We also have high definition flat screens all over my house today. Back in the 1970's, we had one color television and several black and white TVs -- none had remote controls. If you wanted to change the channel, you had to get up off your keister and physically turn the dial. There also was no cable. We had five channels including the three major networks (no Fox back then) and two UHF channels.
It was a big deal when my dad brought home a Betamax video player around 1977. One of the first things I ever recorded was the Muhammad Ali - Leon Spinks fight in early 1978. We started to purchase movies and soon had a nice collection. I watched "Slapshot" a million times. My dad never learned how to work the Betamax, then the VHS player, OnTV, Cable, cell phone, and home computer. He has a terrible time with any type of technology. I remember trying to show him how to place a movie into the Betamax and press "Play." It was like I was speaking French. He always had to call me into the room to start the movie.
Decades later, I have turned into my dad. I need my 9 year-old son to help me with my iPhone, iPad, iMac, and various gaming systems. I just don't understand how these devices work. It was so much easier when all you had to do was press "Play" on the Betamax. My wife and I have wanted Netflix on all our devices for the longest time. For those old codgers who don't know about Netflix, it is a subscription service that provides unlimited movies and TV shows for $9 a month. In order to get Netflix to play on your television, your televisions must be hooked into the internet. All the gaming systems at my house have WiFi and offer Netflix. The problem was that my wife and I did not know how to set it up. After years of debate between my wife and I, I think it took my son about 20 minutes to set up Netflix throughout the house. Now I just need to learn how to navigate around Netflix.
With Netflix fully operational, I spent the evening of Saturday, July 11, 2015, watching "Heroes." I only caught a few episodes of this show back when it was on TV about 10 years ago. With Netflix, I was able to start on Episode One and work my way forward. I somehow got addicted and watched "Heroes" until 4 a.m. I picked up about two hours of sleep. Ugh!
Needless to say, Sunday, July 12, 2015, was a coffee day. I started chugging coffee first thing and did not stop the whole day. I was a little dazed but did alright. There was a light drizzle when I left my house in Illinois. By the time I made it to the Gonzaga show in Milwaukee, the sky was blue and the sun was shining. Though, the rain left behind some horrible humidity. There also wasn't much air conditioning in the hall. Show promoter Keith tried his hardest to get some air conditioning into the place but he was at the mercy of the folks that run the hall. It was really hot in the room all day. I was more affected by my lack of sleep than the heat. Though, I could not wait for the show to end so I could crank the air conditioning in my car.
The show started off a little slow. I think I had my first customer about 40 minutes into the show, which is unusual. However, once that first customer purchased his 1957 Topps football cards, the floodgates opened and I was busy the rest of the day. A regular customer purchased some 1966 Topps baseball cards. Jim purchased a bunch of cards out of my newly reloaded 1961 Topps binder. I have known Jim for a long time and was unaware that he was working on a 1961 set. I know he has several Topps and Bowman sets from the early 1950s. It was nice to see him work on a different set!
Jason also found a bunch of cards in the 1961 binder. A regular customer purchased some 1979 Topps baseball cards. Another regular picked up some 1965s. My next customer purchased some 1953 Topps baseball cards. Larry purchased some 1964 Topps baseball cards. A new customer purchased some 1973 Topps football cards.
While I appreciate all of my customers, there is one collector in Milwaukee who is just awesome! Jeff comes to most every show and is working on both modern and vintage sets. He always picks up a large pile of cards. Today, he purchased a larger than usual pile of 1952 Bowman baseball along with a Brady Punch baseball game from the 1930s. Jeff works at Brady and wants to bring it to the office and show it around. Thanks Jeff!!!!
Next up was Robin, who purchased some 1969 Topps football cards. A regular customer purchased two publications -- the only publications I sold on this day. Last month, I sold very few cards and a ton of publications. I restocked the pubs for this show but just did not get much action on them.
After Robin, I was pleasantly surprised to see Andy. I only get to see Andy several times a year. He lives down in Orlando and comes up a few times to visit family. I first met Andy 10 or 15 years ago, we have stayed in touch and I now consider him a good friend. I was happy Andy found a bunch of cards at my table that he needed because he is an advanced collector, he collects tough pre-War sets, post-War and tough post-War inserts. We're going to get together this week and explore some local card shops. Thanks for the purchases Andy!
Next, an older couple purchased some 1973 Topps football cards. A new customer from Racine rounded out my day by purchasing a bunch of 1970s Topps hockey cards.
Some folks said the crowd was down from last month but it seemed pretty crowded to me all day long. There was no cake at the concession stand today. Amazing cake baker Candy Kilps has been a bit under the weather. I'm sending good vibes Candy's way in the hopes she starts to feel healthy soon! I dined on cookies and a hot dog during the show.
On the buying front, another tremendous day! My first purchase was a bunch of cards from the 1980s. A kind customer who is a regular reader of this blog brought me the cards so I could sell them at the flea market. I can't give away cards from the 1980s at the card shows but at the flea market, they are my best seller. I picked up some good stuff like a 1984 Fleer Complete set and a few others. I look forward to bringing them out at my next flea market appearance.
I also picked up a nice pile of 1969-70 and 1970-71 Topps basketball commons. I purchased a large pile of 1963 Topps baseball. My inventory on 1963s is now the largest I have ever had. I must have 3,000-plus '63s right now. Though, I am sure I need some high numbers, as always. To round out my day, I picked up some 1966 high numbers among an assorted group of vintage baseball and football cards.
A few customers stopped by the get an idea on pricing of some of their cards. One guy had a 1954 Topps Hank Aaron rookie. He stood in front of my table but showed the card to my neighbor PJ, who had me look at it. I did not measure it but it looked a little short. PJ made a nice offer on the card but the guy did not take it. Another customer showed me a 1954 Topps Ted Williams that looked really nice. I did match this one up to another 1954 and it looked slightly trimmed. I have learned over the years that nice-looking raw vintage cards are more likely than not to have been trimmed. There is a huge difference in price between a high grade card and a trimmed card. I never purchase a card that has any hint of trimming unless the seller is willing to drop the price way down. The seller of the Williams is looking for a lot of money. I took a pass.
A customer showed me some 1951 Bowmans including a Whitey Ford rookie and a Yogi Berra. I told him what I would retail the cards at and what my "buy" price would be. He wanted a little more money. A modern card dealer in Ken's spot for the day had a large collection of vintage that he was looking to sell. He wanted a lot of money for the cards. I did not look at them all but I did not see a whole lot of cards in nice grade or many star cards. I will throw down 5 to 10 thousand dollars on collections here and there but only if I can make a significant profit on the cards. While, I would like to have this collection, I do not think I could make much of a profit, if at all, on it. The dealer needs to come way down. Mark also looked over the cards. We both had the same conclusion. I gave the dealer my phone number. After he shops the cards around for a while, I'm hopeful he comes back with a more reasonable number.
Overall, a very good day. Sales were good. Buys were good. I LOVE the Gonzaga show!!!
Next up is my show this coming Saturday, July 18, 2015, at the Clarion, 5311 S. Howell, in Milwaukee. I ran an ad in today's Milwaukee Journal, promoting the show. I have a good number of dealers lined up for Saturday. I have room for more dealers, so if anyone is interested, shoot me a message (you can reach me by clicking the "more..." tab up top then the "Contact" tab. Table fee is $25 for one 8-foot table. I just loaded up some 1963 Post baseball that I will break out on Saturday. I am working on 1962 Topps baseball and should have it done before the show. I also plan on pricing more cards for my display cases. We are going to have some tremendous cards, both modern and vintage, at the show. Come on out!!
Pictured below are my purchases from the Gonzaga show. Click on the photos for a larger view.