collection.  What does your girlfriend think of it? DAVIS: She does not get it at all! (Laughs) To her credit though, she knew who Wade Boggs was. She’s a diehard White Sox fan (me, a diehard Cubs fan…don’t ask how that works) and she remembered he played for the Red Sox and Yankees. Needless to say, she is very familiar with him now. My Wade Boggs collection is kept in my basement, which is half a living area and the back half is a gym. About half of my collection is on display. The other half is in boxes in a closet. I am waiting to get a bigger place so that I can turn the entire basement into my own bar and affectionately call it “Boggs Tavern”. I’ll invite him over for a few beers and watch some ball games on the big screen and talk baseball. (Laughs) HOVG:  How many pieces do you estimate are in your collection and what price tag would you put on it as a whole? DAVIS: I really have no idea how many pieces I have. To start with, I have nearly 10,000 baseball cards of Wade Boggs. Of course many are duplicates. For example, I have nearly 200 Star Wade Boggs 24-card sets. I’m closing in on almost 150 1983 Topps rookie cards, etc. I have seven autographed bats, seven or eight autographed balls. I have six autographed jerseys…home and away of all three teams he played for. At last count, I had nearly 100 autographed items. I have newspapers, posters, magazines, figures and tons of oddball items. Price tag as a whole? I’d answer priceless. I’ve had 27 years of collecting Mr. Boggs and would never sell. But monetarily it’s worth thousands. HOVG:  Have you ever been offered any money for anything?  If so…what and how much? DAVIS: My most valuable items would be a game-used autographed bat; two pairs of game-worn autographed cleats; a game-worn autographed Devil Rays ball cap; a pair of game-worn autographed batting gloves and get this…I own a pair of his old Boston Red Sox shower shoes.  Both autographed. (Laughs) Yes, I’m a diehard fan. Next on my list…to obtain is a game worn jersey. That might take a while as they are more expensive and I have other things to save for. I have never been offered anything for a single item in my collection. The nice thing about being a Boggs collector is that there aren’t that many diehards and items are pretty easy to obtain. A buddy of mine, who I met through a Beckett article, is a HUGE Boggs collector and he and I text back and forth about certain items we’ve picked up. I admire his collection and he admires mine. But there isn’t anything in my collection I would part with. HOVG:  You recently made some purchases.  What did you just buy?  And can I ask how much?!? DAVIS: I just received the game-worn autographed ball cap in the last couple of  weeks. It’s so cool. It’s seen a lot of game action given the sweat stains on the inner brim. (Laughs) I got it for $125…a steal in my opinion. HOVG:  What is your favorite piece?  If I was to stroll into your Boggs man cave…what would be the thing you would be most proud of? DAVIS: The one item that is my most favorite is the picture Wade took with me and my father. I had told my father I was having my picture taken with Mr. Boggs, but before the picture was taken, I had my dad step in along side us. After the picture was developed Mr. Boggs was nice enough to sign it for me. That’s my favorite for sentimental reasons. I think I’m equally proud of the six autographed jerseys I own. Most collectors’ eyes light up when I tell them I have six personally autographed jerseys from the man himself. When I eventually have them all framed and hung up on the same wall, they will serve as the focal point of my Boggs Tavern wall. HOVG:  And the strangest piece? DAVIS: The strangest piece I have has got to be the shower shoes. (Laughs) It’s the one piece that gets more head shaking action than any other item when friends and family stop over. It goes to show how true a fan I am (or crazy). Cooperstown can borrow them any time they want. Have them call me! HOVG:  Speaking of strange.  Our friends over at the Baseball Reliquary have, in their possession, a pair of panties worn by Boggs’ alleged mistress Margo Adams.  What would such an item like that mean to you and your collection? DAVIS: I’d only be interested in them if he wore them during a game. (Laughs) Just kidding. I actually passed once on an autographed Margo Adams ball that found its way onto eBay. It was going for $40 but I just couldn’t pull the trigger on it. I do own the Playboy with Boggs interview in it as well as both Penthouse magazines that she posed in. I don’t have those displayed. I don’t need my kids asking questions. (Laughs) I do own a bumper sticker that reads “Don’t Trade Wade for Getting Laid.” As a fan, I’m more interested in and care more about his playing career. We all make bad choices in life and he’s as human as the rest of us. HOVG:  Lastly, I know you’re also a huge Jean Claude Van Damme fan…any chance you’ve got a JCVD man cave in your future? DAVIS: Guys, my Van Damme collection is a favorite of mine. But my “Star Wars” collection rivals my Boggs collection. It has its own room too! (Laughs) But JCVD occupies my entire gym space, which includes his movie posters and autographed pictures. I’m a huge fan of his! My girlfriend can live with the “Star Wars” and Wade Boggs “clutter” but she has drawn the line at my Van Damme collection. NO chance he gets a room to himself!  
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