Love of the Game Auctions Spring 2023 Premier Auction

I JUST TOOK MY FIRST REAL ROAD TRIP SINCE THE START OF THE PANDEMIC. One of my favorite things about being the owner of Love of the Game is the long consignment-gathering road trips I take. A few times a year, I make appointments with a number of collectors across the country, and then I hit the road. Usually in a rented van or SUV, I travel thousands of miles over the course of several weeks, meeting up with friends, customers, consignors and colleagues, gathering consignments and chatting about the hobby. When I do it, I try and build in lots of time so that I can experience the country, seeing sights and enjoying the food, entertainment, and history of each town I visit along the way. I typically travel solo for about half the trip, and then my wife strategically identifies what

collectors is an important part of the hobby. We buy and sell, we watch the values of our collections, we work on our collecting projects, we research the pieces we collect, we study the history of the game. Along the way, though, we also meet people who could become lifelong friends. I have a little text thread with three other guys who I met in the hobby. We chat all day most days, sharing little news stories, in-jokes, sports clips, and such. Rarely do we chat about the hobby anymore. We’re just pals who enjoy each other’s company. Our text threads are almost like being in the same room together, just joking, watching games together, being buddies. As I turned my car out of the driveway of my last consignor visit, I wasn’t thinking about the material I’d gathered for the auction. I wasn’t thinking about the music I saw in Texas, the crazy weather outside Oklahoma, or the beauty of the desert. What I was thinking of was how fortunate I am that I get to have the friends I do, as a result of this excellent hobby. And I was also thinking that I wish everyone in the hobby was that fortunate. At the end of the day, if you ask me what my favorite thing about the hobby is, that’s what I’d tell you: the friendships. Every hand I get to shake in this hobby is a privilege. I hope sometime on one of my road trips, I’m fortunate enough to meet you.

she thinks is the best place on the trip, flies into that city, and spends a few days with me. Then she flies home and leaves me to finish up the rest of the journey. This time, I traveled a little over 7,000 miles in 22 days, making my way across this great nation to the Southwest (my favorite part of the country outside New York and New Jersey). I spent some time traveling on old Route 66 outside Tulsa, spent a few days in a cabin along the Colorado River in Moab, Utah (my favorite place to visit), enjoyed Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon in Page, AZ. A friend and I hosted a collector’s get-together in Los Angeles, then my wife and I enjoyed Mission Beach in San Diego, spent a few days in the desert outside Joshua Tree, caught a few Spring Training games in Scottsdale. Then I scooted across the desert to Austin, Texas, where I caught some live music during the SXSW festival, and then hurried north to get back home to Kingston, New York. It was a lot. The trip was based around the Spring Training festivites, where my wife and I spent a few days with a group of collectors who have, over the course of two decades, become dear, dear friends. Every year, a bunch of us get together for some ballgames, dinners, drinks, and laughs. After years of friendship, we know each other’s spouses and kids, we’ve lived through each other’s highs and lows. We’re family. Some of the greatest people I know are in this group of folks that I met through the hobby. I think it’s easy to forget sometimes that the camaraderie among

Al Crisafulli Auction Director


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