Well, I arrived at the Clarion around 6:45 a.m. My first order of business was to arrange the tables. While the folks that work at the Clarion are awesome, they never set up the room quite right. I placed 16 tables around the edge of the room. Then I put five tables in a line across the middle of the room which I used for my set up. I had out the full array of display cases, 10 in all. All the binders were out. I had room for some junk wax. I also used most of one table for my "couch potato" display where I just laid out some low-priced vintage cards on the table. I had a TON of stuff for sale at this show!!
The other dealers included wax/supply dealer Roger Baehr, autograph dealer Bill Nest, Milwaukee-themed dealer Scott Ziegert, who also has a nice inventory of vintage commons; Mike Johnson who has a nice inventory of vintage sports and non-sports, Nelson Rodriguez, who specializes in modern cards, new modern card dealer Joe, who lives in Hawaii but was in town visiting family, and Peter Nordquist who specializes in modern cards. I had one no-show -- Mike Cutis. No call, nothing. Lame! Luckily I did not have to turn away any dealers because of Mike. Though, I took a hit in the pocket book because I had to pay more for the room.
So, while I was loading my gear into the hotel before the show, the sky looked Biblical with fast moving masses of gray clouds motoring about overhead. I was a little worried the weather would effect attendance but the sky cleared up by mid-morning.
The theme for my sales on this day was publications. Abe purchased an early 1960s Sport Magazine with Sandy Koufax on the cover. Thanks Abe! I also appreciate the fact that Abe came up from Illinois to attend the show. Mark about cleared out my stock of publications. Thanks Mark! I thought it was cool that Mark actually had a list of publications that he needed. Most guys show up at my table with a want list of cards but few have lists of publications. A customer I met the previous week at Gonzaga purchased some Sport Magazines from the 1950s.
An autograph hound found a bunch of cards from the 1960s to send out for signatures. Andy purchased my 1960 Topps Roger Maris and some 1971-72 Topps Trios basketball cards. Jason purchased most of the remaining 1963 Post, some 1962s from my newly reloaded binder, a 1961 Topps Hank Aaron, and a 1962 Post Mickey Mantle. Thanks Jason!
A young customer purchased some 1958 Topps football. Bill made my day by purchasing a bunch of stars from the 1960s for sets he is building. Thanks Bill!! Rob brought me some homemade tacos which were delicious. He also purchased a nice pile of cards from the 1970s. Thanks Rob!!
On the buying front I picked up about 400 high grade 1970 Topps baseball that included Nolan Ryan and Johnny Bench cards that were absolutely razor sharp. Cool stuff! I also bought all of Peter's junk wax -- I'm still stocking up on that stuff for the flea market.
I noticed that there seemed to be a lot more action among the modern card dealers at this show than there has been at my past shows. It looked like Peter was having a really good day. I don't know if Joe had a whole lot of sales but he and Peter stayed past 3 p.m. working out all sorts of deals together. I don't think anyone was in the room past noon last month. This month we had customers in the room all day and even had a second wave in the afternoon.
A huge thank you to all the dealers and customers who attended my show!! You guys rule!!! Please come out again for my August 22nd show!!!
Well, this was a double-bill weekend. The next morning, Sunday, July 20, 2015, I brought my wares out to the Hyatt Place Hotel in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The room at the Hyatt is small and promoter Fred Copp warned me that he had a lot of dealers and it would be a tight squeeze. With only two tables, I decided to just bring out my binders. Set up is soooo easy when I just do the binders. I had plenty of time to get some of that free hotel breakfast. I had sausages, pancakes and three cups of coffee -- I need my coffee.
It was nice to see Mark Smith, who was set up in Hoffman. Other dealers included the usual suspects in Ted, Willie, Don, the Woj, along with Fred. We had nice attendance. I was busy all day. A regular customer purchased some 1969 Topps baseball. A new customer purchased 1974 Topps football cards. A new customer purchased some 1959 Topps baseball. Randy picked up some 1960 Topps. Bill and I did a cash and trade deal where I picked up some 1971, 1976 and 1979 Topps football, along with some Life Magazines from the late 1960s. I also had a nice cash and trade deal with Andy where I picked up a 1966 Topps Willie McCovey among some other goodies.
I had hoped to get out of the show by noon but lost track of time. It was my 18th Wedding Anniversary. My wife was very understanding. Our anniversaries are not as romantic as they were when we were younger. With the kids in tow, we all went to Red Lobster then walked around Gurnee Mills Mall. We all had a nice time.
On Monday, I met up with Andy, gave him a tour of the card bunker, he seemed to like it even though it is quite a mess and very disorganized. We drove to Highland Park for lunch and to visit Bergie's baseball card shop. We had lunch at the Simple Greek, 478 Central Avenue, Highland Park. It seemed to be the Greek version of Roti where you either order a sandwich in a pita or a rice bowl with a large assortment of choices as toppings. Andy went with the gyro sandwich while I went with the rice bowl. My toppings included souvlaki, tomatoes, onions, and hummus. My bowl was awesome! I definitely need to come back to this place!
While we were eating, we saw Bergie load some framed autographs into an SUV outside of Simple Greek. Good thing we saw him because I was not sure where the card shop was located. The signage out front is very small and the shop is located in the basement of what appears to be a small office building -- right next to Simple Greek. Bergie said he opened the shop in 1991. I was immediately impressed with the eight PSA-authenticated Babe Ruth autographs on display. Bergie has a large selection of autographs. Andy and I were happy to see a display case filled with vintage cards. Bergie gave me a nice price on a common 1938 Goudey. Andy picked up a bunch of stuff for his sets including a few Mantles. Bergie gave Andy a really nice deal on the cards. Thanks Bergie!
When we left Bergie's, we decided to walk a few blocks to check out Lake Michigan. Unfortunately, the view of the lake was obstructed by overgrown trees and shrubs. Though, it still was a pleasant walk through beautiful old homes. Once back in the car, we took the scenic route to Jim & Steve's card shop in Waukegan, Illinois. The suburban area along Lake Michigan north of Chicago is absolutely beautiful. I wanted Andy, who grew up in the far Western suburbs and now lives in Florida, to see it.
Before long we were parked in front of Jim & Steve's. This is one of the largest card shops in the Chicago area and it is packed to the hilt with stuff. I always enjoy walking around and looking at all the display cases. Andy started right in on his want lists and started pulling cards. I picked out some supplies. Steve showed Andy a small pile of Goudeys and Diamond Stars. Andy did not need any of them. Steve gave me a nice price on the pile and I ended up going home with them. Thanks Steve!
By the time we left Jim & Steve's, it was 4 p.m. and we both needed to meet our families for dinner. Hopefully, Andy and I go card shop exploring again. It was really fun and we both came home with some nice cards.
Since Monday, I have been feverishly pricing cards for the National. I've got some really good stuff lined up for the show including a complete set of 1938 Our National Game Pins, a complete set of 1961 Topps Stamps, a complete set of 1963 Salada baseball coins, a complete set of 1964 Topps super, and world series ticket stubs from 1971, 1973 and 1964. I have also reloaded 1963 Fleer baseball, 1960 Topps football, and 1974-75 Topps hockey. I began pricing cards for my display cases as well. I will continue the pricing frenzy for the next four days.
I was going to set up at the flea market on Sunday but decided to skip it because I need to be in court Monday morning for my real job and did not want to be tired out. I usually need a day to recover from the flea market. It is very draining waking up at 4 a.m. and baking in the sun all day at the flea market. I am going to shoot to get to the flea market sometime in August. I even started to price some of the junk wax I bought the last couple of weeks. All of that is going to be on hold now until after the National.
So fellow baseball card addicts, I will see you next week at the National. I am in booths 309 and 311 with Dave McDonald, Seth Murray and Jim & Scott Ziegert. I am hopeful that I will have a reloaded 1963 Topps baseball binder ready to go along with some 1962 Post baseball and some Exhibits. Let the marathon begin!!