First show of the year and one of those butt-cold mid-January days in Milwaukee. Of course, there were guys at the show wearing shorts.
Absolutely tremendous crowd. I finally finished the 1973 Topps binder. Surprisingly, not a whole lot of action in that binder. Sales in general were a little slow but I did buy some nice stuff including a 1956 Topps Sandy Koufax, a '56 Topps Luis Aparicio Rookie and a 1961 Topps Ron Santo Rookie.
I had been promoting the show as the Clarion Show and I knew the hotel was going to change its name, unfortunately, I did not know they were changing the name on January 1st. So in the weeks leading up to the show, I received a flood of messages that the hotel changed its name. A few newcomers stated they were a little confused when they arrived at 5311 S. Howell and saw the Four Points Sheraton sign.
Another challenging issue was that I skipped holding the show on the first Saturday of January so I could go on vacation. At least one customer reported that they showed up on January 6th only to find out that there was no show. Sorry! I tried to get the word out. Thankfully, the rest of my 2018 shows at the Four Points Sheraton are on the first Saturday of the month.
My sales were very good and just about every other dealer reported great sales. I saw a lot of new customers at the show. A pretty lady from Illinois purchased a bunch of 1970s Blackhawks cards. Quite a few customers asked about the free food. As I stated previously, I can no longer give out free food unless I purchase the food from the hotel at four times the price. I am considering splurging on some doughnuts at a future show but for now, no food. However, I am giving out two free packs of cards to everyone who attends the show.
On the buying front, I picked up a lot of good stuff., pictured below. In addition to the hockey I got from Mark, he had a White Sox photo pack from the early 1960s that I bought along with a full ticket from a 1970's Old Timer's game at Comiskey Park. The ticket has a photo of Nellie Fox, one of my favorites. One of my regular customers sold me more cool stuff including a 1956 Topps Jackie Robinson, a 1955 Topps Harmon Killebrew Rookie, a 1962 Topps Bob Uecker Rookie, and a 1964 Topps AL Bombers card featuring Mickey Mantle.
Bill has the patience of a saint. He sat with his customer well after the show closed and while water rained down into the room. I stuck around until 3:30 p.m. or so then I hit the road. Bill was able to get safely out of the room without water damaging any of his cards. There is never a dull moment at the Fat Daddy's Sports Card Show!
Just two weeks after the January show, we were back at it for the February show, pictured above. I think the quick turn around may have cost us some customers. Attendance was down from January. I really appreciate the folks that came out for the February show.
I had my 1974 Topps baseball binder reloaded and ready to go for this show. Jerome, always the first one to arrive, found quite a few '74s. Thanks Jerome! Quite a few other guys pulled some cards from the '74 binder. I also sold a bunch of cards from my display cases.
I love walking around the room to see what the other dealers have on their tables. Dave had a 1961-62 Fleer basketball complete set for sale, pictured below. I love these cards! I have never had very many of them. Dave let me thumb through his set -- incredibly cool! Jerry always has great stories of meeting people and buying amazing collections. I enjoyed his tale of someone walking into the Appleton show with a 1953 Topps baseball set. I ended up buying some '53 commons from Jerry along with some '57 commons.
This was an early day. We usually get some late arrivals but not at this show. Seemed like folks stopped coming in after noon. We all hit the road early.
Next show at the Four Points Sheraton is coming up on March 3. I will have my 1975 Topps baseball binder ready to go. I have also priced quite a few cards for my display cases. I bought a box of 2018 Topps baseball cards from Roger and will be giving away two free packs to every customer who attends the show. If I run out of cards, I'll just buy more from Roger, so come on out to the show and get yer free packs of cards! Please note, we will be in the Mitchell Room for this show. The Mitchell Room is located next to the restaurant on the eastern end of the hotel. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for dealer tables.
I knew a snow storm was coming and I considered going up to Milwaukee Saturday night but was just too tired. I woke up before dawn on Sunday and saw a sea of white fluffy stuff out my patio window, pictured above. I figured the highway would be plowed so I shoveled my driveway and loaded my cards into my car. The little burg I live in does a nice job at plowing my neighborhood. However, the county is in charge of the main roads and they flat out are horrible. So, I had an easy drive through my neighborhood only to get to the main road which I could not see. I had a scary drive to the highway, though, still confident the highway would be plowed. Au contraire mon frere, the highway was the worst I have ever seen it. I'm pretty sure I road on the shoulder to the first exit but I am not sure. It was covered with so much snow that I had no idea if I was in a lane or the shoulder. I drove about 30 MPH while trucks and other cars blew by me. It seemed like death was certain if I stayed the course so I pulled off on the first exit and took some scary roads back home.
I was really looking forward to the show and hated to miss it. I emailed Keith who is the best and told me to be safe. I went back to sleep then shoveled some more. I know there were quite a few guys I was supposed to meet at the show to both buy and sell cards. Sorry! I hope to make the next one!!
Wow, what a difference a week makes. No trouble with the weather on this morning. Easy drive to Orland. Almost the whole room was filled with dealers. The only empty tables were located next to me which lead me to think it was from a no-show. I wish I had brought more stuff to spread out. I left quite a few items at home including three display cases and the majority of my football card binders.
Did I already say "wow." Well, I need to add another "wow." I was crazy busy!! I guess this is what happens when my last visit to Orland was in October. I was absolutely mobbed. I had a real tough time dealing with all the customers and keeping an eye on my stuff. Prior to the show, another dealer mentioned that he caught someone stealing at the last show. I don't think anyone stole anything from me but I cannot be totally sure.
Just about all my regulars were there: Rick, Will, Joe, Dan, Paul, Dennis, Larry, and a bunch of other guys. Needless to say, I had a tremendous day on the sales front. There wasn't any one item that sold above the others. Guys were picking away at my binders. A lot of set builders. Dennis bought a whole bunch of 1958 Topps baseball stars out of my display cases. Thanks Dennis! Larry was working on 1973 Topps baseball. It is always nice to see a guy start a new set.
A lot of guys asked about my pal Mark Smith. We need to find a way to get Mark at this show. Maybe guys need to start letting the promoter know they would like to see Mark at the show. When Rich took over the show from John, a few guys asked that he get me back into the show. Rich was kind enough to call me and invite me back to the show. I think we need the same process to get Mark at Orland.
On the buying front, I made a cash and trade deal with one of my regular customers., pictured below. I received a bunch of 1950 and 1951 Bowman football, along with a handful of 1957 Topps football, including a Johnny Unitas rookie, and assorted vintage commons. The deal also came with 20 or 30 autographed notecards. Unfortunately, the official autograph authenticator for Fat Daddy's Sportscards, Willie Shabas, detected some fakes in the group, including the Ted Williams and Hank Aaron pictured below. Oh well, it was still a fair deal, even with the fakes, and I am real happy with the cards.
Word on the street is that the Orland show is picking up. I was told that the January show was phenomenal. My last two shows, October and February, have been excellent. Did I say I was mobbed? I can't remember the last time I was that busy at a show. I need to make a better effort at attending the Orland show. Unfortunately, I can't make the March show because it runs up against Gonzaga but I will be at the April show.
What an amazingly great day. A big thank you to Will and Joe for coffee and to Paul for some amazing doughnuts. Of course, thank you to all the guys that purchased cards. You rule!
Next up is my show at the Four Points Sheraton, 5311 S. Howell, in Milwaukee, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 3, 2018. I will be giving out two free packs of 2018 Topps baseball cards to everyone who attends. We will be in the larger Mitchell Room and I have a great group of dealers lined up. I will have my 1975 Topps baseball binder ready to go along with a bunch of new cards in my display cases. Come on out!
For those that can't make the Four Points Sheraton show, I will be setting up Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Wyndham Garden show in Schaumburg. I haven't been able to do a Fred Copp show in a while, so I am looking forward to the show Sunday.