Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Where have all the card shows gone?

There are a lot of things I miss about the 90's.  One of the things at the top of the list is the plethora of card shows.  Collectors in my area had so many to choose from, I never had time to attend them all.  There were the hotel shows at the Le Baron and Holiday Inn in downtown San Jose.  You had bi-monthly weekend shows at Branham High School.  If big shows were your cup of tea, you had the stamp, coin, and card show at the Santa Clara Convention Center, the antique collectibles show at the Santa Clara County Fair Grounds, and of course the annual show at the Moscone Center.  There were even shows during the week.  Arena Showcase had card shows at their shop on game nights and on the weekends too.  And to top it off... there were a bunch of different card shows at various shopping malls.

Good times.  Good times, indeed.

These days there are only a handful of shows for me to choose from.  There are five or six mall shows each year, along with the semi-annual vintage show in San Leandro, the two GTSM shows, and of course the annual TriStar show which I happened to attend last weekend.



I had a great time checking out vintage cards I'll never be able to afford, as well as hanging with friends who share my passion for the hobby.  And of course I picked up a few pieces of cardboard for my collection... plus a huge addition to my Tony Gwynn collection.

Here's a quick rundown of my purchases:

Purchase #1:  1981 Donruss Baseball Card Set $10


I already own the 1981 Fleer and Topps baseball card sets, so I figured I'd round out the trifecta with this one.  There aren't any high end cards in this set, but for the price I just couldn't pass it up.


Purchase #2:  Stack of Dollar Cards $16


This stack of cards was actually made from three separate purchases, but it was easier for me to combine them for the purpose of this post.  I was pretty disappointed at the lack of deals at this show.  Dime boxes were nearly non-existent, but at least I found a few cards for my PC in some dollar bins.  My favorite is this oversized Ken Griffey Jr. card from the mid 90's:

1997 Bleachers #MVP1


Purchase #3:  More Expensive Cardboard $16


This lot was purchased from three different vendors as well.  The Dave Stieb autograph set me back three bucks, the McBride cost me two bucks, and the other six cards I purchased off of my friend for eleven dollars.


Purchase #4:  Five Autographed 8x10's $22

I typically avoid purchasing autographs that aren't certified by a major authenticator or signed by the athlete in front of me or my buddy.  But after speaking with a couple of my friends who deal with autographs for a living, they assured me that the two vendors I purchased these from are legit.

The first four photos were purchased from Hall of Fame Sports and Collectibles who are known for their signing sessions at the Frank and Son Shows in Southern California.  They were blowing out some of their inventory, so I grabbed these four for $20.



I also picked up this Douglas Murray for two dollars:


The guy who sold it to me is a "regular" at Sharks practices and a friend of a friend.  Murray hasn't played with San Jose for a couple of seasons, but once upon a time... he was my favorite Shark.


Purchase #5:  2004 Topps Originals Signature #BM11 $5


Bill Madlock is one of my favorite third basemen of all-time and there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to grab a hard signed autographed of him for the mere price of five bucks.  This is a huge addition to my collection... but not quite as big as the final purchase I made on Saturday.


Purchase #6:  Tony Gwynn Autographed Bat $70

One of my friends had Gwynn sign a bat before one of the SJSU vs. SDSU games last season, so I bought it off of him.  Unfortunately... the bat currently isn't in my possession.  Part of the purchase involved him getting it authenticated by PSA since they were at the show.  It passed.  Now I just need to wait until the next time I see him to pick it up.

In terms of card shows... that's it for now.  Not exactly sure when or where the next card show hits my area.  I'd love to make it out to Cleveland this summer for the National Sports Collectors Convention, but that's probably not going to happen.  I'm way too cheap to drop that kind of cash on airfare and a hotel room... and that's not even counting admission and spending money.

What about you?

Anyone planning on going to the NSCC this summer?  Have you ever attended the National?

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

45 comments:

  1. Awesome price on the Madlock... I'm super envious

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  2. Also, not going to Cleveland for the National... I want too, but like you I don't want to spend the money to go (I live in SoCal)... I've been to the last 3 National's in Anaheim, though... they are great; especially for vintage stuff

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  3. never been to national because it would cost more to go than what i would spend on cards

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  4. It depend on where you live regarding card shows. In the northeast, there is something going on at least every weekend. There still aren't as many as there used to be, but there are still a significant number here. Cool pick ups from the show.

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  5. I hear you on the lack of shows. There are three in the Atlanta area -- all run by the same guy on different weekends. Now, that doesn't mean that it is the same exhibitors every time, but there are a lot of the same ones. And, all of these shows are little 20-30 table affairs.

    I've never been to a National Convention before. I was considering it this year because I've never been to Cleveland and I'm not sure I'll ever get a reason to go there other than something like this. I'm a maybe at this point, though leaning to probably not.

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  6. I won't be attending this year's show, but I've been to the one in Chicago on a couple of different occasions, including last year. It helps that the hall they hold it at is only about ten minutes from where I live.

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  7. That Tekulve is pretty sweet! Congrats on the Gwynn as well.

    Never been to the National show. Cleveland is a fairly easy drive from my home (about 5 hours) so I guess I could at least entertain the idea.

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  8. Back in the 1990's it wasn't so much a matter of "Is there a show this weekend?" as much as "Which show should I go to this weekend?" Now, for me, it's more like "Are there any shows within a 2-3 hour drive this month?"

    I've been to the two Nationals that were in Baltimore, and I do plan on going to the National... in 2016 when it's in Atlantic City. It's a great experience, but Cleveland's far enough to require either days off from work or paying the airfare, and the National's not that important to me.

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  9. Luckily I have at least one card show a month to attend.. Would love to go to the national. Might try to squeeze it in and hit the a Rock n roll hall of fame while I'm there

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    1. Both of these are on my bucket list.

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  10. No, I've never been to a major card show. And the shows at the mall now a days are filled more with women selling makeup and other bath/beauty related crap than actual people selling cards. and those cards are more and more football than baseball.
    But that's ok, cause I can always live vicariously threw your flea market and other card show finds, Fuji.
    and that's one sweet McBride card!!

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    1. Glad to see someone else appreciate a lil Shake n' Bake

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  11. I went to The National when it was here in L.A. a few years back. Loved it.
    And I got my Bill Madlock auto live from him that day :)

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  12. You got some good stuff this time around.

    I've lamented the lack of shows around me many times. But I'm lucky enough that I can go to four a year (if the weather's right). As for the National, summer time is usually taken up by seeing family and friends, and I never have enough time left over to throw money at the National. Maybe someday.

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  13. Odds are I will never make it to the national. While I enjoy cards I'm just not willing to spend the money it would take to go. Would spend it on cards before I'd do airfare, hotel, and admission.

    Add me to the list of people jealous over those 8x10's.

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  14. Never been to the National, and I haven't been to a card show since my teens. Now that I really want to, I'm in the middle of nowhere when it comes to baseball cards. Had to resort to a Card Show proxy shopper, which has actually been great. No crowds, no lines, just cards...

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  15. never been to the National but the Sportscard Expo here in Canada, that's another story

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  16. Never been, and it's tough to justify the costs. Someday, maybe.

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  17. I am holding out for atlantic city too since I can drive there and have been there many times

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  18. I'll probably never make it to a National unless it's in Seattle. I don't even know if there are any shows at all in our area. Once in a while there is a mall show with about three tables of new relics and sigs but no vintage.

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  19. i like the mad dog auto! i attended the national in anaheim one year in the early 80's. and then again in the early 90's.

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  20. Never been to the National...way too far away. Where I am you can still find a card show almost every weekend if you want to drive at least an hour each way.

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  22. There are some very nice additions to your collection, sports card shows (within reasonable distance) are far and few in my area. I haven't been to a card show since I lived in Seattle. As for the National, I have no plan on attending one any time soon. It also seems that whoever makes the decision on location has the belief that people in the West don't collect cards. It would be nice if they broke up the Rosemont and Cleveland stranglehold.

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  23. I've never been to the National, but I'd love to go once just for the experience. We have local shows around Dallas, but I haven't been to one since the mid-90's.

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  24. I have to attend this one next year. I would love to go to the national has it ever been out here?

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    Replies
    1. Anaheim - 2006, 2000, 1996, 1991, 1985

      San Francisco - 1987

      Los Angeles - 1980

      According to baseballcardpedia, it doesn't look like it's heading out west anytime soon:

      2015 Donald E. Stephens Convention Center; Rosemont, IL
      2016 Atlantic City (NJ) Convention Center
      2017 Donald E. Stephens Convention Center; Rosemont, IL
      2018 I-X Center; Cleveland, OH
      2019 Donald E. Stephens Convention Center; Rosemont, IL
      2020 I-X Center; Cleveland, OH

      http://www.baseballcardpedia.com/index.php/National,_The_(NSCC)

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  25. Nice additions Fuji! As for the National, I'm definitely going since it's only a 20 minute drive for me.

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  26. I'll be at the National this year for sure. I'm lucky, it's only a 90 minute drive for me to Cleveland.

    This will be the 2nd National I've attended, the 2012 Baltimore show was my first. I already can't wait!!

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  27. (deep breaths...calm down...)

    Great question, Fuji.

    (deep breaths...calm down...)

    WHERE'S THAT NEW TONY GWYNN BAT YOU JUST BOUGHT???!!!

    So.

    Dang.

    Jealous.

    Is that a Randy Jones next to Mr. Colbert?

    So.

    Dang.

    Jealous.

    Great, great pick-ups.

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    1. As soon as the bat is in my possession... I'll be sure to post it. And yeah... that's Mr. Jones.

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  28. Not going to The National and I have not thus far. One day....

    I am going to a card show this Saturday though. They specialize in vintage. Went twice last year, had a blast.

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  29. The one National I went to was 1987 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, it was a blast.

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    1. I can't believe I didn't attend the one National that was in my area. The cardboard gods were not amused and have punished me by never having the National return to the Bay Area.

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  30. Never attended the national. Have you ever shown where you keep your collection? Must be looking pretty impressive.

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    1. I've show photos of my office.

      http://sanjosefuji.blogspot.com/2013/05/my-updated-wall-of-fame.html

      I'll try to write up a post showing off my PC's... maybe this weekend?

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  31. I'm with you, I can't quite see spending that much just to get there, though if it comes to St Louis one of these years I'd probably attend.

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  32. I know how you feel. Card shows and LCS' are becoming more rare than a Michael Jordan autograph. I haven't had a card show in my area in 24 years or an LCS for that matter. It makes it really hard to collect and pickup what you need but I guess that is where blogging and online shopping comes into play.

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  33. Never been to the National, but did hit the Toronto Spring Expo today, which is sort of the local equivalent. Love the Stieb auto. Everyone forgets just how good he was. He never put up the win totals, but he was a better pitcher than Morris.

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  34. Also - I will never forgive Madlock for breaking Tony Fernandez in 1987.

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  35. Nice pick ups. I haven't been to the National yet. I briefly thought about going last year when it was in Chicago, but then life got in the way. Nice to see that I have a few more chances to go in the next few years.

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  36. Never been to the National. Someday though.

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