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Thursday, April 4, 2019

"Buckeye Brian" Fogle's Massive Ohio State Memorabilia Collection

As Buckeye fans, many of us have moments that we treasure. We remember the first time we watched the Buckeyes when we were kids, or we have a cherished memory of watching Ohio State win a national championship, or we remember watching our favorite player have a historic day. I still remember Keith Byars losing his shoe and rumbling down the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown against Illinois when I was a kid.

In the world of sports memorabilia collecting, these moments can be captured in a photograph, a game day program, a ticket stub, or an autograph from our heroes. These items become treasured keepsakes which capture our wonder and help ensure that we never forget these precious memories and experiences. Every item has a story to tell.

For Brian Fogle, affectionately known as, "Buckeye Brian" this love for collecting and capturing these memories started very early. You might say he was born for this task. “Aug 10th, 1968 at Riverside Hospital and what a year that was (undefeated super sophomores). So, I think I was meant to be."

Brian Fogle in front of his vast collection. Photo courtesy of Brian Fogle.

His love for the Buckeyes took root very early. “My grandfather played at Ohio State for one year in 1950, the year of the Snow Bowl. His name was Robert Fogle. He was an offensive guard, and he took me to my first game in 1975 and that’s when I got to meet Archie and Woody. He took me down to the sidelines and I started going to games every year after that.”

Brian’s first item was an Archie Griffin jersey that his grandfather gave him as a gift and that’s when the collecting bug hit him. “I tell people that some kids collect comic books and baseball cards. I collected memorabilia. I just studied it as a kid and people would buy me stuff for Christmas and my birthday and I just kept it and kept collecting.”

Pair of Buckeye gold pants from the greatest rivalry in all of sport.

Brian has some of the oldest and rarest pieces in Buckeye history. “I have a book from 1909. It's an Ohio State magazine. Then I have pictures of the Michigan/Ohio State game from 1910. I have programs and scrapbooks from 1917 when Chic Harley played, and some of those are very rare. I also have a couple of players' cleats from the late 60’s and 70’s.”

Jim Stillwagon's (RIP) cleats. 

The crown jewel of Brian’s collection is a jacket with over 325 signatures from Buckeye greats dating all the way back to the late 30’s and including all the starters from the 2002 national championship team and the 2014 championship team.

“My jacket was always the greatest because when I would meet the person, I would always have them tell me a story, especially if it was someone who played for Woody. I’ve met so many great players that have told me stories and I love it.”

It takes a lot of time, work and dedication to build such an extensive collection. His collection has been noticed by the local Buckeye beat and has been featured on WSYX channel 6, and WBNS 10TV as well as having a page dedicated to his collection in Jack Park’s newest book, “Buckeye Reflections, Legendary Moments From Ohio State Football," coauthored by Maureen Zappala.

Wheaties Box signed by Buckeye great Chris Spielman.

This is not something Brian takes for granted. “It’s unbelievable. I’m just a kid that started collecting and had a love and passion for Ohio State football and it turned into something great. I’ve been very blessed to find things and meet people. I just like the history and have put together a pretty good collection.”

Brian has gained respect from probably the best Buckeye collector in Buckeye Nation, George Hiles who has served as a mentor for Brian. “He is in his late 70’s. He is the person I probably got 50 or 60 things from. He is kind of passing the torch to me.”

Woody Hayes' projector that he used to break down film.

Brian’s eyes light up when talking about all the Buckeye greats that have made their way to Brian’s home to see his collection. “I have had probably 30 or 40 great Buckeyes, all Americans, and MVP’s over here.” Men like Ray Griffin and Cornelius Green. “They get to see their history. They get to see when they played, and before and after they played, and just the great tradition that Ohio State is.”

Buckeye legend Cornelius Green.

In this day and age, we tend to really focus on the current teams and the latest and greatest Buckeye stars. Brian has a healthy appreciation for the men that paved the way for the current Buckeyes. “You can’t forget them. I’ve collected for a good 35 years pretty seriously. I’ve met every great legend from the 40’s to the present. Now I want to go back in time. I want to go from the 40’s to 1890 which was Ohio State’s first team.”

Gate from Ohio Field (1917) which eventually became part of Ohio Stadium in 1921 to save costs on the new stadium.

There is one item that Brian has had his eyes on for quite some time that he would like to someday add to his collection. It would be quite a capstone.

“I know somebody that has a picture, a real photograph of Ohio State’s first team in 1890. It’s the only one of its kind.”

For the last several years, Brian has added another hobby which further complements his love of collecting and allows him to meet more Buckeyes greats, past and present. Brian has been making Buckeye figurines for players and the players love them. Brian describes players' responses. “Just joy. Joy and happiness. They just say, ‘That’s me.’ It brings a smile to their face and it takes them back to their playing days.”

Honorary Buckeye Jacob Jarvis receiving figurines Brian made for him.

In addition to leaving a legacy of joy to Buckeye Nation through his collection and his figurines, Brian has applied Woody Hayes maxim of, "paying it forward" and helped those in need. Brian has been helping raise money for Terry Price, a Buckeye fan with cancer who has been unable to work and to pay his bills.

Brian has helped rally others to come to Terry’s aid financially and also helped Terry by selling some of his personal items from his collection through various fundraisers. If you would like to help Terry, Brian will be situated near St. John Arena for another fundraiser from 8AM to noon before the annual Ohio State Spring Game on April 13th. Part of the proceeds will go to help Terry.

Brian with his good friend Terry Price. Photo courtesy of Brian Fogle.

Brian’s ultimate goal is to someday have a museum to house all of his collection and to continue to bring joy to Buckeye Nation for years to come. 

“My eventual goal down the road is to get a showroom/warehouse. In the front is going to be a museum, and I’d love people to come there.”

If he pursues this dream with the same passion as he does other areas of his life, there will be no slowing him down.

In fact, he is just getting started.

Nicholas Jackson

Copyright 2019 Nicholas Jackson - All rights reserved.

Nick is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio where he received his B.S in Biological Sciences. He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy at Andrews University in Dayton, Ohio and then his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. He has been published in the Newark Advocate, The Granville Sentinel, and the St. Louis Metro Voice; and professionally in the Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. Nick has also been a guest host on 88.9 WLRY and 880AM WRFD

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