Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday Friendsday, Vol. 8: Joe Dahms

After a week off, Wednesday Friendsday returns with another Boston-area guy, Joe Dahms.  And yes, it's last name is Dahms, it's not a play on someone with a Boston accent trying to say Darms or something.  And if it is, well, he sure had me fooled.

Anyways, let's see what Joe has to say about his collection, his hounding efforts, and his recent battle with cancer-- a fight where he scored a KO.

Joe getting set to hit the ice
with his daughter

Name: Joe Dahms

From: Gorham, Maine

Age: 30

Years collecting: 12

Main items you collect: Autographed hockey 8x10's and cards

TGC: How did you first get into autograph collecting?

JD: One day after a Portland Pirates game I saw a bunch of people standing around by the doors where the players exit the arena to get on their bus. I didn't stay that game because I had nothing to get signed plus it was freezing out and I wasn't dressed for the weather. I remember telling myself, next game I go to I'll be dressed warmer and with stuff to get signed.

TGC: Do you remember the first item you ever got signed?

JD: The next Pirates game I went to was a game where they played against the Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins. After the game my brother and I stayed after and got a Mylec Penguins logo mini stick signed by the whole team.

TGC: Do you prefer getting yours in-person, or through the mail?

JD: I prefer in person above everything and still get out when I can, but nowadays I find myself doing more TTM partly because of my job and my commitments to my daughter.

TGC: What are your top five favorite items in your collection?

JD: Gordie Howe signed stick, Bobby Orr 16x20, Wayne Gretzky 8x10, Shane O'Brien signed game used Anaheim Jersey, and my Patrick Roy signed Avs jersey.

TGC: How did we end up meeting?

JD: We met through a mutual friend who collects in Boston, Russ. Its pretty interesting to know we ran with the same people at different times in our lives, but never actually met in person.

TGC: Any fun stories from hounding over the years?

JD: Any Tie Domi, Jeff O'Neil and Bryan McCabe story is instant gold, but my favorite story so far is when no one was there to get Daniel Alfredsson at the team's hotel. It was myself and 2 other people. For some reason up till that point I was never able to get an Alfredsson autograph in my collection. He came out, we didn't have to ask him, he just came over, signed and was really talkative while doing so.

TGC: When it comes to hounding the NHL vs. the AHL, which do you like better?

JD: AHL because there is less people collecting and you get pretty much everyone you need, but the NHL adds an element of surprise because you never know who you will see or what kind of day you will have.

TGC: What's your opinion on autograph dealers?

JD: There are some dealers who are great people, help new guys identify players, offer to get stuff signed for you and make good conversation throughout the day. I respect that its a business nowadays. I think it takes away slightly from people who like to collect, its never easy trying to explain to a player that you aren't going to sell his stuff.

TGC: What is your favorite place to hound?

JD: Cumberland County Civic Center - its close to home, easy access and the people here are always friendly.

TGC: Of all the players you've encountered, pick five you would say are the friendliest in terms of interacting with fans.

JD: Daniel Alfredsson, Lyndon Byers, Wayne Cashman, Stephen Weiss and Aaron Ward

TGC: On the opposite end of that, who are the, shall we say, roughest around the edges?

JD: Eric Boulton, Chris Neil, Georges Laroque, Zach Hamill (WHO?!) and Alexander Ovechkin, but Ovie is to be expected.

TGC: About a year ago, you entered the biggest fight of your life. What can you tell us about tangling with cancer and how the battle is going?

JD: I went through, chemo, radiation, surgery, rehab, more chemo and now I'm proud to say that I'm a survivor and that I have to check in for preventative procedures monthly but its well worth it to be around for my daughter.

TGC: Has anything ever made you want to get out of the hobby?

JD: Never considered this. I have slowed down periodically (daughter was born and cancer) but always pick back up where I left off.

TGC: Any other thoughts, words of advice, anything like that for other collectors out there?

JD: Get out there and embrace the hobby. Life is too short to hold grudges because someone got someone one day when you didn't. Get out there, hear the stories, meet the players and get some signatures and make stories of your own.

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