Klein’s Korner: Card Show for a Cause – For those people who used to read Rich’s Ramblings at Sports Collectors Daily, I had two great joys in my collecting life. The first was writing about nostalgia. The second was the work I do in promoting the sports card and memorabilia show I run for the Adat Chaverim brotherhood. It is difficult to believe we are now entering our fifth year with the show and we probably raised slightly more than $10K over the past four years. Since the brotherhood has no administrative costs, every penny we take in goes back to the community. At our last show we were fortunate to be able to donate several hundred extra dollars to the Hurricane Harvey recovery fund in addition to the money we raised for our charitable causes. And as a bonus, now the brotherhood meetings are more about how are we going to spread out money into the community rather than how are going to raise monies. I feel honored I can assist the community with a true labor of love.
For those who have heard me discuss this ad nauseum, I do apologize but the show’s background has to do with my offering up these words. “Tell you what, I’ll run a card show, I’ll make you $500 and we’ll see how this goes.” I figured two things: 1) If I could not see 20 tables at $25 each, then I was in the wrong business. 2) It would make a nice series of articles for Rich’s Ramblings. Both proved correct. And over the years, we have been honored with many donations from the card companies, local dealers, store owners and average collectors such as you and me. We are appreciative of every one who has assisted us in some way but I want to focus on a few of our own superstars.
First, the two brotherhood presidents of Jerry Retzky and Marty Fox. Both of whom ensured we have enough help for this project each time. There is a lot of aspects which go into each day from the setting up of the tables, to the manpower we need to assist our dealers with loading and unloading to helping with the prize table and the front table I’m just mentioning a few of our superstars so my apologies in advance for anyone I miss.
The leadoff spot in our superstars goes to someone who is not even a member of Adat. At each of the past few shows, we have been very fortunate the great Raymond Jones has sat at the prize table or helped out with other things which have been needed. Raymond is a hobbyist and is fortunate that he was able to retire with a pension and benefits at a reasonably young age and just loves the hobby. At one show, and I still owe him for this, I had to call Raymond away from buying at a dealer’s table and spend the day with me at the prize table. He stepped up without a moment of complaint. When his friend JJ Saenz lived in the area, I used to have call him the “Great Jj Saenz”. Well Raymond is pretty great also.
Next up is Jeff Schwartz. Jeff has always been able to help with the bulk work needed from helping to set up the tables to being our official chef in the kitchen. Jeff has always been very supportive of our cause and collected cards as a young man himself in the 1980’s. He always speaks wonderfully of the days he went to the local stores and bought packs of his favorite cards. We could never do the show without Jeff and his terrific son, Braden.
Batting third in our lineup is “King” Arthur Morgan. The other name you can call is “Poor” Arthur because he is so good with IT that he creates the prize slips for each show and usually either sits with me at the prize table or at our last became the kitchen chef. I say “Poor” Arthur because he has to spend a ton of time with me IDing the prizes and trying to figure out if my hobby term makes sense for the prize slips. He puts in a ton of work and kept his Atlanta Braves cards when he sold his collection earlier this year.
Our cleanup hitter is Marshall Suddleston. Marshall is truly indispensable. Marshall sits at our front table, would keep immaculate track of all monies received and what bucket to put the money in. He also keeps track of how many people come by the hour and how many of our goodie bags are sold each hour. We were figuring at the last board meeting Marshall does the work of at least five people. Sadly Marshall passed on late last year at age 83 and I will not only miss him at the show but I miss seeing him at services.
One important difference from when we started is due to Texas State law. We had to adjust our shows from having door prizes to giving away goodie bags for just $1 each with 100-200 cards inside and a prize slip as well This photo is a sideways view of my office after I moved in over 200K cards the Monday after Thanksgiving. That is just a small sample of what we have.
And as for my other show, as of this week we are no longer affiliated with Johnson Sports Promotions. Now, We’re on our own and our goal is to provide our audience the best collector experience possible. Please note our next show will be February 24-25 at the Comfort Inn and Suites Plano East located at 700 E. Central Parkway Plano TX 75074. This show runs from 10 to 4 on Saturday and 11 to 3 on Sunday. We chose these dates because the Industry Summit runs Sunday evening until Wednesday afternoon and we are hoping that many people such as the fine people from GTS, who are corporate sponsors, are able to come a day or two early and enjoy the event. I know it’s always a great experience to actually meet collectors and see how they work in the hobby.
And, this will be my first Industry Summit (there is an advantage to being in one hometown area) and I will tell you the benefits are well worth the cost for anyone locally. When I stopped in Nick’s Sports Cards today to hand out flyers, I had time for a brief chat with Dean, the owner and he stressed to me how much he was looking forward to chatting with various card company reps. And as for me, I will be representing COMC in my other role as a COMC ambassador and network with various dealers and see if they wish the join the other dealers attending who always use COMC as another revenue stream. I encourage all people coming in from out of town to attend the card show before the Summit and if they have time, visit the two fine card stores within 15 minutes of our show.
Rich’s vast experience and knowledge of the hobby has been well documented through the years. GTS is happy to feature his thoughts on collecting in Klein’s Korner. The opinions expressed are his and do not necessarily reflect those of GTS Distribution.
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