My personal collection is a hoard of cardboard pictures with a few mini-foci from time to time. I like the Texas Rangers because I live in DFW. I liked the Astros before the Rangers moved here and their name changed from Senators to Rangers in 1972. Texas didn’t (still doesn’t) need any more senators. Then, I lived in Houston in 1983 through 1990, so the Astros were back in style. Nolan was also there. But, I also collect the Pirates. I don’t know why except I like them. I’ve always liked their uniforms, even when they looked like pajamas. I liked Dave Parker, Willie Stargell, Kent Tekulve, and always, Roberto Clemente. No baseball fan should go without loving an NL team. My NL team is the Pirates. I guess that’s reason enough.
I like base cards, commons. I don’t have any heroes…my dad, for sure, but that’s it. And, my wife, okay, that one’s easy. To live with the health problems she has had her whole adult life, and to let me stick around for 42 years, of course, she’s a hero…goes without saying.
Autographs aren’t important to me unless I get them myself, but I’m not going out of my way, nor am I going to put an athlete out of his way, to get him to write down his name for me.
I once saw Pudge Rodriguez at an Albertson’s grocery store here. He was with his wife and he had his head down, hoping not to be recognized. I would never say, “Hey, aren’t you Pudge Rodriguez!?” I did that once to Bob Lilly, Mr. Dallas Cowboy, when I was a kid, and he was at a restaurant. He smiled and saw the group of young boys behind me and said, “No, he’s not here right now.” It was Bob Lilly, turns out he owned that restaurant, but he didn’t want to sign 25 autographs while eating his lunch.
I’ve never asked for an autograph since then because they deserve privacy, and I would rather just say, “I ran into so and so awhile back.” Then, people might think we’re old buddies. No downside to that.
Neither do I collect chunks of baseball bats, or a wood splinter to be more accurate. I don’t collect pieces of cloth that may (or may not) be a team jersey. Something seems creepy about that. But, no fault to those who do collect them.
So, I’m just a guy who hoards cardboard with pictures of baseball players on them. I do it because it connects me with great memories. Without the memories, I don’t think it’s worth doing. But, that’s just me.