|The Albersheim’s business was born before Richard Albersheim even realized it. It started in the eyes of a young boy from Baltimore, Maryland who had a passion for sports as a die-hard Orioles fan. At the age of six, he bought his first pack of baseball cards. That young boy’s captivation and allure with sports and its players grew over time into an obsession with the hobby that thrives stronger than ever in Richard today.
After a lucky encounter with starting Orioles catcher Rick Dempsey at a local department store signing, he started obtaining autographs at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. Because of this new-found "friendship" with Dempsey, Richard was hooked on collecting autographs. He began to write letters to ballplayers and received responses from old-time Hall of Famers such as Bill Terry, Waite Hoyt, Burleigh Grimes, Joe Sewell, and countless others. Shockingly, he'd often open his return envelopes with thank you letters from these legends thanking him for actually remembering them. Can you imagine that happening today?
Richard decided to branch out and contact celebrities, politicians, astronauts, captains of the industry, and other sports stars. After racking up numerous dollars on postage (his parents generously funded the mailing costs), he had to start selling some of his treasured collection to prove to his folks that he wasn't just wasting money on this new found passion. In 1985, Richard sold his very first autograph, a Muhammad Ali signature for $8. His second sale was a Rock Hudson signed 8x10 photograph for $40. This was the point where the light bulb clicked on for his parents! They realized that there might be something more to this other than their son spending countless hours locked away in his room or at the public library researching famous people and writing letters asking for their signatures.
After high school, Richard attended the University of Maryland at College Park and briefly attended and played football (if you call getting his butt kicked during practice) at Montgomery College Rockville (Maryland). By the middle of his college career; the buying and selling of autographs and historical memorabilia had become a career and Albersheim’s was born.
Of course he tried out some other things along the way; such as acting in Hollywood television shows and movies, signing a screenplay deal to option the book Necessary Roughness (that was written by legendary sports agent Mike Trope), spending four years working as a recruiter for sports agents (and signing several future NFL players along the way), blogging, and working as an on-air radio personality. However, the constant source of income and passion for Richard has always been buying, selling, and collecting rare historical artifacts and autographs.
Richard has been involved in every facet of the hobby, whether it’s the procurement of scarce historical treasures for high end collectors or working in various consulting capacities on legal cases, with card companies, institutions, auction houses, celebrities and/or their estates; he consistently puts in a tireless effort and performs to a perfectionist level.
In past years, he has written for Sports Collector's Digest and Tuff Stuff Magazine. Richard has been interviewed on several radio programs and publications around the country and worked as an expert witness in a legal proceeding in Cook County, Illinois. His biggest deal to date was the 7 figure deal brokering of the Duke Hott football collection, which is arguably the best privately held professional football collection in the world.
Richard consulted on the short film, Historic Holman Stadium by up and coming film maker, Jean-Marc Le Doux. Another recent film project was working in an unofficial capacity as a consultant on Undefeated, The Roger Brown Story, a documentary film about the ABA basketball star, by renowned film maker and journalist Ted Green. This film may have been the catalyst to finally spur Brown’s selection to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Additionally, in 2012, Richard appeared in several episodes of ABC's sports memorabilia reality TV show, Ball Boys, as an autograph expert and in 2013, he appeared on the History Channel's hit television series, Pawn Stars. Most recently, in 2014, Rich has been actively consulting on an upcoming documentary film about Basketball Hall of Famer Bobby "Slick" Leonard. In November 2014, Rich was quoted on ESPN.com regarding the Jameis Winston autograph situation.
Richard has also received credits in several sports related books, which include the following:
Today, Richard Albersheim is considered to be one of the leading experts in historical autographs and sports memorabilia worldwide. Other dealers and collectors throughout the industry frequently seek out his expert advice for their own business proceedings. He has worked with countless former athletes and their families in acquiring or disposal of their estates, in turn helping them achieve top dollar for their historical treasures. When working with Rich, expect open honesty and real advice.
He won’t tell you what you want to hear, but rather what you need to know to make the best informed decision.