Former Kansas City Royals Owner Donates Vast Sports Memorabilia Collection and Gives Cash Gift to FAU; Total Gift Valued at Over $10 Million
The Avron B. Fogelman Sports Museum will be housed in the Schmidt Family Complex for Academic and Athletic Excellence
BOCA RATON, Fla - (March 25, 2019) - Former Kansas City Royals owner and longtime Boca Raton resident Avron B. Fogelman recently selected Florida Atlantic University (FAU) as the recipient of his vast sports memorabilia collection. The total gift, valued at more than $10 million including memorabilia and cash, is the fifth largest one-time donation in the university’s history.
The collection’s 562 pieces are considered one of the largest private sports libraries amassed and owned by an individual. Items will be displayed in a new 3,500 square-foot exhibit – The Fogelman Sports Museum at the Schmidt Family Complex for Academic and Athletic Excellence – scheduled to open this December.
What started as a personal collection of memories quickly grew into the largest personal collection of sports memorabilia. Some highlights of the memorabilia on display will include:
- The 13 original rules of basketball by James Naismith
- Babe Ruth’s pinstripe uniform pants worn on his first day as a New York Yankee in 1921
- Joe DiMaggio’s 1936 rookie uniform
- Roger Maris’ uniform worn in 1961 when he broke the single season home run record
- Hank Aaron’s uniform worn in 1974 when he broke the career home run record
- 1985 Kansas City Royals World Series Trophy
- Final cleats worn by football great Jim Thorpe
- Football signed by the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins
- The 1969 Ryder Cup Trophy
- Baseballs signed by sports legends, entertainers, politicians and historical figures
- Special “one of a kind” sports artifacts never seen before
The museum will offer visitors a visual progression of American sports alongside vignettes of the country’s growth, providing historical context, opportunities for intergenerational connections and unique storytelling. A $1.8 million cash contribution from Fogelman will cover design, construction, and furnishing costs for the new space, as well as hiring and training of museum staff.
“Creating an exhibit to display this collection is a way for us to protect our history; it is a living, breathing account of our country’s history, America’s Pastime and other sports told through artifacts, my own personal stories and the stories of my friends,” said Fogelman. “If we forget our history we cannot serve as good stewards of our future. FAU understands how to display this collection so it educates and inspires as many people as possible.”
According to FAU President John Kelly, the exhibit will serve the university’s academic programs including MBA Sports Management. Space will be allocated for lectures and post-tour discussions, and the museum will be a free attraction for locals, tourists and sports aficionados alike.
“Securing this collection is a point of pride for our university,” Kelly said. “Avron’s passion for sports, coupled with his lifelong dedication to education are evident through this generous donation. His desire to bring sports history to life will manifest through our plans for academic integration and community engagement.”
Fogelman is a contributor to FAU in support of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Athletics, and the Kelly Family Scholarship Fund.