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
“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
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