We all have our stories about garage sale, flea market, antique or card show finds. Little (or sometimes big) nuggets that manifest themselves in unusual ways, unexpectedly adding to our collections. They are part of the reason we collect; to uncover something no one else had found. Many times they’re cheap or even free.
Sometimes, we’re the beneficiary of someone else’s collecting. We find forgotten treasures in the strangest places or even things in our own collections we’d stashed away years before and forgotten about.
A couple of years ago, author Kevin Guilfoile, the son of a former writer and Baseball Hall of Fame executive named Bill Guilfoile, was asked to appear on a television show to talk about baseball and literature.
Pitcher PollackIn the days before the show, he paid a visit to his retired parents’ home in Indiana. His father, not surprisingly, had accumulated hundreds of baseball books and he wanted to borrow a couple of them to have with him on the show.
One of the books he packed along was a very old novel that he’d seen before but never read. It was called “Pitcher Pollack” by the great hurler, Christy Mathewson, a kids’ novel written in the early part of the last century when Matty’s name was magic to baseball fans.
Mathewson didn’t write the book. He lent his name to it and maybe offered a few suggestions but it was a ghost writer who penned it.
The cool part of the story, though, isn’t when Guilfoile pulled that book out. It’s what happened when he began thumbing through the pages.
Read his essay on ChicagoSide.com.