A mistrial was declared Friday night in St. Louis in a case involving memorabilia stolen from Hall of Fame baseball player James "Cool Papa" Bell.

A federal jury deliberated for about seven hours, but was unable to reach a verdict on whether a Pennsylvania man stole mementoes dating back to Bell's years in the old Negro Leagues.

Robert D. Retort, 39, of West Middlesex, Pa., was arrested in April and charged with interstate transportation of stolen property in the case. A similar charge against another man was dropped.

The two visited Bell, 87, at his home in March. Bell did not testify during the trial, but gave a videotaped deposition in which he said he never gave Retort permission to take mementoes from his home.

But Bell acknowledged he had signed balls, bats and uniforms the men had brought from Pennsylvania. Retort took the stand yesterday to deny he took advantage of Bell.

When Retort was indicted, authorities said that property taken from Bell consisted of $300,000 worth of photographs, bats, posters, pennants and uniforms. The value was later revised to $77,000, partly because some items believed to be missing from Bell's house have been found.