We had a nice little crowd early in the day then things sort of died out around noon. I sold a bunch of cards to my regulars Mark, Jason, Jerome, and Bill -- thanks guys!!!! We had some new customers, which was nice to see. I enjoyed chatting with John Gehring who is an artist for the Packers. He showed me some drawings which were pretty cool.
I was pleased that most of the dealers stuck around long after the crowd died down. I had a really great group of dealers in Gary, Mike, Scotty P., Scotty Z, Larry, Bill and PJ. Between us, we had some really great stuff. I ended up purchasing some 1964 and 1969 Topps commons along with some publications.
A super huge thank you to all the customers and dealers who came out to my show! I appreciate you all!!! My next show at the Clarion in set for Saturday, December 5, 2015.
After the show, I stopped off at the Pineapple Mexican Restuarant in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The food was okay. The service was excellent. I'll probably give this place another try. I went with the Carne Asada, pictured below, which was lacking in flavor. I filled up my car at the nearby Meijers for $2.29 a gallon. Oddly, gas has been cheaper near my house in northern Illinois than in Milwaukee for the past several months.
We had a really nice turn out. I sold stuff off all seven tables and ended up having my best Fred show of the year. A big thank you to Bob who purchased my 1962 Topps Mickey Mantle along with some Goudeys and 1960 Topps. It was nice to see Dave, who I have not seen in months. Dave picked up a bunch of stuff. Thanks Dave! Quite a few other guys purchased cards as well. Thanks guys!
I arrived to the show late and it took a while to set up all seven tables. One of my regular customers brought me some cards to sell. He took off before I finished setting up and had a chance to look at them. Hopefully, he brings them back some time.
It was nice to see Joe, who drove up from the south suburbs. I purchased a bunch of 1969 Topps baseball from Joe. Thank you!!
I was in a pretty good mood after the show and stopped off at Portillo's for a beef.
3. Elgin, IL -- Saturday, November 14, 2015. Once again, I arrived late. I just could not get going in the morning. I had three tables. I filled one with display cases, another with binders and the third with my "couch potato" set up where I just spread low-priced singles on the table.
My show was made when TJ walked in the door. I first met TJ in 2001 when I got back into setting up at shows heavily. He was one of my first regular customers. I remember he was working on a 1969 Topps baseball set. Over the years we have become friends. He largely collects vintage Red Sox and White Sox and, like myself, has a great appreciation for all old cards. There have been many conversation about cool old stuff.
About two years ago, I think it was right before a Sun-Times show, I got a text that he couldn't make the show because he was just diagnosed with Leukemia. My heart sank. TJ is such a great guy. He is a teacher, a coach, husband, and father with a terrific old baseball card collection. I have a cousin who beat Leukemia and I immediately felt that TJ was going to beat it too.
We have kept in touch through texts and emails. He has been blogging about his progress. He has gone through a mighty struggle and is still battling. He is finally cancer free but still has some recovery issues. Man, it was so great to see him! Thanks for coming out TJ!!!
TJ also bought some cards, as did Willie. I did not have a whole lot of sales other than these guys. But more importantly, it was nice to see an old friend.
I had a few pick-ups. There was a guy who walked the room with a box of cards. He had a rough '68 Mantle priced at $100. I offered $50. Nope. I did purchase a 1968 Topps Johnny Bench rookie and a 1975 George Brett rookie from him. The other dealers cherry picked the box as well. I think Gary ended up buying the whole thing.
I won't be at the Elgin show in December. The wife wants to take the kids to see a play in Evanston. I hope to be back for January.
4. Gonzaga Show, Milwaukee, WI (Pictured Above) -- Sunday, November 15, 2015. As usual, large crowd early on. I had quite a few sales but nothing big. Sales totals were actually quite small for a Gonzaga show. On the upside, I had some chocolate cake and got to spend some time with some of my favorite people like Mark, Jim, Jason, Jack and the rest of the guys who hang out at my tables. I purchased some 1960s Topps from Terry. Thanks Terry! The Packers were playing the Lions at noon so the place was a empty by 11:30 a.m. I was out the door early and home early. I found gas at $2.06 in Kenosha. Whoot!
On the upside, I saw all sorts of people I hadn't seen in a while. This is where I catch up with people I know from the Orland show since I no longer attend that show. Larry from Berwyn brought me a nice pile of cards and we did a cash and trade deal. This seems to be the only place I see Junior and was able to buy some cards from him. I enjoyed catching up with my boothmates Bob, Bill and Dave. Dave made those awesome ham, salami, pepperoncini sandwiches. I thought attendance was lighter than normal. Not a whole lot of action at our booth. A few guys did purchase some cards which was much appreciated.
I parked at the CTA lot and when I got to my car after 8 p.m. in was caked in snow. How can there be a snowstorm on November 20th? I don't ever remember snow this early. It took me 20 minutes or so to clear off all the snow from my car. I hopped on the 294 and it was scary. It was blizzard conditions and there were all sorts of knuckleheads driving way too fast. I could not see the road and decided to follow a truck that seemed to clear a nice path in the snow. I white-knuckled it all the way home and made it safely.
I was up early on Saturday and had to pick up the wife's car from the shop. I made it to Rosemont just before showtime. The snow had been cleared away nicely. I parked in the convention center parking garage to avoid having to dig my car out from the snow again. I saw Tim from Fort Wayne in line along with Chris Maness, who is local. Chris has set me up on all sorts of Facebook pages for vintage collectors. Thanks Chris! There was a nice line prior to the show. I was surprised that so many people were lining up with more snow on the way.
The snow on Saturday came in from the north. My wife called early saying it was horrible up in Lake County. She tried to go to the DMV in Libertyville but couldn't get there because the parking lot had not been plowed. On the way home, she saw a jack-knifed semi in the middle of the road and had a horrible time getting home. She also said trees where splitting all over the neighborhood from the weight of the snow.
The snow did not seem to hit the Rosemont area till noon. It was heavy for a few hours. Yet, there still seemed to be a good crowd at the show. I had steady sales all day long...but they were all small. Finally my luck changed when Todd from Cincinnati purchased all my 1954 Topps baseball from my binder. Thank Todd!!
I walked a few rows and saw lots of good vintage cards in the room. Though, prices seemed high which is the norm for this show. I was hoping to find some cheap 1964 Philadelphia football cards but could not find any. I had Junior hunt me down a 1970 Topps Willie Mays that I needed for my set. He found me a nice one. Thanks Junior!
For lunch, Bob got us meatball sandwiches from Giordano's that were awesome. On the way home, the 294 was nice and clear. However, the roads by my house were a mess. Seemed like I was driving on a solid sheet of ice.
On Sunday morning, I stopped off at the Fresh Market near my house and picked up sandwiches for me, Dave, Bob and Bill. Once at the show, I went with the crappy coffee from the concession stand. Unlike the National, the coffee tasted quite good. I was surprised.
More surprising was the lack of attendance. There were more people at the show on Friday and Saturday when we were encased in a blizzard. On Sunday, the sky was blue, the roads were clear and the aisles were open. Sundays are usually slow for me at this show but this was my worst Sunday ever. There was just nothing doing, all day.
While I did not have my worst Sun-Times show, I think this may have been my second worst show. Overall, I was really disappointed. I had a really nice show in March and was expecting more of the same. I was surprised at the lack of regular customers and people I knew throughout the whole weekend. The crowd on Sunday was just dismal. I was able to pack up and get out of the building by 5 p.m. One of my earliest exits ever at this show.
But I am a glutton for punishment. I'll be back in March. Bob has plans to redesign our booth in hopes of spurring some sales. I'm not sure what we need to do to jump-start sales. This was an unusual Sun-Times show. It needs more people through the door on Friday and Sunday.
As I write this, it is Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. After dinner, I'm heading to Cincinnati for Moeller High School show. I have never been and am looking forward to the show. I don't really know what to expect. I was set up in Cincinnati once over the winter at the Sharonville show. I did not have a very good show, as I recall. So this time, I put together a Reds binder in the hopes to spur sales. I only have one table, so I'm not quite sure what I'll get to put out. I'm hopeful for a better weekend that the last one. I know I have some followers of this blog in Cincinnati, hope to see you guys this weekend!
As a reminder, my Clarion show is set for December 5th, so be there or be square!!