Don’t be afraid to wish.
After viewing another empty mailbox by my front door, I grumbled, “I hope other collectors are getting some responses today.” No, I didn’t run down the street, peeking in other mailboxes.
With Youtube, I didn’t have to!
I’m so happy to see collector videos on Youtube. When I saw a great story about pitcher Ryan Tatusko, posted by “Super RC,” I had to know how “Super” this collector was.
He didn’t disappoint. The “RC” wasn’t a Rookie Card abbreviation. This truly super collector is Roger Chen. I thank him for the e-interview, which I share with you:
“Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share some thoughts about my ‘graphing experience: it’s always been a passion of mine and though my ultimate goal is to have a good collection, I want to be able to show others how to do it; to help them build the confidence that they TOO can have their favorite player’s autograph through the mail (or in person).
The love affair for TTM autos was Will Clark signing my 87 Topps rookie card about 20 years ago. It came full circle last week when I met Will at AT&T park and he signed my ball and I had a 45 second conversation with my boyhood hero.”
Q: How did Ryan Tatusko respond to your tribute, showing all the cards he signed?
A: He was VERY appreciative of the video. I did the video because I wanted to honor him the right way for making the time to sign. I hope I did just that.
Q: Do you have any of the cards left to give out? If so, please offer detailed instructions of how you’d like requests/contacts to be made?
A: I have a few left. Just reach out to me on youtube or this email address and provide a U.S. mail address (limit 1 per person).
Q: What kind of in-person ‘graphing do you do?
A: Primarily at the minor league ball parks: I enjoy the closer quarters and more personal interaction with the athletes because I can spend more time talking with them often times one on one. Most of the guys are generous to sign my entire stack of cards but I try to keep it to 2-3 cards per person per encounter.
I’ve also had success waiting outside the player’s parking lot. It provides a great opportunity for chatter and eye contact without the separation of a dugout, fence or a beam.
Q: You mentioned the response from JW Porter on another great video. Have you gotten by-mail answers to questions from other former players?
A: Though I haven’t gotten responses from former players, I did a personalized response from Leilani Munter: race car driver and environmental activist. As you can see in the video, her care package was really awesome.
Q: I’ve never tried Twitter. What type of responses have you gotten tweeting current and former players?
A: I’ve reached out to prospects during spring training and got more responses then as opposed to the regular season: simple ask to send stuff & get signed, wait for a response.
Q: I’m sure other collectors jumped at asking for a Ryan T card. You made a very generous offer. But what other kind of feedback have you gotten from other Youtube videos of yours? How has it helped connecting with other collectors?
A: Fellow ‘tubers have given me a lot of support and encouragement for the gesture, and my main goal was to share in Ryan’s generosity. A lot of people I’ve sent to are also TTM and IP auto collectors as well.
Q: What’s your current focus or specialty for baseball autograph collecting?
A: Right now I focus on the in-person autograph: I enjoy that instant gratification and personal interaction. I have also dabbled in the TTM auto of former players as well turning old baseball cards into signed beauties.
Q: Future goals?
A: I see myself doing more TTM’s and trading fellow graphers for their IP or TTM autos 50/50.
Q: Advice for other collectors thinking about posting their own Youtube hobby video?
A: Absolutely DO IT: you are on a platform to let the original signers know that the package was recieved, and you appreciate their time for signing your stuff… also, people who see how generous a signer is may follow suit and send stuff to that person as well.
Roger is an “old school” hobbyist. I’m grateful that he’s sharing all he knows. You’ll see in his Tatusko video a helpful aside about using Staedtler pens. Anyone with other questions, write him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His twitter handle is @roger_chen.
Coming Friday: A Review of Jim Abbott’s “Imperfect: An Improbable Life.”