By Andrew Hoyler aka andrewhoya

I get questions all the time about the player I collect, Andrew Bailey. At card shows, I get weird looks when I ask if the vendor has any of his cards, and even get an occasional “who?” After I explain who he is and still get a blank state in return, I just move along and try my luck at the next table. “Who?” Oh, nobody, I suppose. Just a 2-time All-Star and 2009 Rookie of the Year who also holds the A’s rookie record for saves in a season. Nothing major, or anything. Sure, he’s no Mariano Rivera, but give him some time. He’ll get there. Hopefully.

On March 5th, 2011, I was browsing the Baseball Super Collector forum here on SCF. I was in awe at all of the collections put together by many great SCF members. I did not collect a player at the time, so I decided that I would try to build a vast collection of a player as well, and try to work my way up to the glamorous super collector badge.

I went through many possibilities. Did I want to pick a player from my favorite team, the Mets? I saw one big problem that could come with a Met; the threat of them being traded to a different team. I scratched that idea from the list. My next option was Jim Austin, my former baseball coach. While I still collect him, his cards are limited to less than 10. I knew that I could get all of them rather quickly, taking most of the fun away. I then thought of collecting someone with my name, Andrew. I decided on doing that, since there would ALWAYS be a similarity between me and my collection (that is, unless they pulled a Chad-OchoCinco….). I looked up a list of Andrew players- there were not many. Alphabetically, Bailey was first. I pulled up a Wikipedia article of him and began to find out that we actually had more in common than our name.

Andrew grew up in New Jersey, which is located on the east coast. I live about an hour and a half from the Atlantic Ocean. He also went to Paul VI High School- the same high school my mom went to. I thought that was an interesting connection. Plus, I could not find anybody else on the web who collected him, and I hoped that that would make collecting him much easier as I would not have to “share” low numbered cards with anyone else (if you are reading this….. do NOT even think about starting to collect him!!)

After deciding on Bailey, I posted my first thread searching for him. I started off with 0 cards, but received a few replies after an hour or two. My first Bailey card to show off was a Victory is Eminent card courtesy of ILLRIMESAYA. I have now expanded to more than 45 cards, with about 15 on the way, and also have an autographed ball. I am always looking for high-end cards; currently I only have one 1/1 out of more than 100. I have purchased cards I need from more than 4 sites and constantly use the “search” feature here on SCF.

I hope to one day meet Andrew Bailey- I feel like it would just be icing on the cake for my collection! If we got a picture together, it would remain as my Facebook profile picture for years to come. I plan on writing to him at the end of September with a TTM request. I’m planning on writing a note with a few questions which hopefully he will reply to!

I am hoping he becomes a force to be reckoned with in the near future. While he posts fantastic numbers, he doesn’t quite have the respect that some of the other top closers in the game do. Give him another 3-4 years and 2-3 more All-Star selections and he’ll be the guy who people want to trade for in fantasy leagues.

But, until the day comes when he is a lock in the Hall of Fame I’ll still be answering the aggravating one word question “Who?” from the card vendors at stalls.