We stopped off at a China Buffet in some random town. I liked the food but Tabitha did not like it at all and hardly ate anything. Next time, I won't take Tabitha to the China Buffet. After dinner, the drive to the hotel was uneventful.
A week earlier, I Pricelined a Red Roof Inn. I thought the hotel was near Fishers up north but it turned out to be located in southeast Indy. The Red Roof was located directly across the street from the La Quinta Inn where my friend Seth Murray promotes a monthly card show. I'm planning on setting up at the La Quinta on May 2, 2015.
There were two clerks in the lobby of the Red Roof Inn when I walked in. One was helping a middle-aged man. The other clerk began to help me immediately. When my clerk asked for the $40 room fee, the middle-aged man started steaming up, complaining that he is being charged $15 more than me. I advised he use Priceline on his next visit. Captain Kirk owes me a few bucks for that one.
The Red Roof Inn was fairly crowded on this Friday evening. I observed quite a few sketchy folks milling about the hotel, making me a little nervous. Our room was okay, nothing special. No bedbugs. For the most part, the night was uneventful until some knucklehead started honking his horn in the parking lot outside of our room at 4 a.m. I could not fall back asleep afterwards.
The Fishers show began at 8 a.m. After about a 1/2 hour drive, we arrived at the American Legion Post in Fishers around 7 a.m. Earlier, I had bragged to Tabitha about the awesome breakfast served in the restaurant at the Post. After set up, I went into the restaurant only to learn that it was closed on this day. Ugh! I had Tabitha watch the table while I raced out to a nearby McDonald's and got us some grub.
I was expecting a big crowd at this show with Brooklyn Dodgers legend Carl Erskine in attendance and signing autographs. Unfortunately, the crowd was smaller than last month. I think we lost out to the weather -- 80 degrees and sunny on this particular Saturday in Indianapolis. There were still people in the room but not nearly as many as last month. In fact, all the shows I have attended this April have had lackluster attendance. I do not recall a drop in attendance for April in years past. Usually, the first half of the year is strong until June. I have found June to be the worst month for card show attendance. Seems like everyone has some sort of graduation party to attend or a child's sporting event or yard work. If I was smart, I would skip setting up in June. But I'm a glutton for punishment and will be there by my lonesome in June. I suffer from a terrible baseball card addiction that needs constant feeding.
In addition to Erskine, there were more dealers this time around at the Fishers show. A few guys along with Erskine were set up in the adjoining room.
My first customer of the day was an older gentleman I remember from my previous visit to Fishers. He purchased a bunch of cards from the 1960s and 1970s. He told me he is a Bobby Bonds fan and asked if I had his 1968 card. I responded that Bonds' rookie card is the 1969 Topps which this customer had just purchased. There is not a Bonds card in 1968.
I noticed several customers wearing Chicago Black Hawks hats. The dealer next to me said folks from Indianapolis follow teams from Cincinnati, St. Louis and Chicago in addition to the Colts and the Pacers. It seemed to me that a wide variety of teams were represented on hats and shirts along with religious emblems and phrases. It is probably no surprise to folks that have been following the news that Hoosiers support their religion in much the same way that folks in the rest of the country support their sports teams. Religion in Indiana seems to be a contact sport.
Anyway, my next customer just happened to be wearing a Black Hawks hat and purchased some 1970-71 Topps basketball cards. I did not bring any of my hockey binders, believing Indy card collectors were not interested in hockey. With the large number of Black Hawks gear in the room, I will make sure to bring some hockey cards to the La Quinta show.
A regular customer purchased all of my Exhibits. My next customer pulled 1970 Topps baseball. A father and son team pulled some 1974 Topps baseball. A dealer working on 1973 and 1974 baseball sets found some cards at my table for his sets. Another customer purchased some 1959 Fleer Ted Williams cards. An older customer purchased some 1952 Bowman baseball.
Then I had an extremely frustrating series of transactions with Bob, another dealer. I've dealt with Bob before and he wants stuff ridiculously cheap. He started going through my binders -- manhandling them. You would think a dealer would take better care when handling vintage cards. He started to pull cards. I had to watch him closely because he won't pull the sleeve with the price tag on it unless I tell him to do so. He pulled out a large stack of 1952 Bowman baseball. I gave him a nice price on the stack where I was barely making any money. He said okay and then pulled a stack of 1951 Bowman baseball from the binder. I gave him a good price on the 1951s. He said my price was too high on both stacks. He gave me a lowball offer. If I took his offer I would be selling the cards at a loss so I declined. He then said he didn't want the cards. I was ready to slug him. Now I had to put back a hundred or so cards into the binder.
He then took out all the pages of 1952 Bowmans from my football binder and asked for a price. I gave him a really good price and started complaining that he is causing me a lot of extra work by pulling stuff out of my binders and not purchasing the cards. I reminded him that I was offering him these cards at a great price. We argued over the price of the football and finally came to a deal where I maybe made $2 profit. He then pulled all the pages of my 1970 and 1971 Super baseball cards. I went with his price just to get rid of him. Again, I probably made a big $3 profit.
I was extremely frustrated after dealing with Bob. He pretty much ruined my day. I know I will see him at the La Quinta show on May 2 and I am just going to have to tell him to go away. I don't want him pulling any cards or any pages out of my binders.
Over the years, I have had to tell a handful of people to stay away from my table. Every so often, I get guys that come to my table who are absolutely worthless. Bob is worthless. As soon as I see him at the La Quinta, I'm telling him he is no longer welcome at my table.
Annoying Bob aside, I had an okay day on the sales front. Though, sales were down from my last visit to Fishers. On the buying front, I was able to purchase a nice stack of 1967 Topps baseball for a really good price. I ended up being one of the last dealers to leave -- which is usually the case at most every show I attend. Though, this time, I have to say Bob caused the delay in my departure. I hustled my stuff out the door as quickly as possible. We were on the road by 2:30 p.m.
The temperature dropped significantly as we drove north. We stopped in Crown Point to eat at a Cracker Barrel where it was about 50 degrees and windy. Going from 80 to 50 degrees in a matter of two hours is hard to do. Anyway, we made it home by about 6 p.m. I spent the night posting items for sale in eBay. Check out my eBay auctions HERE.
I was up bright and early on Sunday morning. I enjoyed the simple 35 minute drive to the Hyatt in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. I enjoyed the free breakfast and coffee at the hotel even more. I had a little larger of a set up at Hoffman than at Fishers. I brought out all of the binders as opposed to Fishers where I left 10 or 12 of them at home. It is always a pleasant day with fellow baseball card addicts Fred, Willie, Ted and the Woj at the Hoffman show.
Again, attendance was down compared to previous shows in Hoffman. I made a few sales. An older guy hanging out with a buddy purchased some 1974 and 1978 Topps baseball cards along with a bunch of 1971 Topps Coins. A regular customer purchased some basketball cards. A regular customer purchased a bunch of 1940 Play Ball. Randy purchased some 1962 Topps baseball including a Warren Spahn and a Casey Stengel. George pointed out that the photo in the '62 Stengel is the same one Topps used in the 1960 card.
One customer brought in a cancelled check from Ty Cobb to show off -- it was cool!
George wanted to sell me some cards but he is a little high on his prices so I offered to sell them for him on eBay. He gave me some 1965 Topps Push & Pull non-sports cards that I will be posting to eBay soon. I ended up purchasing a bunch of cards from someone else including some more 1971 Topps coins, Exhibits, and some 1955 Topps baseball.
Back home, Lisa and Kolby were battling colds and I needed to bring home groceries and tissues for them. So I missed out on lunch with Willie. Hopefully, next time we can get some grub!
This coming weekend, I am heading to Mason City, Iowa, for a show at the Southbridge Mall. This will be my first show in Iowa. I have been heading east with regularlty for shows so I thought I would change it up and head west this time around. This is a two-day show. I am not all that comfortable with leaving my cards over-night in the mall. I am going to just bring binders and take my more valuable binders with me on Saturday night.
I just finished reloading 1977 Topps football and am going to begin the long, arduous task of creating a 1976 Topps baseball binder. I sold my old binder in January at the Fort Wayne show. I am looking forward to Mason City. This should be interesting. Hopefully, I make a sale or two along with some good buys. Until next time, adieu, adieu.