The Post-Journal

Heirloom Belonging To Jachym Found In SC, Donated To CSHOF

John Jachym's money clip

A money clip from the 1983 Ryder Cup that once belonged to the late John Jachym has been found and donated to the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg.

During his remarkable lifetime, John Jachym’s figurative reach extended from U.S. presidents to the world’s greatest athletes and from his friends in Hollywood to his buddies in his native Chautauqua County.

And now, thanks to the generosity of a police officer in Greenville, South Carolina, the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame is now in possession of a Jachym heirloom that will continue to tell the remarkable story of the late 2000 CSHOF inductee.

“I live near a small town named Simpsonville that has a wonderful pawn shop that is probably more museum than pawn shop, which makes it a draw for me,” wrote James “Mac” Shelton in a letter to the CSHOF dated March 3. “I love to find old items and attempt to find their history.”

On a recent visit to Simpsonville Gun and Pawn, Shelton, who is also a retired military officer, happened to come across a silver money clip with the Ryder Cup logo on it. Engraved on the back was the name, “John J. Jachym.”

“I love to find old items and attempt to find their history,” Shelton wrote.

Shelton’s research ultimately led him to the CSHOF website, which chronicles Jachym’s successes, both personal and professional.

“It is clear (the website) is the finest repository of memorabilia to John Jachym, a true sportsman, a patriot and a fine American,” Shelton added.

Jachym’s journey included: ownership of the Jamestown Falcons of the old PONY League and, later, the Washington Senators of the American League; an active involvement with the Republican Party that led him to friendships with men like Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan; and honorary membership in the Professional Golfers Association, one of only seven men ever selected.

That’s what makes Shelton’s money clip discovery so significant.

In addition to his PGA recognition, Jachym acted as the official American observer of multiple Ryder Cup events, a biennial men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. The 1983 Ryder Cup — where Jachym received the money clip — was held at the PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

“I spoke with the owner of the pawn shop, Mike Teal, who knew he had the interesting item and had done a little research on it, but, quite frankly, could not remember how his shop had come into its possession,” Shelton wrote. “He invited me to take the money clip and do some research on it.”

There was also an added bonus.

“Mike stated that the money clip was a gift to me,” Shelton added. And, now, Shelton wants to pay that kindness forward.

“I can think of no better place to donate, or return, such a fine example of John Jachym’s devotion to sportsmanship and his love of the PGA,” Shelton wrote. “I wish to donate to your collection this small token of his love of the game. I do not wish any compensation and I make this donation to your trust that it will be used to advance the goals of your organization.”

CSHOF president Randy Anderson said he had “goosebumps” on his arms when he opened the package form Shelton upon the former’s return to the Hall on Monday after an extended vacation.

“I was that excited and thrilled that someone would take the time to do the research on John Jachym and, in turn, pay the gift forward to the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame,” Anderson said. “It’s obviously an organization (Shelton) had no prior knowledge of. It really is so exciting.”

Anderson was also excited to add the heirloom to the Hall’s memorabilia collection.

“John walked with giants, kings and queens, and presidents, and he was a very accomplished sportsman,” Anderson said. “We’re proud to honor him in our Hall of Fame. This money clip is just priceless to us.”

The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.