NLR Sports Memorabilia Dealer John Rogers Sued for Missed Payment

by George Waldon  on Monday, Jul. 21, 2014 12:00 am  

A dispute over the $1.35 million acquisition of a treasure trove of historic Major League Baseball images recently took the field in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

The heir and former keeper of the famed George Burke & George Brace Collection of photographic negatives sued North Little Rock businessman John Rogers and his Sports Card Plus Inc.

The litigation rises above a typical collection suit because Rogers and his business have been touched by a federal investigation.

Mary Brace, daughter of the late George Brace, alleges that Rogers breached the June 2012 contract by which he purchased the negatives by missing an $85,000 payment that was due on April 1 and that she is still owed $765,000.

Neither Rogers nor his lawyer, Blake Hendrix of Little Rock, could be reached for comment.

A five-page purchase agreement regarding the collection included as part of the July 11 lawsuit indicates that Brace received $400,000 up front and $100,000 six months later.

The remaining $850,000 was to be paid in annual installments of $85,000 due every April 1 from 2013 to 2022. The complaint alleges that Rogers made the first of those 10 payments in 2013 and then defaulted when the second came due this spring.

According to the lawsuit, Rogers also failed to deliver to Brace a digital copy of the complete collection as promised in the sales agreement.

The epic collection consists of an estimated 250,000 original negatives. The images contained in the cache include more than 10,000 National and American League players, ranging from superstars to virtual unknowns who played at Chicago’s Wrigley Field or Comiskey Park between 1929 and 1994.

Brace’s lawsuit also alleges that Rogers lied repeatedly about retaining the entire collection.

The subject came up after Brace learned that search warrants were executed at Rogers’ business and home on Jan. 28 as part of a criminal investigation conducted by federal prosecutors in Chicago.

Accompanying legal concerns were “anecdotal reports of Rogers’ uncertain financial situation,” according to the complaint.



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