The Los Angeles Times reports that thieves have stolen a majority of Pete Sampras’s trophies, awards and memorabilia – including news clippings and a piano bench autographed by Elton John – from a West Los Angeles public storage facility. At least he had most of the Major hardware displayed elsewhere – one Australian Open trophy went missing. But that still means swag from 60 title victories went missing, not to mention the lesser hardware from 24 runners-up efforts (including 4 majors), 2 doubles titles, and 2 doubles runners up trophies – okay, maybe he uses those last two to hold spare change.
Sampras, who put the stuff in storage while his family is sorting out some “housing issues”, explains the situation via the LATimes:
“I have 13 of my 14 Grand Slam trophies,” (Sampras) said. “Some are at home and some up at NikeTown [in Portland]. My first Australian Open trophy is gone, and so is everything else.”
“I’m not one to gloat about trophies, or show them off,” Sampras said. “I’ve never been like that. I just want them for my kids to see. They didn’t see me play, but I’d like them to see these things.”
“Losing this stuff,” he said, “is like having the history of my tennis life taken away.”
“For me to have it for my kids is priceless,” he said. “I just hope it hasn’t already been destroyed. That’s why I wanted to get the word out now. I know this is a longshot, but I’d regret it if I didn’t at least try. Maybe somebody knows something.“
According to the Times, none of the items were insured. Police are investigating, but have no way of knowing if Sampras was targeted or if the thieves just hit the Wimbledon of storage lockers. But it’s dumb luck – the unique nature of the haul makes it a bitch to liquidate. Hope the LAPD sends an email to Cash4Gold.