|Corey in the middle, with Long Island|
Duck Matt Padgett on the left and son
Jake on the right
Name: Corey Mansfield
From: South Burlington, VT
Years collecting: 10
Main items you collect: Hockey Goalies, UVM (University of Vermont) Hockey Alumni, Mets, and Long Island Ducks
TGC: How did you first get into autograph collecting?
CM: I'm not really sure. I think it was to add something to my un-signed collection and it grew from there.
TGC: Do you remember the first item you ever got signed?
CM: I was in college, and was going through some of my 1987 Topps cards and came across a Bob Ojeda card. I thought it would be cool to get it signed, and noticed he was the pitching coach in Binghamton. So while visiting a friend in college I got it signed.
CM: TTM allows me to send to players I'll never see or meet, while IP allows me to meet players and verify it's actually being signed. Some of the players have told me great stores while signing for me. Former Mets pitcher Dave Williams talked to me for about 30 minutes after a Long Island Ducks game once, his stories were pretty funny.
TGC: What are your top five favorite items in your collection?
CM: *#1 - 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers Baseball - I put an asterisk next to this because in 2004 it was stolen from my parents house. My grandfather got it from a friend's brother who was the bat boy for the Dodgers that season. While I'll never know if clubbies signed it or not, it was a great piece. It was given to my brother and myself before my grandfather died.
#2 - Bud Harrelson 1969 Photo - I wanted to get something nice signed by Bud at a Long Island Ducks game. I went to Modell's the night before a game and found a picture of the Mets winning the World Series and the fans rushing the field. I got Bud to sign it.
#3 - Andre Dawson Autograph Ball - I got the "Hawk" on an OMLB in 2004 when he was signing at the Vermont Expos game during their "Tribute to Montreal." He signs his autograph upside down.
#4 - Howard Johnson 1987 Topps card - "Hojo" was one of my favorite player growing up. I was able to get him in Binghamton during the 2004 season when he was a coach. He was a really nice guy, and signed everything.
#5 - Evgeni Nabokov 2000-01 Topps Chrome - I thought this was a pretty cool looking card, and I sent it to Paul Buxton in San Jose, CA to get autographed. Paul, who is the Yoda of autograph collecting, got it signed perfectly.
CM: We met through Paul Buxton and his website. We pulled off a trade, and have been trading partners ever since. I think most our communications have been about collecting and sports.
TGC: Any fun stories from hounding over the years?
TGC: What's your opinion on autograph dealers?
CM: Some people make it their career which is fine, but don't ruin the hobby for the rest of us by annoying players, and getting us all labeled.
TGC: What is your favorite place to hound?
CM: Bethpage Ballpark, Central Islip, NY - Home of the Long Island Ducks
CM: #1 - Matt Padgett - Former Long Island Duck, and Marlins prospect
#2 - Matt Esquivel - Former Long Island Duck, Braves prospect
#3 - Ross Peeples - Lacaster Barnstormers pitcher and former Mets prospect
#4 - Bud Harrelson - Former Mets shortstop, and current Ducks owner.
#5a - Martin St. Louis - Tampa Bay Lightning forward, former UVM Catamount
#5b - Eric Perrin - Former Tampa Bay Lightning forward and UVM Catamount
TGC: On the opposite end of that, who are the, shall we say, roughest around the edges?
CM: #1 - Rickey Henderson. #2 - Alvin Colina
TGC: Has anything ever made you want to get out of the hobby?
CM: I've taken time off from the hobby from time to time to spend time with my family but I always come back. It's a time consuming hobby.
CM: Be prepared, and be courteous. It makes it easier on you and the players when you are trying to get stuff signed.