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Join the discussion: At Lee’s Legendary Marbles, meet the 89-year-old with all the marbles

Lee Batterton, 89, showed off his collection of marbles at his shop, Lee's Legendary Marbles & Collectibles, in York, Neb.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

YORK, Neb. — Lee’s Legendary Marbles is a small brick building in southeast Nebraska home to more than a million marbles and one 89-year-old man named Lee Batterton.

He started collecting marbles in backyard shooting competitions as a boy in Deer Creek, Okla., about 300 miles south of here. Each kid back in the 1930s carried a bag, and the victor walked away with a new marble or two. Batterton was a very good shot, so his collection swelled.

But dozens didn’t turn to thousands until his work as a grain elevator repairman landed him in Germany, which has been the hub of handmade marbles for hundreds of years. Onionskin, Lutz, mica, guinea. Batterton couldn’t get enough.


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Hanna Krueger can be reached at hanna.krueger@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @hannaskrueger.