Wednesday, November 1, 2017

An amazing collecting feat (+ a contest!)

A few nights ago on Twitter, Joshua Kusnick showed off an incredible collecting feat - he completed the 1988 Pacific Legends set with an autographed card from everyone who was alive at the time of the set's release - 171 signed cards! And it only took him 29 years to do it. I had a hard enough time with my Topps Yankees Project, but this is other-worldly!
I first met Josh on Twitter a little over year ago (follow him HERE), when I was attempting to do a blog Q&A with Yankees prospect and autograph hound Tim Lynch. You see, Josh is an MLBPA agent and reps several different guys. However, he is a collector too, and a damn dedicated one at that. An agent and a collector? Sign me up. Sounds like a dream career!

Josh was kind enough to answer a few questions about his collecting quest. Please enjoy his responses, check out a few of the photos he provided, and look out for a contest below as well.
Lost Collector (LC): Give me a brief description of you for those who don't know you?
Joshua Kusnick (JK): I’m a 35-year-old MLBPA agent. I rep Carlos Asuaje, Seth Lugo, Jeremy Jeffress, and Steve Selsky amongst the list and have done work for Mike Brantley since ‘05. And Tim Lynch!!

LC: Tell me about the project. How did it start? Why this particular set?
JK: I have had 43 surgeries for bladder exstrophy and my dad would always write letters to players with his childhood cards to get signed while I was sick. The 1988 Pacific Legends set was one of the first we got - series 1 then obviously series 2. The first card show we went to was in St. Pete, FL in ‘89 – DiMaggio, Williams, Killebrew, Mantle, Bob Allison, and a super ticket on flats was like 75.00 for all in attendance. I still remember every bit of that day.

Note: Josh's story of overcoming bladder exstrophy is truly remarkable. Read this SI piece about him HERE


LC: What was the toughest card to track down?
JK: Vic Raschi, Charlie Keller, Doc Cramer, Rip Sewell, Zoilo Versailles and Sal Maglie and any version of Roy Campanella - either machine or wife-assisted. Roy could not sign post-accident and looking back it’s kind of macabre but the machine his wife would sign and he’d essentially hold the pen. Yeesh.

LC: Any good stories during the in-person (IP) signings?
JK: Buddy Lewis! He owned a car dealership in NC post-career for years and was super gracious to me when it came to signing. That first show meeting Williams and DiMaggio changed my life.

LC: Who helped the most along the way? 
JK: My dad....and really my autograph friends over the years especially Jeff Sachs. Really though the players via TTM, the non-stars like Jim Perry, helped the most.
LC: 29 years on a project is a long time. Did you ever want to give up or think that it just wasn’t going to happen?
JK: I just assumed it was finished. My dad started this with me and he happened to be at my house 2 days ago. I had insomnia and every 6 months I’d check for any version of Campy and low and behold I found one for the first time ever. I’d still buy the machine version should someone have one but now it’s done 171-171 maybe only one ever and I’m still shocked.

Also there was a 1-month window for Harvey Kuenn and Ted Kluszewski to sign the cards before they passed. I’d pay anything for either should they exist. I’d literally trade my signed Koufax ‘55 Topps RC PSA for both of them lol.

LC: What’s your favorite card in the set?
JK: Buck Walters. Ironically the hardest pain in the ass card to find for years. Campy you expect given his health but Walters? It took YEARS.

LC: Do you have any projects on the horizon?
JK: Well there is 29 unsigned cards. I need 29 cuts up next. Ruth, Gehrig, Clemente, Munson, Cobb, Hornsby....I’m sure that’ll be cheap lol! I obviously can’t afford all that but maybe one day!
Lastly, what advice do you have to collectors with lofty project goals?
Pick a new set and start the day you get it. The faster you act the better the odds. Me finishing the set is the dumbest luck of all time.

Also I’m working on the 99/00 Topps Stadium Club hockey set and have 196/200 done I need Martin Straka (who doesn’t seemingly sign that card), Scott Stevens, Tony Amonte (whom I’ll eventually get), and Harry York the white whale since he’s essentially vanished off the face of the earth.
Contest time!

Josh has graciously offered up a duplicate signed card from this 1988 Pacific Legends set to one random winner. To enter, please do one or both of these things:

1. Any comment below - one entry
2. Suggest how Josh should display this set - additional entry 

Contest will close November 14 at 11:59pm ET. 

28 comments:

  1. This is amazing! I'm in awe of the dedication to finish the set and everything Josh has overcome. It is a big set to display so I'm not sure what the best answer would be. Maybe a nice showcase like you would see at card shop if he has the space.

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  2. Amazing! I think he should get one of those display cases where the cards sit in trays and rotate. An LCS when I was a kid had one and I always liked watching it turn and waiting to see what was next.

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  3. Thanks for the story and congrats on completing it! I agree with the others...a set that big deserves to be in a display case.

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  4. The best way to display those would be at my house! Kidding of course, but probably some custom wall display would be best. Congrats on an incredible accomplishment!

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  5. Wow - excellent collection, and quite the task to complete! If there was enough wall space somewhere, having each card individually cased and on shelves. Would be a lot of shelf space, but could work out well.

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  6. What an incredible offer. Thank you. Might I suggest about four large frames, each with a large one piece matting with cut aways for each individual card. Probably a pricey way to go but they'd make for beautiful wall hangings.

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  7. That's awesome! I agree it'd be nice to display them on the wall in some sort of frame(s)/display. Obviously, keep them out of anywhere that gets direct sunlight to prevent fading.

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  8. Wow that's a huge accomplishment. Im working the 93 Ted Williams card set with no hope of ever completing it.

    I'm get Josh's set slabbed.

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  9. Awesome, what an idea.
    I'd frame the set.

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  10. This was an amazing accomplishment on his part! And how great was it that his dad got it all started, it's unfortunate that we all can't have dads like that.

    As for display, I probably wouldn't. I'd just put them in top loaders and keep them in box, as even the best displays that are designed to keep UV rays at bay, still can't completely stop the signatures from slowly fading from any ambient light that hits them.

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  11. Incredible story! I'd put them in plain old 9 pockets and curl up with them every night.

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  12. What an amazing collection. I would suggest getting them in a rotating display case similar to what arpsmith suggested.

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  13. Wow, what a story and quite a feat!
    My favorite way to story cards I want to look at frequently is to place them in top loaders and team bags and then place them in a box. Then I can take them with me and show them off or just look at them on a whim and not worry about me or the sun damaging them.

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  14. What a cool project... and the fact that his father helped him out makes it that much cooler. Displaying 171 cards is no easy feat. I personally would leave them in a binder and probably flip through it whenever I needed something to cheer me up.

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  15. Great collection. I'm that guy that wants to frame them and display on the wall, but I've seen friends signatures fade. What a loss.
    In the end, individual loaders or a binder is the safest. And thanks for the contest

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  16. If he is rich he should have each one framed and matted to make it pop. They really are each a work of art. But, if he is like most of us he should probably just make sure they are protected to the fullest extent and display them all together on a wall or the front or topper of a bar.

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  17. What a fantastic post, and a great interview! I'm with Fuji here, keep them in a binder and keep them close.

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  18. and I'm impressed with the hockey set

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  19. Very cool project. Throughout the years, I've ended up with more cards from Series 2 (1989) but I do have a couple from 1988. For some reason, Virgil Trucks sticks out in my mind when I think of this set.

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  20. Cool story!

    I'd get them professionally framed.

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  21. First of all, wow. what a set and incredible 20 year chase. Congrats to you!

    Secondly, I think Bags Unlimited sells these framed baseball fields I think these would look sharp in.

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  22. I've always been a binder guy myself, so that's how I would store such a collection. To each their own!

    But, seriously, what an amazing accomplishment!

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  23. 29 years...amazing job! 29 years ago I was in the Navy collecting cards with shipmates.

    I'd find a local art gallery or museum and see it they would display them for awhile.

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  24. Outstanding. Astounding. I think I'd scan each of the cards, digitally put them together in rows so that they look like uncut sheets (but I'd do front-back, front-back, side-by-side so that you can see both sides, and then pay to have wallpaper made of it. Of have them printed, somehow, on a Snuggie.

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  25. Now that’s motivation for every collector who’s started a tough collecting project.

    I suggest getting them all PSA certified then hiring a fine carpetenter to custom build a display case for the set.

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  26. That is a fantastic accomplishment. Those cards were "made" to be signed.

    I'm of two thoughts on the display thing. Either the huge one piece thing, like the "sheets" type suggestion or a bunch of smaller groupings like the baseball diamond thing.

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  27. That's amazing. I'm not a binder person, but that's how I would store those. I'd be too afraid the signatures would fade any other way.

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  28. i am in! thank you for the chance

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