I woke up this morning to find out I had lost a good friend. My friend Mike Trompeter of Tromp's Sports Cards passed away. I'm at a bit of a loss for words - I met Mike through cards, but our friendship had very little to do with cardboard. He was one of the most generous and caring people I've known, and even though life gave him plenty of lemons, he always was quick with a joke. And I think he's the only Royals fan I've ever met in the collecting world.
I know quite a few of my fellow bloggers made purchases from Tromp during his various sales, and I can say now that financially the extra cash made a big difference for him, and he was genuinely appreciative of the new customers. He was a true collector at heart, and beyond his beloved Royals and George Brett collection, he loved getting cards into the hands of other collectors. I don't know that I've ever met someone as generous and giving in my years of collecting as Mike.
It's not the first time I've lost a friend who I met through collecting, but there's no way around the fact this this one hurts pretty bad for someone who I never actually had the chance to meet in person. Mike lived in Kansas City, and we had talked a few times about me coming out to visit the Negro League HoF to do some research in their archives for a book I was working on, and getting together to finally meet the great Tromp of Cards. It almost happened last summer, but money and time were pretty tight with the wedding coming up.
I'll be cheering for Mike's Royals the rest of the way this season. He was a friend to many collectors who order off his website, sportlots, and the other selling avenues he had over the past couple decades, but more importantly he was just a damn good friend, period.
I'll cherish the cards he sent me, and the memories they bring to mind. But it's gonna be a rough day.
Thanks for letting me get that off my chest, guys.