I made it out to Elgin by the start of the show but I did not have time to place my display cases in my car and some other stuff I had wanted to bring out. So my tables consisted of binders which makes set up quick and easy. I had customers as soon as I placed the binders out and was busy all day long. Pretty much all of my customers came out after learning I'd be in Elgin from reading this blog -- how cool is that?!!!
Andy from Orlando was in town to help his dad close up their Wisconsin cottage for the winter. Andy is working on a ton of sets. We ended up trading. I got a nice group of 1958 Topps baseball. He may have purchased some items as well but my memory is evading me. I also made a cash and trade deal with Bill. I purchased a pile of cards from another regular customer who ended up giving me back my money with the purchase of quite a few 1959 Topps baseball. Then old friend Pat stopped by to sell me cards and I ended up taking home quite a haul between these four guys. I can't remember everything I got, most of it has already been packed away in the card bunker. Let's see, I know I got some 1972-73 OPC hockey, some Post Cereal, a box of publications, some 1969 Topps football, a binder filled with '63 & '66 Topps baseball, '70-'71 Topps basketball, some non-sports cards including Zorro and Planet of the Apes. There was quite a lot of stuff in total. I was really happy with the unexpected purchases. I also had a good day on the sales front, thanks to Randy and the other guys who purchased cards. Luckily, being late didn't affect my show at all. Maybe I need to arrive late to all the Elgin shows... though that may give promoter Corky a heart-attack. Sorry Corky! I'll be on time next month!!
Later that night, I properly set my alarm for 5 a.m. I like to get out to the Gonzaga show early during football season to make sure my table is set up by the opening bell at 9 a.m. because both customers and dealers tend to leave early, especially when the Packers are playing. I had lots of new stuff this weekend like a reloaded 1968 Topps baseball binder, 1962 Topps and Fleer football, along with a nice pile of new stuff for my display cases.
Andy made the trip to Gonzaga but he had to leave early because he and his dad were driving back to Florida. We made some more trades and I picked up some good stuff like a 1955 Topps Hank Aaron and a 1933 Goudey Mark Koenig. Thanks Andy! I knew Mark would like my '62 football and he pulled quite a few of them. Thanks Mark! It was great to see Bruce and his grandsons. I'm guessing the kids are between ages 10 and 13. I think it is so cool when they ask to see my T206s and Goudeys. They made quite a few purchases. Thanks guys! Another pre-War regular who I haven't seen in a while picked up some T206s and my 1933 Orbit Gum Dizzy Dean pin.
Jack purchased a bunch of cards from my '68 binder to get signed. I have a bunch of regulars at this show working on the 1959 Topps set. That binder got a work out. Thanks guys! I sold a bunch of publications, though, I was surprised my Sport Magazines with Warren Spahn, Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor on the covers did not sell. Quite a few guys pulled cards from my binders and I ended up having a nice day.
As they say, easy come, easy go. I spent most of my earnings on more cards. Another dealer sold me a box of vintage from the 1950s through 1970s. He also had a nice stack of 1961 Golden Press. Like Saturday in Elgin, I took home a nice haul. More stock for the card bunker.
There was a lot of talk between four or five other dealers regarding Jeff, one of our regular customers. He has been AWOL the past two months. While we all miss his purchases, he just happens to be one of the nicest guys around and we are all a little concerned. I think he has missed only a handful of shows in the past 10 years. Jeff, if you follow this blog, please send me a note letting me know that you are okay. I seem to remember that he mentioned he may have to start working weekends which I'm hopeful is the case.
After the show, I began working on eBay. I spend a ton of time on eBay. I usually have more than 500 items up for both auction and buy it now (BIN). Last week was one of my best weeks ever on eBay. I sold a ton of stuff. The only problem is packaging everything and getting it to the post office. I did not get all my packages out until Tuesday, thanks to the Columbus Day holiday. Now that everything from the weekend is finally out, I'm hustling to package everything I have sold thus far this week. It is a never ending cycle of posting and packaging. Though, I don't really mind that part. What gets my gore is the constant messages from customers, especially, the low-ball offers on my auctions.
While I am happy to accept offers at card shows, I don't accept offers on eBay. I set my auctions at the minimum price I need to make a small profit. So I can't take lower offers or I would lose my shirt. With most offers I respond with a "no thanks." But some guys don't take "no" for an answer. These guys drive me nuts.
To avoid the constant stream of offers, I started placing text in my auctions requesting that buyers do not send me offers. Guess what, buyers are still sending me offers. Between my real job, prepping for card shows, posting and packaging, I don't have time to deal with these guys. I'm getting really frustrated. I wish there was a way to block buyers from sending offers. Okay, end of eBay rant.
As I reported last week, I landed a ticket to the Cubs-Cardinals playoff game Monday night (Game 3 of the series). After a crazy-busy weekend between eBay and card shows, I was up at the crack of dawn for a meeting on the far southeast side of Chicago. Once home, I fell asleep for a few hours then attempted to drive to Wrigley Field around 3 p.m. for the 5:07 game. I hopped on the 294 and took the extension to the Edens which was an absolute parking lot. I decided to exit at Lake Avenue and hopped on a Metra train in Wilmette. I got off at Ravenswood and Lawrence, which is the closest stop to Wrigley and walked all the way there. I think a walked at least a few miles. Anyway, I missed the first inning.
Once in my seat, my first observation was the apparent lack of Cardinals fans. I have been going to Cubs games my whole life -- 48 years. I have been to more than my share of Cubs-Cardinals games and there are always a TON of Cardinals fans in the stands. There were hardly any on Monday. Weird! I wonder if they could not get tickets or maybe they just weren't interested this year. Anyway, Cubs fans were pumped up. It was nice to see fans so into the game. Generally, when I go to a Cubs game, the people sitting around me are more concerned about their next beer than the next batter -- not on this day, everyone was locked in.
It was pretty cool to see Leo and Bob, who were randomly sitting in front of me. I used to work with these guys at the Illinois Secretary of State's Office. Two great guys who I really enjoyed working with. Bob's office is a shrine to the Cubs. Leo is a coin collector. We had many conversations about eBay back in the day.
I could not help reflecting on the last time I attended a Cubs playoff game, it was on Tuesday, October 2, 1984 -- the Cubs first post-season game since 1945. Rick Sutcliffe had an amazing Cy Young season. On that glorious day in 1984, he shut out the Padres and hit a homer along with Cey, Denier and Mathews, who had two. It still is the greatest Cub game I have ever attended. I thought the Cubs were going to win it all back then. As fate would have it, they fell apart in San Diego, as we all know.
So, while I am excited for the Cubs post-season this year, I won't feel that same elation as I did after Game 1 in 1984 unless and until the Cubs make it to the World Series. Regardless, I saw a hell of a game on Monday where the Cubs hit 6 homers. Which leads me to believe, as a superstitious fan, that I am a good luck charm for the Cubs. They hit 11 homers in the two playoff games I have attended. What additional evidence is needed? Do the Rickets read this blog? If so, they need to send over more playoff tickets if they want the Cubs to have any chance of going to the World Series. My mojo trumps the goat. Send tickets!!
Speaking of superstition, the Cubs post-season run is giving off all sorts of ju-ju-voo-doo. I mean they just beat their hated rival the Cardinals and now are facing the Mets, the team responsible for the most painful episode in Cubs history. I'm talking 1969 when the Cubs were up big in August than couldn't win the rest of the way and the Mets could not lose. There is no more beloved team in Cubdom than that '69 crew. I just think it is too scripted to have the Cubs beat the Cardinals than hopefully beat the Mets, redeem the franchise, and to get into the World Series. There is definitely some of that baseball hoo-doo-voo-doo going around these parts.
Another aside on the '69 team, after the game Monday, our car was hemmed in behind a big 'ole Lincoln in one of the alleys near Wrigley and we could not pull the car out from behind. We waited for a half hour or so before the owner of the LIncoln arrived. That owner turned out to be Randy Hundley, the catcher for the '69 Cubs. What a nice guy! He stopped and chatted with us for a while. I wanted to ask him to take a selfie with me but I was too chicken.
Okay, I seem to be rambling. Back to the matter at hand -- vintage sports cards. I have begun work on reloading my 1969 Topps baseball binder. I'm not too confident I'll get it done by Saturday's show in Green Bay. The real job is taking control this week; much to do there. I'm also setting up at the Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale, Il, on Sunday. Come see me this weekend!
Lastly, my next Clarion show is coming up on Sunday, October 25, 2015. That's right, show is on a Sunday this month. Larry from the Gonzaga show is going to make his first Clarion appearance as a dealer. Other dealers include Mike Johnson, Bill Nest, Scott & Jim Ziegert, and PJ. I'm hopeful we get a few more dealers to sign up before the show. I'm going up against the Packers, so I could use all hands on deck. Please mark your calendars and come out to my show!!