Published: January 5, 2021
Lelands founder and chairman of the board Joshua Leland Evans passed away after a lengthy illness on Sunday, December 27. He was 59.
Words cannot adequately express our sense of loss, nor our gratitude to Josh for his longtime dedication to Lelands and the hobby of sports memorabilia. Josh was a pioneering visionary, a passionate industry advocate, and a highly respected expert. We have lost and will dearly miss a larger-than-life personality who was omnipresent at industry events and touched countless lives during his 50-plus years of buying, collecting and selling the “stuff” (as he lovingly referred to sports and pop culture memorabilia).
Joshua Evans came of age in an early era of sports collecting where money was not the motivating factor. Instead, it was a reverence and love for the stuff and those who made sports history that drove his and fellow enthusiast’s passions. When he founded Lelands after graduating from college in the mid-1980s, Josh did not know that trading cards and sports collectibles would someday develop into a multibillion-dollar industry. But he did know there were countless fans who shared his passion and that a marketplace to buy and sell the stuff would afford him the opportunity to make a living while enjoying his daily work.
Those of us fortunate enough to have worked and collected alongside Josh have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Joshua Evans leaves behind a company that is built to last, and Lelands is and will continue to be an enduring legacy to his long and storied history in the hobby. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work that was his life passion.
We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, associates and the clients with whom he has developed longstanding relationships. We also want to thank all of you who have reached out to us to express your thoughts, prayers and shared memories. Your support is truly appreciated.
A memorial service for Josh will be scheduled in the future to allow for a safe gathering.
-Submitted by Lelands
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