Hannibal auctioneer Dale DeLaPorte was surprised with a special honor on Feb. 17, when he was named to the Missouri Professional Auctioneer Association (MPAA) Hall of Fame.

Hannibal auctioneer Dale DeLaPorte was surprised with a special honor on Feb. 17, when he was named to the Missouri Professional Auctioneer Association (MPAA) Hall of Fame.

The announcement came during the MPAA convention in Columbia.

DeLaPorte later explained, “I've watched a lot of others ahead of me receive that honor, and it's always heart-warming.”

Although nearly a dozen members of his family attended the ceremony, he was not aware they were there, reporting, “They hide your family until the name is announced. … They read details about you and don't say your name until the person comes to realize it's him. Once you figure it out, that's when they let your family in.”

DeLaPorte has 25 years' auctioneer experience in Hannibal, including volunteering for many charity auction fundraisers. His commercial auctions are now almost exclusively online on delaporteauction.com.

Asked about unique items he has sold, he quickly recalled the George Danforth auction. “It included an 1800s map of a portion of California. It sold for thousands and was sent back to California.” This auction also featured World War I items Danforth's father, a U.S. Naval officer, had brought home from the war.

Many items have surprised DeLaPorte, such as a collection of hundreds of toy tractors, which was sold to a Pennsylvania couple. “The pile was 6 feet tall,” he said.

Another unusual sale was “thousands of Hot Wheels, sold online,” he said.

Selling online is an easy method, he said. “Online works out good for the buyer and seller. … They can be in Columbia and only come to Hannibal if they buy something.”

One thing he avoids is having a bidder try to “snipe" the bid, DeLaPorte said, by waiting until bidding is nearly expired before outbidding another person. He has a “soft close” method that prevents this practice.

DeLaPorte has found his career rewarding, because “people are appreciative of the good job you've done.”

The MPAA reported that since 1993 the Dale DeLaPorte Auction Service has conducted numerous business liquidations, farm, commercial, residential and real estate auctions, along with estate and personal property auctions. He is a licensed real estate agent and works as a liquidator for the Northeast Missouri Bankruptcy Court. In 2012 he was president of MPAA. And he won the MPAA Bid Calling Contest in 2005.

bev.darr@courierpost.com.