`
 (Toll Free)

Why do you collect who you collect?

By Chris Olds | Editor

It’s a simple question with not-so-simple answers most of the time.

Why do you collect who you collect?

For some, it’s a money thing. For some, it’s a fandom thing. For others, it’s a hometown hero thing — or some moment that latched their hobby targets onto a player.

For Beckett regular Abe Doctor, it was a visit to Chick-fil-A.

Really. And it involves a certain baseball player you’re probably well aware of from my showcasing my personal tastes here and there through the years.

Read his story after the jump … then please tell us who you collect — and why –  if you’re so inclined.

He writes …

“I was visiting my parents in Tampa, Fla., for Christmas ,and I went to International Plaza mall for some last- minute (Christmas Eve) shopping. I was sitting down having lunch in the food court when I noticed a guy standing in line at Chick-fil-A who looked like Nick Swisher. I assumed it could not have been him since he was not signing autographs or drawing any attention. It seemed I was the only one who noticed that this guy had an uncanny resemblance to the New York Yankees outfielder.

“So, I approached him and said, ‘Excuse me, has anyone ever told you that you look just like Nick Swisher of the Yankees?’ He replied, ‘Yeah, I have heard that before …’ As I turned to walk away, I thought for a moment and asked ‘Are you Nick Swisher?’ and he said, ‘Yes, great to meet you.’ For the next five minutes (literally), I was talking to Nick one on one. I told him that I am a Rays fan, but above all I love baseball and told him that I appreciate the ways he plays the game, his love for baseball and the old-school, hard-nosed, fun mentality that I think is rare with players these days. We talked about family, buying last-minute gifts for wives, the holidays, next season, etc. He shared that he was just married in August as well [to actress JoAnna Garcia]. He was very appreciative and one of the most genuine, down-to-earth guys I have ever met … baseball star or not. Then he says, ‘I want to introduce you to my father, Steve Swisher’ (as you know, a former MLB player and All-Star). His father is much taller than Nick. I am 5-foot-10 and Nick and I were about the same height.

“My brother was there with me, but is not a baseball fan and assumed I just ran in to someone I know. I called him over and asked if he could take a picture of Nick and I, to which he replied ‘Who is this?’ … I told Nick, ‘My brother is not a baseball fan.’

“It was exciting to have shaken hands with one of the game’s greats, and I would have been content just with that. That brief meeting I had with Nick Swisher showed me how gracious, personable and appreciative he is and that the salute he gives to the fans in the outfield every game is actually how he is on a day-to-day basis … even when Christmas shopping and standing in the line at Chick-Fil-A. I am still not a Yankees fan, but I am now a Nick Swisher card collector. Thought you would enjoy the story.”

Needless to say, this isn’t the only time I have heard a good thing said about my favorite player — I have even heard stories from media members I have worked with echoing the same sentiments.

I don’t have one firm reason for collecting Swisher — actually several — but I can’t say I’ve ever been to a Chick-fil-A in Tampa, Fla., either …

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

4 Comments

Cool story! Must have been really cool to meet Swisher outside of a baseball setting.

I collect Mark Reynolds of the Arizona Diamondbacks… well, now of the Baltimore Orioles, I suppose. I’m putting together a decent-sized card collection of him now, though he doesn’t have quite as many as a Swisher, Pujols, or Longoria-type player. I also have autographed memorabilia, including a bat, helmet, baseball, and the like.

I started collecting Mark Reynolds because I enjoyed how he played the game. I’m a huge Diamondbacks fan, and I suppose it only helped that Reynolds was a DBacks’ fan favorite, but what really solidified him as “my guy” are two plays he made a year or two back, jumping over the short wall near third, slamming face-first into the concrete, and ultimately (and importantly) making the catch for an out! I thought to myself, “THAT’S how you play the game…!” With heart, conviction, and athleticism. Maybe he does strike out 200+ times a year, but I believe that if you play the game the right way, as Reynolds does, good things will happen. I guess it also doesn’t hurt that he hits 480-plus-foot home runs with some regularity, too!

Posted December 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

I collect a few guys: Francisco Liriano, Matt Tolbert, and Shane Victorino.

My Liriano collection started just before his 2006 rookie season in which I was going to the Twins’ annual autograph party and the only card that my LCS had was a Just Minors gold prospect card of him #d to 1000. I’ve liked him ever since I bought that card and even stuck with him through his injury and next year in which his card prices dropped in value. He’s got nasty suff, a good amount of cards out there (not too few and not too many), and has good future potential…plus he plays for my favorite team.

I started collecting Shane Victorino after pulling a bazooka back mini in 2007 Allen & Ginter #d to 25. I read the back that described him a “the flyin’ Hawaiin” which sparked my interest. I enjoy the Phillies, the way he plays, and his Hawaiianess

Posted December 30, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

Hey Chris

When are we gonna hook up & rip some wax? You know Im a huge A’s fan, and MLB extra innings will be playing on my 50 inch HDTV all season. I just bought a new house in Dallas..

Hit me up eyelucky711@me.com.

Your pal.. The Mojo Hand..

Posted January 2, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Permalink
Jim F.

I’m from the seattle area, which is why I collect the likes of Ken Griffey, Jr., Felix Hernandez, Ichiro Suzuki, and Tim Lincecum (from U of Washington, and now of the SF Giants. Ever hear of him?). One of my all-time favorites is Edgar Martinez. Not just because he was a great player, but because he was showcased in my eyes since the first full baseball season in my memory is the Mariners 1995 Division Champs season (I was 10yo at the time).

Jim F.

Posted January 3, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*