Business

Sportsworld thrives at new Route 1 shop

SAUGUS – Sportsworld Inc., touted by its owner as the largest sports memorabilia and collectors shop in New England, recently moved to a new location on Route 1.Owned by Phil Castinetti, Sportsworld is a sports fan?s dream: an organized chaos of sports memorabilia covering every wall and almost every inch of the floor of its new site in Shops at Saugus Shopping Mall on Route 1 North.Castinetti founded the business in Everett in 1986 and has been adding to his collection ever since, growing to the point he’s lost count of the memorabilia items featured.?It?s tens of thousands,” he said.The items range in value from $1 to $15,000, the highest-priced piece of sports history being a Babe Ruth-autographed baseball. Fans can find everything from autographed posters and baseball cards to chairs from the original Boston Garden.In the past, Sportsworld has sold trophies, World Series rings, and even Josh Beckett?s underwear.?(Beckett’s) agent called and told me to take it off the Sportsworld Web site,” said Castinetti, who added he complied with the agent?s request before selling Beckett?s bloomers to a paying customer.Castinetti?s regulars are willing to get their hands on anything related to their favorite sport or team. Rich Rosenburg, a self-proclaimed “crazed, world-famous, top-10 collector of wrestling,” has become so desperate for space to display his wrestling collectibles he?s beginning to fill up the bathroom. “I have no choice; there?s no more room,” he said.Sportsworld acquires items from other dealers who are willing to haggle or trade.?People often ask for a lot more than what the item is worth,” Castinetti said. “Condition is everything. If the condition is nice, it?s worth a lot more.”Athletes will also sell their own items and often autograph them. Memorabilia shops like Sportsworld often host autograph sessions with the athletes. Recently Sportsworld held sessions with Red Sox stars David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia.Castinetti said when it comes to sports memorabilia, however, hockey reigns supreme in the Hub, noting Bruins merchandise is the most sought-after. Sportsworld has a number of Bobby Orr items, and a recent acquisition is a photo of the 1970 Stanley Cup Champion Bruins, signed by all surviving players.Sportsworld, however, is not limited to items connected to Boston and New England teams. A New York Yankees collector himself, Castinetti has amassed a collection of memorabilia from a wide range of sports and athletes from teams around the country, dating back to the 1920s.Sportsworld can be reached by phone at 781-233-722, and the shop’s memorabilia can also be viewed and purchased through its Web site, www.sportsworld-usa.com.

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