Why is it not okay to be critical of a story because you are uncomfortable discussing the the subject of the story? It's certainly not the same as being critical of the person. It's a silly and rather trite story.
Let's assume for a second that Mr. Barrett does has some sort of challenge and that baseball cards played an amazing role in his life, that is not the story the author wrote. She wrote a story about a guy with a lot of baseball cards and it comes across as poorly researched and poorly written. This is really terrible journalism. If this is a story that came to the authors attention, the author should have talked to the local card shop to see if there was anything interesting about it or done something in the way of research.
There is nothing wrong with a story that says something along the lines of "Richard Barrett, a 42 year old resident of Topeka, has faced some challenges in his life blah blah blah. But one thing that has taught him a valuable lesson is baseball cards." *excuse this for being poorly written but it is just to say that there are respectful ways of discussing disabilities or handicaps. Ways that do not exploit, mock, or degrade the subject and an even halfway competent journalist should be capable of doing so.
I'm sure the author would say "well he didn't want the story to be about his disability." That's his choice. It's your job to make the determination that there is no story at that point. I have no problem with "feel good" stories but this isn't one.
Collecting hard-to-find Orel Hershiser cards and graded (PSA 10/BGS 9.5) rookie cards of HOF'ers, stars, and prospects.