One of the true pleasures of owning a business in the hobby you love is getting the chance to meet luminaries from across the sports world landscape. At Collector’s World, we have had the privilege to host several legendary stars and current regional players at our shop this past year in our exclusive "Signing Series".
Baseball legend Frank Howard, Redskins Hall-of-Fame receiver Charley Taylor, and Canadiens and Capitals Hall-of-Famer and perennial all-star defenseman, Rod Langway are three stars recently gracing Collector’s World in Annandale, VA. Meeting fans, signing autographs and memorabilia items and sharing amazing stories about their amazing professional sports odysseys, is a great value we provide our loyal clients, by bringing in these greats.
Frank “Hondo” Howard, who played during baseball’s Golden Era, spent over six hours signing for fans, exchanging memories and sharing great stories about playing against Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, and Frank Robinson. As a batter, Mickey had no blind spots from the right side, but struggled against Senators Pitcher Joe Coleman. But when there was talk of sitting Mickey the next time they faced each other, “The Mick” went 5-5 with 2 HRs, a double and a single. The reverence he had for Hank Aaron’s hitting was unmistakable.
Last Spring we hosted Charley Taylor, known to fans as the first great Redskins receiver as he worked his way to the Hall of Fame on the Lombardi and “Over the Hill Gang” Redskins squad. Charley talked about nearly getting broken in two by an Eagles’ defensive back, QB Sonny Jurgensen’s zip on the ball, and the toughest player he ever faced: Dick Butkus (who was as nasty and mean on the field as legend would have it).
Earlier this month, former Capitals Captain Rod Langway shared unbelievable stories about playing with and against the greats of the game – LaFleur, Dryden, Gretzky, Perrault and Mario Lemieux. Rod started in the now defunct WHA and won a Stanley Cup with the Canadiens’ dynasty teams of the late 1970s. He was then traded to Washington, where he was immediately named captain, won all kinds of accolades and revived hockey in DC. Rod’s trade to the Washington club left the team short of a team captain. Only a few weeks after his arrival, no one on the team came forward to be captain, so Rod was approached by team management and took the “C.” A decade later he retired as DC’s best ever captain and The Capitals’ “Secretary of Defense.”
Current stars like Redskins defensive backs DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson, wide receivers Roy Jefferson and Ricky Sanders and special teams demon and sports commentator, Brian Mitchell, have also graced our shop. For our basketball enthusiasts, we hosted local Washington basketball legend, 7’7” Gheorghe Mureșan, as one of our first guests.
Each of our athletes have their own unique perspective on their respective leagues, the fans and their personal experiences growing up and playing sports. One feature was consistent with these great players: it took unbelievably hard work to earn a place in the professional ranks.
Fans enjoy meeting and talking to the players, sharing stories and memories and getting an autograph and picture in an intimate, unrushed atmosphere. And I must say that each of the athletes has been extremely gracious and receptive. Fans who missed any of the Collector’s World autograph events can order signed pictures, helmets or memorabilia via our ebay marketplace or by calling our store.
We will continue to host exclusive autograph meet & greets with guests every 6-8 weeks. If you are near DC and have an opportunity to spend a few hours with us, we would love to see you at an event!
Written by Doug Steele, Owner