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Baseball Fan Has Caught over 5,800 Home Run and Foul Balls

Zack Hample, from New York, is a baseball fan and bawl hawk – he’s great at catching and stealing balls. But Zack isn’t an ordinary ball hawk, because no one else boasts a collection as impressive as his: more than 5,800 balls, both home runs and fouled balls. The way he goes after balls at matches can be characterized as almost professional.

A typical game for Zack Hample goes kind of like this – running around the Major League ballpark, searching for foul balls or home runs, and sometimes even convincing coaches and players to toss balls into the stands. As you can imagine, being a ball hawk is no walk in the park. It involves a lot of athleticism, a bit of science and loads of luck too. All three of which Hample has plenty of. His collection of baseballs is the largest in the world. “Yes, I’m obsessed,” he admits.

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Obsessed Man Collects over 20,000 Bird Ornaments

It all started when Lawrence Cobbold was 9 years old, after he purchased a picture of a bird . Today, at age 38, his home is so filled to the brim with bird ornaments. His place is so full of bird memorabilia that he has to wash up, do his laundry and have his meals at his parents’ house. In the past 25 years or so, Lawrence has managed to collect over 20,000 ornaments related to birds. His treasures could all be worth about £40,000 ($63,000) according to his own estimation.

Lawrence’s amazing bird collection consists of 15,000 ornaments, 4,800 thimbles, 1,000 fridge magnets and 300 plates. Apart from these, he has about 300 pictures, 150 mugs and 100 jigsaw puzzles that are in some way, related to birds. Each and every room in his house, every cupboard, loft and shelf is completely covered with bird-related items. Each room, in fact, has a theme of its own. The three-bedroom property belongs to his father Tony. Lawrence moved there after his previous residence, a two-bedroom house, was no longer sufficient for his ever-growing collection. Four hours of Lawrence’s day are spent rearranging and cleaning his collection– two hours before work and two hours after. When he’s not busy with his collectibles, he works full time as a warehouse attendant at the Co-op Retail Distribution Center in Plympton, England. He usually buys the ornaments at Plympton, Plymstock, Mutley Plain and Elburton, where he is constantly on the prowl for new items to add to the collection.

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Hang on to Your Panties: Thai Man Collects 11,000 Pairs of Women’s Underwear in 30 Years

Some hobbies are downright disgusting. Like this guy from Thailand who collected 10,000 pairs of women’s underwear. No that’s not the gross part. What’s truly disturbing is that he smelled them all the time, even while he was driving. Ewww, right?

Apparently, his obsession was not just for underwear, but also for the stealthy way he obtained them. The police were tipped off about the thief after he broke into a building in Chinatown, Bangkok along with an accomplice. When they raided his home, to their surprise, they found not cash or jewels, but a whopping 10,000 pairs of underwear. And an additional 1,000 were in his vehicle. He then admitted that he had been breaking in and stealing female panties since the age of 18. He is now 48, so there was actually was literally 30-years-worth of underwear in there! Unfortunately, they could only arrest him on grounds of breaking and entering, since no one had actually reported any missing underwear. And I don’t suppose anyone would be interested in getting their missing garments back, either.

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If Your Name Is Smith, This Man Wants to Hear from You

“I look for Smiths.” That’s how Bob Ziegler, from Minot, North Dakota, describes his hobby of 30 years. While most people are content with collecting stamps and bottle caps, Ziegler’s hobby is a little more complicated. He looks for people with the last name Smith and writes to them with a simple request: to send him their business cards. In the last 30 years, he has managed to track down thousands of Smiths, and sent them handwritten letters. Included with the letter is a stamped, self-addressed envelope that can be used to send him back the business cards.

Since 1982, Ziegler has sent over 2,500 letters, and collected 1,014 cards. The Smiths in his collection are spread in all 50 states of the US, and also seven other countries. Some of the responses he has received are a lot more interesting than the cards themselves. For instance, the chief deputy at Escambia County Sherriff’s Office, Larry E. Smith wrote, “It is an honor to serve the public whether it is providing assistance in times of need or providing a business card for someone’s collection because my last name is Smith.” The late president of American Pop Corn Co., Wrede H. Smith, sent not just his own card, but those of his son and nephew. He even threw in coupons for free JOLLY TIME popcorn. Of course, not everyone has been so enthusiastic to participate in Ziegler’s weird hobby. “What – are you nuts?” wrote back one Smith, with no card in the envelope. A few Smiths have been honest enough to admit that they did not have business cards.

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Chinese Man Builds 600,000-Cigarette-Pack Fort

Wang Guanyi, a 46-year-old cigarette pack collector from Longnan, China, has recently built a fort model using 600,000 empty cigarette packs.

Wang is a famous person in his home city because he usually greets everyone with “hello, do you smoke? do you have cigarette packs?” He says he has been fascinated with cigarette packs ever since he was a little boy, and collected his first one off the street, when he was just seven years old. He was first attracted by the bright colors and nice images on the packs, and kept collecting them until he reached an impressive 600,000. As you can imagine, every corner of his house was filled with them, but just when he was running out of space, he saw a TV show about a man who had built a house out of wine bottles, and was inspired to do the same thing with his cigarette pack collection.

It took him about a month to finish his 30-foot fort-like building made with 600,000 colorful cigarette packs. It was 6.06m long, 4.68m wide and 1.68m wide, and won Wang Guanyi a certificate from the China Record Office for the world’s largest cigarette pack structure. Unfortunately, he had built his unique fort on rented space, and since the costs were apparently too high for him to handle, he was forced to tear it down as soon as his record was acknowledged.

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Guy Collects All 1,850 PlayStation 2 Games, Leaves Them Sealed

Ahans 76, member of the Playstation Collecting Community, probably deserves the title of King of PS2 Collectors, after he managed to acquire a brand new, sealed copy of every game ever released for the PlayStation 2.

We’ve featured some pretty impressive collections on Oddity Central, bust as a fellow gamer, I find this one particularly awesome. What I can’t understand is how someone can just collect these games and not be tempted to open one of them and just pop into the console, to check it out. But that’s just the kind of self control and ambition that describes a video-game completionist (a person who goes after every title ever released for a console) and that’s why we don’t see that many of them. The PS2 game library is particularly large, with 1,850 original titles released, and many would have said trying to collect a copy of each is impossible, but not anymore.

Ahans 76 says his passion for collecting video-game related items can be traced back to when he was 16 years old. He saw a Sega Game Gear handheld, in the window of a Game Crazy shop, and since he had always wanted yo own one as a kid, but never got the chance, he bought it on the spot. This awakened his collector’s spirit and made him consider collecting more video games and consoles. As far as his unique PS 2 game collection is concerned, he didn’t go for the full library from the start, he more like fell into it. He was buying a lot more games than he could play, and at one stage he had about 300 to 400 sealed games, so he looked on the Internet to see how many other games here were and landed on a website where it said the PS 2 had 800 games. Seeing he was already half through, he decided to go for the whole collection.

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Doll Addict Collects $2 Million-Worth of Antique Dolls

Kathy Libraty, an antique doll collector from Brooklyn, New York, has spent the last 25 years searching for antique dolls, and now has an impressive collection of over 1,000 items that’s worth around $2 million.

Believe it or not, Kathy’s fascination with dolls didn’t start when she was a little girl. In fact she remembers she was more of a tomboy and had no real interest in dolls or any girly stuff. Born in France, she and her parents immigrated to the US when she was only 4. After graduating from Brooklyn College with a BA in Art, her passion for photography took her to Europe and the Middle East, where she took a real interest in history and old art. When she and her husband, Frank, bought an old Victorian house, Kathy decided to pursue her love for antiques and started attending country auctions. She was intrigued that people sometimes paid large amounts of money for wigless doll heads, broken limbs and crooked-eye dolls, but not enough to start spending money on them, herself.

It wasn’t until one day, 25 years ago, that Kathy Libraty really became addicted to collecting antique dolls. She and Frank were driving around the neighborhood when they saw a man emptying boxes of antiques into a dumpster. She saw a doll’s leg sticking out and told Frank to stop the car. They went up to the man and asked him if he was going to throw all those things away, and he just replied “Yeah, it’s all dirty old junk”, so they offered to take it off his hands.  When they got home and looked through the “junk” they found a rare 24″ George Borgfeldt doll, several composition mama dolls, and a broken bisque Cuno and Otto Dressel Shoulder head doll. She often wondered what other treasures that man had thrown away in the dumpster that day, but the wonders she managed to get her hands on inspired her to go out into the world and discover her own priceless treasures.

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15-Year-Old Has a Strange Passion for Vacuum Cleaners

Kyle Krichbaum, a 15-year-old boy from Adrian, Michigan, has been fascinated by vacuum cleaners since before he could talk. His passion stuck with him through adolescence, and he’s now known as the world’s youngest vacuum cleaner collector, with a collection of around 200 vintage devices.

Most teenagers don’t have that strong of a relationship with vacuum cleaners, or any other cleaning gadgets, for that matter, but Kyle Krichbaum doesn’t like anything more than using, fixing and collecting all kinds of vacuum cleaners. His mother, MaryLynn, remembers that when Kyle was only a baby in his little baby seat and she would start vacuuming the house, he would be mesmerized by it and follow her everywhere around the house. “Vacuum Boy” got his first vacuum cleaner at age 1, and when he was 2-years-old he dressed up hot Halloween as a Dirt Devil…

One of his former teachers remembers Kyle Krichbaum was vacuuming around school, during recess, when he was just 6 years old. It’s not that he didn’t like recess as much as the other kids, vacuuming was just his favorite pass-time. He would vacuum one side of a classroom one day, and finish the other side the next, and has even vacuumed the principal’s office.

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Hungarian Collector Shows Off World’s Smallest Library

Jozsef Tari has been collecting miniature books since 1972, and is now the proud owner of over 4,500 literary works, including the world’s smallest book (2.9 x 3.2 mm).

A printer by trade, Tari has always been fascinated by the written word, and in 1972 he began collecting miniature books. Most of the items in his collection are in Hungarian, but he also has quite a few from the US, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Indonesia and Japan. Ironically, he only has a few books from the countries neighboring Hungary. As far as topics are concerned, Jozsef Tari is interested in everything from religion to sports, literature and even cooking, but he only collects books that are 76 mm in size, or smaller. His collection features books that are over 100 years old, but his most prized miniature is the world’s smallest book – it measures only 2.9 x 3.2 millimeters and fits into a nutshell.

Apart from the 4,500 books in his collection, Tari also has 15 kinds of miniature newspapers, including the smallest in the world, which measures only 19 x 26 mm.

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Wacky Couple Share Their Home with 240 Love Dolls

60-year-old Bob Gibbins, and his wife Lizzie, 55, have a rather unusual collection of 240 different kinds of love dolls that they like dressing up and taking on shopping trips.

Bob says he has always been interested in dolls, but his passion really started to develop when he used to buy rag dolls and other toys for his two kids. He then moved on to buying shop mannequins for a few years and amassing a pretty impressive collection, but it wasn’t until he found an online forum about silicone dolls that he realized that’s what he really wanted to collect. With the help of his wife, Gibbins acquired his first silicone doll, Beverly, in 2007, for around $4,000. But that was only the beginning, as the couple continued to buy different kinds of love dolls, from cheap blow-up dolls costing $639 at most, to realistic silicone dolls like Jessica, who put a serious $11,202 dent in the family budget. All in all, Bob and Lizzie Gibbins estimate they’ve spent around $160,000 since they started collecting love dolls.

You’re probably wondering what someone does with 240 dolls and mannequins, especially when they live in a not so spacious bungalow. Well, according to the wacky couple, they love dressing up the dolls, washing them and fixing them up so they look their best, and since they’re both very picky about their dolls’ appearance, this takes up a lot of their time. Silicone dolls are apparently very needy; they sweat and need to be washed regularly, which can be a problem considering they’re pretty heavy, but Bob and his wife spare no effort tending to their precious collection.

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Japanese Geek Is World’s Biggest Super Mario Fan

Mitsugu Kikai, a 25-year-old from Tokyo, Japan, has received the title of World’s Biggest Super Mario Fan, for his giant collection of Mario-themed memorabilia.

I’m not saying it’s fate, but Kikai was born the same year Nintendo released their first Super Mario video game, and he says one of the first things his parents bought him was a Super Mario cereal bowl. He was too young to remember it, but as soon as he grew a little older he started collecting everything Mario. Now, at 25 years old, Mitsugu Kikai has amassed an impressive collection of over 5,400 Super Mario items, and he’s not planning on stopping anytime soon.

“I never tried to become a number one collector, but as I loved Mario since I was little, the collection gradually grew. Now, I believe you can’t find more Mario items anywhere else in the world.” Kikay says. He currently lives in a two bedroom apartment in Tokyo, and one of the rooms is used just to house his giant collection, not to mention he left many other items behind, at his parents’ house.

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Russian Pensioner Amasses a Fortune of Five Million Kopek Coins

Yuri Babin, a retired military officer from the Russian city of Novosibirsk, has spent the last 13 year collecting a fortune of about 5 million kopek coins.

The kopek is 1/100th of a Ruble, the Russian equivalent of a cent. Babin began collecting them in 1998, following wide scale Russian bank defaults that caused the kopek to become practically worthless. Instead of trying to get rid of them, this Russian version of Mr. Scrooge decided to put together a huge collection of coins. He would pick them off the street and ask vendors to change his currency in coins of the lowest denomination.

The “kopek millionaire”, as locals know Yuri Babin, now has a fortune of around five million coins, which weighs over 7.5 tonnes, but is worth just 50,000 rubles ($1,500). But it was never about the value for Mr. Babin, he just loves bathing in his impressive fortune, and has even used a few kopeks to make his wardrobe shine.

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Feline Lover Collects over 2,000 Ceramic Cats

60-year-old Pamela Cole has spent most of her life putting together an impressive collection of over 2,000 ceramic cats, and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.

When Ms. Cole says she’s crazy about cats, you best believe she means it – her house in Hollywood, Birmingham is practically full of ceramic cats, from a common replicas of cartoon characters like Top Cat, to 7th century BC Egyptian statuettes.

This unusual obsession with ceramic cats can be traced back to Pamela Cole’s childhood years, in the 1940s, when her mother bought her a cat to stop her feeling lonely. It was a simple pottery cat from a gift store in Corporation Street, but it kick-started her passion for collecting, and from then on she spent her days scouring shops and craft fairs in search of cat china.

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Janet Esteves – The World’s Biggest Mickey Mouse Fan

Janet Esteves has proved to the whole world that she is the biggest Mickey Mouse fan, by putting together the world’s largest collection of Mickey Mouse memorabilia.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, Janet has turned her home into a virtual museum dedicated to Disney’s adorable character, featuring well over 2,500 items. She has everything from Mickey Mouse plush toys, snow globes, keychains and , all carefully organized and put on display around the house.

Janet Esteves first started collecting Mickey Mouse stuff in the early ’70s, when she and her husband visited Disneyland, on their honeymoon. She bought her first Mickey Mouse toys that time, but the collection really blossomed when her daughter was born, in 1978. She kept buying new Mickey stuff for her, until she realized she had made a goal of collecting memorabilia. Now, Janet has grandchildren, and they love Mickey Mouse too, so the collection keeps growing with each passing day.

As of December 2008, Janet Esteves’ impressive collection featured 2,760 different Mickey Mouse items, and it’s just going to get bigger.

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Banker Spends 35 Years Collecting Beer Cans

Nick West, 1 51-year-old banker from Clevendon, Britain has spent the lats 35 years putting together an impressive collection of 6,788 beer cans.

The banker from North Somerset started his British beer can collection when he was only 16 years old. His wife-to-be, Dorothy, bought him a book about collecting beer cans, not knowing she would spend the next 35 years regreting her bad taste in presents. Nick became quite fond of collecting all kinds of beer cans, and before long, the couple had to move to a larger house, one that would be roomy enough for his ever-growing collection.

Dorothy doesn’t approve of her husband’s hobby, and she’s sure that if they would have remained in their old home, they could have paid off the entire mortgage by now. Instead, the largest room in their new house is now occupied by 6,788 cans of beer. To top things off, Nick spends serious amount of money on vintage beer cans, as much as $1,975 for one of the first cans ever produced in Britain.

Nick West usually drinks the contents of the beer cans he collects, but he doesn’t do it the usual way…Instead of pulling the key, he makes two holes in the bottom of the can, empties the content, drinks it, and ads the can to his collection. That’s kind of a hassle, but I guess it’s worth it, if you can live every guy’s dream of having a house full of beer cans.

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