Over the years Steiner Sports has gained an incredible following, which I am forever grateful for. We have ton of loyal customers; avid collectors who have a true passion for sports. I am going to start featuring some of the most deserving collectors with a blog interview. Today's featured collector is Shawn Burdett, a father of three and firefighter/medic from Olympia, Washington.
For your chance to be a featured collector, send me a note here.
Brandon Steiner: What was your first collectible?
Shawn Burdett: My dad passed away when I was 11. He left me a Mickey Mantle autographed baseball. I have it in my safe to this day!
BS: What is collecting like in the North West?
SB: Hard! We have very few stores around. That is how I found Steiner years ago as I wanted an autograph baseball BUT I wanted to make sure it was authentic.
BS: What does your collection consist of now and what are you still looking to add?
SB: I collect yankees, tigers and Seattle Mariners players mostly. I have Mantle, Joe Diamago, Yogi berra, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey, Jr, Randy Johnson, Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez and Felix Hernandez. My white whale is a Derek Jeter autographed baseball with his number and "The Captain" inscribed onto the ball! That ball would mean alot. I also want a Core Four baseball!
BS: What is your most-prized item?
SB: The Mickey Mantle No. 7 baseball I got after my dad passed. Its beautiful!
BS: Why do you collect from Steiner Sports?
SB: Easy! Steiner has the best selection! I know the autograph I'm buying is legitimate and the quality is going to be top notch!
BS: What else should we be working on?
SB: Keep up the good work as I think Steiner is the leader in the industry, hands down. If I had to find something to work on I would say adding serial #'s to the holograms.
(BS: For all of you reading, Steiner Sports began adding serial numbers to its holograms in 2015 and an online database will be accessible in the summer of 2016)
BS: Top 3 pieces of advice for new collectors.
- Be very careful. If a deal appears to be too good of a deal, then something is most often wrong! Follow your gut and do your research!
- Start slow and work your way into this hobby. It's very addicting and my advise is to write down all of the autographs you want and slowly build up your collection.
- This may sound silly but please, NEVER touch your autographed baseball unless its on the laces. Keep it in a UV protected cube or at least in a plastic sandwich baggie as the oils on your fingers can/will cause brown spots to appear on a baseball!
BS: What was your favorite in-person experience with an athlete?
SB: Easy! Magic Johnson. He took 10 minutes and we talked about family (I had my wife and 3 kids with me), I told him I saw him play the Seattle Super Sonics (yes, we need our team back) and with 5 seconds left, Magic hit his baby hook shot for the win. Magic gave me a big hug and asked me if we would take a picture with him! So, myself, my wife and my 3 girls all got to take a photo with Magic. He wanted a copy of it so I emailed it to him. We still chat often. What a great guy!