Hobby Musings: Random Act of Kindness Shows Good Side of the Hobby – The sports card and memorabilia world has had its fair share of negative stories and bad press in the past few weeks. Given the high-profile nature of the scandals, it’s been enough to make anyone, even the most loving of us, question things. In general, seeing the number of scams and dirty dealings perpetrated in the sports card and memorabilia world makes it so that you don’t want to deal with anyone you don’t know.
I’ve never been one to let the bad in the hobby overly get to me. Maybe it’s because I’ve been covering it for quite some time and am more prone to looking at things in the long haul. Maybe it’s because I’m optimistic as a rule when it comes to a world that has been my hobby for a long time. Even I have to admit though that the last few months and scandals have been concerning.
In the midst of all this, I very recently was on the receiving end of a hobby act of kindness that still has me floored. While scrolling through Twitter, I discovered that charity case breaker @CrackinWax had pulled an Own The Name 1/1 letter patch card of Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon. His partner in crime LQ/@LiteralQuirk had posted the picture of the card and tagged the lucky recipient of it in the break.
Being a big Pirates fan, it was a card I very much wanted to add to my collection. I replied to the tweet and reached out to a friend and Christopher (@CrackinWax) to see if I could get in touch with the person who won it. After a little time had passed, I was able to get in touch with Debbie Paolello, who had won the Taillon. I explained to her my interest in it and that I would be willing to trade for it if she was willing to part with it.
A little background here. I had heard of Debbie before but had never had any direct contact with her. From the little I knew, her reputation was of someone who had been incredibly generous and beyond fair in all her dealings with anyone. Either way, she seemed like someone who I could trust to do a deal with. That’s no small thing for me as being scammed myself has pretty much led me to never dealing with anyone I don’t know.
Back to the story. After sending the message to Debbie, she quickly replied back. My mood quickly turned to one of disbelief when she said she would be more than happy to send me the card for nothing in return. Even after offering multiple times to give her something for it, she insisted that she didn’t need anything for it other than my address so she could ship it to me.
To say I was stunned and full of gratitude would be an understatement. I’ve been on the receiving end of some immense acts of kindness in the hobby. Usually though, they happen with people I’ve known for a long time. To have it happen with someone I had never interacted with before was something I was not ready for.
Earlier this week, I checked my mail and found a package from Debbie. Not only did she send me the Taillon, but several other Pirates hits, including a Kevin Newman relic card with patch. The Taillon in particular was even more stunning in person and is easily one of the treasures of my Pirates collection.
Even better than the act of kindness, this whole experience has also allowed me the pleasure of getting to get to know Debbie a little better. Ironically enough, she’s a Reds fan and someone with one of the best attitudes in the hobby I’ve ever encountered. One of the best things about being a part of the hobby community is the friendships and relationships you make, and this is a perfect example of that. Cards come and go, but the ability to share stories and friendship is a treasure greater than any piece of cardboard and autograph. This is something I expect to rekindle at the National in Chicago in a few weeks. Besides the business at hand, it’s one of the best times to catch up with old friends about anything and everything.
I know my story isn’t typical for everyone out there, and there are plenty of you that have good reason to be cynical about the card world. That being said, I’m also willing to wager most of you if you think about it have experienced a story like mine. At the end of the day, for all of the bad that does happen in the hobby, there’s an awful lot of good too. I think we could all do with remembering that more often.
For more Hobby Musings from Kelsey Schroyer, follow him on Twitter @KelSchroy75.
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Hobby Musings: Random Act of Kindness Shows Good Side of the Hobby
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