St. Patrick's Day aside, I noticed this Orland show on the calendar back in January because Orland promoter John Leary rarely schedules shows two weeks in a row. The Orland show is usually scheduled for the second Saturday and the last Sunday of each month. John explained that he had to schedule the Sunday show early because he did not want to go up against the Sun-Times show.
As a dealer, I had to carefully consider whether I wanted to do the show. I guessed attendance would be down because of St. Pat's Day and the fact there was an Orland show the week before. So I checked the Beckett calendar for other Midwest shows and couldn't find one that was appealing. I just didn't feel like driving five-plus hours to an out-of-state show and I felt this show gave me the best opportunity to make the most sales locally. Though, I knew sales would be down.
Well, attendance was definitely down and there were many empty dealer tables. Luckily, I had some decent sales and didn't do too badly. I wore green, like the geek that I am. I also had a craving for a corned beef sandwich all day. On the following day, I went to Perry's Deli, the best sandwich shop in Downtown Chicago, and ate a fantastic corned beef sandwich.
Dan got things going for me today with a purchase of a 1961 Topps Brooks Robinson, a 1958 Topps Lou Burdette and some 1978 Topps baseball, which I had reloaded for this show. In an effort to raise some funds to pay off some baseball card debts, I broke out a portion of my autograph collection for this show. Steve picked up a Hank Aguirre auto. A regular customer purchased some 1971 Topps baseball.
Gil was kind enough to purchase some Girl Scout cookies along with some 1971 Topps baseball. Walt M. picked up some 1968 Topps baseball. Paul picked up some 1972-73 Topps hockey. Jim picked up some 1958 Topps baseball. Will picked up some 1957s, along with some cards he purchased earlier from me via eBay, and a 1960 Topps Mickey Mantle. My friend Tony Schaefer saved my day with a large purchase of cards from various years. Tony was kind enough to accept the cards as payment for my share of our booth at the National, slated for five days this summer in Rosemont, IL, begining on July 31. I kept coming up with the cash over the past several months but would then spend it on cards. Cash doesn't seem to stay in my pocket for very long. It's much too fun buying cards.
On the buying front on this day, I picked up a nice assortment of 1950s and 1960s baseball cards. I was very pleased with these purchases. Then things went sour when a couple of guys come by my table with cards to sell. They had nice stuff but their prices were way out in fantasyland. The first guy had three binders filled with Chicago Bears cards. Two of the binders were filled with cards from the 1990s that have zero value. The third binder was 1/3 1950s through 1970s and 2/3 1980s. The guy wanted $450 for all three binders. He wouldn't separate out the vintage. I'm thinking he maybe had $100 worth of cards. Hey buddy, you need to lay off the wacky tobacky!! Why would I give you $450 for $100 worth of cards?
The second guy had a couple boxes of cards mixed between vintage and modern. He had some decent vintage cards like Mantle, Maris and Mays but all the vintage cards were in low grade. He wanted high book for each card! When I tried to explain to him that high book price is reserved for cards in high grade, not the low-grade stuff he has, his response was: "No!" He argued with me that his beat up, torn, frayed, creased and stained cards should get the high book price. I showed him my cards in my display cases and how I list the high book price on a tag and also list my sale price which is usually half or less of the high book price. He shook his head and walked away. I saw him show his cards to other dealers. Nobody purchased any. He took them home. I saw him the next weekend at the Sun-Times show with the same boxes of cards. I didn't see anybody buy his cards there as well.
As I've said many times, baseball cards are not gold. The value is largely based on condition. If your cards are in poor condition, you will NOT get high book price. In addition, you have to be a real doorknob to ask a dealer to pay you high book price for your low-grade cards. Why would I do that? I can't sell them for that price. It's gotta be the wacky tobacky.
After the show, I went with Tony and an old college buddy of his to that sub shop on LaGrange Road, right near the Civic Center. I really like that place. Good hot dogs and good beefs. It was a nice way to end the day.
Once again, I'm plugging the April 7th Serb Hall show, my next show. I'm slowly but surely reloading 1974 Topps football. I have some 1960 Leaf baseball ready to go. I'll also have some new cards for the display cases. I'd like to get 1953 Topps baseball done but I don't think it will happen.
Baseball season started this week, so all is right in the world. Come on out to Serb Hall on Sunday!!!!!