BANGOR – Some may say you can’t put a price on childhood memories and the things those memories live on through.
For MassLive.com Red Sox beat writer, Chris Cotillo, some of his fondest live in his old baseball card binder.
“Evan Longoria signed a card for me I think his MVP season with the Rays on Patriots Day we went to a game went down to the dugout I guess at nine in the morning,” Cotillo said.
“Miguel Cabrera signed only for my sister at Fenway one day,” he added.
“(David) Ortiz did a signing at his steakhouse, doesn’t exist anymore, in Framingham we went to that,” Cotillo added.
On Easter Sunday, Cotillo, who has 42,000 Twitter followers, realized those pieces of his past could help someone in need.
“We were able to spread it out over 35 different charities impacted over the last few weeks some got $30 some got $40 and some like I said got in the thousands,” he said.
It was a hit from the start.
“It really just took off that Sunday night I think I did seven or eight items that night and was up over $550.”
But, it really took off when the pros got in.
“Alex Cora was the catalyst behind the whole thing he increased the profile of it and in that first night he bid on a Jason Varitek autograph didn’t win that auction but ended up throwing in two signed shoes we split those up they went for $550 each and Alex matched,” Cotillo said.
Cotillo eventually started taking donations from those he trusted and used his platform as a launch pad.
“A lot of people from around the country stepped up and offered me stuff. People were so excited when their items would go up because what we would get for them would just absolutely blow away their expectations,” he said.
In one month, Cotillo exhausted his inventory and raised $57,000 for various food banks around the country.
“I’d tag every food bank in the tweet to the auction item and occasionally I’d get a DM saying ‘oh thank you so much for doing that for us and this is a nice surprise,’” Cotillo said with a smile.
He spent his childhood bobbing and weaving through Fenway’s tunnels and stands for autographs of his idols.
Years later, those memories are now floating around in Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati and other cities ready to add to their individual stories.
“Obviously getting Mike Trout’s autograph is really cool but when I did the calculus at the end of the day getting $1,300 from a food bank for it you couldn’t keep that. You can’t keep that away and I hope anybody else who has that kind of item is willing to sell it too we’re in a time of need and people appreciate it,” Cotillo said.