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Apr 28

Faces of the Industry – Rick Hatton with Transdor

While traveling for the first time as a sales rep I had the pleasure of meeting Rick Hatton with Transdor in Tampa.  Immediately upon walking into Rick’s office, rows of autographed sports memorabilia caught my eye.  I was intrigued to know how he had acquired such a collection.

Our meeting that day was about doors and hardware so I tried to contain my curiosity and stay on task!  As time went by, curiosity kept creeping in so I called Rick up one day and asked if I could write a blog post on his collection and he graciously agreed.

I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with Rick and discuss his menagerie.  Autographed pictures and other sports memorabilia from pro and college football, baseball, basketball, country music and pro beach volleyball make up some of the pieces of his collection.

As far as he can recollect his first piece was an autographedpicture of Hardy Nickerson in the early 90’s.  Most of the NFL autographs were acquired after Tampa Bay Buccaneer practices at the stadium. Rick commented that John Lynch and Mike Alstott were among the friendliest athletes to get an autograph from.  Alstott carried his own sharpie around to accommodate his fans.

Rick’s favorite sport to watch live is Pro Beach Volleyball.  He spent many weekends at the beach watching the Jose Cuervo AVP Pro Beach Volleyball tournaments before they moved the venue to South Florida. He was at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta when he picked up his favorite piece, an Olympic Flag signed by the inaugural players of the Pro Beach Volleyball Olympic debut.

Rick’s passion for baseball was evident when his desire to watch a game in the old Yankee stadium put him on a flight to New York at 7:30am and back home again at 11:30pm that same day.  That is dedication!

Most of his country music autographs were received with the help of back stage passes for the Florida State Fair’s impressive entertainment line-up.  Because of work commitments, he missed out on the opportunity of driving the van to pick Lori Morgan up from the airport.  That is dedication to the door business! He did get her autograph though. Rick has been personally present for all the autographs in his collection with the exception of one.  Due to illness, Tim McGraw had to “pass” on the back stage pass holders and mailed his autographed picture.

I asked what one piece he most coveted for his collection and without hesitation he responded Michael Jordan.  Rick is skeptical that he will get the chance to add that to his collection, but I hope he does.   If anyone knows Michael, please pass along Rick’s request.  But remember, he likes to be present for the signing!

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