- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Since he was a youngster, Robert Steinberg not only had collected baseball cards, but, his wife Susan noted, unlike some others, “he never allowed his mother to throw them out.”

At one point, she said, Mr. Steinberg “probably had 20 Mickey Mantle rookie cards.”

But he had set his sights higher.

His goal, she said, “was to collect every set, from 1948 through 1970,” for every major-league baseball team.

“And,” she said, “he succeeded.”

On Saturday, July 18, Mr. Steinberg, 67, of Marlton, a co-owner of his family-owned Camden Truck Parts of West Collingwood Heights, died of heart failure at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

The baseball cards that Mr. Steinberg collected were sold with packs of chewing gum.

The Bowman Gum Co. of Philadelphia was a major producer of such cards from the late 1940s until the early 1950s, when the Topps Gum Co. of Brooklyn began its line and, a few years later, acquired the Bowman firm and cornered the market, according to websites relating the cards’ histories.

Mr. Steinberg collected complete sets of both Bowman and Topps cards, his wife said, mostly by buying them at trade shows such as those in Fort Washington, Montgomery County.

He did not limit his enthusiasm to baseball cards.

“Over the years,” his wife said, “he had a vast assortment of antique cars,” which he owned and sold.

Many of them, she said, were “into the ‘50s and ‘60s, the big fin cars.”

Of the two he owned at his death, she said, “one was his pride and joy — a 1956 Chrysler New Yorker convertible. Only 24 are known to have survived.”

The other is a 1971 Dodge Challenger convertible.

He was a member of Ankokas Antique Cars, a unit of the Antique Automobile Club of America that produces the annual Haddonfield Auto Show.

Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Steinberg attended Camden High School and graduated from Cherry Hill West High School in 1966, where he was a varsity basketball player.

“His basketball hero was Wilt Chamberlain,” his wife said. “He had the pleasure of meeting him and getting his autograph.”

Mr. Steinberg earned a bachelor’s in marketing and business in 1970 at what is now Philadelphia University.

After a few brief jobs, his wife said, Mr. Steinberg joined his older brothers, Howard and Harvey, in the truck-parts firm, which had been owned by their family since 1939.

Mr. Steinberg was most recently vice president of sales for the firm, which sells used trucks and their parts.

Mr. Steinberg is survived by his wife; her sons, John and Michael Rooney; two brothers; and three step-grandchildren.

A visitation was set from 11 a.m. Thursday, July 30, at Platt Memorial Chapels, 2001 Berlin Rd., Cherry Hill, before an 11:30 a.m. funeral there.

Donations may be sent to the American Heart Association at www.heart.org.

Condolences may be offered to the family at www.plattmemorial.com.

[email protected]

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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(c)2015 The Philadelphia Inquirer

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