Nice crowd on this day. The area in front of the auction was jam packed. There was a bit of an overflow of auction-folks crowding in front of my tables. It's a real drag when the auction people block out my tables from paying customers. I was tempted to shoo these people away a few times but they eventually got the picture and moved away. I was busy all day. It was great to see my young friend Josh, a bunch of his friends, their dads, and Josh's dad. I think it is incredibly cool how these guys support their kids and encourage them to engage in collecting vintage cards. I've seen these kids now for three or four years and watched them grow, literally -- seems like yesterday I was looking down at them, now I have to look up. Josh recently had surgery on both of his feet and was using a walker. He was looking a little pale too. Josh, if you're reading this, I hope you're feeling better. Josh and his pals, about five guys around ages 11 or 12, are incredibly knowledgeable for their age about old-time ballplayers and vintage cards. I love their enthusiasm. They bought some terrific old cards like a 1950 Bowman Pee Wee Reese, a 1952 Bowman Bob Feller, a 1955 Topps Warren Spahn, a 1956 Topps Roy Campanella, a 1956 Topps Pee Wee Reese, a 1956 Topps Nellie Fox, a 1960 Topps Al Kaline All Star, a 1961 Topps Brooks Robinson and a 1968 Topps Willie Mays.
One of the dads grew up in Venezuela. He was telling me how he collected the much sought-after Venezuelan-issued baseball cards as a boy. But like most of his American counterparts, his mother threw them out. He also told me that 1950s-era Chicago White Sox shortstop Chico Carresquel was from Venezuela. I always thought Carresquel was from Cuba. I have to mention how cool sounding it was when the dad spoke Carresquel's name. I am a fourth generation Chicagoan and old-time Chicagoans don't speak too good of English let alone Spanish. I can't roll those R's and absolutely butcher saying "Carresquel." I sold the dad my 1951 Bowman Carresquel.
I have another group of young guys who regularly buy Goudeys from me. Their dad is also a real nice guy. It is always great to see them and they picked up a few '33 Goudeys and a 1941 Play Ball Horse Danning to add to their terrific collection. There were quite a few 8 to 12 year olds at the show buying cards on this day. I don't charge kids much for cards because I want to encourage them to collect. I plan on setting up at shows for the next 20 to 30 years and I need these guys to continue to collect cards as they grow up so I can stick around. Though it's always tough to collect cards once you get into high school. I collected cards in high school but I never told any girls I collected. If I did, there would have been a lot of lonely Saturday nights. On the other hand, if I had all the money back I spent on girls in high school and college, I'd have an amazing collection of cards today.
Back at the show, I saw my buddy Mark, who seemed to have other things on his mind and didn't buy any cards. Mark's friend Jim bought a few '53 Bowmans and '53 Topps. Jim has a great deal of knowledge on cards and pointed out a few short prints in the '53 Topps set I wasn't aware of. Jim also collects non-sports and tin soldiers. Another customer bought some '52 Topps and told me that Ralph Kiner once dated Elizabeth Taylor. I have two regulars at this show both named Jason. One Jason picked up quite a few '59 Topps while the other Jason bought a bunch of '73 and '74 Topps football commons. Another regular bought quite a few cards from the late 1960s. Another regular purchased a great many '67 and '68 Topps commons. A few semi-regulars added cards to their want lists. Quite a few other guys pulled cards out of my binders. Steve was looking for Bobby Douglas cards and found a '77 in one of my binders.
One customer pulled a small stack of cards out of my binders and must have gotten pissed off at me and shoved the cards into one of my display cases. I was real busy and tried my best to help everyone but I'm sure there were times when I might have missed someone. I'm just one person covering four tables. I appreciate everyone who shows up at my tables and by no means do I intentionally snub anyone. If I'm helping someone with cards out of my display cases, feel free to approach me with your stack from the binders and we can settle up. I'm sorry I missed that customer but I think it's bad form to stuff the cards into one of my display cases and walk away. I guess I'm grateful the guy didn't steal the cards.
On the buying front, there was a guy walking around with a small binder of cards from the 1950s and 1960s. He had a 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle that I'd say was in Very Good Condition. The centering was off and the corners had some minor wear. The guy wanted 400 bucks which I think is about 200 too high for that card. I asked him about a few more cards and he was very high on all of them. Some guys don't understand that you can't charge high prices for cards that aren't in Mint Condition. Also, dealers are buying cards for resale and can't make any money if they pay high book for a card. I politely thanked the guy for showing me the cards. Ken also mentioned that the guy was ridiculously high. Another guy, who I regularly deal with and is reasonable, had near sets of 1953 and 1954 Johnston Cookie cards. I love the Johnston Cookie cards and never saw them until I started doing shows in Wisconsin, where the cards were exclusively issued. They feature players from those great Braves teams from the 1950s. They're cool! The guy's price was just a tad too high, I was close to pulling the trigger on those. I still may if he has them next month. Another customer had an oddball assortment of cards that I picked up including a 1934-36 Diamond Star Pepper Martin PSA 4 and a bunch of old boxing cards that I have never seen before. I also bought a 1964 Topps Sandy Koufax World Series card from one of my young customers.
I had customers at my table up until the end of the show and was one of the last dealers to leave the room. The wind was pretty heavy when I was loading my car. The top of one of my bins blew across the street. Driving home was a little scary but I made it safe and sound.
Next week is the Sun-Times Show. I'm not a huge fan of this show, even though it's the closest show to my house that I regularly do. I live about 25 minutes away. I used to live only a mile away but moved north about three years ago. I've had good Sun-Times shows in the past but the last two haven't been very good. I team up with Dave McDonald and Bob Downing for these shows and it is always fun to hang out with those guys for a weekend. I've got a lot of new cards to price for the show and hope to have them ready by Friday. I'm also hoping to break my string of bad Sun-Times shows this weekend. Friday should be telling. I always bomb on Friday. If nothing else, I'll buy a bunch of cards. There is always a tremendous selection of cards at this show. Next to the National, I think this is one of the best shows in the country as far as vintage inventory. I'm also going to try and get over to the Onion Roll Restaurant in Oak Park on Friday for lunch. It's about 20 minutes from the show and one of my favorite restaurants in the world. If you're going to the show, please stop by my table and say hello.
Pictured below are photos from the Gonzaga show: