On www.sportscollectors.net, many questions were posted on the status of George Riley. Had ANYONE written to him in recent months? Was he still signing?
Greg solved both mysteries with his above-and-beyond effort. He made custom cards for Riley, complete with detailed, well-research and finely-written career highlights.
Next, Greg asked a question and included cash. I’ll let Greg tell the rest:
“I received the following from George Riley today, which I thought might be of interest to you. In response to my question about what advice he would give to high school pitchers, he had this to say:“I would tell all athletes to get school in first. You never know [if you’ll] get hurt. And also, you must maintain your concentration to the max, and success will come. Work very hard at what you decide on a position. Pitchers, do a lot of curls. I always had a twenty-pound dumbbell with me at all times. Good luck.”Then he went on to add the following:“In the year 2011, I got colon cancer. Then my friend of sixteen years had a spinal cord stroke. Living with her [illegible] paralyzed waist down. I had to give up my [illegible]. If possible if you could help a little, no job, no car. Thanks for the great gift.”
Greg’s highlight reel includes many great moves, such as:
1. Never assuming. How many people look on a hobby forum, expecting someone else to be the first collector to report a successful breakthrough? Past stats aren’t always a guarantee of whether you’ll get a response or not.
2. Doing the homework: Check out that card back! I wonder if Riley himself could have quoted all those baseball achievements. That research effort has to win the hearts and minds of iffy signers.
3. Giving first: Money isn’t the only choice, although someone in distress like Riley would key on such a gift. Find something off the internet about the player to print out. Send a duplicate card and tell the person to share it with another fan-collector.
A standing O of gratitude goes to Mister Corrales!