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Stevens Point man involved in sale of legendary baseball

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 9:54 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Tim “Shoe” Sullivan loved sports since childhood. At that time in central Wisconsin, that meant worshipping the star of the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves.

“As any kid growing up in Wisconsin in the 60s and that we all idolized Hank Aaron. He was our hero,” said Sullivan.

Fast-forward to the mid-1980s. Sullivan is exchanging sports trivia with Stevens Point police officer Ron Carlson, when Carlson stumps him with a question: Who caught Hank Aaron’s last home run?

“I have no idea. So he said a guy named Richard Arndt did it in ’75 and he was a Brewer grounds crew member,” recalls Sullivan. He explained that Carlson was also grounds crew at the time, and was only a couple of seats away.

Sullivan and Carlson spent some time trying to track down Arndt, to no avail.

Not long after that, Sullivan was interviewed for the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point alumni newsletter.

“John Anderson of the news service was interviewing me and my buddy Randy Wievel about something about the Ray Nitschke Packer Report. And at the very end John says what are you guys doing now, and I says as a joke, I says I’m trying to find that guy who caught Hank Aaron’s last homer,” Sullivan said.

Coincidentally, Arndt’s mother was a university alumnus, at the time living in Houston, and saw that article. She called her son in Albuquerque, NM and got the two in touch with each other.

Arndt then recruited Sullivan as his agent, and the two embarked on a wild adventure to sell the ball.

“The beauty is , when he did this, no one knew Aaron wouldn’t hit any more.”

That legendary ball eventually sold to a private collector for $650,00, and the rest, as they say, is history.

That was the one and only time that Sullivan acted as a broker for sports memorabilia. He dealt with auction houses, the Brewers and even Hank Aaron himself, all on the road to that final sale.

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