Thursday, April 2, 2015

New Ebay arrival and some collecting explanation: Chris Colabello Edition

So after announcing a bunch of new collecting foci recently, I hit Ebay pretty hard.  In terms of dollar value, the bids were small, but in quantity they were numerous, and I won a bunch of stuff that is just now trickling in.  So you'll see a ton of catch up posts over the next few weeks, along with, hopefully, some nice explanation posts for why I decided to passively collect this group of 15-20 dudes across several sports.

Today's post brings us the first addition to my Chris Colabello collection, which comes from 2014 Topps and is a nice autograph:
It's a sticker, but I love that he included his number, and I think it works well within the design of the card.  And then the back has a neat little write up about his 2014 early season:
But I know the bigger question here, as with many of the new guys in my collection, is WHY THE HECK AM I COLLECTING CHRIS COLABELLO?

Well Colabello's story is pretty easy - he's a local guy and, like a lot of you, I always like to root for the local guys.  What has sucked in terms of local guys is that a lot of my options have made themselves hard to root for.  Lance Zawadzki went to my High School while I was there and has a TON of cards, but he was a douche to a friend of mine and that friend wouldn't ever let me forget it if I started collecting Zawadzki.  Tanyon Sturtze is from a neighboring city and I cheered hard for him in his Devil Rays days, but then he became a Yankee (yuck) and got involved in a bar fight with some friends of friends over a friend's girl (double yuck) and that completely turned me away from collecting him.  Probably the most famous local guy sportswise for us is Ron Darling, who went to my High School and works for ESPN, but even he has some bad blood involved since he won a World Series with the Mets in 1986 (which the Red Sox booooo).  So needless to say, it's been really hard to find a local guy who interested me in collecting him.  I'm not saying a guy needs to be a saint for me to collect them - just don't get in bar fights with people I know or beat the Red Sox in the World Series - is that so much to ask?

As for Colabello, he grew up in nearby Framingham, MA, and after High School and College, decided to hone his skills for the Worcester Tornadoes of the Can-Am League.  I somehow never went to a Tornadoes game, but they were a pretty big deal locally, mostly for having Jose Canseco on the team for a brief period but also for guys like Colabello who often looked like a big fish in a small pond.  Last year he got a chance to make it with the Twins, and people were already pretty excited before Colabello burst on the scene with one of the hottest Aprils for any hitter in 2014.  I picked him up in fantasy league, renamed like half my fantasy teams with something related to his name, and was so excited to see this local guy who toiled for so long finally get his time in the Sun.

Of course he faded after that hot stretch, and even on a not great team like the Twins Colabello eventually lost at bats to other corner infield/DH options.  He may never get an opportunity like that again, but I'm glad he got at least that one month to be something special, and more importantly I'm glad he did it as a seemingly good guy, which makes it all the easier to consider collecting him.  As such, as long as he keeps plugging away at a shot in the majors, I'll keep collecting his cards.  And that's why I'm collecting Chris Colabello.

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