Tampa Bay area Heisman Trophy winner targeted by thief - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Bay area Heisman Trophy winner targeted by thief

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Cassady and his wife, Barbara, with an autographed Heisman football Cassady and his wife, Barbara, with an autographed Heisman football
Police arrested Cameron Witherspoon in connection with other thefts at the same facility Police arrested Cameron Witherspoon in connection with other thefts at the same facility
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - In 1955, Howard "Hopalong" Cassady won the Heisman trophy as a fullback for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

He went on to have a long illustrious career in the NFL, and as a trainer for the New York Yankees, but recently, as his wife Barbara explained, many of the items he gathered along his career in sports, including autographed Heisman trophy footballs, and other memorabilia, were stolen from the storage facility where they were being kept.

"My husband worked for the Yankees and we have all kinds of memorabilia from the Yankees," Cassadys wife, Barbara said, "autographed baseballs like Billy Martin, Mickey Mantle, all those guys, Reggie Jackson."

Tampa police say they have arrested Cameron Witherspoon, 33, in connection with thefts at the same facility.

The arrest is not a guarantee that the Cassadys will get back all of their belongings, which they consider family heirlooms.

Barbara says the Cassadys held on to the items as memories of what their family has accomplished throughout the years.

"We consider that some of our retirement because the balls are worth a lot of money," she said.

After winning the Heisman, Mr. Cassady went on to be drafted, as the number one pick, by the Detroit Lions in 1956, after his career in the NFL, and a Football World Championship, Cassady worked as a trainer for the baseball club of a former OSU classmate, George Steinbrenner.

Barbara says Hop, as she affectionately refers to him, trained the likes of Reggie Jackson, Mariano Rivera and many others, she says he even scouted a young Derek Jeter while he worked with the Yankees.

The couple hope their items are returned should they surface at auctions, sports memorabilia shops or any other collection stores.

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