I thoroughly enjoy hearing these individual recollections. They offer a glimpse into another time. I get perspective, entertainment, and an education by listening to tales spun by older collectors and fans.
This particular customer today shared his personal memories of the Chicago White Sox from the 1950s, the decade prior to my birth. The man told me that as a boy he regularly sat next to Nellie Fox in the Sox's dugout during the 1950s thanks to friendships his father forged with players while he was owner of the Go Go White Sox Club, a tavern located just outside the ballpark from approximately 1956 through 1960. While visitors to Sox Park today find a stadium surrounded by parking lots, there was a time when Comiskey Park sat in the middle of a neighborhood, just like Wrigley Field on the North Side today. My grandfather, who grew up northwest of Comiskey Park and an avid Sox fan, shared with me when I was a boy that the air outside the park was electric on game day with throngs of fans and players, including Babe Ruth, coming in and out of the taverns that once the lined 35th Street. Sadly, the last of the famous 35th Street taverns was torn down to make way for U.S. Cellular Field in 1990.
I tried to research the Go Go White Sox Club on Google but could not find any information. However, I did find this interesting article on an old defunct tavern once located near Comiskey Park: http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20121206/bridgeport/gazareks-tavern-bridgeport-bar-bygone. Be sure to click on the "More Photos" tab where some unique Sox memorabilia is featured.
Back at the Orland card show, we had a nice crowd, though I had periods where there were no customers at my table while the rest of the room was filled. Sales came in waves today. A regular customer got things going by purchasing some 1968 Topps baseball. Another regular sent me on a good day buy purchasing an entire hockey binder of cards and all of my individual hockey star cards. Another regular purchased some 1980 Topps baseball.
Dave picked up a 1956 Topps Elston Howard along with some 1959s. I haven't seen Dave for a little while and he told me he recently had a series of surgeries. He didn't look bad for a guy recently under the knife. Here's to a happy and healthy new year for you Dave! Speaking of memories, as a former minor league ball player, Dave shares some of the best! Next up was Chris, who is currently honeymooning in California. At the show today, he picked up some 1953, 1960 and 1962 Topps baseball cards.
A regular customer then purchased some 1972s. An autograph hound pulled some 1967s. Another autograph hound purchased a 1972 Sam McDowell to get signed. Tom purchased some 1966 Topps commons. A regular found some 1972 Topps Cubs. Paul picked up some '73s. A regular purchased a 1976 Topps Oscar Gamble traded card. Another regular purchased all my 1961 Fleer Greats of the Game cards. Will picked up some 1954s and 1957s. Steve purchased my 1952 Bowman Small Frank Gifford rookie and a 1975 Topps Lynn Swann rookie. I have had the Gifford rookie in my case since the summer. I am surprised it lasted this long -- it is a very cool card.
A new customer purchased some 1963s and 1965s. He told me that he built a 1959 set back in 1959. I asked him how he did it in the days before card shows, card shops and the internet. He told me he relied on trading for the cards he needed with friends. Once he completed the set, his mom put the cards in a shoe box and taped it shut. He didn't see the cards again until his mom presented him with the shoe box, still taped shut, after he was married. What a great mom! Most tossed theirs sons' cards in the garbage. Thanks to this mom, all those 1959s are in Excellent or Mint condition.
Then came noon when I expected the room to clear out so people could watch the Bears-Lions game. For the first time all football season, the room did not clear out at noon. I'm guessing people are as frustrated with the Bears as I am and weren't interested in watching the game. Unlike the last few months, I had some post-noon sales. Joel purchased some 1973 Topps White Sox. My Mets guy found some '72s. A father and son team picked up some 1959s along with various cards from throughout the 1960s. Dennis purchased some 1972 and 1973 Braves. Derek rounded out my day by purchasing a nice pile of football cards from various years in the 1970s.
On the buying front, a guy came around with a box of vintage hockey stars, most were graded. He had the cards priced ABOVE book value. I thanked him for letting me view the cards. I watched him show the cards to dealers around the room, I don't think he had any takers. I don't know if he learned anything, but the lessons here are to NOT price your cards above book and to NOT offer your cards to dealers for more than they can sell them for. I did buy a few cards today from other reasonably priced sellers, including some 1953 Bowman Colors, 1957 Topps baseball, 1959 Fleer Ted Williams cards, and a group of 1973 high numbers.
Upon reflection on the day, sales didn't equal my last Orland show, but they were still pretty good. Jim was set up in the side hallway today, which was a little odd to see. Mark Smith was set up today along with many other vintage dealers. The guy in Jim's usual spot had one of those grab bag games. I haven't seen anyone pull that stuff in years. I actually watched quite a few people drop a few bucks on his grab bags. I think all the dealers benefited from the large lingering crowd today.
It is January 5, 2013, as I write this blog entry. I'm actually caught up. Tomorrow, I'm setting up at the Best Western Plus, 1725 E. Algonquin Road in Schaumburg. I'm still working on those '74s. I'm not sure if I'll have them done by tomorrow. Though, I will have thousands of other cards available -- so come on out to Schaumburg!!