Cardinal collection continues to grow

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Brothers Jeffery and Jeremy Wisham of Lake City are both St. Louis Cardinal fans. It would be a close race to see who has the largest collection of Cardinal memorabilia. Their bedrooms are filled top to bottom and many items had to be moved to a storage building as their collections overflowed.

Jeffery Wisham's Cardinal collection with many unique items continues to grow. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Jeffery's baseball card collection of over 3,000 would be a premier find for any collector. One of the oldest is a 1949 Red Schoendienst card.

Their adjoining bedrooms are filled with items from their favorite team. From the throw rugs on the floor to a stadium seat from the old stadium, autographed pictures, balls, bats, banners, and much more fills the rooms. The number 7 stadium seat is signed by Ozzie Smith, Bob Gibson, Stan Musial, Red Schoendienst, and Lou Brock, all Hall of Famers.

Their love for the Cardinals goes back to their grandmother, the late Etta Lee Baker. She was a baseball fan.

Jeffery and Jeremy Wisham share their love of Cardinal baseball and enjoy a trip to Busch Stadium every chance they get.

They have long been fans but they became serious fans about 10 years ago when Jeremy, who has spina bifida, was given a Make-A-Wish gift. They went to Jupiter, Fla., for spring training camp in March 2001. Jeffery accompanied his brother and they met Mark McGwire and other Cardinals and became true Cardinal fans.

They gave Jeremy the batting lineup which is now framed and on display.

Their collection started and has been ongoing as they try to find new Cardinal items.

"One of the great years for the Cardinals was 2004," Jeffery said. "They won over 104 games and went to the World Series. President Bush threw out the first pitch."

That was the year Jeffery graduated from high school and going to the World Series made the year even better.

They had tickets for the National League Championship Series (NLCS) in 2004 but Jeremy was in the hospital and could not attend.

During the Cardinal's good years and not so good years, the Wisham brothers remain fans and try to go to at least four games a year.

They have met Stan Musial three times and were honored to be at the game honoring him in 2010. They have had their picture made with him, along with many other Cardinals.

Through the years they have met other Cardinals including Scott Rolland, Jim Edmonds, Mike Matheny, Chris Carpenter, and Lou Brock and many others from Rookies to MVP players.

Jeffery has a piece of the concrete from the old stadium that was torn down, along with many other unusual finds.

Jeremy likes the shirts and has almost 50 Cardinal jerseys, many featuring the names and numbers of some of his favorite players.

In addition to the Cardinal collection, Jeffery enjoys collecting old papers with headlines featuring historical events. Some of the news headlines displayed among the baseball items include Men Land on the Moon; President Kennedy Shot; Nixon Resigns; Hitler killed; and President Roosevelt dies.

Their mother said the kitchen and bathroom is off limits for displaying their Cardinal collection but she does allow a few photographs of the boys and Cardinals in the living room.

Jeffery stays busy as he works at Riverside High School and is a member of the Lake City City Council.

In his spare time, he enjoys searching the internet for new items for his collection or attending Cardinal baseball games.

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