CRESTVIEW — Local author J.J. McDaniel is releasing a second version of his latest book, and this one includes something extra special.
The first edition of "Papyrophilia: The Story of a Baseball Card Collector" was published in August, but the new release includes a foreword by Bobby Richardson, who was second baseman for the New York Yankees in 1955. Among his teammates were Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle.
Richardson, 82, was recognized as an All-Star seven times; he was a three-time World Series champion, and the 1960 World Series Most Valuable Player. Additional awards include the Lou Gehrig Award and five consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1960 to 1965.
He retired from professional baseball in 1966 — "I was missing out on what was the most important part of my life, which was spending time with my family," he said — and was head coach at University of South Carolina from 1970 to 1976.
The Yankees had "81 games on the road traveling, first by plane … Coaching was a good way I could do that. I could live in my home and coach at Columbia. You'd have the whole summer," Richardson said.
McDaniel met Richardson in 1999 when he was stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina.
"While I lived in Sumter, I attended Bondovlove Baptist Church. The pastor was Bobby Richardson’s son, Ron. Thanks to my involvement at Bondovlove, I cultivated a friendship with Bobby," McDaniel said.
"(We) grew close during this time, thanks to our shared passion for baseball and mutual love for Jesus. I enjoyed numerous occasions at Bobby’s home with his family for meals and fellowship gatherings.
"When we were together, Bobby shared stories about his experiences as a New York Yankee and showed me precious memorabilia. In fact, I was able to wield the very bat Bobby used to earn Most Valuable Player honors in the 1960 World Series," McDaniel said.
"We remained friends when he went off and served his country," Richardson said. "We kept in touch and exchanged letters at Christmastime."
Those papers are among McDaniel's treasured possessions.
"I saved some of those handwritten letters for sentimental reasons. You see, Bobby is more to me than a three-time world champion, more than an eight-time All-Star, more than a Yankee great. He is my brother in Christ and my friend."
He wrote to Richardson after completing "Paphyrophilia" and asked him to write the book's foreword.
"In response, Bobby called me. Over two telephone conversations, word for word, we etched out Papyrophilia’s foreword," McDaniel said.
The book explains not only McDaniel's passion for baseball card collecting, but also the history of it, the psychology behind it, and the addictive tendencies of the hobby.
McDaniel's collecting began when his father, Jerry, gave him his first baseball card in the 1980s, but he was officially bit by the collecting bug when he got a 1984 Topps Don Mattingly Rookie Card (No. 8).
"For many years, that was my favorite baseball card," the author said.
In his book, McDaniel discusses his frequent visits to Tampa, the spring training home for the Yankees, his favorite team, and how closely interacting with the finer qualities of sports can influence behaviors like collecting.
"Papyrophilia: The Story of a Baseball Card Collector" is available on Amazon.