Well, my fellow sports card addicts, the long wait is over, we are back at the Sal after taking July and August off. At the September 7th show, I sensed a feeling of relief and joy from both dealers and collectors alike. The show is back on the first Saturday of the month and I have even booked for 2020. We won’t be taking two consecutive months off next year but we will rest up in January and July.
The September show was tremendous. With 31 dealers and 56 tables! Man, what an amazing selection of cards and memorabilia! As you all know, I love the vintage and we had the best selection of vintage cards I have ever seen at a one-day show anywhere!!
I was very busy at my tables and found it tough to explore but I was able to live vicariously through my fellow vintage addicts who showed off their purchases. Charlie picked up a 1948 Leaf Warren Spahn. I love the ’48 Leafs and the Spahn is just a cool card. Several guys showed off 57-58 Topps basketball and ’61-62 Fleer basketball purchases. There were a ton of Mantles in the room. Guys were drooling at the ’52 Bowman which I think was on Mike Slinkman’s table. It seemed like Mike had nothing but Mantles!!
I sold a good amount of Goudeys, including my Hornsby. I also sold a bunch of stars from the 1970’s. There seemed to be a lot of interest in Nolan Ryan. I also sold several Pete Rose cards.
It was great to have dealer Mike Mahan back, who was battling health issues all year. Mike looks good and he picked up a ton of stuff while he was laid up. He had Old Judges and all sorts of other stuff from the 1800’s on his table. Mike reported having a monster day selling cards.
Then there were a bunch of new dealers like Mike Slinkman and his Mantles, Josh Brothers had a great display of both modern and vintage, my pal Bill Seamons set up for the first time and had boxes and boxes of singles, and new dealer Eric Unglaub had all sorts of sets for sale. Thanks guys for setting up and come back again soon!!
There were also a large number of modern dealers with all sorts of insert cards and autographs from the high-end to the dime box variety. Customer Marc Smiley reported that his 8 year-old daughter pulled a Mike Trout Autograph from one of the free packs I give away. See photo below.
I think the show had a great balance of old and new. One dealer commented that maybe there were too many dealers. I strongly disagree. I don’t believe there can ever be too many dealers. I find that the more dealers there are, the better the show. Customers do not like to see the same guys over and over, they want some new blood and my show provides new blood.
Also, as a dealer, I think it is a huge mistake to concern yourself with other dealers. I try to provide quality material and reasonable prices on my table and I am generally successful. My sales at this show were excellent, even with a large number of vintage dealers. Plus, I love to buy cards and I really enjoyed shopping later in the day with all these great vintage dealers. I picked up a stack of 1953 Topps from Larry Larsen. I learned that Tim Fritz had all that cool old basketball that people were showing me and I bought some for myself. I picked up a 1952 Topps Bob Feller from Reed Pentek. I purchased a 1957 Topps Ted Williams from Mike Slinkman. I purchased a pile of vintage singles from Bill Nest. Then I bought a stack of 1966 Topps commons from Nick C. I had so much fun. The more dealers, the more fun, in my book.
Dealer sales varied from monster days to very few sales. I think the guys with slower sales may have to reconsider their pricing. It seemed like everyone had great stuff and collectors will continue to show up with such an amazing inventory on display. It is your job as a dealer to cater to the collectors in the room and learn what they are interested in purchasing an learn what they are willing to spend. Don’t worry about your fellow dealers! It is this large selection of dealers that brings the people into the show!!
As dealer Tom Daniels and I were discussing at the show, you never know how your sales will go. My original plan for my display at this show was to put out 1960s and 1970’s baseball. Last month at Gonzaga, I had my pre-War and 1950’s cards out and sales were slow. However, I started getting emails before this show (you must communicate with your customers!) asking for Goudeys and Bowmans. So instead of focusing on the 1960’s and 1970’s, like I had planned, I put out all of my baseball from T206’s to 1980. I ended up selling cards from every era. As Tom said, you just never know.
We were in the gym again for this show and, wow, I think the show is just flat out special when we are in the gym. I think we should be able to set up in the gym for the rest of the year.
A big shout out to Mark Lewis and his wife who are instrumental in the success of the show. Mark is my contact at the Sal and goes out of his way to ensure that everything runs smoothly. I asked for 55 tables and he got me 55 tables. He had to order 30 of them from the Sal’s warehouse.
Mark’s wife, I am so sorry that I forgot this lovey ladies’ name, ran the concession stand. She worked the stand for hours and dished some amazing sloppy Joe to showgoers, never losing her smile. She is a volunteer and all the proceeds from the concession stand go to the Salvation Army and the great work they do. Please, please, purchase food and drinks at the show and help out an amazing organization that is so selfless in its help for those in need.
The September show was phenomenal and I am so thankful to the Sal, all the dealers and all the collectors that have made this show a success. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did. I can’t wait for the next one on October 5th. In the meantime, I’ll see you at Gonzaga this Sunday, September 15. I know the Packers are playing at noon, so it should be an early day. I’m going to try and get there a little earlier than usual. Again, thank you for your support! You guys are the best!!