A couple of weeks ago this blog was featured in the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times. There's a decent chance that's why your reading this now. The article was written by Zach Helfand. If your interested, here's a link to the online edition of the article. My mailbox has seen an overflow of cards since it ran (and was subsequently picked up by the Albuquerque Journal and mentioned in Sports Illustrated) and I'm developing quite a backlog of mailings I need to post. But that's a problem I welcome. Other than the picture of me holding my game worn jersey (I have no idea what's going on with it, it looks creepy to me) the whole thing has been very cool. Zach was nice enough to send me a couple copies of the paper, which is why I'm able to post these pictures of it. I made the front page of the Sports Section, right below Bill Plaschke. Pretty cool.
This article came about when I received a random email from a Zach Helfand, claiming he wrote for the LA Times and thought this blog would make for a fun story. His email domain looked legit and a quick google search confirmed he was what he said he was, so I said go for it. Zach actually flew out from LA to do an interview. He flew into Albuquerque, where he had to rent a car and make the three hour drive from Albuquerque to Farmington. New Mexico being New Mexico, the only rental cars available were full size pickup trucks. So a writer out Los Angeles, by way of the University of Michigan and from New Jersey, drove three hours through the New Mexico desert in a monster pick-up truck to do a story on a Tim Wallach baseball card collection, all while wearing a pair of blue Vans sneakers. This was over the All-Star game break, which allowed Zach a pause from his normal duties of covering the Dodgers. I believe he mentioned this was the first time the Times had flown him out anywhere to cover a story. I hope in the future he gets some more interesting locations than Farmington, NM.
Zach hung out for a couple of hours at my house, let me show him all the cards, then I took him (or rather he took me) to Farmington's newest sports bar, a Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the All-Star Game. Farmington is a city of about 50,000, but is about as remote as a city of that size can be. BWW was the best option by a mile. My wife joined us and we all got along very well. He mentioned it may be awhile before the story ran, and during those couple of months I began to have some pretty serious concerns. Zach was a very nice guy, and over beer and wings during the game, it didn't feel like an interview. It was more like hanging out with a friend, and I definitely was less than guarded. I had a few beers, and I had some choice things to say about the physical appearance of Matt Adams of the Cardinals , and about the abilities of some other third basemen that played during Wallach's era. So I started to wonder what else I may have said off the cuff. And why would the LA Times send a reporter all the way out here for a vanilla piece? What kind of crazy light was I going to appear in? This could be bad.
Thankfully Zach wrote a very nice piece that my family was able to email links to it without any second thoughts and didn't destroy my law practice. I really appreciate that. I'm sure he could have scored a lot more page clicks if he'd chosen to go a different direction with the article. Thank you Mr. Helfand.
Follow Zach Helfand's excellent Dodger and UCLA Basketball coverage on Twitter @zhelfand
Here's a screen grab of the LA Times Article: