California Man Donates 25K Baseball Cards to Little Girl Who Lost Her Prized Collection in Creek Wildfire

A little girl in California got a big surprise from a total stranger.
Reese Osterberg lost her home in California's massive Creek Fire.CALFIRE/Fresno County Fire

Reese Osterberg, age 9, lost her prized baseball card collection in California's devastating Creek Fire.

A little girl in California got a big surprise from a total stranger.

Nine-year-old Reese Osterberg, an avid ball player and San Francisco Giants fan, was devastated by the loss of her home to the massive Creek Fire. Also devastating was the loss of her prized baseball card collection, which went up in smoke after Reese and her family ran from their Fresno County home last month.

In their haste, Reese's prized collection, pieced together over three years, was left behind.

Enter the state and local fire departments, both of which created the "Step Up to the Plate" baseball card drive.

On social media, Cal Fire and the Fresno County Fire departments challenged folks to donate trading cards to Reese, and to her baseball pals Emmett and Grayson, who also lost their homes in the inferno.

The challenge was seen by collector Kevin Ashford, who says he'd stockpiled some 25,000 cards in the 25 years he’s been collecting them. 

Who better to donate them to than a little girl who'd lost her own treasure trove, he said to himself.

“And I thought, ‘You know what? Rather than sell these on eBay, I’m just gonna donate them. I’m gonna donate them all and put a smile on a little girl’s face,’” he told KNTV.

Ashford cleared out his San Jose garage and sent the huge collection to fire officials, who delivered them to Reese. Included in the pile of cards was one for Giants player Buster Posey, who happens to be Reese's favorite.

“He’s a catcher and I’m a pitcher, so one day I think it would be awesome if I could pitch it to him,” Reese told KGO-TV.

Ashford's only regret about losing his collection was not being able to see Reese accept it. 

“I would give anything to see the smile on her face when she receives them,” he said to KNTV. “I feel really good about making the choice to do this.”