by: Tom Regan Updated:
ATLANTA - An Atlanta substitute teacher is frantically searching for a collection of historic photos.
The folder of photos, which feature iconic African-American sports heroes, disappeared after he gave a presentation to students at a southeast Atlanta elementary school.
"Your pictures come up missing, it's disheartening. I mean, it breaks my heart," said Jackie Brown.
Brown, who once briefly played professional basketball, showed Channel 2's Tom Regan enlarged, framed copies of the missing original pictures. They include an autographed photograph of his mother and father having dinner with baseball legend Jackie Robinson the night he broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball.
"This is right after their game at Ebbets Field. They were celebrating the first black man to play in a baseball game," said Brown.
Brown also pointed to copies of photos of him with basketball great Julius Erving and pictures of Floyd Patterson, an Olympic gold medalist and the youngest man to win the world heavyweight boxing title.
Brown said he showed the photos to two classes at Dobbs Elementary School last month. After the second class, he placed the folder of 30 photographs back into his briefcase and went to the restroom. He discovered them missing when he arrived home.
"There is no way I misplaced them. I showed those photographs 15 minutes before they went to lunch. I had them and now, they're gone," said Brown.
Brown suspects a student may have removed the photographs after he left the classroom, but an Atlanta Public Schools spokesman told Channel 2 Action News an investigation found no evidence the photographs were taken.
Brown said he has cherished the pictures for years and is devastated that they are missing.
"I cried. I just want them back, no questions asked," said Brown.