Interview with Nick Loiacono
By: Shane Salmonson
The Twitter hobby community is an incredible thing. I have met so many people on Twitter that I am able to share my love of cards with. Nick Loaicono is one of those people. I was also lucky enough to meet Nick in person at the 2016 National Sports Collectors Convention. We met up with a group of collectors and talked about the hobby into the early morning hours. I am willing to bet it will happen again sometime! Recently Nick was able to land a job in the hobby as an Account Representative for a major distributor. Nick was gracious enough to answer some questions for me about his new dream gig!
Can you explain a little bit about what your job entails?
I am an Account Representative with a major distributor, which is pretty amazing. Basically, I give a personal touch to my accounts who come from every corner of the industry. I do my best to keep their shelves stocked and faces smiling.
How were you able to land this hobby gig?
I come from a background in Sales and have deep roots in this hobby. I think it was a combination of the two that helped me. I do have to admit, when it comes to my professional life, I have never been happier.
What is it like walking into the warehouse? (I would imagine it is quite the sight.)
I tell fellow collectors that it’s like working in our own personal Disney World. Constantly being around pallets and pallets of cases upon cases of cards was overwhelming at first. I’ve gotten used to the enormity of our hobby, but I think I’ll always get excited being around it all.
When did you first get introduced to the hobby?
My story is typical, I collected as a kid and backed off around puberty. Later in life when I was looking for a bit of a time filling hobby collecting came back to me very naturally. The difference was I now had OCD’s and a bit of an expendable income. So when I got back in in 2008, I came back hard and just started collecting unfocused, so I was all over the place. I have a more concentrated collection now.
What do you currently collect?
So what’s weird is that ever since I’ve started working in the industry I’ve slowed down on my card collecting. Baseball cards in general were a bit hard to come by this year and I just haven’t had too much time to collect. However, I have been really into toys and Funko pops lately. Basically if it evokes an emotion from me and feels personal I collect it.
Any favorite items from your collection that you would like to share?
Anyone that has seen my collection knows my big piece is a Thurman Munson 1/1 Cut auto from Topps Triple Threads. Just this week though I may have added my biggest piece. The first baseball game I ever attended was 7/12/87. I was 7 years old. It was Old Timers Day. I recently bought a certified signed ball from all the players in attendance that day including Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin, Whitey Ford and MANY more.
Any current product that is your favorite?
I always find myself going back to Allen and Ginter year after year but I thought what Topps did with Clearly Authentic was very cool this year.
What about a product from yesteryear? Any specific one that has always stood out to you?
I’m a nostalgia guy, it gets me every time. That’s why I will always have a soft spot for the blue bordered wonder that is 1986 Fleer. Something about that card can take me back to being a kid every time I see it.
What is your favorite part of the current hobby?
Easy, the community! Sometimes I enjoy talking to a fellow collector about what fires them up even more than I enjoy collecting itself. I love how personal it is and how passionate collectors are. I personally consider a few collectors that I met on Twitter to be some of my closest friends.
Anything else you’d like to share?
At the risk of sounding conceited, I have a pretty great life. I have a nice home and beautiful wife and two kids that own me, but I was always un-happy at work. I figured I had no choice but to grind it out to keep food on the table. Earlier this year I made a huge life changing decision to chase a personal dream and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If you find yourself scared to take that leap, trust me you MUST do it. If you are responsible and reasonable, you WILL succeed.
Funko Pop Box Protectors