A True Hobby Treasure: When Vets Meet Newbies With Open Arms

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A True Hobby Treasure: When Vets Meet Newbies With Open Arms

Postby Yanks23 » November 9th, 2015, 5:41 pm

My story about entering this very cool hobby isn’t nearly as interesting as some of you who are regulars on this site. It didn’t start with my Grandfather’s glove. My wife didn’t give me one as a gift that started it all. And I didn’t find a hidden treasure at a flea market to begin the addiction. Heck, I didn’t start collecting gloves and mitts until after I was 40 (I am currently 43), whereas many of you have been doing this since your teens and twenties. But what I have found in my relatively short period of time in the hobby thus far (I began in June 2013) is that no matter what the impetus was that got all of us started down our respective paths in this particular hobby, we all share a common bond: our love for the game. And our affinity for collecting these wonderful pieces of history that help, in part, tell a story about not only America’s Favorite Pastime, but about the fabric of America itself during its formative years of the 19th century and early 20th century.

The thorough enjoyment of my journey and ongoing history lesson has been made possible by many of you. In fact, last week was very cool for me, as I had the opportunity to meet four of you in-person, three of which were for the first time. You know who you are, so I will protect the innocent and not “out” the guilty ;-) What I do want to share is my gratitude to each of you for your overwhelming willingness to not only bring new folks into the hobby, but to welcome them with open arms. The reason that I wanted to call this out in this way is because as a newbie to any hobby, it isn’t always easy to break into the inner circle of folks who have been doing this together for years and have rich histories with one another.

For those of you who I met this past week, you brought me into your homes. I met some of your family members and pets (which to me ARE family members). You “took me inside” – and for that, I thank you. This transcends simply “collecting gloves”. To me, nothing beats in-person interactions. Whether it is spending time together at the National, at a local collectibles show, sharing laughs and drinks at a bar or restaurant, this is what truly makes a hobby. And I am hooked. I can’t get enough of it. I am a frequent visitor to this site (thank you Brett for keeping the hobby connected this way and to all of those who contribute regularly) and to JD’s Baseball Glove Collector site (thank you JD for all you do to keep this updated). But having the opportunity to spend time together has been a real treat for me. I look forward to further developing the relationships that I have been fortunate enough to have started, and look forward to meeting many of you in the future.

Oh, so how did all of this start for me? While watching American Pickers one night it got me to thinking. So I hopped on eBay and started searching for various vintage baseball stuff. And when I came across some gloves and saw that these amazing pieces of history were out there, I jumped right in! Since then, I have learned a lot about the hobby and its past, and know I haven’t even scratched the surface. But the one thing that I treasure the most that goes way beyond the gloves in my display cabinet or on my shelves, is the camaraderie that I am now able to share with you. I truly enjoy hearing your war stories about how you built the collections, what your favorite parts of the hobby are, what you are on the hunt for, etc. For those of you that I have met, spoken with, or emailed…thank you. You have all enriched my experience in the hobby. And for those of you who I have yet to communicate with, I most certainly look forward to doing so! Feel free to hit me up via email anytime (timwhitman@comcast.net) to say hello, chat gloves, etc. You can check out my collection on JD’s site by searching “Whitman”.

-- Tim
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