FAREN, California. (AP) – A 9-year-old girl who lost her baseball card collection when a wildfire destroyed the family’s central California home received a major surprise when firefighters unveiled thousands of new, donated cards and left her on the phone with her favorite player. .
Reese Osterburg did not get the chance to save his 200-card collection when the Creek fire forced the family to evacuate from their home in Pine Ridge. Her family told the East Bay Times that she spent three years collecting the collection, which included some prized cards by San Francisco Giants player Buster Posey, and would often pore over them while watching baseball games.
Her uncle bought a pack of baseball cards and a mother of pearl to rebuild the collection.
Reese then wrote a letter to Posey asking him to sign a new card and a ball. Her mother, Amy Osterberg, was not sure of the best way to send it to Posey, so she asked a friend of the local police for help.
Word of Reise’s loss spread, and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Fresno County unit posted a prayer on Facebook asking for baseball card donations.
A San Jose man who heard the prayer on the radio donated more than 25,000 baseball cards he had collected since the 1990s.
“I thought, you know what, instead of selling these on eBay, I’m just going to donate them,” Kevin Ashford told the NBC Bay Area. “I will donate them all and put a smile on a little girl’s face.”
When Cal Fire firefighters presented the cards to Reese and friends on her baseball team on Friday, they put her on Zoom talk with Ashford so they could meet. They also helped arrange for Posey to jump on the bandwagon to talk to his young fan.
“This is the best day I’ve ever had,” Reese told The Fresno Bee. “More than awesome, probably.”