Mark Smith was at the hotel on Friday night to make sure the room was set up. I was able to load in and set up with relative ease. I was a little worried that I wasn't greeted by any customers until about 8:22 a.m. Last month customers began to show up at 7 a.m. I had a nice crowd at my table that morning. Mark from Milwaukee picked up some '61 Post and a bunch of 1969 Topps baseball along with some assorted football. Thanks Mark! Jeff went through my display cases and picked up a bunch of different cards for his various sets. Thanks Jeff! Jason and Jack purchased a few cards. Bruce came out with his grandsons and they purchased a few T206s. The boys, pictured above to the right, are starting to get quite a T206 collection which I think is amazingly cool!
Dave purchased a few cards. Jim came late in the morning. He thought the show was Sunday then found my flier and came as soon as he could. Jim picked up a few 1953 Topps baseball. Big Tim purchased a bunch of cards. Then I met "Mr. Cigar" who purchased some 1959s along with most of my 50-cent box. I'm not sure when I'll have the 50-cent box out again. I need to seriously reload it. A bunch of other guys purchased cards, but my brain is failing and I can't remember names. I thought it was pretty cool that we had guys come up from Northern Illinois. The towns of Libertyville, Buffalo Grove, Lake Forest and even Chicago were represented. Milwaukee is such an easy drive from the Chicago area that I'm surprised more collectors don't make the trek. Though, I really appreciate the guys who did along with all the guys and gals who came out from the Milwaukee area.
Also making the trek to set up at this show was Ryan, who is also from Northern Illinois. Seth, who drove all the way up from Indianapolis, was also a new dealer. Ryan seemed to have a good show and will hopefully return for our December show. Seth, who owns a card shop outside of Indy, had a good show as well. He said he will be back. Willie and Scott Z. had good shows. I didn't get a chance to check with Nelson, Mike and Scotty P. I hope they had good shows. Mark Smith said his sales were a little off but he had a good time.
We ran our advertisement again in the Milwaukee Journal which brought in all sorts of folks with items for appraisals. I was able to appraise a 1909 Nadja Caramel for a father and son team. The father said he found the card in an old book. It had a big ole crease in it. I figured raw it would sell for $20. Slabbed it would probably get a 1 and sell for $30 to $45. I offered to buy it but they wanted to keep it. Another customer had some beat up cards from the 1960s including a rough '69 Mantle which I appraised at $50. He also had a couple autograph baseballs. He also did not seem interested in selling any of his items. The couple that brought me the 1971 Topps football last month was back. This time they had an autographed photo of Brett Farve that was in a plaque along with a few football cards. It looked real nice. I sent them over to Willie who I think appraised the item for about $60. They were a little disappointed and felt the plaque was worth more. Well, I can vouch for Willie, he knows his stuff. If he says it is worth $60, it is actually worth $60.
Another guy brought in a Milwaukee Braves banner from the 1957 World Series. See picture below. He also had a child's jersey from that era. I set him up with Big Tim who has a great deal of knowledge on that kind of stuff. Tim spent the better part of the last 30 years working in, then later owning, a card shop near my house in Vernon Hills, Illinois. Tim ended up purchasing the items. Then the show came to a halt when a very pretty lady came in with a crate full of cards. They were all from the 1990s. Seth made an offer but she decided to keep them. A few other guys brought in some items in for appraisals. I was busy helping customers at my tables and did not get a chance to see those items.
On the buying front, I picked up a group of 1933 Tattoo Orbits that included players like Mickey Cochrane, Lefty O'Doul and Connie Mack. Those puppies will be coming out soon to a card show near you -- they are cool!!!
Overall, I thought the crowd was slightly down from last month, though probably more people than our first show. I was pleased both with my sales and my purchase. We had a steady flow of people into the room from 9 a.m. right up to 3 p.m. After the show, Mark, Seth and I trucked over to the Nite Owl for our last burgers before the place closes up for the winter. We need a new spot. I noticed a bunch of restaurants in the Howell/Latham area. I guess we'll just have to pick one next time and hope it is good.
The next Smith & Gordon show is slated for Saturday, December 20, 2014. We'll be in the ballroom for that one and should have a bunch more dealers. Next week, I am setting up at the Gonzaga show on Sunday. Former Brave Felix Mantilla is signing autos. I'm currently working on my 1970s Topps baseball binder and should have it ready to go by Sunday. I'm not sure if I'll get much else done. That '70 Topps is a huge set and is going to take a lot of time.
Mark and I are still working on a show in the south suburbs of Chicago. We're still running into high-priced road blocks. It looks like hotels are out. They are just too expensive. We also checked into VFW halls but they are expensive as well. I am going to start looking into bowling alleys and possibly churches. If anybody has any suggestions, let me know. Until then, I hope to see everyone at the Gonzaga show next weekend (November 16). A big thank you to everyone who set up and attended to the Smith & Gordon Show! There are many more shows ahead!!!