By Tyler Ohmann
Many of kids’ hobbies these days are electronic, expensive or both.
One somewhat inexpensive and paper-driven hobby, baseball card collecting, has gone by the wayside.
Rick Grammond, Little Falls, a local radio personality for his company “You Are There Sports,” hopes to change that.
“I grew up collecting baseball cards and it grew into a love for baseball,” Grammond said. “Nowadays, the hobby is all about high-value items.”
Grammond, who broadcasts area events including Pierz baseball and Victory League games, brainstormed on what he could do.
“One night I was sitting there thinking about it, and I found an email on the Topps website, the first one I saw and gave them my little spiel,” Grammond said. “I was thinking maybe a couple little boxes they would send, and that was all I was hoping for.”
“Monday morning there was a reply from Topps, and it said, ‘What’s your address?’ That is all it said,” Grammond said.
Later in the day he got a tracking number and he read that the package from Topps was coming Friday. He also read that it was 15 boxes at 30 pounds each.
He figured it was a mistake.
Come Friday, what he figured was about 81,000 baseball cards showed up at his door.
Now, everywhere he goes he carries cards along with him, handing them out to kids.
When listening to one of Grammond’s broadcasts, it is often interrupted by the squeaky voice of a child asking, “Can I get a pack of cards?”
“Every ball park I go to, I bring these with and give them out for shagged balls or whatever,” Grammond said. “When you have that many, anyone who wants them can get them.”
Kids, like Weston Woitalla of Harding, often bring back a foul ball to the concession stand and get a pack or two of cards.
“Everywhere I go now the kids, they love it,” Grammond said. “They don’t even care about getting quarters for foul balls, since now they’re giving out the cards too.”
Woitalla did that a few times, Saturday, July 29. While he didn’t get either of his favorite players, Mike Trout or Jose Altuve, he was pretty happy to learn about some other players.
Several other kids ran around sharing and trading the cards they received as well.
“That was the goal to get the cards in their hands,” Grammond said.