Many of the OBC'ers have heard this story more than a few times. Joel Freedman never met me before the 2016 Atlantic City National Sports Collectors Convention, but he remembered from my want list that I was also beginning a collection of sports schedules. He found a dealer with a box of skeds marked 10 for a dollar, or 100 for five bucks. Joel, on my behalf, asked how much the dealer wanted for the whole box, dealer says "ten bucks". Joel negotiated him down to five bucks, then somehow located me and told me where the dealer's table was. The box had about thirteen hundred schedules, all different, all needed. While I was grateful for the skeds, I was more overwhelmed by the simple fact that OBC'ers always - but ALWAYS - look out for each other, and that unselfishness is really the basis of our group: "I Got 'Em, You Need 'Em, You Got 'Em."
The masked man is Ed Pike, and thanks to him, many of the rest of us are masked men. The year 2020 was rough on everybody, including many of us in OBC. During lockdowns and sheltering in place, some of us kept our sanity by getting more involved with our baseball card collections. Ed arranged to acquire and distribute many dozens of face coverings with the OBC logo front and center, in a large-scale instance of what we call "RAOK" - Random Acts of Kindness. Ed's generosity combined a prudent social safety measure with a positive marketing message for OBC.
One of the core principals of OBC is that we believe the group is, "It is not just about the cards". In November, 2017 my mother passed away. My mother was the one who first got me interested in collecting baseball cards. I was blown away when a number of OBCers got together for a Stan Hack (an anonymous gift) to send me an E card for my collection to let me know they supported me during that tough time. Additionally, Jerry Barnes, an OBCer who lives 4 hours away in the Dayton, OH area drove up to the metro-Detroit area on the day of my mother's funeral. He just wanted to show his personal support. Jerry could not even stay for the funeral as he had to get back for a shift as a Police Officer. So he made an 8 hour trip to see me for 5 minutes. While Jerry was not the only OBCer who attended the funeral (Mark Talbot did as well), that sacrifice and the card received showed me the level of support OBCers have for each other.
A truly grateful,
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