He was once a kid collector, just like us. He chased down autographs as a young adult, just like so many others. Unlike most of us, though, Pat Neshek had a serious talent for pitching. He was good enough to get drafted and eventually good enough to make the major leagues, where his sinker ball has proven--at times--to be pretty deadly on hitters.
Unlike some players, though, Neshek never lost the collecting bug. As a big leaguer, he's actually more engaged than ever. Baseball card collecting is still his hobby, even though he now has variety of his own cards in various sets.
From visiting the MLB Players Association offices with teammates and ripping into hundreds of packs to organizing fan mail signings in the St. Louis Cardinals clubhouse to piecing together one of the hobby's finest 1970 Topps sets, Neshek is addicted. He's not alone. Brad Ziegler is another avid collector and there are more around the majors.
Derrick Gould of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch followed Neshek around and talked to him for this story, a piece that'll make you feel good about one of the more die-hard collectors who is also an active player.