Albuquerque man’s $100,000 baseball collection stolen

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque man who collects baseball memorabilia knew something was amiss when his Babe Ruth autographed baseball was missing from its hiding spot.

Only two people knew where he hid it: his wife and his daughter. James Bennett called police to report his missing collection, about $100,000 worth of cards and memorabilia. He also reported the name of a possible suspect: Michelle Ortiz, his daughter.

Detectives believe Ortiz stole the items and sold them to a man she found through Craigslist. That person, in turn, posted items on Ebay.

According to the criminal complaint, Bennett found the items on Ebay and made an additional report to police. Police set up a sting to buy from the Ebay seller, and tracked down Ortiz and her husband based on his information. They’re both being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center, booked on theft charges.

Other collectors say Bennett’s collection, which includes 50 complete sets of valuable cards, thousands of individual cards, and the autographed Babe Ruth baseball, is rare.

“It’s very uncommon,” said Charles Pascetti, owner of Charlie’s Cardz. “You can find individual cards from those years, but to have something in a complete set, is very rare in Albuquerque or New Mexico.”

Some of the collection was recovered, but other items had already been sold.

One of the sold items was the Babe Ruth baseball, which had been sold on Ebay to an Indiana buyer. Police were still working to recover that item, according to the criminal complaint. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s