The Hall of Fame at Diamond McCarthy

At this Houston firm, expert legal work goes hand in glove with epochal sports moments

Published in 2003 Texas Super Lawyers Magazine — November 2003

Even if you didn’t witness the boxing match that made Muhammad Ali heavyweight champion of the world or Billie Jean King’s win against Bobby Riggs that proved women can play tennis too, you can feel like you were there for those milestones when you step into the sports history collection housed in the law office of Diamond McCarthy Taylor Finley Bryant & Lee in Houston, Texas.

There you’ll find about $100,000 worth of sports memorabilia that boasts baseball gloves, golf clubs, football helmets, hockey sticks, and photographs signed by sports heroes such as Babe Ruth,Wayne Gretzky, and Clyde Drexler. In all, seventeen sports are represented. What makes it really special, says Allan Diamond, a partner of the firm and owner of the collection, is that these artifacts come to life with the help of a sound system that completely surrounds the room. Just push a button next to photographs chronicling Babe Ruth’s baseball career, and you’ll hear the Sultan of Swat deliver his 1947 farewell speech to the nation. Or hear the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins win the Super Bowl, while admiring an autographed helmet signed by the players who helped make it a championship year.

It was a visit to the Library of Congress that inspired Diamond to combine sound with his sports collection. In one section of the library, museum goers could peruse various artifacts of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration while the president’s “Day of Infamy” speech played. Diamond thought audio recordings would add a special touch to his always-growing collection. “I’ve been told it’s one of the best collections of its kind in the United States,” he says.

His firm may be one of the best to work for in the Houston area. Where else could you watch TV on the big screen, play a game of billiards, or crack open a beer after a stressful day? Any of the firm’s lawyers can retire to the R&R room, which houses Diamond’s collection and is equipped with a 65-inch TV screen and seating area, a billiard table, and a bar, to unwind.The room has been up and running since Diamond McCarthy moved into its new office space in August 2002.

Filling this room with sports memorabilia was not a problem for Diamond. About thirty years ago, after getting his hands on a baseball autographed by Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax, this sports aficionado just kept acquiring more and more one-of-a-kind collectibles, including a robe and boxing gloves worn and signed by the Champ.

It doesn’t hurt that the lawyer knows some of the top names in sports, thanks to his dabbling in sports representation earlier in his career. Diamond recently dined with Bobby Thomson (a New York Giants slugger) and Ralph Branca (a Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher), who together are responsible for making the “shot heard around the world” a reality in 1951. The baseball legends signed baseballs, a bat, and a glove with messages like “Thanks for a wonderful dinner together.” Says Diamond, “Those are the types of things not subject to duplication.”

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