BY VERNON ROBISON
It’s no longer a legendary restaurant in downtown Overton. but Sugar’s Homeplate website is still fully functional and has taken on an entirely new function.
The former restaurant area at zuckerhomeplate.com has been fully updated and remodeled to become an auction house for an amazing selection of sports memorabilia, the personal collection of Sugar’s owners Ray and Judy Metz of Overton.
Some of the items for sale on the site will be familiar to Sugar’s regular customers. A Dodgers jersey signed by Sandy Koufax, another signed by Don Drysdale, a framed commemorative poster featuring 80 years of World Series artwork from 1903 to 1981: each of them had a prominent spot on the walls of the Overton Sports Bar, which closed last summer would .
But a lot more is sold on the site. The first round of articles, published just last month, has a number of sports-related articles, including year-round sets of baseball cards, autographed balls, posters, pennants, and more.
There is an Everlast boxing glove signed âMohammed Ali aka Cassius Clayâ.
There is a historical complete set of 9 women’s golf clubs with hickory shafts made by legendary Cleek maker Tom Stewart around 1900.
There’s a Dodger baseball bat signed to the National League Rookies of the Year five years in a row who played for the team.
There is a full set of 1976 Topps baseball cards.
And this first round of around 80 articles is only the tip of the iceberg. The Metz collection includes well over 500 pieces. And gradually everything is offered for sale
This comprehensive collection was founded in 1969 when Ray and Judy welcomed their first son into the family.
“We never got these things with the idea that they would one day be valuable,” Judy Metz said in a recent interview with The Progress. “Ray has just started collecting baseball cards for the kids.”
In the early days of the Metz family, Ray worked during the day and Judy in the evening. Judy was pretty insistent when the kids were little that there shouldn’t be too much TV before bed. So she told Ray to just read something to the kids before they went to bed.
âI have a lot of books and things to read,â Judy recalls. âBut when I got home Ray read them the backs of the baseball cards. Those were her bedtime stories. “
It wasn’t until the last year, when the Metzes sold the restaurant, that they began to fully consider everything they had. They were amazed at what certain things were worth.
“You know, six months ago none of this stuff had any real value to me,” Judy said. âI’ve never thought about it like that before. We’ve only collected them over the years and they were just for fun. “
For example, Judy recalled giving away baseball cards to customers in the early 1990s, shortly after the restaurant opened. You still have several large boxes of cards from that era that turn out to be worth a considerable sum.
âThe trick is to find a market for them,â said Metz.
Your collection includes an uncut sheet of Masters of Golf cards containing Tiger Woods when he won the Masters for the first time.
“That one card alone is worth about $ 50,000,” said Metz. âBut now you can say that; And here’s the kicker: it’s worth $ 50,000 to the person who has the $ 50,000 to buy it. You have to find this buyer. “
And that is exactly what brought the Metzes into the unfamiliar world of online auctions. They worked with local web designer Dustin Berg from Mesquite Branding, who set out to turn the restaurant’s old website into an auction house.
“Dustin was great,” said Judy. âHe put a lot of work into taking pictures of our things, setting up our website and getting the articles published there. I just have to praise him for the detailed work that he did for the project. “