The wind howled all night. Tree branches pummeled the house but luckily no trees came down. I have a massive oak tree just outside my back door that is dying and I need to take it down. Only problem is that for the cost of taking the tree down, I could buy sets of 1960 and 1961 Topps baseball cards. I want to make it another year with that dying tree before I buck up and spend the money to bring in a crew to chop it down. They will need a crane for that puppy.
So I woke up extra early Sunday morning to load the car. The wind had scared me off from loading the night before. There wasn't as much carnage outside as I thought there would be. Just one large branch by the front door. However, it was freakin' cold outside!! It's hard to deal with one day at 44 degrees and the next at just 12 degrees. Loading the car was a shiver fest.
There was more traffic than usual on the highway this morning. I'm not quite sure why anyone other than myself would be on the road at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning in January where the temperature is at 12 degrees and getting colder as I drive north to Milwaukee. The drive and load in at the hall was uneventful. I saw Mark Smith in the parking lot and snuck up behind him and said, "right, right, right." Mark had set up at a show in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the day before.
Attendance at the last Gonzaga show was disappointing. Today, a nice line had formed in the hallway prior to the opening bell. Then waves of customers walked in the show all day long. An absolutely terrific crowd. I also observed that there were more vintage dealers than usual. Then there were a few dealer no shows. I won't mention any names, Brian.
A new customer got things going today, pulling 1970 Seattle Pilots cards. Jim picked up some 1954 Topps baseball and also bought me a much needed cup of coffee. Thanks Jim! A made a cash and trade deal with a regular customer for some 1950s Topps football. A new customer purchased some 1970 Topps baseball. A regular customer, who enjoyed looking at my T206 Ty Cobb, purchased a 1956 New York Yankees team card. I had fun showing off the Cobb today.
It was a pleasure to see Tim from Madison today. Madison is located about an hour or so northwest of Milwaukee. Tim said there wasn't much traffic for his drive. He pulled a large pile of 1950s and 1960s baseball cards. We made a cash and trade deal where I picked up a nice pile of cards that included a T206 Miller Huggins and a 1934 Goudey Chuck Klein. Thanks Tim! Also in the pile were some 1970-71 and 1976-77 Topps basketball tall boys. In considering cards from all four major sports from the decade of the 1970s, I like the basketball cards the best. I just think those tall boys are cool and the images really define the era.
Also, as a Chicago sports fan, the best team in town during the 1970s was the Bulls. The other teams were in decline. The Bears won a big three games in Walter Payton's rookie year of 1975. Bobby Hull had fled to the WHA. Ernie Banks retired and the Cubs shipped out Billy Williams, Ron Santo and Glen Beckert. The White Sox generally weren't very good but they were interesting. In the early part of the decade, I enjoyed watching Bill Melton, then Dick Allen. The 1977 Sox season is still one of my favorites of all time, ah la Richie Zisk and Oscar Gamble. The Bulls, on the other hand, were the only team in Chicago that was consistently good. They were fun to watch too, even though they never got very far in the playoffs. Butterbean, Van Lier, Sloan, Chet Walker in the early part of the decade then big Artis Gilmore at the end. I also enjoyed watching some of the other great players in the NBA like Dr. J and Pistol Pete.
I'm digressing here down memory lane. Back to the year 2013 (is it really 2013?), where a regular customer purchased some 1967 Topps baseball. Jeff grabbed his usual large pile, today made up of 1955 and 1957 Topps baseball. A new customer purchased some 1957 Topps football. A regular purchased some 1970, 1971 Topps baseball and some 1969 Topps football. Another regular purchased some 1968, 1969 and 1970 Topps football.
Now for some additional observations about today's show. I've been a regular now at the Gonzaga show now for the past five or six years. I've noticed that most everyone who attends is attired in some sort of Wisconson sports related gear. Either Braves, Brewers, Bucks, Packers, Admirals, Warriors or Badgers shirts, jerseys, coats, and hats. Today, however, folks were representing teams well outside the norm. I saw one guy wearing a 49ers jacket, another had a Dolphins. One guy was wearing an Arizona Cardinals jacket. Another guy had on a Ray Lewis jersey. There was a guy sporting a Red Sox t-shirt. Another wore an Orioles t-shirt. One guy had on an Earl Campell jersey. What's going on?
Anyway, back to the customer role call. A regular customer purchased some 1961 Topps baseball. Another regular picked up some 1973 Topps baseball. A new customer purchased a 1974 Topps Gorman Thomas. A regular customer pulled a nice pile of 1971 Topps baseball. A new customer purchased some 1958 Topps baseball. Another new customer purchased some 1979 Topps baseball. A regular customer picked up some 1950 Bowman baseball. Barty got some 1970s basketball and Barty's dad, Jason, rounded out my day with a large pile of 1963 and 1967 Topps baseball. Thanks Jason!
Whew! I was busy all day. The live auction was also busy today. I am not a big fan of the auction but I understand that it is the main fundraiser for the Wisconsin Sports Collectors Association, a terrific group that runs the Gonzaga show. So I tolerate the auction. Though, when it is really busy, like today, auction customers stand in front of my tables, blocking my display cases and binders from paying customers. If that is not bad enough, some of these numbskulls will place bags on top of my display cases while they watch the auction, covering my cards from view. I wonder why these guys would think my display case is their coffee table?
I really want to shout at these idiots to get their shit off my display cases but I bite my tongue. Instead, I just look at them with the "what the hell are you doing?" look. Sometimes they get the picture. Today, there were quite a few clueless numbnuts blocking up portions of my table. I wish the WSCA would conduct that auction in a back room.
Today in a back room, former Bucks Sam Williams and Dick Garrett were signing autographs for free! It was cool seeing those old-time basketball players. I wanted to get their autographs but I was too busy to get away from my tables.
On the buying front, my only pickups were the aforementioned cash and trade deals. One guy brought over a couple of 1956 Topps baseball cards in screwdown holders. I learned long ago to NEVER buy a card in a screwdown because those cases hide all the creases. I've been burned before. I told the guy to remove the cards from the screwdowns and I might be interested. He walked away and never came back. Another guy brought over a small box of absolutely battered cards from the 1960s and 1970s. He wanted $25. I offered $10, which now that I think about it, was much too high. I should have offered $5. Luckily, he was firm on his $25 and I didn't waste the 10 bucks.
All in all, a great show today. A big thank you to everyone who bought cards today! You guys are the best!! As I write this blog it is already Saturday, January 26. I was planning on sleeping in this morning but the dog started whining at 6 a.m. to go out. He bugged me enough that I got up at 6:40 and took him out. I knew it would be futile to get back into bed so I sat down at the computer to knock out this blog. As I'm finishing it up, the wife just woke and I'm hopeful she'll make some coffee (because I'm a moron and I don't know how to work the coffee maker).
Tomorrow is Orland Park. I missed the first Orland show earlier in the month because of my daughter's birthday. I'm looking forward to the show. I was hopeful, I'd have my 1975 binder reloaded but I didn't get anything done last night. The son wanted to play Wii and afterwards the daughter wanted to watch a movie with me. As much as I enjoy cranking some tunes and reloading my binders, I can't pass up a chance to hang with the kids. I need to get some coffee in me and maybe I can get it done today. As I mentioned in my last blog, my Orland regulars have yet to see my reloaded 1974 Topps baseball binder, 1970 Topps football and 1960 Fleer Greats of the Game. So I will have lots of new stuff for you guys. See you bright and early!
PIctured below are my Gonzaga pickups.