30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Another One Bites The Dust

I recently drove down to my local card shop to pick up some supplies and discovered this...

In a few days, I'll have one less card shop in my area (insert sad face).  All-American Sports has been providing Bay Area collectors with sports cards, autographs, and supplies since the early 90's.  

It's actually not a huge surprise.  I've been friends with the owner for over two decades and he's been talking about this for awhile now.  As expected... it boils down to money.

Once upon a time, customers flowed through his door to fulfill their hobby needs.  But in the past five years, I have never seen more than three customers in there at one time.  With wax boxes, singles, sets, supplies, and memorabilia at your fingertips... the internet and the fact that we're no longer in the Junk Wax Era have driven this card shop out of business.

Sadly, I must accept some of the blame.  I rarely visit my local card shops.  And when I do... it's usually to buy supplies.  Most of the singles I purchase are off of eBay, COMC, and Sportlots.  And the rest are acquired at card shows and flea markets.

Knowing that this might have been the last time I walk through this shop's door, I decided to purchase more than a storage box.

All-American Sports Cards once held numerous autograph signings to attract fans and customers.  The shop is lined with autographed photos and memorabilia.  Since he doesn't want to take them with him, he's clearing things out at highly discounted prices.

I ended up grabbing four 8x10's and a signed postcard for $18.

First up is this autographed postcard honoring the 1989 San Francisco Giants:

It's autographed by Terry Kennedy, Matt Williams, and Steve Bedrosian.

Next up is this 8x10 photo signed by Joe Rudi for my Oakland A's PC:

Rudi hit a home run on the day I was born to help the A's beat the Detroit Tigers.

I also grabbed this Andre Carter autographed photo:

Carter and I share the same high school... although I attended several years before him.

And finally... a pair of San Jose Sharks:

Devin Setoguchi (left) is my all-time favorite Shark, while Igor Larionov was one of the members of the famous KLM Line, which also featured Sergei Makarov (another former Shark) and Vladimir Krutov.

None of these autographs are worth a lot of money, but sentimentally they all have a place in my collection.

Sayonara All-American Sports Cards!  You guys had a solid run and will be missed.

Today's question of the day...

Do you support your local card shops?  Where do you buy the majority of your sports cards, supplies, and memorabilia?

Happy Sunday and sayonara!


  1. I have a new shop near me and I'm doing my best to support them. Just hope they don't rest on their current inventory and try to keep it current!

  2. My favored card shop is clear on the other side of Houston. Or I should say was because it is recently closed as well. The owners, who I have known as friends since the late 70s, are getting out of the retail business. The other shops I frequented in Houston are long gone. I believe there are a few scattered around but I don't know where anymore.

    Nearly all my cards and collectibles come from online sources or at the handful of shows that come through each year. I don't buy much in the way of supplies but when I need some I'll make a point of stocking up at the shows. They usually have a couple of supple houses doing business at those.

    BTW.... the Joe Rudi signed picture is awesome.

  3. Sad news, Fuji. I frequent a shop about 20-25 minutes from my house. I stop in once a week to buy a few packs and supplies. The shop seems to make a lot of its money off high end box/pack sales. Some people come in a spend 100s on the high end boxes. Selling singles in a card shop seems to be dead and only an online venture now.

  4. Well, my experience with the one in NYC is pretty well documented. I don't have one near my in NJ, so unfortunately don't have the option to support.

  5. I have one here that I frequent quite often and am friendly with the owner. I buy all of my wax from there, even though I usually pay at least $10 more per box than I would through an on-line retailer, simply because I want to support the store. That, and I don't want to wait the 3-5 business days for an on-line order to arrive.

    Singles, however, I get almost exclusively on-line. The prices on ebay are just too good, and his singles are just too pricey.

  6. Sorry about your LCS; between shops and shows, I've been through that too many times myself... well except for the fact that I've never lived closer than 20-30 minutes from a card shop, so I usually don't know about the closing until I go back and there's a smoothie place where the LCS used to be.

    I try to support the closest LCS, but it's difficult because they cater more to gamers than sports cards, and they're hesitant to break up any incoming boxes which aren't the base Topps set... so no singles, no packs.

  7. I'm about 30 minutes from two different shops, one part of a chain and the other is a local store.
    I frequent the local store more often, though one of my best college friends works for the chain store(out of state).
    Local has long boxes chock full of cards and tons of singles to browse through, various sealed products, and trade nights; chain deals mainly in sealed products and signed memorabilia, and stuff like car decals, trash cans, and jerseys.
    The store I went to when I was in high school was relocated due to hurricane damage and eventually had to close down because of the high rent in their new location.
    There have been quite a few shops that should have done well in this area (hobby/comic) that should have done well, but haven't for whatever reason.
    The local shop just celebrated their 5th anniversary, so they're on a better roll than some of the other shops.

  8. I have two here in Calgary. One about 30-35 minutes drive and another 50-60 minutes drive from my house. I frequent them each twice a month. I buy all of my supplies and wax from them, doing my best to divide it up equally.
    As far as singles go... you can't beat online shopping. Until the post office stepped in and now people want to charge me $8 to ship one card.

    but that's another comment for a different post.

  9. I would like to support the local shop, but he's not all that local and I guess the vibe there is borderline hostile, which may just be my social anxiety talking. I used to go to card shops all the time as a kid. Online is so much easier. I think the local guy makes most of his business from high-end buyers who pick up boxes or cases of the premium stuff. I tried to buy some card pages from him last time I stopped in, but he was out, so I bought them at Target.

  10. Great Joe Rudi Pic/Auto he looks so young ,must be his rookie year?One shop close to me and I just buy supplies there,all cards and memorabilia I can always find cheaper online.

  11. There are no local card shops around me any more, the last time I had a shop that I would hang out and chat about sports and cards was 5 years ago while I was still in Seattle. I still talk to the owner, he sells on eBay now and is closing his shop to save on overhead.

    It is sad that we are loosing shops, when I got back in to collecting in 1992 I had my choice of where to shop. In my area there were 4 within a 10 mile radius and almost every mall had an overpriced shop and now they are all gone.

  12. There are two in my immediate area. I was at one of them yesterday. I don't buy much at them, because the prices are too high for me. Generally I only get supplies there. Most of my cards I either get at Target or Wal-Mart, but lately I've been doing a lot of trading with other bloggers.

  13. My LCS went out of business as well, so it's eBay for me.

  14. I have to go online..That's the only way to see the light.

  15. My nearest local card shop is a 3 hour drive away. And I don't support it. I haven't "supported" a local card shop since about 1990 (Batter Box, Phoenix AZ, used to be behind the Dairy Queen near Thunderbird HS).

    In large part due to that was the last one I frequented that wasn't operated by total scum of the earth kid-swindling swine.

  16. I have to wait for the traveling card show at the local malls or use on-line . 7 autos for $18 bucks is a great deal as long as you know there good! To bad never good when a business goes under.

  17. Love the Andre Carter auto. As for spending, majority of my money I spend at card shows, but I like to visit my LCS every few and support them. I have know the owner for a while so if possible I would rather spend my money there. There are also some card shops that have autograph signings, so I spend a little on those too

  18. I went to the LCS yesterday, partly out of guilt from reading this post. I had $20 in my pocket and came away with a couple packs of product. I know the guy makes most of his money from box-breakers, so I only wanted to choose packs from boxes that were already open. They were all priced well above what you could find online, and so I came away with 3 packs that the big box stores don't carry. Then I went to Wal-Mart and bought some more packs because I felt like I could get a better deal there. And I did.

    I priced out a couple of the boxes at the LCS that I have a passing interest in, but for the prices he's asking I could go to an online retailer and buy the box of product I'm looking at and add on another box of Topps Series 1 or something. And I wouldn't have to fight traffic after work or awkwardly socialize. I ran into the same issues with my local comic shop. I will go in there sometimes, but for my regular monthly titles I can get 50-60% more comic books per month with the online guys.

    I'm selfish with my hobby dollars.