CINCINNATI -- Marge Schott wasn't a discerning collector of
baseball memorabilia. Her stash included common drinking glasses,
red canvas director's chairs with Reds logos, photos of her St.
Bernard dogs and bats used by little-known players.
But more than 500 people signed up to bid at Friday's auction of
Marge's "stuff," each hoping to take home a memory of the feisty
former owner of the Cincinnati Reds. The auction took in $142,725
for Schott's foundation.
Jane Wehmeir of Cincinnati paid $150 for a monogrammed leather
collar from Schott's dog, Schottzie, and $425 for a custom-made
baseball glove with Marge's name imprinted on it.
"I wanted to take home with me something that was dear to
her," Wehmeir said. "I know her dogs meant everything to her. And
the ball glove was a one-of-a-kind item."
Restaurateur Scott Snow, who owns Buffalo Wild Wings stores in
Ohio, Illinois and Maryland, claimed one of the premier items. He
bid $14,950 for one of Marge's two available copies of the 1990
World Series trophy.
The other trophy went for $18,400 to an anonymous telephone
The third is in the Reds Hall of Fame.
"I think it's unique. I'll never sell it," Snow said.
Schott was a successful businesswoman who managed companies
inherited from her husband and those she acquired in her own right.
She was majority owner of the Reds from 1984 to 1999 when, under
pressure from baseball because of a series of racially insensitive
comments, she sold most of her stake in the team to a group led by
Carl Lindner for $67 million.
"The size of this crowd is tribute to Marge Schott,"
auctioneer Wes Cowan said. "I would be surprised if most of the
people here didn't have a personal story about Marge. She was the
most accessible owner in baseball. I bet there are a lot of people
here who went up to her at the ballpark and got her autograph."
Schott had no children. When she died March 2, 2004, at 75, her
estate was valued at nearly $124 million, according to a filing in
Hamilton County Probate Court.
The bulk of her estate was left to the Marge and Charles J.
Schott Foundation, which she created to honor her late husband.
Schott's things are being disbursed in a series of three
auctions. The first, in December, netted about $200,000 from
personal effects and furnishings.
The big one will be June 16, when some artwork goes up for bid.