BILOXI-- D'Iberville resident Buddy Mills lost several signed baseballs, 10-to-12 boxes of baseball cards, and other sports memorabilia from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Friday, Barry Lyons and the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art gave Mills a donation to help him rebuild his collection. The former Major League catcher gave Mills several signed baseball cards, photos, and a baseball that will be signed by the remaining speakers in the "Our Love of Baseball" luncheon.
Mills, who has cerebral palsy, knew Lyons for years.
"I have a love for this young man and his family," Lyons said. "He has a passionate love for baseball. I am willing to do whatever I can to make his day."
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Dylan Mills-Derouen, Mills' nephew who pitches for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, considers Mills as an inspiration.
"He inspires a lot of people," said Mills-Derouen. "He is a wonderful person. He has been through a lot in his life. If he can make it, then anyone can make it."
Brenda Mills, who spoke for Buddy, believes most of her son's baseball collection was collected when his father was still alive. She feels the collection helps connect Buddy to his father. Among the prize possessions in the collection was a photo of Pete Rose and Dale Murphy. She made several calls to set the photo up with the Braves, but Murphy's former team refused to help. The Phillies, whom Rose played for, told her where baseball's career hits leader would be.
Brenda Mills rebuilt some of the collection, purchasing mostly cards and memorabilia of former Braves players. Buddy is looking forward to Murphy's presentation, scheduled for Aug. 26. The newly-signed cards, photos, and other memorabilia helps him replace the lost collection.