Brad Galli | Collector Stories, Pt. 2

Collecting Means Family

Date: Jun 7, 2024
Author: Greg Bates, Senior Writer
Topics: Brad Galli, Card Culture, Collector Stories, Greg Bates
Length: 672 Words
Reading Time: ~4 Minutes

As much as Brad Galli loves conducting live breaks from his WXYZ Facebook account, the Detroit sports director has incorporated his family into his favorite pastime.

Galli enjoys heading to his favorite hobby shop, Rochester Sports Cards, Memorabilia & Gaming in Rochester Hills, Michigan, and picking up products. He will bring home boxes to open with his wife, Claire, and their two kids, Matthew, 6, and Emma, 5.

“I look at it this way: I spend so much time in it, and if they’re interested at all in something that I’m going to do, it’s a way to spend time together,” Galli said. “So, I’m not just hiding in the basement opening up cards. I think it’s special when you get to experience it together.”

Galli’s collecting habits have shifted since his childhood days. Now he’s big into non-sports cards; his profession has helped dictate what he pursues in The Hobby.

Some of Galli’s Star Wars cards (photo provided by Brad Galli)

“Since I’m in the locker rooms with a lot of athletes, I felt like that natural break to not want to seek out their cards was there,” Galli said. “So, when I saw Topps hit the Star Wars license and started making some really cool memorabilia cards when the sequel trilogy came out, I dove into that. Some of my most prized cards are the Millennium Falcon relic cards from the Rise of Skywalker set. Pieces of the Millennium Falcon in a card, numbered low to like 15. Those are some of my favorites.”

Collecting on a Friend

Galli attended Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where he became good friends with standout baseball player DJ LeMahieu.

After being a second-round pick in 2009 for the Chicago Cubs, LeMahieu had a number of Topps prospects and rookie cards on the market. Galli was gung-ho about collecting cards of his buddy. LeMahieu made his MLB debut in 2011, and Galli would spend some time at his house during the offseason.

“I’d be like, ‘I’ve got to win this auction, man,’” Galli said. “He’d be like, ‘Did you get it? Did you get it?’ It would be one of his Bowman rookie cards. I’d go, ‘Yeah, I did. But I got into a bidding war at the end of the auction.’ He goes, ‘Dang, man. How much did you end up spending?’ I remember his dad specifically coming in one time and going, ‘Gosh, darn it. I just lost an auction on one of DJ’s cards.’ I said, ‘You gotta be kidding me, right? Blue parallel?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘I’m the one that beat you. We just drove the cost up. We’ve got to figure out the timing on this.’”

Some of Galli’s DJ LeMahieu collection (photo provided by Brad Galli)

LeMahieu, now in his 14th big-league season, has been named an All-Star twice. Galli has been fortunate to join the LeMahieu family for those events. LeMahieu and his wife would buy jerseys for the entourage that matched the one LeMahieu wore for the festivities.

“To see those patches on cards, I would seek those out immediately,” Galli said. “It would usually be Topps Update or some of the year-after releases. I have a few 1-of-1 patch cards from his All-Star Game appearances.”

During the MLB offseason, Galli will get invited to LeMahieu’s house. LeMahieu enjoys Galli’s company when he receives a stack of Topps cards to autograph.

Some more of Galli’s DJ LeMahieu collection (photo provided by Brad Galli)

“We’ll watch guys on our fantasy football league play on an NFL Sunday while he’s signing Topps cards,” Galli said. “I’m like, ‘Oh, there’s that 1-of-1. You know, you could forget to put it back in the box.’ And he’s like, ‘Nope. That’s not happening.’”

Brad Galli | Collector Stories, Pt. 1

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Date: Jun 7, 2024
Topics: Brad Galli, Card Culture, Collector Stories, Greg Bates
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