RICHMOND, Va. – In the third floor office of his Richmond home, longtime VCU Basketball fan Mark Dalton combs through his impressive treasure trove of Rams memorabilia.
“For some reason, I hoard stuff. I don’t know why,” he says.
Inside an otherwise nondescript office space, shelves display schedule cards and magnets dating into the 1980s, neatly arranged in chronological order. He stops to lament that VCU did not issue a schedule magnet for the 2011-12 season. VCU tee shirts, polos and jerseys hang from the eggshell white walls and ceilings. Tucked under a love seat are binders of articles, trinkets and artifacts, and in front of a TV stand, there’s a pile of shirts and rolled up posters from bygone eras. Dalton begins to unroll a poster and stops.
“This is the greatest schedule poster VCU ever made,” he declares. “It’s not even close.”
The poster, a throwback to the early 80s, shows Calvin Duncan, Rolando Lamb, Michael Brown and Mike Schlegel at Franklin Street Gym, strolling towards the camera, sweating as if they’d just played five straight games. Brown’s tank top is thrown over his left shoulder. Their faces are stone serious, as if to say, ‘This is our house.’
In another box, VCU Basketball media guides, every one since the 1973-74 season, are preserved in near-mint condition in individual plastic pouches. It’s a collection so thorough, in fact, that he was able to provide me with two media guides from the 1970s that our athletics communications office did not have in its archives. He had duplicates, of course.
Hung to the right of the desk is a framed, cross-stitched VCU Ram head logo from the 80s, an early gift from Dalton’s wife of 31 years, Terry. On the opposite end is a Final Four bench chair, signed by each member of the 2010-11 team.