Barber with enormous amounts of sports memorabilia retires after 50 years

Barber with enormous amounts of sports memorabilia retires after 50 years

After nearly 50 years, a local barber is saying goodbye.

Doug Shaffer is spending his final day on the job the same way he's spent every previous one... combining sports memorabilia with hair cutting.

Whether you're just looking for a little bit off the top, or maybe a babe Ruth game used bat, Doug Shaffer has been giving his clients a little bit of everything for the last nearly 50 years.

It all started June 22nd, 1974, when Shaffer completed his first haircut.

Barbers Sports Card Collection

This story all began thanks to a nearby tenant, who offered Shaffer a chance to rent his current space.

It's become a second home for him, one he bids goodbye to today after more than 30 years.

“I told him I'd give him 400 first year, 450 the second, 500 the third year, and then we'll sit down and talk stood up, shook my hand and said deal. So, that's how I got started here. just amazing,” said Shaffer.

He's known around town as Doug the Barber, a nickname he earned from a picture at a political rally several years ago.

But clients WSBT spoke with say to call him that is an injustice, as he's so much more than just someone who cuts hair. From signed baseballs to football memorabilia, and everything in between, it's a sports lover’s mecca in Goshen.

“There's been a lot of happiness and a lot of tears.... I don't have one bad person that comes here, can you imagine not having one ding dong, I don't have any, they're just all great customers and that's incredible. It's going to be harder to say goodbye to such nice people,” said Shaffer.

Shaffer's memorabilia collection in the shop is one that makes even the most avid of sports collectors take notice.

There's a Babe Ruth home run ball, various Notre Dame signed items, and plenty more.

But for Doug, the memorabilia is nice, the times spent with friends, both old and new, is irreplaceable.

“The camaraderie, the friendships, the sharing and caring. I tell people if I needed 100 dollars, every single customer that comes here would give me $100 without question, but on the other side, every customer knows that if they needed 100 bucks, that I’d give it to them,” said Shaffer.

Vince Turner has known Shaffer since before he started at his Goshen location.

In addition to being a friend, Turner was so inspired by Doug's stories, he's authoring a book about him set to be finished in the spring.

“You've seen the old peanuts cartoons where Snoopy pretends he's a world war one flying ace or a world famous author or whatever, and in many ways, sitting in Doug’s chair, that's what you're doing, you're living Doug’s opportunity to live all of the things he's lived,” said Vince Turner, Author of Doug the Barber.

Turner was introduced to his future wife by Doug, another thing that is sure to bond them for life.

While Vince will have to find another barber, there's no replacing his lifelong friend. For one final day, Shaffer gets to take it all in before he calls it a career and sets off on a retirement trip with his wife.

What will you miss most about coming here?

“Turner, my brother, he is everything you could ask in a 30-year friendship, I'll miss the stories, I'll miss the opportunity, just sharing our life together and doing those things,” said Shaffer.

Customers I spoke with say calling him Doug the barber doesn't do him justice, because he's been so much more than that.

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