Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Q&A with Tim Lynch, Yankees 9th Round Draft Pick & Autograph Collector

Source: Southern Mississippi Athletics
Last week, I read a great piece by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports about Tim Lynch, the Yankees 9th round pick out of Southern Mississippi in the 2016 MLB Draft. To be fair, I first came across this in the NY Post, and eventually was led to Rosenthal’s larger piece. In short, Tim is a huge autograph collector, spending a lot of time growing up chasing down pro players for their signatures.  Now, a few years later, Tim, a first baseman, is part of the select few who get to play pro baseball for a living. Read the Fox Sports piece HERE after you finish reading this blog entry, of course.

In a cool twist of fate, Tim actually met his eventual agent, Joshua Kusnick, by collecting autographs years ago. Josh is a big collector in his own right. You can follow them both on Twitter here: @TimLynch26 and @JoshuaKusnick.

After reading the story and seeing Tim and Josh interact with fans and collectors on Twitter, I thought it would be cool to do a Q&A on here. It’s not frequent that one of our own makes it to pro ball, so I wanted to get Tim’s story in front of a core group of collectors in our little blogging community, as I know we'll all appreciate it more than most.

Tim and Josh were great to work with, and they’ve both certainly made a fan in me. Keep in mind I’m not a professional journalist and won’t pretend to be, but hopefully you enjoy Tim’s answers to my JV questions. I realized after the fact that a lot of these questions would be better served for after the season, once Tim has a few months of Minor League ball under his belt. So, Tim and Josh, perhaps we can do a follow-up after the season. Regardless, enjoy!

The Lost Collector: Tim, first off, congrats on being drafted by the Yankees! How are you feeling right now?
Tim Lynch: It feels great! It’s everyone’s dream to play professional baseball, growing up around the game made me want to play that much more, so this is the first step. Also, pretty cool being a part of one of the best franchises in sports.

TLC: Now that you're a pro, do you expect your autograph collecting to increase due to access and exposure to players? Is there an etiquette for asking a fellow player for his signature?
Tim: I don’t really know yet, not sure about guys my own age, but as far as guys I really look up to,  I might not be able to hold back. I’m sure I’d casually bring up a story about how I saw someone at a game signing, at a hotel, or something like that. But I guess I’ll have a better answer for you once I start coming into contact with more and more guys.

TLC: You've got a lot in-person autograph experience from your time growing up. Do you have any tips for those who graph in-person to increase their chances?
Tim: Always have the sharpie uncapped and ready to go and try to be respectful to the players, have seen fans get into arguments with players, and to be honest, a player is going to sign or not sign, I think all you can do is be as polite as possible and make them want to sign for you. Or you can always bribe the player with “hey do you want one of these cards?” usually will do the trick for a tough player.

TLC Note: Great advice. Seems like a page from Zippy Zappy's playbook.

TLC: One area I need improvement on is storing and organizing my collection. With such a huge collection of your own, how do you store them?
Tim: HA, I don’t think there has been a revolutionary invention to this problem. Just like all collectors, most of my items are stored in binders and boxes in my closet, aside from my favorite ones that are around my bedroom.

TLC: Through the mail (TTM) autograph collecting is my main focus for obtaining autographs. Did you dabble in that at all, or were most of your signatures obtained in-person at the ballpark?
Tim: My mom used to get mad at me for stealing all of the stamps around the house and she had trouble finding them when she had to pay bills or use them herself. I loved sending in the mail, especially when I knew a player would send back. Added autographs to my collection that I never could have obtained without the mail.

TLC note: That used to happen to me too! Once my mom caught me going through her purse, but was relieved to find I was actually just looking for stamps and not trying to steal cash.

TLC: This might be a better question for the end of the season, but how does a pro mail room work? How is your mail delivered to you? How do you send it back to fans? Give us all a look behind the curtain if you can.
Tim: To be honest, I have just been here in Pulaski for a day and I don’t even think rosters have been released, so not much fan mail has been here, but I can get back to you on that. If it is the same as equipment that comes in the mail, then it will just be put in front of your locker, but I am not too sure about that just yet. 

TLC: What is one autograph you wish you had but currently don't own?
Tim: A-ROD, he signs a lot of autographs, but the crowds are just tough to battle, sometimes 2-300 people all trying to get 1 of 30 autographs. Would love to get an A-ROD, maybe I’ll get one in Spring Training if it doesn’t interfere with work.

TLC note: I'm an idiot and this was basically in the Rosenthal article. #Fail.
TLC: Lastly, any cool items you'd like to show off? Anything you've gotten since you got to Pulaski? 
Tim: Haven’t gotten anything yet, but I’m sure by the time Spring Training rolls around I’ll have a lot more stories. I wish I could send in some pictures but my collection is at home. I’ll have to ask my mom to take a few pictures and get back to you.

Tim will be starting his career with the Pulaski Yankees in the Appalachian League. If you’d like to send him fan mail, please use the address below:

Tim Lynch
c/o Pulaski Yankees
700 South Washington Ave.
Pulaski VA, 24301

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to Tim and Josh for their willingness to give a few minutes of their time to a fellow collector!


  1. Very cool! Hope you get to do a follow-up interview down the road a little.

  2. What a cool dude - sounds like a Yankee I can actually root for!

  3. This is great! Always nice to see a fellow collector live out his dream. Good luck to Tim!