One of the best hobby stories of the 1990s starred pitcher Bob Kipper.
Yes, Kipper’s last year in the majors came in 1992. He lost his baseball card collection in a 1997 house fire. That’s when collectors proved why this hobby is special.
The letters started coming. Not autograph request letters, but gifts. Gifts of replacement cards.
I contacted Kipper when writing my 2001 book Collecting Baseball Cards. At that time, he had appeared on 43 different cards. His gratitude hadn’t dimmed. Kipper replied:
“Till this day, I still get a charge out of signing a baseball card of mine. It is definitely a big thrill to be on so many baseball cards. It was my dream to become a major league baseball player. I think it’s a kick to think other individuals would actually want an autograph of mine!”