Up at 7 a.m., I was quickly out of the Motel 6, munching an egg mcmuffin, then arriving at the show. I was able to use a hotel cart at the Marriott to get my stuff into the hotel in one trip. As soon as I started setting up I was greeted by 1970s baseball card collector extraordinaire, Tom Brown. Tom is living in Michigan these days and drove a few hours to the show in Canton. It was great to see a friendly face at a new show far from home. The Canton show was also GREAT! The minute I saw Tom, I was busy, which was around 8:30 a.m. The crowd at my table did not let up until around 1:15 p.m. CANTON ROCKS!
The madness started with a gentleman purchasing some '61 Golden Press. Several guys dinked through my binders while I was setting up. A young buy purchased a '64 Philadelphia checklist. Then a guy pulled 200 cards out of my hockey binder. A guy with the Cleveland Browns mascot tattooed on his forearm and the "O" for Ohio State on his elbow, picked up my '51 Bowman Norm Van Brocklin. He was a younger guy too. I love seeing guys like that get into the old stuff. Another guy bought a bunch of '74 football. A dealer came over and purchased my lone C55 hockey card. Then there was the awesome guy who stopped by my table three or four times to buy some '59 baseball, including my '59 Sparky Anderson rookie. I really appreciated the purchases but what made him really awesome was that he picked me up a burger at Wendy's. Ever since I got the diabetes, I get shaky if I don't eat. Thanks to that burger, I had energy throughout the show. I really needed that energy because I was really busy. At one point there were six guys at my table, each going through a binder and pulling out cards to purchase.
A guy wearing a St. Louis Cardinals 1982 World Series shirt (yes, 1982) picked up my '53 Topps Pee Wee Reese along with some '53 and '69 commons. Then there was the older guy, who didn't speak and pantomimed for communication. He picked up some '54 Topps baseball and some '56 Topps football. A young guy picked up some hockey. An older guy decked out in a Ohio State golf shirt, a Ohio State baseball cap and an Ohio State gold necklace, picked up some '57 and '60 baseball commons. Another guy picked up some '77 football and some '78 baseball. An older guy bought some '55 Bowman baseball. Another guy picked up some '77 football, focusing on Raiders. A guy wearing a Cleveland Indians shirt bought some '68 baseball commons. A guy wearing a Cleveland Browns shirt bought some '75 Topps football. Then there was the gentleman, one of many wearing a Ohio State shirt, who went through all my binders and pulled out about 300 or so cards. We had a great conversation. He was telling me about growing up in Cleveland and going to Indians games at old Crosley Field for just $3.50 a ticket. Another guy who made my day was the dad who had his 6 year-old son attached to his pants, literally. The tot had a plastic string around his wrist that was hooked into the dad's back pocket. The little tike tried but he couldn't get away from his dad -- I need one of those for my 6 year-old! The dad had on a Red Sox T-shirt and bought all of my '70 and '71 Topps football. Did I say that I LOVE CANTON!! I was selling a lot of stuff quickly and I lost track of everything I sold.
I had a real nice dealer on one side of me named Larry, who grew up in the area. Larry told me that Thurman Munson was a local boy and died in a plane crash just two miles from the Marriott. Larry said Munson owned all the land around the hotel at one point but his wife sold it after he died. Larry said there are some streets named after Munson in the area.
On the buying front, nothing. Nobody brought me anything. I picked up some supplies from some of the dealers at a real nice price. I was so pleased with my sales that I wasn't focusing on buying. There was a real nice crowd at this show that continued to pour in from 8:30 a.m. all the way up to 3 p.m. I think the three autograph guests helped. Signing autos in an adjacent room were Randy Gradishar, Don Cockroft, who was also selling and signing copies of his book on the "Kardiac Kids" (the 1980 Cleveland Browns), and the head coach of the Kardiac Kids, Sam Rutigliano. The lines were long all day for these guys. Each guy also stuck around well after the show ended making sure everybody who wanted an autograph got one. Remarkably, the first dealer to start packing up began at 2:15 p.m., which is unlike most of my regular shows where many dealers start packing up at noon. There were still many dealers set up at 3:30 p.m. when I decided to pack up.
I definitely need to return to Canton. I need to figure out how to fit it in with my regular shows. I had a GREAT day! As I was leaving, I scanned the parking lot for suspicious characters. Didn't see any and it didn't appear that anybody was following me. It took me about six hours to get home. It was a boring and uneventful drive.
I am taking the next two weeks off and will be back at it on April 7th at Fred Copp's show in Hoffman Estates. Please come out to the Hoffman Estates' show on the day before Easter. I'll probably be gitty after two weeks off from doing shows. I can't say enough about how I appreciate everyone in Canton. What a wonderful town filled with great sports collectors and fans! Below are some photos of my drive from Dayton to Canton and a few shots of the show.