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Feb. 11, 2008 at 6:30 AM   |   Comments

Baseball card at center of lawsuit

TRENTON, N.J., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- A rare baseball card is at the center of a contentious lawsuit, with a New Jersey man accusing a memorabilia company of holding the card hostage.

In his lawsuit against Sportscard Guaranty Corp., James Hass alleges that he sent his near-perfect 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card to the company to see if its imperfections could be fixed, The New York Post said Sunday.

Haas alleges that when he asked for the return of the rare baseball card, thought to be worth nearly $300,000, company officials rebuffed him.

The West Point graduate filed a lawsuit against the collectable company in Morris County, N.J. A judge ruled Friday the card should be returned to Haas after being re-authenticated.

Sportscard Guaranty officials denied Haas' allegations, saying he was simply unhappy with their analysis of the card's condition.

Nonetheless, with his Superior Court case won, Haas told the newspaper he will be happy have his prized possession back.

"I'm a low, under-the-radar guy. I don't want trouble," he said. "This was trouble."


Rough handshake has lawyer in hot water

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- A lawyer faces physical assault charges in Florida for allegedly shaking an opposing attorney's hand so fiercely the other lawyer injured her shoulder.

An attorney for lawyer Brewer Rentas said her client never intended to harm a federal prosecutor in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when they shook hands last week, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

"It all stems from a handshake," attorney Gwendolyn Tuggle said. "In her mind she never intended to cause any harm to any federal official."

The 49-year-old Rentas had been in court Thursday as part of her husband's trial on cocaine distribution charges and reportedly made a point of shaking hands with Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Keene after the court's ruling.

Rentas' arrest report states she then allegedly grabbed Keene's hand, knocking her off balance, and then roughly shook her arm up and down.

The Sun-Sentinel said Rentas is faces a federal misdemeanor charge and will likely face an attorney conduct review.


Mom allegedly used 6-year-old to steal

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- A brother and sister used the sister's 6-year-old son to steal from students at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, police alleged.

Police found a stolen purse inside the boy's Spider-Man backpack, the Philadelphia Daily News reported. The boy was also used as a "pawn" to steal two credit cards from another student, police said.

Bernard Davenport, who reportedly also uses the name Kevin Long, was arrested Thursday at Houston Hall on the Penn campus. His sister, Tondeala Davenport, escaped -- but turned herself in Saturday afternoon to face charges that include theft and child endangerment.

Lt. John Walker of the Philadelphia police told WCAU-TV the boy quickly spilled the beans.

"They brought this kid in here -- he was the cutest little kid," Walker said. "Talking to us and joking around, and asking for potato chips and pretzels, and so on and so forth."

The boy is in the care of relatives.


Abe Lincoln impostors keep busy this Feb.

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Presidents Day is just around the corner and faux Abraham Lincolns are in high demand, with one Kentucky impersonator booked for more than 70 appearances.

Jim Sayre, 72, of Lawrenceburg, said being Honest Abe is a year-round job -- and Kentucky's two-year national Lincoln bicentennial, beginning Tuesday, has made him busier than ever, the Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal reported Sunday.

Sayre has performances booked at an elementary school; a veterans' association; a radio station; a fireside chat; and a few other groups that he said he doesn't know too much about.

He said that most years he has about 35 appearances booked by February, but this year, he has 70.

Sayre is well aware he personally isn't the attraction.

"No one wants to hear Jim Sayre speak," he said "They want to hear Abraham Lincoln, the man many consider the greatest leader in American history."

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