The show was jam-packed! Wow! Like the Madison show, I've watched the Rockford show blow up. Kudos to promoter John Craig! With Gonzaga no longer active, it is really nice to have some excellent new shows.
Speaking of new shows, there are a ton of them, many of which I have not attended. I would like to attend some of these new shows but they all seem to conflict with my group of regular shows. My regular shows are just too good to pass up like Rockford, Madison and Orland. I think there were at least two other Wisconsin shows last Saturday along with Rockford but not a single show on Sunday. I was disappointed no one scheduled a show on Super Bowl Sunday.
Same issue in two weeks where there are three different Wisconsin shows scheduled on February 26 and none on February 27. I'm setting up in Madison on February 26 which is a phenomenal show. I am bummed I have to miss Root River which is on the same day. Then there is a show in New Franken, WI, which I think is up by Green Bay. I sure wish somebody would have scheduled a show on February 27. I also have a bunch of open dates in April.
Anyway, let's talk about the Rockford show which is now a must-attend event. John opened up another room this month, so I believe this was his largest show to date. Like my Oak Creek show, John has a large waiting list of dealers.
A couple of dealers complained to me about the second room. They think the additional dealers will take away some sales. I've talked about this many times. As a dealer, you need to take care of yourself. It is a complete waste of energy to worry about any other dealers in the building. If you have quality items at reasonable prices, you will sell some cards -- period. It really does not matter how many dealers are in the building. My best show every year is the National which is the largest show in the country. If I subscribed to the philosophy that more dealers equals less sales then the National should be my worst show, not my best. However, every year, the National is my best show. I think these guys were getting upset over nothing.
I brought out binders to this show after bringing display cases last month. Sales were down but I think it was due to the fact that I had pricier cards last month and one guy alone purchased three Mantles. I did not have any Mantles this past Saturday but I was pleased that I was busy all day with set builders, especially in the morning. I love to see the guys show up at my tables with their lists. I struggle at some shows when the set builders do not show up. The Rockford show has a nice number of set builders and I am getting to know them which I really enjoy.
John placed me up against the eastern wall along with vintage dealers Gary George, Tim Fritz and Tom Mularz. Reed Pentek, who also has some vintage was set up across from Tim. The young guy with the T cards was set up next to Tom. I saw Mark from Iowa in the room as well, he always has a nice selection of vintage. I think having all of these vintage dealers benefits me because I learned long ago that customers want to see multiple vintage dealers, not just one. I think our group all had nice sales. This is such a great group of guys that we work together and if one guy doesn't have an item we send the buyer to the next guy. We're much better as a team than as individuals. Together we have one heck of a vintage inventory!
I don't want to diss the guys that were complaining. I really like them and look forward to seeing them at this show. They are very good dealers with excellent cards on their tables. There were plenty of customers at this show for all of us. They probably need to change up their inventory for the next one.
As a vintage dealer, I really know nothing about modern cards. It is really two distinct cultures. I'm trying to figure out this modern stuff. I have observed that most modern collectors are younger than me. Actually, I don't think anyone collects modern cards. They all seem to be investors and wheelers and dealers. They also walk around shows with cards sealed in heavy-duty briefcases. They don't seem to ever buy a card without looking up recent sales on eBay or "comps," if you will. They also do much more trading than vintage guys.
Other than a few observations, I am really in the dark about this stuff. I do not know how modern dealers obtain inventory, price their inventory, and make so many trades. Maybe someone who is more knowledgeable than I am can chime in and offer some advice to dealers setting up at shows with modern cards.
Like most shows, the bulk of the dealers at Rock Church sell modern cards. They all seemed to be doing a brisk business. There was a really great crowd on Saturday -- I believe the largest one so far. It was great to see Scotty P. come down from Oak Creek and set up. He looked like he was having a good time. This is fun. Nobody should get stressed out at a card show!
I sort of chuckled at one of the new modern dealers who was decked out like McCloud. You have to be of a certain age to know what I am talking about. McCloud was a really popular TV show when I was a kid in the 1970's. I watched it every week. You don't see too many 10-gallon hats in these parts.
Then there was the lady who was walking laps around the gym at the end of the day. She must have passed my table 20 or 30 times. I'm guessing she took her kids to the show and was bored as hell and tried to get some exercise in. I could see my wife doing the same thing. Though, I have to say that I see more and more women attending shows and they are very much sports fans and collectors of cards.
I saw this one mother and son team that I met a while back in Schaumburg. They are from my hometown of Northbrook, Illinois, and the mom is truly into it. Her son, I think about 11 years old, is a wheeler and dealer! He offered me a 1984 Star Michael Jordan. I did not have the funds on me to purchase it. Cool card!
It was nice to get offered all sorts of stuff. I ended up purchasing a binder of White Sox cards that included three pages of autographs. I love autographs but am not an expert and I hope the graphs are legit. There are no big names in there. I can't see why anyone would forge a Ron Karkovice auto, so I think they are real. The autographs will look nice in my collection.
Then I purchased about 80 Baseball Digests from the 1970's. Shortly thereafter, I plucked one out with Dave Kingman on the cover and started to read it. I never knew that Kingman was already living in the Chicago area when the Cubs signed him in 1978 and had gone to Harper College near my office in Palatine. Also, his mother was living in Mt. Prospect. I loved Dave Kingman. The Cubs kind of stunk those years in the late 1970's but Kingman was fun to watch.
Next Rockford show is March 12, 2022. I can't say enough great things about this show. If you like cards, you won't want to miss the March 12th show at the Rock Church in Rockford.
In the meantime, I have double bill weekend coming up with Woodstock on Saturday, February 19 and Orland on Sunday, February 20. I have been trying lure the area set builders to Woodstock and am not having much luck. Woodstock is a small show in an old church gym with some really great dealers. Curtis, who runs the show, is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.
Nothing would make me happier than to see my tables crowded in Woodstock like they were in Rockford. Woodstock isn't all that far from Rockford. Come on out! I'm bringing binders along with my newly reloaded dime box. I also might bring out some complete sets from the 1970's.
Then on Sunday is Orland which is almost always a packed house these days. I had an absolutely awesome show my last time out in Orland when I had a display case set up. Like Woodstock, I'm bringing binders along with either my dime box or quarter box and the sets from the 1970's.
Hope to see you next weekend! My next Oak Creek show is March 5th. It should be my largest one to date! Have a great week everybody! Reminder, the only show where I am the operator is Oak Creek. If you have questions about another show, contact the promoter of that show, not me. I received some emails asking questions about the New Berlin, WI, show last weekend. I know absolutely nothing about that show. I haven't been there and if the promoter keeps scheduling them up against other shows like Rockford, I probably will never go there.
Pictured below are some random photos I took from my perch at the Rockford show on Saturday.