The Ultimate Tim Wallach Collector

Tim Wallach had 8,099 career at-bats. Corey Stackhouse has 19,000 Tim Wallach baseball cards and he’s probably headed to the mailbox right now to pick up some more.

Stackhouse is the ultimate Tim Wallach fan and no one else is even close. His quest: To own every Tim Wallach baseball card ever made. Not one of each card, mind you. Every single card.

It all began innocently enough. When Corey was a kid, a family friend hooked him up with lots of 1983 Topps cards and Wallach in the colorful Expos uniform caught his eye. “I recognized the name ‘Tim’ as being the same as my younger brother,” Stackhouse told me.

“I asked if he was a good player, my father took a look at his ’82 stats on the back, and said yes.  I declared him my favorite player on the spot and started keeping his cards separate from that point forward.”

Just like that, a massive collection was born. It’s one that has grown to include more than just baseball cards. There are posters, a bobblehead, and just about anything else you can think of, including items from Wallach’s sons, Chad, Matt and Brett.

Meeting his hero

Tim Wallach_Corey Stackhouse
Corey met Tim Wallach at a spring training game

“I met him in person once,” Chad said, “at a spring training game in 2010.  I didn’t tell him I was a crazy collector or anything at the time, but I was wearing his Expos jersey and told him he had been my favorite player growing up.”

 

 

His collection has drawn a lot of media attention, including features in the L.A. Times and MLB’s FanCave. But an interview with Esquire magazine that never made it to publication will always be special. That particular piece gave Corey the chance to be on a conference call with Wallach while he was coaching for the Dodgers.

“I got to pepper him with questions for about an hour (and) he gave me his cell number and said to call when I was able to make it to a Dodgers game, which I did later that season in Colorado. (I) didn’t get to (talk to) him at that game, but it was pretty cool to walk up to the “Players and Umpires” will call window and say Tim Wallach left tickets for me.”

Some might call his quest obsessive, but it’s all in fun and the collection and companion website comes with Wallach’s blessing. “He’s never been anything but extremely polite about it, to the point that I was starting to feel guilty about all the attention it was getting the summer all the articles were coming out.”

“He’d do a radio spot for some local station and they’d ask him if he knew about the guy in New Mexico collecting all his cards.  I’ve made it clear that if it ever became a problem, I’ll take (the website) down, no hard feelings whatsoever.”

Organization is key

Tim Wallach
Condition is not an issue

Not only does the collection have the blessing of Wallach, it also, more importantly, has the blessing of his wife, Ashley, who helps him keep it organized and out of sight, for the most part.

“Most of the cards are neatly filed away in boxes in a closet.  A dinner guest to my home wouldn’t know it’s there.  I do keep a game worn batting helmet out on my bookshelf, and some game used bats are displayed in the corner of my den, but there is no “shrine” room or anything like that.”

Shrine room or not, when your collection boasts more than 19,000 cards and counting, game used, jerseys, batting helmets and bats you’d think you have everything, right? Not so. There was one item Stackhouse was missing: a game-used glove. But when he discovered that Wallach used the same glove for his entire career he realized that wasn’t going to happen.

“The Hall of Fame asked for it when he retired and he declined,” said Corey, “After hearing that I wouldn’t want it.  Some stuff just doesn’t belong in the hands of private collectors.”

How can you help?

But here’s the good news. Private collectors can help Corey get closer to his goal. Check your monster boxes, your desk drawers and old shoeboxes. Find any Tim Wallach cards? Send them to Corey!

Stackhouse Law Office

P.O. Box 2269

Farmington, NM 87499

About Corey Stackhouse

Corey Stackhouse is an attorney in Farmington New Mexico and the ultimate Tim Wallach collector. He can be found online at http://TimWallach.com/ and on Twitter at @29collector

 

 

Baseball Nivrana

I’ve been a collector for my entire life. You never know when you may need a 37-year-old pocket schedule and I don’t want to be unprepared. So I packed up my sons and headed to Chicago for the Fanatics Authentic Sports Spectacular.

The autograph section was busy all day
The autograph section was busy all day

One of the big draws of shows like this is the autograph pavilion. There are always lots of big names with big price tags attached.

Since I spent some time working in baseball I’m pretty spoiled and I don’t like to pay for autographs but there were obviously plenty of people who were there specifically for that. Some of the bigger names on hand included Hall of Famers Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Cal Ripken, Fergie Jenkins and Billy Williams. There were also plenty of members of the 2016 Cubs.

But I had two things on my mind: Soak in as much atmosphere and cool stuff as I possibly could and work on my 1972 Topps set.

1972 Topps Baseball
My White Whale

Baseball cards form the bulk of my collection and my latest project is completing the 1972 set. It’s tough and expensive but I’m in no hurry. Had I been so inclined, I could have easily finished the set. There were multiple dealers there with binders of cards from 1972. The only thing stopping me was the expense of purchasing the cards and the expense of the subsequent divorce when I returned home.

 

Aside from filling want lists, one of the big attractions for me  was just taking in all the show had to offer. Going to a card show is like visiting a museum where everything is for sale. Click To Tweet

Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Hank Aaron & Roberto Clemente
Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Hank Aaron & Roberto Clemente

The ’80s were well represented, too.

Steve Garvey, Leon Durham, Willie Stargell
Steve Garvey, Leon Durham, Willie Stargell

Fans of Olde Tyme Baseball had something to see.

1935 Goudey Lou Gehrig & Babe Ruth
Lou Gehrig & Babe Ruth

But my favorite part of shows like this is all the oddball stuff you can find.

Mickey Mantle & Willie Mays baseballs
Mickey Mantle & Willie Mays baseballs
1957 Milwaukee Braves Ashtray
1957 Milwaukee Braves Ashtray
1976 Phillies Phantom World Series Press Pin, 1970 Reds World Series Press Pin, 1980 All-Star Game Press Pin
1976 Phillies Phantom World Series Press Pin, 1970 Reds World Series Press Pin, 1980 All-Star Game Press Pin

It was an outstanding afternoon with my kids and a few of their buddies. My youngest son bought his first T206 card and my older son picked up some relic cards. I got a bit closer to finishing my ’72 set and picked up a signed Bill Madlock photo.

 

As we were preparing to leave, I spotted one last item, a signed Dickie Noles warm up jacket.

Dickie Noles warm up jacket
Dickie Noles warm up jacket

Noles holds a special place in my heart as it was his pitch up and in to George Brett in the 1980 World Series that signaled the beginning of the end of the Royals in the series. Kansas City fans probably have different feelings on Mr. Noles.

If you get the chance, I’d highly recommend attending a similar show near you. You never know what you’ll find.

1984 Topps Cello Packs
What I wouldn’t give to tear into these

“The Kid” signed for me

I SUCKED at baseball when I was a kid.

I was among the t-ball elite of Oxford, Ohio back in 1977. But once the ball started moving, I began to experience tremendous difficulty at the plate. At the time, there was still room for all-glove, no-hit infielders in the big leagues, but being an all-glove, no-hit 11 year-old was a different story. As such, I had very little in common with my big-league heroes.

But Gary Carter was different. Gary Carter collected baseball cards, just like me. His collection was the subject of a feature story in the New York Times in July of 1980, where he detailed buying packs at the concession stand at Little League games and building sets when he was a kid.

Somehow, word of Carter’s collection reached me in Ohio and I wrote him a letter about it. I spent a lot of time writing letters to baseball players in the ’70s and ’80s asking for autographs. Some wrote back, many didn’t. But Carter did.

I have no idea what I said other than bringing up the fact that we both collected cards, a fact which separated me from practically none of the other kids who wrote requesting an autograph, but he wrote back.

Gary Carter autograph
My Gary Carter autograph

Once I sent a batch of letters I anxiously checked the mail each day and seeing the Montreal Expos envelope was a thrill. I got Gary Carter’s autograph!

Carter passed away far too young. Brain tumors took his life in 2012. He was only 57. But back in the early ’80s “The Kid” provided me with a thrill that lasts to this day.