WHITEWATER (WITI) — There were a lot fewer people sporting the popular Ryan Braun jersey at Miller Park on Tuesday, July 23rd. Now that Braun’s suspension for the rest of the 2013 season is official, what do you do with all of the baseball memorabilia that sports his name?
One Braun collector, Nick Yohanek, is not so sure. Yohanek has spent over $15,000 on Braun memorabilia and now that the player is suspended, Yohanek is not so happy.
The first Braun item Yohanek collected was a pair of game-used cleats and his rookie bat. Yohanek said Braun immediately caught his attention and that he was “all in on Ryan Braun – from the beginning.”
“He was a clean cut guy,” Yohanek explained. “He was humble. There’s a guy you want to follow.”
With his wife’s support, Yohanek’s passion for the player turned into a collection that occupied a full display case in his basement.
“Little by little, I just started adding things over the years,” Yohanek added.
Yohanek regarded the money as well spent – until Monday, anyway.
“It’s arrogant, and it’s just at a different level,” Yohanek said about the doping allegations against Braun. “I can’t explain it.”
Yohanek is not just angry about how Braun’s suspension will impact his collection’s value – but how it will impact the value of the player to his family.
Yohanek’s daughter, seven-year-old Clara, looked up to the Braun. After the suspension, Yohanek had to explain to his daughter what performance enhancing drugs were and why they were wrong. Now, Clara contends, the player is “definitely not” her favorite.
“He lied to people,” she said. “And it’s disappointing that he did that and it just doesn’t sound like him.”
Now, this family investment will no longer be on display at the Yohanek household. Instead, it will be packed away in brown boxes.
“He must have felt pretty invincible to do that,” Yohanek reflected.