My name is Todd Bargman. I have been collecting game used Items since I was 9 years old. Sticks and bats were my first passion. I was drafted in 1988 by the Chicago White Sox out of Oklahoma State University and met many players and coaches along the way. My father Stan, was in training camp for the Tigers in 1956 and I will post a picture from that camp under the minor league tab. The shield below is in memory of my Dad who passed several years ago. I played college ball at Bakersfield College and LA Harbor, then went to Oklahoma State for my junior year. On that team in 1988 was Robin Ventura. We had 10 players drafted that season along with myself. I met with Robin in spring training and he asked me for a few bats as he had not yet received his order. He grabbed a couple C271’s and a couple P72’s and I think one T85. He used one of my bats to get his first pro hit during one of the training camp games.
I was known as the Batologist by my teammates due to my extreme passion for wood bats and wide grain and pine tar. They would hide my lumber all over the clubhouse to make me crazy!! That wasn’t a tough task really. I will be posting several of my bats and jerseys and specialty items I acquired along the way, under my name under the minor league tab.
During this time, I met Wayne Gretzky. I was signed by the California Angels in 1990 and was working out at Anaheim Stadium during the off season. I called Peter Millar, the equipment man for the Kings at the time and asked to meet the Great one. I first met Wayne at the Kings practise Rink in Culver City. He gave me a new stick and signed it to me personally. I spent the next couple months going to several home games and being able to go into the locker room. One afternoon at a practise at the forum, I asked Gretzky for a stick while he was watching all the guys lift weights. He was sitting on a bench press, soaking his new skate boots in hot water. They had no blades on yet and he said he was moulding them. The next night after the game, he called me over in the locker room and said to Peter to take me to the rack and grab his stick form that nights game. It was still dripping wet from the ice and I was pumped!! Both guys were really great people, along with all the other players and staff.
If I wasn’t playing sports, I was watching them. My cousin and I went to about 30-40 baseball games per season and about 20 to 25 hockey games a year as well. We were main stays at both Maple Leaf Gardens and Exibition Stadium. Everyone knew us and we knew every one. Sometimes the scalpers would give us tickets after the game started if they couldn’t sell them. living across the street from North York Centennial hockey arena as a kid, was a bonus. When i’d see the Leafs van pull up around 8am, that meant there was a leafs practise that day as the Gardens was busy with other activities. I would get at least 5 or 6 sticks per practise. Wood sticks used to crack more than the new one piece they use now. During games at Maple Leaf Gardens, when a stick broke, either myself or my cousin, we took turns, would run down the stairs to try and time it so the stick would be walked right past us to the broken stick room. Sometimes they would give us the stick, sometimes not but either way it was always a rush running down those stairs. During warm ups, we would hang over the glass and ask players for their sticks after the game. We got several sticks in this fashion as most hockey players were really good guys.