Posted in Baseball Cards, Uncategorized

The decline of the local baseball card show

On Sunday, I went to the local monthly baseball card show. Approximately a dozen dealers show up; some of them have interesting stuff, some of them don’t.

There are a few regulars – a guy who specializes in unopened boxes, another guy that breaks a box or two of everything to sell singles, and a guy that brings 5000 count boxes of the most random stuff and sells every card for a buck.

Then there’s the guy that sits there opening boxes of whatever just came out, and goes through them with price guide in hand to see what he can get for his pulls. I made the mistake of looking through some of his cards this time.

I wanted a couple of gold Bowman parallels – Josh Thole and Daniel Murphy – and a couple of Topps Finest cards – Carlos Beltran and Luis Castillo. His asking price? Five bucks. He seemed upset when I put away my wallet because I didn’t want them any more.

I did come home with a few things — some National Chicle autographs, including the Tobi Stoner one shown here and two others that will eventually be posted at Auto-Matic for the People. I also found some fun stuff in a dealer’s dollar box – some of which will be shown here later this week, some that will also get posted to Auto-Matic for the People.

But I remember how much more fun card shows used to be, and I’m not sure that they’re still worth going to. I could have probably gotten everything on eBay for similar money and I would have saved by avoiding impulse purchases.

Do you have any regular local card shows to attend? Are they worth going to? Or are you happier shopping online?


Hufflepuff. Level 43 entertainment junkie and Mets fan. Always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind.

10 thoughts on “The decline of the local baseball card show

  1. The local shows around me are few and far between, it’s always the same guys and normally the ones that have cards I like are trying to sell them for much more than I could get them for on ebay. It’s sad because I would rather support my local dealers, but I don’t have the money to keep most of them happy.


    1. That’s partly why I keep going – I would like to support the local dealers. Some of them are pleasant, try to be helpful & manage to keep their prices at the level I’d spend to order something on line and have it shipped.

      Others are like the guy who wanted five bucks for – at best – two bucks worth of cards.


  2. Is it one of the S&B shows? They are good for me. There are only a dozen maybe 20 tables tops, but each guy sort of has something different.

    I don’t ever go to one of their shows looking for autos or good prices on vintage stars. I am mainly interested in Dime boxes and bargain cards. This is the S&B link. They are basically in the PhilaPa area.


    1. No, this show was run by the Rahway Recreation Department. I’ve been to S&B shows at the Woodbridge Center Mall, but not for a couple of years at least. (I’d probably do better if they advertised them more or held them on a regular schedule.)


  3. There is a guy down in Wichita that has a show every other month. But, that is an 80 minute drive and I have not attended one yet. If I were to go to one, I would probably just look for random packs of cards from 2000-2006.

    So far, I am hating that Topps is the exclusive producer of Major League cards. I found my first pack of A&G last night and I’m pretty sure that I am sick of the set. I think that I am about to drop out of the pack-buying hobby and just get all of my cards from checkoutmycards. That way, I get only the cards I need to get signed and not a bunch of Yankees.

    I miss Upper Deck (and Donruss, Fleer, and maybe even Pinnacle).


    1. I can’t help thinking that pack/box buying is just like playing the lottery… and I don’t do either any more. I haven’t picked up any full-price packs since Pro Debut came out and I realized how much money I wasted on cards that I didn’t particularly need/want.

      I also agree that Allen & Ginter is a bit played out. I’ve had the Mets team set for close to a week now, and I still have to get around to scanning & posting them… I’m just not that interested.

      I miss Fleer, but not so much Donruss, Upper Deck or Pinnacle.


  4. In the day, there were a lot of great shows. I remember in Central Jersey you had Asbury Park and Freehold and Edison–all huge deals. Then there were even bigger regional shows, if you were willing to travel a bit. The big shows dwindled and died and all that was left was a Holiday Inn in Hazlet (much like the show you describe) and the occasional Freehold Mall thing. I gave them up. Wasn’t worth my time anymore. Moved to the Carolinas where, in this part anyway, there never were any shows. No card shops either.

    Now I buy Mets team sets on eBay and, unlike you, I love opening packs and boxes and I buy what I buy from professional vendors on-line. Every time I open a pack, I get the same feeling I got when I opened my first pack ever in 1964 and saw the face of Jack Fisher smiling back at me. Then again, I think most of the modern cards are without character and fairly ugly which is why I mainly like Heritage.


  5. If the show is large enough, you can get good deals. The Holiday Inn type shows are dead, and I haven’t seen a good mall show in years…
    Large shows are the best way to pick up current stars since you can buy them without the Ebay shipping fees. Also, for the recent set collector, picking up sets for $20 or less is a good deal; again no shipping fees.
    I do miss the cheap autographs though…in person autos are WAY overpriced…


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