Prior to the show, I had an idea of how to configure the tables, but my plan went out the door when I observed some other booths with a far better design. So I put the the four 8-foot tables in rows and connected the rows with card tables and ended up with this sort of squiggly design that gives my group of four dealers a nice amount of display space -- much more than I had in 2008, the last time I set up at the National.
One of my boothmates, Dave showed up and we began to set up. Shortly after I began to fill my display cases, I noticed that a dealer located behind the scumbags that stole my table and chairs, laid out on one of my tables some glass plates for his store-type display shelf system. I also notice that his tables were bare and wondered why he walked all the way over to my table and placed the glass plates there? I was already pissed off at the scumbags across the way but was able to refrain from busting this guy's knee caps because I wasn't using the table at the moment. When Scott showed up, another boothmate, I picked up the glass plates and brought them over to the moron's table.
The worst aspect of the sports card hobby is the select few dealers that are unbelievable idiots. There are some at most every show. I have four more days of sitting across the way from some serious pieces of shit. Luckily, I am sharing my booth with a great group of guys and can ignore the idiots.
Anyway, it took me all day to set up. I finished around 2 p.m. then went over to Frannie's in Schiller Park for a beef sandwich.
Dealers and VIPS started coming by the booth the minute we started to display cards in the morning and continued until 8 p.m. I made a few sales. The dealer behind me, who is actually a nice guy and from Buffalo, NY, purchased a 1951 Bowman Larry Doby. A customer picked up a 1939 Play Ball Charley Keller and said that he works with Keller's nephew. I sold a '64 Philadelphia Merlin Olsen rookie to another customer. Long-time customer Larry picked up a 1954 Johnston Cookie Warren Spahn. Other than these guys, I had a lot of lookers but no takers. An extremely slow sales day.
On the buying front, great success. I picked up about 200 1957 Topps baseball in VG - EX. I also got a nice deal on a '55 Topps Warren Spahn and '56 Topps Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente and Ted Williams.
I didn't walk around the show today. I was too tired from set up and a little disappointed in my sales to explore. All my purchases were made from people bringing cards to my booth. I even turned some stuff down because I didn't have the funds for the purchase.
I did enjoy talking with Dave. I haven't seen him since the Sun-Times show last November. I saw my old junior high buddy Ross Forman along with a great many of the regular Chicago dealers like Willie, Steve, Don, and Jeff. Jim Goodfriend made an appearance. I haven't seen Jim much since he suffered a stroke last year. He looks fine but said he can't drive and he won't set up at shows again until he can drive. He was pushing a set of '75 Topps.
A few observations, there are not as many dealers as there was in 2008. Dave and I had set up in a side/back room that year. There were no dealers set up in the side/back room today. There was also an Olympic memorabilia section in the small side room leading to the empty side/back room. I'm not sure what this Olympic deal is about and it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. I don't think customers come to this show looking for Olympic memorabilia.
Also, long-time Chicago sportscaster Chet Coppock walked by my table wearing a glittery wrestling cape belong to Randy "The Macho Man" Savage. I don't really know what that was about.
For tomorrow, I'm hoping for better sales and more purchases. I'll probably walk around. I took some photos today, I'll take some more tomorrow and post them tomorrow night.