YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Browns fumbled an opportunity to reach the playoffs on Sunday and while it was a crushing loss, one Youngstown fan is always excited about the team.
Ray Prisby is one of six finalists to be added to the Hall of Fans at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
It’s a collection of everything that is orange and brown. Prisby has accumulated thousands upon thousands of items.
“Started as a kid collecting football cards,” he said.
His passion was rejuvenated as an adult when he went to a sports memorabilia show.
Prisby’s helmet collection dates back to the original 1946 model and includes the first orange helmet that the Browns were told would show up better on TV when they started playing night games in the ’50s.
Prisby remembers going to the stadium as a kid and games in the 1960s when they would pass out a bobblehead.
“But the thing about those bobbleheads is you would mount them on your dashboard and they would bobble around for a couple weeks and then they would just fall apart,” he said.
Now, he owns every Cleveland Browns bobblehead imaginable, including some 3 feet high.
Prisby’s pride and joy is one room devoted entirely to just Jim Brown. It’s full of jerseys, programs, footballs and more. He was surprised recently when the Hall of Famer stopped by to see his collection.
“Well, you know what, he signed a jersey while he was here, so that’s my new favorite item,” Prisby said.
He has soda machines with the Browns’ logo, footballs and programs from every era, orange guitars to rock out, even a seat from the old stadium.
Prisby has no idea how much he has spent on the collection.
“You kinda go through phases and right now I’m in to the game-used jerseys, helmets and cleats and any part of the uniform that’s game-used,” he said.
Prisby worked at General Motors and spent 11 years in the Air Force.
He’s retired now, but still has a passion for the Browns, one he hopes will earn him a spot in the Hall of Fans.
“Probably my love for the history. You can collect good stuff. You gotta get the bad stuff in there too because it’s all part of the history,” he said.
Prisby hopes the Browns end a 17-year streak of not making the playoffs this Sunday.
That’s also the day voting starts for the Hall of Fans. It runs through Feb. 1.
Head over to www.FordHallofFans.com to help Prisby out!