It has been a long time since I’ve attended a classic shopping mall sports card show. There has been a steady stream of them around, but none really worth going to. On the Thursday night news during the sports segment, I overheard them state that there would be a show at the Harrisburg Mall February 17-19. In addition to that, they also mentioned some Pittsburgh Steelers were scheduled to sign autographs. This definitely sounded like a show worth checking out.
The Harrisburg Sports Card Show is put on by show promoter Carl Hisiro. Autograph guests for the weekend included three Steelers – Jesse James, Stephon Tuitt, and Sean Davis. Former Eagles wide receiver Vince Papale was also on the list to sign. I decided to take my black/gold Penn State football and get Jesse James to autograph it. I think it turned out really well. By the looks of it, I bet they sold at least (200) tickets just for Jesse James. That number might be low. It makes perfect sense for a lot of collectors to want him given that he is a Steeler and went to Penn State. The line moved fairly quickly as they called by ticket number. I was #114. While I was there, everything seemed to be running very smoothly. It didn’t take long to get a ticket, they had merchandise you could buy to get signed, and Jesse James arrived right on time.
As for the card show portion, I’d say there were (20-25) dealers. I didn’t see that many selling new sealed hobby boxes. One dealer had a truckload of retail boxes though. A good mix of vintage and new single cards could be seen. One dealer had a few Harry Kalas bobbleheads, but I already owned them. The one card I did inquire about was a Mike Schmidt 2001 Topps Archives Rookie Reprint Bat Relic. There was no visible price on it, but the card was in a case with other cards listed for $10-$20. After asking the dealer how much it cost, I found out there was a $50 price written on the back. The lowest they would go was $40. Well overpriced.
Overall it was a decent show. The autograph guests are what caught my attention. This takes me back to when I first started collecting, and met Scott Rolen at a mall show in 1996-97.
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James