Why must we wait for a funeral to say something good about someone? Why not share that compliment when the do-gooder is there to take a bow?
That’s what I thought about as I wrote to Phil Nastu. Yesterday, I wrote about his kindness in tracking down a collector named Mike Micho, when the autograph reply never reached the intended party. USPS returned a shredded envelope, identified by Nastu’s return address label.
Nastu hunted down Mike on the Internet. He replaced the cards from his own collection, used his own postage and wrote the collector a second time, adding a note of explanation.
I told Nastu how stunned I was, and how I hope everyone will learn about his kindness. He shared these thoughts with me:
“In regard to the ripped card, I just thought if someone took the time to want to get my signature, the least I could do was try and return it.
When I got finished playing, I didn’t have many of my cards. But over the years, fans have asked me to sign one card and keep one for myself, which is pretty cool.”
Nastu’s autograph attiude is amplified by his explanation:
“I was always taught to be respectful to people and would hope to receive it back. It has always been an honor for someone to want my autograph and would never think of charging for it.”
Speaking of cards, Nastu relayed this 1979 Topps tale:
“The good and bad: wanted to have a baseball or basketball card since I was a kid. Good news when I was told by Sy Berger at Topps that I was going to be on a card I was thrilled. He then told me even though I had some time in the majors, he had to put me on a prospect card, because they needed to put more position players on. He actually paid me for a full card because he felt bad.”
By the way, “Thanks” preceeded Nastu’s autograph at the bottom of the page. When’s the last time you were thanked for being a collector?
Coming Monday: How a young autograph collector delighted Chuck Estrada.