I got to the show around 8 a.m. today and there were already customers in the room. I think these guys had other things going on today and wanted to stop in the show before their various events occurred. Problem is, the show doesn't start until 9 a.m. and most guys weren't set up. I was the last one to finish setting up, as usual.
Long-time customer Scott got things going for me today with some purchases of some 1957 Topps commons and a Minnie Minoso. Another regular customer pulled some cards from my $1 and 50-cent box. I gave Kyle a 1973 Topps Randy Hundley. Two regular customers then pulled some piles of cards from my dime box and my 50-cent box. Mike picked out some 1961 Topps and 1963 Topps baseball cards. An autograph hound pulled some 1961s, 1962s and 1963s to get signed. Willie made my day by pulling a large pile of baseball cards from 1960 through 1963, then a few 1965 Topps football cards. That, folks, was all she wrote. No more sales.
Ted and I talked about getting shut out at shows (not making any sales). It has only happened to me once and it was eight or nine years ago at the old Friday night show at the Holiday Inn in Elk Grove Village. At one time, that Friday night show was terrific for me. There was a lively bar in the hotel and I got quite a few tipsy bar customers stumbling into the room and making purchases. Then the bar closed and my sales went down to the point where there was one show that I didn't sell a single thing. So today was not my best show but it certainly was not my worst. I'll be back in Bloomingdale in two weeks with a TON of new cards! I've been buying everything up, I can't help myself. It's a disease... at least that's what I tell my wife.
I bought a few things today. I picked up some 1954 Bowman baseball, some 1973 Topps and some 1963 Topps. Corky had a smattering of low-grade vintage that he offered and I would have normally jumped on the cards but I was broke at that point. A customer offered up some cards to trade but I wanted to make some sales and turned down the trade.
There just wasn't much doin' today, so I'm going to talk about my recent vacation some more. My family spent a week in a part of western Massachusetts known as the Berkshires. I've been to the Berkshires many times because my wife grew up there. It's largely rural but folks that live there are sports crazy. Most are fans of the Boston teams but there is a strong contingent that support the New York teams, my wife's family included. I've been to card shops on past trips but didn't see any this time around. There also used to be shows in the town of Pittsfield but I haven't seen one listed in Beckett in a long time. What I noticed new this time were a couple of ball fields/parks named after ball players. There was one in Pittsfield named after Mark Belanger and one just north of Pittsfield named after Jeff Reardon. Seeing these ball fields got me interested in learning about which major leaguers past and present are from the Berkshires. My wife's cousin told me that Turk Wendell and Tom Grieve are from the area. I pressed some other relatives but they couldn't name anyone else.
Thanks to my friend Google, I found the names of a bunch of ball players from the Berkshires, including Ulysses Frank Grant, an African-American ball player who played in the 19th Century. Some others are Art Ditmar, who played for the Pirates in the 1950s, Hall of Famer Jack Chesbro, Gene Hermanski, Paul LaPalme, and Rabbit Maranville. There were quite a few other guys who played for just a year or two.
Then I did some numbers crunching. Massachusetts has had a total of 650 major leaguers while my home state of Illinois has had 1,019. The most is California with 2,028, then Pennsylvania with 1,367 and New York with 1,104.
I'm kind of wishing I was still on vacation and engrossed in more useless sports information. But tomorrow is a work day and I'll be solving all sorts of legal disputes by mid-day. After work, I plan on loading by 1973-74 Topps basketball and 1964 Topps baseball binders. I hope to have those binders reloaded by Sunday and the Orland Park show. Because of my vacation, I haven't done a Sunday Orland show since June, so I'm looking forward to the upcoming show. I think Tony Shaefer of Monster Cards is setting up at this show, so between Tony, myself and the usual slew of guys, we should have a tremendous inventory of vintage cards in the room on Sunday. Hopefully, we'll have a tremendously large crowd. See you Sunday!!
Pictured below are some vacation photos.