"I am a sports card addict and need to be at a show every weekend," said a jittery Tony Gordon. "I was having trouble finding shows to set up at on Saturdays so I decided to create my own show."
Originally, Tony partnered with veteran dealer Mark Smith to create the show. Tony and Mark put on nine shows together before Mark decided the trip from his home in Michigan to Wisconsin every month was too taxing. Mark recently returned to the show in July and plans to visit the show again soon.
Over the course of time, the show has had its ups and downs. Summer seems to be a down time while winter, fall and spring bring out more dealers and customers. Though, no matter what time of year, the show always has a strong selection of sports cards and sports memorabilia for sale at reasonable prices.
This large selection of cards has come from some tremendous dealers such as the aforementioned Mark Smith from Michigan, Jerry Nelson from Iowa, Seth Murray from Indiana, Gary George, Patrick Lawrence, and Willie Shabas from Illinois, and PJ, Larry, Jerry K., Bill Nest, Alex Rauter, Mike Johnson and a host of others from Wisconsin.
"These dealers are superstars," Tony said. "Each one has a special ability to come up with quality items at each and every show."
Tony said that in addition to selling cards at the show, he really enjoys purchasing cards.
"The best part of my show at the Clarion has been the quality material that walks in the door and is offered to dealers at most every show," Tony said. "The bulk of my current inventory was purchased at my show from random customers over the past two years."
Another great aspect of the show, Tony points out, is the camaraderie between the customers and dealers that attend the show.
"There is a real friendly atmosphere at the show and everyone jokes around with each other," Tony said.
Much has been made about the title "Fat Daddy" since Tony is not fat at all. The name "Fat Daddy" came from Tony's son Kolby. There was a time when Tony was chubby and the young Kolby chided his father about his weight at every given opportunity -- finding Tony's former fat belly extremely funny. A change in diet melted the fat belly away leaving Tony with a closet full of oversized clothing. As a result, Kolby has ceased making fun of his father's weight and has begun to focus his attention on harassing the family dog.
As far as the future of the show is concerned, Tony is very optimistic.
"For the most part, it has been an excellent show," Tony said. "From a dealer's standpoint, my sales are usually strong and I see lots of faces at my Saturday Clarion show that I don't see at any other show in Milwaukee."
For the two-year anniversary show on September 3, Tony is planning on providing free doughnuts in the morning, free pizza in the afternoon along with a gift for each customer attending the show.
Dealer space is still available for the anniversary show. Eight-foot tables cost $25 each. For more information, contact Tony at 773-616-3705 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I would like to thank all the dealers and customers that have attended my show over the past two years," Tony said. "I can't say just how much I appreciate each and every one of you!"