I was struck on the weekend by the story of the trove of Clive Churchill memorabilia heading to Victoria.
In case you missed it, the story goes that the Churchill family have been trying to find a home for the stuff - comprising nearly 800 items - for some time now and, with no interest being shown by the NRL in acquiring the collection, have ended up donating the 'Little Master's' memorabilia to the Melbourne Cricket Club who will showcase it in the sports museum at the MCG.
Admittedly Churchill will be joining prestigious company, with other items in the museum's extensive collection having provenance from the likes of Don Bradman and Phar Lap, but still, last year's premiership aside, Melbourne is hardly what can be considered a rugby league stronghold.
Churchill started in Newcastle before heading to Sydney and winning five premierships with the Rabbitohs.
Is there actually nowhere in our state where something could have been set up in recognition of the man's achievement?
Let's not forget that this is a guy described by The Encyclopedia of Rugby League as 'the greatest player the code has produced!' He has a grandstand named for him at the SCG! The award for the best player in the NRL grand final is the Clive Churchill Medal.
This is without doubt one of the most important figures in the game.
It's important to note that the Churchill family were not seeking to profit in any way, they just felt that the items - including kit bags, jerseys, boots etc - should be available for display to the public.
And - here's the thing - when they approached the NRL with the opportunity, not only did the organisation express no interest, it didn't even bother to respond! Incredible.
The Churchill's are at pains to point out that their dealings (or lack thereof) were with the previous administration and that they are now in contact with Peter V'landys who seems to be doing his best to somehow right the debacle, but still, you have to wonder ...
Which gives me the opportunity to once again air my own personal bugbear (and in only the second column for the year) and that is Maitland's lack of form in the same department.
Maitland is a sporting town, a town spending enormous sums creating world class sports facilities, which, I should add, is money very well spent in my opinion.
We have also consistently punched considerably above our weight in the number and quality of athletes we've produced across the board. World Champions.
You can go and recognise the accomplishments of these remarkable people and check out their paraphernalia and memorabilia at ... Oh, wait, you can't; we don't have anything like that.
All we have is a tokenistic website that is administered in an entirely half-arsed fashion.
Again, I say, it is such a wasted opportunity.
What can possibly be so hard about finding some space somewhere in our rapidly growing city for our own sporting museum?
ONLY IN AMERICA
Nobody does sports memorabilia like the Americans.
Baseball cards in particular are big business. Very big business.
For years the 'Mona Lisa of Baseball Cards' was a 1911 'Honus Wagner,' of which there were only somewhere between 50 and 200 produced before Wagner - a shortstop for Pittsburgh - apparently insisted on the cessation of production.
Stories vary as to why.
The cards in that time were part of tobacco promotion and some say that Wagner wanted to disassociate in order to discourage children from smoking.
Others maintain that Wagner, an enthusiastic and lifelong smoker himself, simply wanted more money for the use of his image.
Either way, the resulting scarcity has meant that the cards now go for millions of dollars.
Probably the most well-known one was owned by ice-hockey great Wayne Gretzky who famously had his card torn into pieces by David Copperfield before having it 'magically restored.'
Gretzky subsequently sold the card for a cool half a million - which seems a lot - but that's small potatoes these days.
It has since been resold for $2.8 million, which again seemed like a lot of money at the time, until November last year when a 1952 'Mickey Mantle' set a new record when it went for $5.2 million!
And these are just cards.
What would Mantle's glove be worth? Or his bat?
All of which brings me back to Churchill.
With wonderful generosity of spirit the Churchill family have held back the most precious piece in the collection - the jumper he wore in his test debut in 1948 - and, rather than send it to Melbourne, have donated it to the Mark Hughes Foundation.
This charity does tremendous work battling brain cancer and is one I wholeheartedly support (despite them continually robbing me at their annual golf day, but we've been through that before).
The ideal outcome would be for somebody with a truckload of money to buy the jersey and then, in the best of all possible worlds, have it displayed somewhere.
Again - this isn't just something like a card; this is the actual Australian test jumper worn by the man considered the greatest rugby league player of all time!
It's value must, surely, be bordering on inestimable, and the money would be going to a truly noble cause.
Step right up!