Panini America Collector Ryan Schear & His Abundant Raymond Berry Collection
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to get to know collector Ryan Schear on a personal level and I’ve enjoyed hearing about his many collecting pursuits as he’s made the trek from his native Maryland all the way to Colorado. I know that above all else (like most of us), Schear is passionate about his collecting targets and will stop at next to nothing to procure them.
Take, for example, his budding Raymond Berry collection, a stash so stacked that Schear created a Website devoted to it. Schear recently offered to detail the inspiration behind his bountiful lot of Berrys for The Knight’s Lance. The following is Schear’s story in his own words:
“I had the pleasure of meeting Raymond Berry in January of 2010 at Front Row Sports Cards in Severna Park, Md., where he was doing a public signing. Berry was very gracious, shook hands, took pictures and entertained everyone with his ‘war stories’ from playing in the NFL. We sat and talked at length about the nature of the hobby and I asked him why he signs every letter of his name. He told me ‘the people who are fans are the reason that we exist. Without them, there are no players or teams. When someone asks you for a signature, it’s an honor.’ There is something to be said for that type of attitude, an attitude that we rarely see today.
“After seeing the interaction that he had with the people and the genuine nature about him, I decided to start collecting some of his autographs. Well, ‘some’ turned into ‘more’ which turned into ‘all.’ I now have 122 of the possible 129 Berry autograph cards on the market to go along with eight 1/1 cards. I am a big fan of the old Baltimore Colts so I am patiently waiting for Panini America to produce a Berry/Johnny Unitas/John Mackey/Lenny Moore Quad Autograph as well as a Silhouettes Autograph (which I think are some of the coolest cards to come along in years).
“I needed a way to catalog my cards so I started www.raymondberryautographs.com to showcase my collection. Please stop by and take a look when you get a chance and keep me in mind when you acquire a rare Berry autograph.”