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Old 11-13-2019, 07:49 PM
1963Topps Set 1963Topps Set is offline
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Default Going to card shows in the 1970s

I started my interest in baseball cards in 1971 at age 8. Because vintage cards were coming on the school playground, I developed an avid interest in them during the 1970s. By the mid 1970s I was going to shows (with my parents of course) Usually I would go to a show at the District 65th Center in lower Manhattan - a few blocks where my father worked. They had a show there every second Friday of the month. I am amazed I still have this ticket from a show I went to in 1977. It was a much different world back then. I just wish I had the knowledge and $$$$ back then I do now! But no regrets. By the time I stopped in 1981, I had a pretty good developed vintage collection. How many others on this forum went to shows back then. How was it like for you?
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:07 PM
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wow, pretty cool, the shows I recall going to back then...they never gave you admission tixs...simple pay your buck..and walk in
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Old 11-14-2019, 05:33 PM
moeson moeson is offline
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Tom, my father owned a flower shop on 8th street, a block away. I have so many great memories of those shows, including Bruce Yeko (Wholesale Cards) having a pile of Mantle Red Hearts at $1 per! I remember them being held twice a year. I still have the promo buttons.

Last edited by moeson; 11-14-2019 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 11-14-2019, 05:58 PM
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I loved it, and what a magical time the shows were. Mega shows are what I remember. In the KC area, the yearly show was held at the Overland Park Convention Center, and it was full. There had to have been 200 tables +. Dealers from across the country. If memory serves me correct, this was around 1977 thru 1981? Perhaps someone in KC can be more specific with the dates than I. Thanks for jogging my memory and recalling a fun adventure for me at the OPCC.
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:04 PM
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:57 PM
1963Topps Set 1963Topps Set is offline
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Nice. I recall going to the shows and cards would either be in regular boxes or just sprawled on a table. I found a 1959 Topps Bill Hall laying on the floor. It became mine. I know Hall is a common, but something like that NEVER happens today. Everything was raw, no grading companies. I paid $2.50 for my 1959 Topps Mickey Mantle, a buck for a 1956 Topps Hank Aaron, etc.. Some guy was selling unopened packs of 1955 Bowman for $5.00 a pack. Like I said, I wish I had the $$$ back then I do now.
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:57 PM
mortimer brewster mortimer brewster is offline
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Default Baseball card shows 1970's

The first show I went to was in the summer of 1978. Holiday Inn at the the Buffalo NY Airport. Combination cards and comics. I remember buying a brick of 300 1967 Topps cards with Whitey Ford on the top and Bob Gibson on the bottom for 18 bucks. Cards were in great shape. I'm still trying to complete the set.

Cards were super cheap back then, but of course I was a teenager making $2.30 an hour.
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:08 AM
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This is the kind of stuff I fantasize about having a time machine and being able to go back to. I was born in '77 and started collecting from wax around 1986, so by the time I started going to shows a year or so later, the hobby was already very self-conscious and things had become relatively expensive. Many dealers in the 80's didn't give kids the time of day, and could care less if you were interested in vintage cards. I did build a respectible mid-grade vintage collection despite all this with the funds I was able to scrounge together. A hell of begging with my mother also usually paid dividends, but...

I read about people buying Mantles for a few bucks and just drool. I would have so eaten that up.
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Old 11-15-2019, 01:46 PM
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I went to my first card show in Anaheim, CA in 1973. The first table I stepped up to had a shoebox full of t206s in ex-mt and better. None were even in plastic sleeves — in fact, I'm pretty sure they hadn't been invented. The T206s were $1 for commons and $3 for HOfers. I was 12 at the time. I picked up a Chase, a Three-Fingered Brown and a Lajoie. Everboy else I met at the show seemed entirely focused on 1950s cards, with Mantle being the object of everybody's obsession. The 1950s hot dogs cards seemed were highly sought after. Few collectors seemed interested in pre-war cards.

In '75 or '76, I went to a show in Pontiac, MI. Just like I did at the Anaheim show a couple years earlier, I spent all my money at the first table, which included a shoebox filled with 1953 Bowman stars that looked like they had just been pulled from packs. At one point, I held up a thick stack of Mantles and admired how sharp all their corners were. I bought one for $11.

About this time I started attending the Southern California card club shows in Orange county, first at the Walton School in Garden Grove, and later at the Fountain Valley Recreation Center. I recall many of the regulars, including the president, Clay Hill, Steve Brunner, Gavin Riley, Tony Galovich, Mike Berkus, Wes Schleiger and others. What a glorious time that was!
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Old 11-15-2019, 02:48 PM
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Default Early KC Shows

Lou, I too, have very fond memories of the early shows in Overland Park. I believe they started around 1979 or '80 and continued thru the very early '90's. These shows were promoted by Jim Cumpton and John Mailen. John had one of the first baseball card stores in the KC area. The first several shows were held at the old Glenwood Theatre in Overland Park. Due to the huge crowds the show attracted, it was moved to the OP International Trade Center, more commonly referred to as the Merchandise Mart, where it remained for the balance of the show's run. As you mentioned, the crowds were amazing and Jim and John were able to bring in all the superstars for autographs. This was where I got my first in person Mantle signed ball for the outrageous price of $35! The show was always the highlight of the summer for me.
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:41 PM
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You know what's weird? We all wish we could go back in time and snap up all of these great and valuable cards at ridiculously cheap prices...but couldn't the same be said of everything we see nowadays at card shows? (Yes, I realize it's not a true comparison due to basic economic factors, etc.) When I'm walking the floor, I just scoff at the stupid prices I see at the tables, but would it be wise to overpay and scoop up whatever I could now, because a lot of this stuff is going to be 'worth' tremendously more in the future?? In the old days, you could grab up Mantles for a couple of bucks apiece (which was probably considered outrageous back then). Would it be wise to overspend today and build up your collection of Mantles, knowing the values are going to continue to rise?? For me the answer is a definite no (I have to find serious value), but it is certainly a curious thing to think about.
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:50 PM
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No. Baseball cards (and shows) were much simpler back in the day. No grading companies, no overhyped cards, no Bill Mastro and Alan "Mr. Mint" Rosen to contaminate our collecting desires. Just go to a show, pay your buck (or less) and go through a table of cards! All basically cheap, stars a bit more. It is an era that is certainly long gone, an age of innocence long taken away from us who collected purely for the love of it, not as an investment. A hobby transformed to an industry, which is what it is now. : - (

Last edited by 1963Topps Set; 11-15-2019 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 11-15-2019, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1963Topps Set View Post
..........By the mid 1970s I was going to shows (with my parents of course) Usually I would go to a show at the District 65th Center in lower Manhattan - a few blocks where my father worked. They had a show there every second Friday of the month. How many others on this forum went to shows back then. How was it like for you?

Tom -

I'm not sure if this is the same show or not; but around 1975 or so (when I was 13 years-old), I used to go to a monthly mini-show at the Cooper Union in Manhattan. I believe that it was run by the Gallagher brothers (Paul & ?). I bought a ton of vintage cards at dirt cheap prices back then. Unless the card was in really bad shape, I really didn't pay much attention to the condition of a card back then. (Who knew?)

I remember always being very happy on my subway ride home to Brooklyn. I couldn't wait to get home to ogle the latest additions to my collection. Although those memories are from nearly 45 years ago, they're as fresh as if they happened last week.
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Old 11-15-2019, 06:12 PM
1963Topps Set 1963Topps Set is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cardfather View Post
Tom -

I'm not sure if this is the same show or not; but around 1975 or so (when I was 13 years-old), I used to go to a monthly mini-show at the Cooper Union in Manhattan. I believe that it was run by the Gallagher brothers (Paul & ?). I bought a ton of vintage cards at dirt cheap prices back then. Unless the card was in really bad shape, I really didn't pay much attention to the condition of a card back then. (Who knew?)

I remember always being very happy on my subway ride home to Brooklyn. I couldn't wait to get home to ogle the latest additions to my collection. Although those memories are from nearly 45 years ago, they're as fresh as if they happened last week.
I think you are correct. I recall the show being on Astor Place. I don't recall who ran it or the dealers themselves, I was just a kid at the time and just looking for cards. I picked up Roberto Clemente 1958, 1959, 1961, etc.. VERY cheaply. I lived in Queens and also enjoyed the ride home on the subway. Plus it was way before 9/11 when going into the city was exciting too!

P. S. Love your name cardfather!

Last edited by 1963Topps Set; 11-15-2019 at 06:13 PM.
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  #15  
Old 11-15-2019, 06:52 PM
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My first show:



I recall that the admission tickets were stamped Yankees playoff phantoms. I used that show to finish my Willie Mays Topps run, with a 1952 and 1953 that cost me $45. I had to borrow most of the money from my father because my savings had run out. My mother just about killed him for indulging me.

Once I got to LA in 1977 it was card shows in abundance as the card clubs started up. I was in the West Coast Card Club and set up at the monthly shows for a few bucks. I might make a whole $75 in a night. It was great. I got these cards in a live auction at one of the shows:


I also ended up the winner of a 1952 Bowman Mantle for $3.25.

I remember turning down Cobb signed checks for $50. Passing by tables stacked with Zeenuts and Home Run Kisses, I mean hundreds of them. Most of my time was spent at the $1 or $2 boxes fishing out cards like this:



Had it signed years later.

I was a kid. I got a meager allowance that went mostly for Topps packs and the occasional birthday or Hanukkah money that went to save for cards. I started dealing to make enough to pay for more cards. My costs were nil; those were the days when my parents' friends would hear I was a collector and simply handed me shoeboxes of cards from their adult kids. It was toys, junk.

By the time I was 12 or 13 my parents would take me to the show, drop me off, and come back whenever. There was a big show in Anaheim every year that Mike Berkus ran, usually on Thanksgiving and Memorial Day weekends. My parents would take my sister to Disneyland for the day and drop me at the show.
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Old 11-15-2019, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCRfan1 View Post
I loved it, and what a magical time the shows were. Mega shows are what I remember. In the KC area, the yearly show was held at the Overland Park Convention Center, and it was full. There had to have been 200 tables +. Dealers from across the country. If memory serves me correct, this was around 1977 thru 1981? Perhaps someone in KC can be more specific with the dates than I. Thanks for jogging my memory and recalling a fun adventure for me at the OPCC.
I went to one of those shows around 1980 or 1981. I just remember it was SO BIG! Or at least it was to someone who had never been to a card show before. I don't remember that much about it, except that I wished I had more money. It seemed like every card you had ever heard of or seen in a price guide was available if you just had the cash. I think I just concentrated on filling in some of the holes in the sets I was working on (1970-1973). I wish I would have splurged for a good Mantle or Cobb instead.
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Old 11-15-2019, 07:33 PM
moeson moeson is offline
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The first ASCA show was held in May 1973, hosted by the Gallagher brothers (Paul and Mike), Mike Aronstein (TCMA) and Bruce Yeko ( Wholesale Cards). Here's an admission ticket from a 1974 show:
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:29 PM
1963Topps Set 1963Topps Set is offline
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I recall that the admission tickets were stamped Yankees playoff phantoms.

My ticket from 1977 is too. Great card from 1974, contains all of the information as I recall it. Are the guys who ran it still alive?
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:46 PM
moeson moeson is offline
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Bruce Yeko sold off his cards to pursue recording cast albums for obscure Broadway shows that didn't have long runs. Mike Aronstein's son posts on TCMA here at Net54. I don't believe Paul and Bob (not Mike) are still around.
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:52 PM
moeson moeson is offline
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Here is a link to a great look back at the 1973 show. Check out the photo of Bruce Yeko. Somewhere on that table was the $1 stack of Mantle Red Hearts.

https://www.sportscollectorsdaily.co...all-card-show/

Last edited by moeson; 11-15-2019 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:57 PM
1963Topps Set 1963Topps Set is offline
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Great article and photos! Dealers with cards in rubber bands! Never in today's world!
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Old 11-15-2019, 11:05 PM
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I believe the Gallaghers also ran the paper show at St Xavier's on 16th St in Manhattan a few years back
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Old 11-15-2019, 11:18 PM
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Bought a group of hobby publications in an auction late last year. I had recently lost my Dad and he and I had been going to shows since the early 70’s. I almost fell out of my chair when I started going through them. I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. It was my dad standing next to Gates Brown at a Charlie Brooks show. I am not going to lie. I shed a few tears while I stared at that photo. Great memories of those early days. Apologies to those who have heard the story before but when I saw the thread I couldn’t resist retelling it.
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Old 11-15-2019, 11:23 PM
1963Topps Set 1963Topps Set is offline
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This story is new to me, thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-17-2019, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baseballcrazy62 View Post
Bought a group of hobby publications in an auction late last year. I had recently lost my Dad and he and I had been going to shows since the early 70’s. I almost fell out of my chair when I started going through them. I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. It was my dad standing next to Gates Brown at a Charlie Brooks show. I am not going to lie. I shed a few tears while I stared at that photo. Great memories of those early days. Apologies to those who have heard the story before but when I saw the thread I couldn’t resist retelling it.
That’s a great father/son memory and a picture to go along. Thanks for sharing the story with us.
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:32 AM
Jayjones82 Jayjones82 is offline
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I spy a '69 Mantle and '73 Mays on that Yeko table
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Old 11-19-2019, 06:05 PM
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Is the 1969 Topps Mickey Mantle the white letter variation?
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Old 11-28-2019, 11:29 AM
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My earliest card shows were in the late 1970’s. I grew up in Connecticut and have very fond memories of spending time with my father going to shows on Saturday mornings. (My mom was probably thrilled to get us outta the house for half a day lol). I still remember stopping in diners for breakfast with my dad before the shows would open. He would tell me stories of players he watched growing up and games he attended at Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds. I was like a sponge... eating up the details along with my scrambled eggs.

I was too little to remember exactly where we went but I know we went to shows in cities like Danbury, Hartford, Waterbury and on occasion NYC. Anyone a bit older from CT have specifics on where those old shows used to be? As far as I remember many were in VFW halls, gymnasiums and as shows got bigger they moved into hotels. Admission fees were pretty minimal or non-existent back then I think. Thank heavens for my father guiding/funding me as a youngster because I accumulated a solid 1950’s-1970’s Yankees collection. I also had a fondness for Clemente, and my dad would help me snag one here and there. One year for Christmas in the early 1980s Santa gave me a 1959 Mantle. I was over the moon, as Mantle was a Holy Grail for me. Recently had it graded and it came back a PSA 6. Santa had a pretty keen eye for condition back then... even on a school teacher’s budget!

Those days were some of the best of my life. Pure joy and enthusiasm for the cardboard. No price guides. No ebay. Just a father and son building a life long connection over baseball. Thanks dad.
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Old 11-28-2019, 01:40 PM
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Swabie2424 -- A very appropriate and well-expressed father & son outing memories, given to us on Thanksgiving Day. Continued happy Collecting, buddy. -- Brian Powell

Last edited by brian1961; 11-28-2019 at 01:41 PM.
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