Russ was one of the younger hounds with me when I was starting out up there but already was a knowledgeable veteran of graphing. I actually referred to him as "Eddie Jr." on occasion, referring to the super-vet Eddie O, who could identify any player, coach, broadcaster, or trainer in any sport, because even at 16 he was well on his way to being the second coming of Eddie.
Anyways, let's see what Russ has to say and show!
|Brett Hull with Russ|
Name: Russell Crowell
From: Saugus, Ma
Years collecting: 18
Main items you collect: Hockey, 8x10 photos, and major Boston sports items.
TGC: How did you first get into autograph collecting?
RC: My collection really took form when I was about 7 or 8 years old and my father would take me to card shows at the mall in Methuen, Ma. I would meet a lot of the old Bruins and get a lot of Parkie reprint cards as well as pucks and 8x10's signed.
RC: The first autograph I ever got was when I met Roger Clemens at the opening of Filene's at the Square One mall in my home town. I had him sign a card.
TGC: Do you prefer getting yours in-person, or through the mail?
RC: I like collecting in person the best however lately I've enjoyed TTM a lot cause I can relax and do it from my couch.
TGC: What are your top five favorite items in your collection?
RC: Thats a tough one but off the top of my head I'd say
1. Bobby Orr autographed stick
2. Tom Brady + Tedy Bruschi signed 16x20
3. Fenway Park multi signed seat back
|Fenway Park seatback - how many sigs can you pick out?|
5. Ted Williams signed 16x20
TGC: How did we end up meeting?
RC: I met you while collecting autographs at hockey team hotels in Boston during the 2002-03 season.
TGC: Any fun stories from hounding over the years?
RC: There are many but one thing I really enjoy is traveling to collect. I've been to Las Vegas for the NHL awards 3 times and once for Wayne Gretzky's fantasy camp. Drafts in Montreal, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh. Plus hounding in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Montreal, and Tampa. I feel like the road trips make for the best stories.
TGC: What's your opinion on autograph dealers?
RC: They don't bother me. Whats the difference if a dealer gets 2 sticks signed while I get 9 cards and a photo signed?
TGC: What is your favorite place to hound?
RC: Las Vegas for sure, it's laid back, warm, and there's plenty more to do when you're simply over it.
RC: 1. Johan Hedberg, 2. Jarome Iginla, 3 Michael Ryder, 4. Joe Nieuwendyk, 5. Larry Robinson
TGC: On the opposite end of that, who are the, shall we say, roughest around the edges?
RC: Sean Avery, Eric Cairns, Tom Barrasso, a few others I can't remember because they usually aren't the ones that make or break your collection!
TGC: Has anything ever made you want to get out of the hobby?
RC: Sometimes when an outing doesn't go as well as I hoped or the bitter cold weather comes around but there's always a new day and opportunity down the road that renews your faith in the hobby which I believe is the best to have. I mean I spent my high school and brightest years meeting my favorite hockey players on a day to day basis. What's cooler than that?
TGC: Any other thoughts, words of advice, anything like that for other collectors out there?
RC: Collect what you like, don't chase whats gonna be worth the most cause in the end it's not going to be. I don't believe anyone's gotten rich off this stuff and I don't believe anyone will. You'll have the most fun collecting the stuff you enjoy the most!