Historic sports collection fills former Louisville high school coach's home

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's a sports collection you need to see to believe. A former high school coach is preserving history inside his Louisville home.

"Baseball is just different. My father introduced me to it, that has a lot of bearing. My son and I were together for four years," says Steve Milam.

For Milam, the game of baseball and life are tied together. "Boy the memories, they're still there," Milam said.

He's lived both to the fullest. "It's just a dream world that I've lived in as far as sports. Getting to meet heroes, the Mickey Mantles."

That dream world comes to life in the former duPont Manual player, former Iroquois head coach and retired history teacher's basement.

"Just come down here and get away from it all and watch TV or listen to music. Sometimes I just walk around and I just look at stuff, and I remember that person that wore that jersey or signed that ball or used that bat and kind of bring back memories again," Milam said.

Bats, baseballs and box seats from Wrigley that are 100 years old, one-of-a-kind finds at Parkway Field and a sketch by Muhammad Ali on a carry-out box. "Probably the most common comment is 'I knew you collected stuff, but I didn't know you collected it like this'," he said.

It all started when he was 26, when a friend suggested he come along to a collector's show. "I was hooked from the get-go. That was 42 years ago and thousands of pieces later, that's where we are today," Milan said.

Milam has acquired the items from estate sales and auctions. Many times, however, they're through players he knows personally.

Milam has no idea how many items he has. "It's slowed down, believe me in the last year or two and that was for my wife's sake I think."

He never misses when it comes to the states and stories behind them all. "Along the way, when you least expect it, you find something tucked away in a box that just opens your eyes and makes your heart skip a beat. I know that sounds kind of corny."

His own personal museum is all heart. "It's fun just chasing history. It really is. Some of it's valuable. A lot of it's not, but it's valuable as far as a keepsake to me," Milam said.

It's a way to remember the plays on the field and off, no matter how big or small.

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