Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mail Legends: Pat Neshek

If you have never heard of Pat Neshek, than this is a good place to start your autograph collection. Pat currently is a reliever for the Oakland A's. First off, check out his BLOG. He is a very avid autograph collector himself, and his blog is very entertaining for anyone wanting to read inside the life of a big leaguer. He started off as a member of the Twins, then was traded to the Padres and then Orioles before ending up on the A's roster last season.

Gehrig John Neshek Patch
Then, in the middle of Pat's first trip to the postseason, tragedy struck the Neshek family. What should have been a happy moment turned into every parent's nightmare. Pat and his wife Stephanee had a son last October, right when the A's were fighting for the AL West title with the Texas Rangers. Less than one hour after he was born, newborn Gehrig John Neshek passed away. Even when Pat's life seemed to be at its lowest point, he made a miraculous return to the A's postseason lineup. Against the Detroit Tigers in the first round, and with the initials of his son patched on his sleeve, Pat got two big outs to get the A's out of a jam, tapping the patch as he ran off the field.

With all of Pat's personal successes and triumphs, he is also one of the most fan-friendly athletes I have ever seen. Over the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to get many responses and autographs from Pat in the mail. He posts his address on his blog, which you can see by clicking the link at the top of this entry.

On his blog, I read that if you send Pat a signed card of anybody that ever played in the history of any major American sport, he would send you a signed card of his own. Back in 2009, when he was a Twin and I was still new to collecting autographs, I sent him one of a person that I had many signed cards of, and also included an index card to be signed. About two weeks later, I opened my mail and was pleasantly surprised by what I received. As you can see, he returned a card signed of his from when he was in the minor leagues and personalized the index card with unique inscriptions. I told him that I too am a blogger and blog about the Islanders. That was a great success from a great person, and he would only get better.

Pat's signature is unique in itself. Firstly, he writes out every letter in his name, as well as his number. It is very legible and easy to recognize, unlike many other athletes today. Secondly, inside the first letter of his name, he adds the stitches of a baseball. This is something I have never seen anywhere else, and all of this shows Pat truly cares for his fans.

A few years later, after he was on the Padres, I found a cool photo I wanted to send to him to get signed. I couldn't find any cards of Pat in my collection, so I figured I would do another trade. I sent him a signed card of Frank Tanana, of whom I have at least a dozen signed cards, as well as the photo, and again Pat signed the photo and sent another signed card of his own, this time in the majors.

I had one more success with Pat in the mail, this one just a few weeks ago. I mailed Pat a few 4x6 photos of him on the A's to be signed. I've grown to like the A's over the past few years, especially after watching the movie Moneyball, then reading the book. As usual, Pat signed all of my stuff just like I asked, even personalizing one of the photos. He also sent something unexpected in the envelope. With all of my stuff, he also sent a stack of 2001 Topps cards. That was totally unexpected, yet I wasn't too surprised when I got it. As you can see, one of the cards was a Barry Bonds.

If you have never gotten a through the mail autograph, Pat Neshek is a good place to start. You are almost guaranteed to get a response. Pat's story and career are just great and bound to make you feel good. That is why Pat Neshek is a mail legend. There are a few more people that are great, but very few like him.

Thanks for reading! Good luck graphing!

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