Jeff Lampila, his 13-year-old son Finn and 8-year-old daughter Kinzley are avid baseball fans. They became partial season ticket holders for the Miami Marlins this year, and have amassed quite a baseball card and autograph collection.
“The kids love getting to the park early. They love getting autographs prior to the game. There are days when we spend five or six hours at the ballpark. The kids just love it and have become huge fans,” said Jeff Lampila a disabled, single father of two who lost his wife and the kids’ mother a few years ago.
Tragically, on September 28, Hurricane Ian ravaged the Fort Myers area, destroying the family’s home, car, and most of their belongings, including their entire baseball memorabilia collection.
“I figure we lost 10,000 plus baseball cards, three autographed bats, 40 autographed baseballs, and all the kids’ other collections from Ian,” Lampila told SC Daily.
The family’s home was in Ian’s direct path. Their neighborhood is just minutes from the Sanibel Causeway (which was demolished) on the Fort Myers side of the bridge. The category 4 storm battered the home with winds over 150 miles per hour, but it was the subsequent storm surge that caused the most damage, inundating the home with seawater and sewage.
“Anything five feet from the floor down was completely under water. We lost cars, clothing, personal items, and all my kids’ collection. Finn was able to save one Funko Pop autographed by Eugenio Suarez and a bag of clothes and our dogs but that’s it,” added Lampila.
The family had retreated to Florida’s east coast to stay with family members. They went to Miami to see the Marlins’ final two games of the 2022 season, giving them a small sense of normalcy after a week of devastation.
Finn and Kinzley kept their spirits up with handmade signs they took to the game, one lamenting the loss of their belongings and another that read, “Hurricane Ian took everything but our love for the Marlins!!!”
Editor’s Note: Jeff Baker and his wife Paula are hoping to help rebuild the kids’ collection. They are asking the collecting community to join them in donating baseball cards, a few packs, autographed balls, bats, pictures, jerseys or other items for Kinzley and Finn. The kids are Marlins and Reds fans, but anything is appreciated. The Lampilas are in the midst of trying to find suitable housing and have no place to store items at this time, so donations can be sent to:
4 Littlewood Rd
Wilmington, MA 01887
The Bakers will be collecting all items and holding all the donations to be forwarded to the Lampila family as soon as they are settled. In the meantime, they’ll be sending pictures of the donated items to the kids in an effort to bring a smile to their faces.
You can follow the Lampilas on Instagram at and listen to Jeff Baker’s interview with Jeff Lampila below.