Media

- HBO’s Vice News Tonight 9/21/2017

Randy Kaplan is a Long Island real estate lobbyist by day, but on the side he’s a dedicated autograph hunter whenever the UN General Assembly is in town. He’s already acquired 350 signatures from current and former heads of state such as Nelson Mandela and Pope Francis — all on baseballs. Kaplan’s been collecting autographs since he was a teenager — rock’n rollers, celebrities, athletes, etc. But his signed baseball collection didn’t get off the […]

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- HBO’s Vice News Tonight (Teaser) 9/21/2017

Randy Kaplan started collecting baseballs signed by foreign heads of state back in 1993. Now he’s got hundreds. VICE News Tonight, 7:30 on HBO.

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- Sports Collectors Daily – HBO Segment 10/1/2017

If you’re a long-time reader, you have probably read about Randy Kaplan, who collects autographed baseballs.  Not just any signed balls, though.  Kaplan’s specialty is world leaders.  He owns a remarkable collection of heads of state, many of whom are somewhat befuddled by the guy who’s looking to have their signature on a ball.  Big countries, small countries, leaders you’ve never heard of…it’s all the same to Kaplan who loves the thrill of the chase. […]

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- Sports Collectors Daily – NPR with Kaplan 7/27/2017

Randy Kaplan, whose hobby is collecting baseballs signed by world leaders, scored a biggie a couple of months ago.  After years of trying, he landed a signed ball from the pope. Kaplan is relentless in his quest to get some of the world’s most famous (and not so famous) heads of state.  He has some fun tales to tell about his efforts and his interactions. His unusual collection caught the attention of NPR.  You can […]

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- NPR’s Only a Game Radio Show on WBUR News in Boston

On March 19, 2013, as a rainy day turned to dusk, tens of thousands of people huddled together under multi-colored umbrellas on St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. Then, just after 7 p.m., white smoke appeared through the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. Lino Rulli and Father Dave Dwyer had the call from the Vatican for The Catholic Channel. “You can actually see that the curtain is about to be pulled back. The window is […]

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- LIBN – Play ball! Pope Francis signs baseball

Pope Francis has signed a baseball that has become one of the centerpieces of a collection of baseballs with the autographs of world leaders ranging from Nelson Mandela to Mikhail Gorbachev. Randy Kaplan, a Long Islander whose collection of baseballs signed by some of the world’s best known leaders, set out to get the Pope to sign. Kaplan said he pitched the idea to a cardinal who agreed to help – with team work winning out. […]

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- Randy Kaplan: The Autograph Hunter
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- DiploSport Podcast – The Intersection of Sports and Government

The DiploSport podcast is produced by U.S. Foreign Service Officer Morgan O’Brien (in his personal capacity), and explores the intersection of sports and government, specifically sports diplomacy.  Guests have included former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and U.S. Olympians Michelle Kwan and Summer Sanders.”

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- WSHU – The Baseball Diplomat: Meet The Guy Who Got 181 World Leaders’ Autographs

It’s hard enough to get baseball players at a ballpark to sign a ball. Imagine what it took to get Nelson Mandela or Mikhail Gorbachev’s signature on one, but that’s exactly what one Long Island man has done. Randy Kaplan has a collection of baseballs signed by 181 world leaders. It’s currently on display at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island. And every one of those baseballs has a story… “Margaret Thatcher, of […]

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- Newsday – Cradle of Aviation’s ‘World Leaders on the Ball’ exhibit features 180 baseballs signed by dignitaries

Randy Kaplan has an unusual view of what it means for a politician to be on the ball. In 1993, Kaplan had a night to himself during a business trip to Houston, so he bought a last-minute ticket to an Astros game. When he took his seat behind home plate, the woman to his right told him that former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush were home game regulars. Kaplan thought […]

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- News 12 – Merrick man has unique signed baseball collection

GARDEN CITY – A baseball collector from Merrick has spent the past two decades tracking down signatures for a unique display. Baseballs signed by 300 world leaders and heads of state are on display at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City. The collection belongs to Randy Kaplan, a lobbyist from the Long Island Board of Realtors. “I started back in 1996 when Bill Clinton was president,” Kaplan says. “He signed a baseball for […]

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Verizon FIOS 1 News - Verizon FIOS 1 News

An exhibit of baseball bats and balls signed by world leaders is on display at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City. Watch Video >

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- Associated Press – Exhibit features baseballs, bats signed by world leaders

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) – Move over Mantle and Mays. Make room for Mandela and Gorbachev. Randy Kaplan has spent the past two decades tracking down world leaders for their signatures on baseballs, a quirky melding of memorabilia and history that has resulted in an impressive collection of more than 200 autographs from presidents, prime ministers, two kings and the Dalai Lama. “It’s been a passion, a labor of love and an obsession,” says the […]

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Long Island Business News - Cradle of Aviation Exhibits Autographed Baseballs

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a baseball. The Cradle of Aviation Museum is taking a moment to go beyond the aircraft that it typically showcases, presenting a collection of objects that take flight in a very different way across baseball stadiums. Randy Kaplan’s collection of baseballs autographed by world leaders – as well as presidential candidates such as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton –  is being exhibited at the museum as “World Leaders […]

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- Diplomacy through baseball: election collections

Randy Kaplan never leaves home without at least half a dozen brand new, official major league baseballs and one wooden Rawlings baseball bat because, he says, you never know who you’re going to run into. Kaplan has collected over 300 baseballs signed by various world leaders including Margaret Thatcher, Barack Obama and Panamanian President Juan Carlos Valera. Several of these signatures have been collected through Kaplan’s own chance encounters with important people. He got President […]

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Sports Collectors Daily - Kaplan’s ‘World Leaders’ Autographed Baseball Collection on Display

The Cradle of Aviation Museum will be exhibiting a large portion of the internationally recognized Randy L. Kaplan Collection of autographed baseballs from world leaders and heads of state from September 27 through November 8 to coincide with the World Series and the 2016 presidential elections. The exhibit is free with admission to the museum, located in Garden City, NY. World Leaders on the Ball! features over 180 signed baseballs from leaders, both past and […]

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Long Island Business News - Q & A with Randy Kaplan – June 24-30, 2016

Randy Kaplan, who handles governmental relations for the Long Island Board of Realtors, has assembled what is most likely a one-of-a-kind collection of autographed baseballs (and some bats) signed by U.S. and world leaders. He has got more than 250 signatures ranging from U.S. presidents to Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe. We talked with him about where, why and how he got world leaders to sign this very American object. Are you a baseball or […]

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JustCollecting - Interview with Randy Kaplan: the man who collects world leader-signed baseballs

Randy Kaplan likes a challenge. Not only does he seek the autographs of some of the world’s most heavily guarded men and women… …He then asks them to sign an object that – at first glance – looks suspiciously like a bomb. If the American’s 250-strong collection of world leader-signed baseballs is impressive, the stories of how he acquired them are staggering. Randy kindly paused from the autograph hunt to take us into his world, including his […]

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Iowa Public Radio - Asking Major World Leaders to Sign Along the Laces

What was Margaret Thatcher’s response to being asked to sign a baseball? Cordial. That’s according to Randy Kaplan, who owns a collection of baseballs autographed by politicians and leaders from all over the world. On this Talk of Iowa program, host Charity Nebbe talks with Kaplan about his collection, which includes autographs of Thatcher, Nelson Mandela and others. Iowa baseball historian John Liepa and Melanie Wier also join the conversation and fills in some of […]

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STL Sports Page - From Spring Training To The World Series: It’s All About That “Baseball”

First Pitch Balls and Memorabilia Featured During Spring Training at Hoover Library in Iowa By Suzanne Corbett, STLSportsPage.com Travel/Food Editor Follow @STLSportsPage.com on Facebook Spring training has begun, the pitchers and catchers have reported to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL and with that comes the count down to Opening Day’s first pitch. Every year on Opening Day we look forward to who will throw out that first pitch, but how did the tradition of […]

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