Trace McSorley Highlights 41st Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show

The Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show is known as one of the longest running one-day shows in the country.  Their 41st show will take place on Saturday, March 28, 2020 at the Ephrata Recreation Center in Ephrata, PA.  Its impressive that a show which started in the late 1970’s is still going strong.

Over (70) dealer tables will be setup.  Buy!  Sell!  Trade!  Lots of Phillies, Pirates, Orioles, Eagles, Steelers, and Ravens stuff!  I’ve been attending this show since 1997, and it certainly never disappoints.  A good mix of both modern and vintage cards.

Former Penn State and current Ravens quarterback Trace McSorley will sign autographs from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  You can read more about the show here.

See Sports Card Info’s coverage of their 2019 show.

Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show Turns 40 Years Old

For the past 40 years the Ephrata Lions Club has held their annual Sports Card Show & Auction.  To keep a show going like this for 40 years is quite impressive.  This is the longest-running one-day show on the east coast.

I’ve been attending this show since 1997.  Each year they have at least one autograph guest.  To celebrate their 40th anniversary, two signers were placed on the schedule.  First up, signing at 11:00 was former Phillies manager, and 2008 World Series champion Charlie Manuel.  Second, signing at 11:30 was former Eagles tight end, and Super Bowl LII champion Brent Celek.

Both Charlie Manuel and Brent Celek arrived on time, and had a steady line of collectors wanting their autographs.  One of the best things about this show is the cost.  Charlie Manuel was only $25 for any item.  Brent Celek was $30 for flats, and $40 for premiums.  Not bad at all.  Only (250) tickets were sold for each guest.  I was ticket #11 for Charlie Manuel.

(70) dealers, plus the items for the auction take up about two basketball courts.  Admission is $5.  You want to hear about a deal?  Lunch consisted of (2) hot dogs, (2) bags of chips, and a bottle of water.  All of that for $5.  Its a great fundraiser.  I believe the cost, combined with great autograph guests is why this show has survived so long.

Is it the biggest show?  Of course not.  That honor belongs to the National.  But what it does have is a fantastic following, core group of dealers, and a lot of nice stuff.

If you’re a Penn State, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, and/or Philadelphia Phillies fan, this is the show for you.  Talk about a heavy concentration of those teams.  There usually is a good mix of both vintage and modern cards.  At least two dealers were selling new wax boxes.  Products that were released on Friday 3/29 were available to purchase at the show on Saturday 3/30.  Tons of dollar boxes for you to sit down at and flip through too.

My main Phillies guy I collect is former broadcaster and Hall of Famer Harry Kalas.  He doesn’t have a ton of stuff to collect.  On Saturday, I ran into four Harry Kalas/Richie Ashburn bobbleheads that the Phillies gave out in 2002.  I also ran into a Harry Kalas auto from 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic.  You know there is a great concentration of Phillies memorabilia at a show when you run into that much Harry Kalas stuff.

In addition to meeting Charlie Manuel and getting his autograph on my bat, I picked up a few neat items for my collection.  Great deals could be found.  An older gentleman had a couple of tables setup inside the door.  From him I got a Penn State Nittany Lion bobblehead from 2002 that was part of a deal with McDonald’s.  I also bought a Hartland Collectibles statue of a hot dog vendor from 2006 from the same guy.  Total impulse buy, but looks great on my shelf.

One of my favorite souvenirs from the day was a freebie.  The Ephrata Lions Club put together a multi-page booklet that documents the history of the show.  Very cool!

I highly recommend checking this show out.  Definitely worth it.  They usually hold it the last Saturday in March at the Ephrata Recreation Center.

Former Phillies manager, and 2008 World Series champion Charlie Manuel.

Charlie Manuel’s autograph on my bat.

Neck deep in it.

Penn State Nittany Lion bobblehead from 2002 that was part of a deal with McDonald’s.

Hartland Collectibles statue of a hot dog vendor from 2006.

Free booklet documenting the history of the show.

Autograph guests through the years.  The show began in 1979, but signers didn’t start until 1980.

Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show Celebrates 40 Years

One of the longest running sports card shows in the country is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary next year.  Since 1980 the Ephrata Lions Club has held it’s annual sports card show.  Its been going for as long as the National Sports Collectors Convention.  The 2019 show will be held at the Ephrata Recreation Center Saturday, March 30.

40 years is a tremendous accomplishment for a card show.  In honor of this momentous occasion, there will be (2) autograph guests instead of the normal (1).  Signing from 11:00-1:00 will be former Phillies manager, and 2008 World Series Champion Charlie Manuel.  The second guest will be former Eagles tight end, and Super Bowl LII Champion Brent Celek signing from 11:30-1:30.  Only (250) tickets will be sold for each guest.  You better get there early, the show opens at 8:30.

The show itself consists of (70) tables, and takes up about two basketball courts.  There usually is a good supply of both vintage and modern cards.  Someone almost always has current wax boxes.  Especially if VSM Sports Card Outlet decides to setup.

I haven’t been to this show since 2015.  Jim Palmer was the guest in 2016, and Brooks Robinson was there in 2017.  Both of whom I already had autographs of.  Last March Tony Perez was there, but I wasn’t able to attend.  I’m going to try and make it this time.  Card shows with signers like this don’t popup in my area as much as they once did.

When I first got into collecting, the Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show in my mind was the biggest show in the world.  I didn’t think they got any larger than that.  The National put that into perspective.  So did the Philly Show when it was held in Fort Washington and Reading.  Of all the ups and downs this industry has had, to keep this going strong for 40 years is amazing.  I’m already craving one of those 10:00 a.m. hot dogs they serve up.

More details about the show can be viewed on their website and in this press release.

39th Ephrata Lions Club’s Sports Card Show To Feature Hall Of Fame Infielder Tony Perez

I haven’t attended the Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show since 2015.  Not because I couldn’t, but because their autograph guests were people I already had signatures from – Jim Palmer and Brooks Robinson.  Their next show is scheduled for March 24, 2018 and will feature Baseball Hall Of Famer Tony Perez.  I don’t have Perez on any of my bats, so I’ve put the show on my schedule.  If you’re in the area, I highly recommend checking it out.  Dealer tables usually take up a couple of basketball courts.  Lots of Phillies, Eagles, and Steelers items.  For more information, please check out their website.

This show has been around for 39 years.  Not many have been able to continue for that long.  I might even take some Sports Card Info pins to hand out.

Harrisburg Sports Card Show – February 18, 2017

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.

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Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James

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2015 Central PA Sports Card Show Review

Hey!  Look at this!  Its a card show!  These are becoming rare at least where I live.  Outside of the annual Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show and National Sports Collectors Convention, there really aren’t that many shows worth going to anymore.  Last month I heard about the Central PA Sports Card Show from a dealer I met in Ephrata – VSM Sports Card Outlet.  It was held at the Lancaster Host Resort.  Judging by the flyer, it looked like it might be a decent show.  So I decided to give it a try.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but there was a good supply of vendors.  A lot more than what I thought was going to be there.  Before making any purchases I like to make my way around the whole show.  There was a good mixture of vintage and modern cards.  Neither was too dominant.  All of the dealers were quite friendly and helpful too.  I’m a Harry Kalas collector, and that list of cards I need is small.  Not only is it small, but the cards are difficult to locate.  The only Harry Kalas item I saw all day was a duel bobblehead of Harry and Richie Ashburn, which I already own.  At one time I couldn’t find that bobblehead at all.  Now I see it all the time.

VSM Sports Card Outlet was where I spent most of my time and money.  In addition to high-end cards under glass cases, they had autographs and relics divided up in boxes.  I spent a chunk of time flipping through the Phillies section, but didn’t come up with anything I need.  But the fun of it is not knowing what you might find.  They also had the best supply of newer boxes.  I bought two boxes of 2015 Topps Five Star Baseball.

Throughout the day they had a steady run of autograph guests.  Guests included Sean Landeta, Lenny Moore, Lydell Mitchell, Brian Propp, and Bob “The Hound” Kelly.  The prices were very reasonable.  Sean Landeta was free with the $5.00 price of admission.  Lenny Moore was only $25.00 (20.00 for the autograph, and $5.00 for the photo op).  Both guys were really nice and happy to interact with their fans.  After signing my football, Sean Landeta gave me an autograph photo for free too.

The only negative part of the day really didn’t have to do with the show itself.  You had to walk down a few steps in order to get onto the show floor.  I don’t use steps because I’m in a wheelchair.  Luckily there was a ramp right next to the steps, but they had a table blocking it.  The table was there so people wouldn’t go down the ramp and skip out of paying the admission fee.  It was a little inconvenient having to move the table each time I went in and out of the show.

Another issue was the bathroom.  The Lancaster Host Resort really didn’t have a bathroom I could use.  The bathroom most people were using was nothing my wheelchair could even fit into.  According to the Lancaster Host Resort, I would’ve needed to hunt somebody down for a key and hop on a lift in order to get to the bathroom I had the best chance at using.  Even that one wasn’t the best.  Its an old hotel, and I guess that should be expected.

Overall it was a pretty nice show.  I would say that its about the same size as the Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show, maybe a little smaller or bigger.  The dealers were spread out a lot more here which can make it look bigger.  If they decide to have this show again next year, I’ll probably check it out as long as the autograph guests are different.

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Baltimore Colts halfback and 1975 Hall of Fame inductee Lenny Moore

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Retired punter Sean Landeta

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Sean Landeta had a very long career as a player (’83-’06).  This is one of the longest inscriptions I’ve ever received during an autograph signing.

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Landeta’s rings from Super Bowl XXI and XXV

Jim Palmer Scheduled To Sign For 37th Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show

UPDATE: Due to a family emergency, Jim Palmer will not be attending the show.  Brooks Robinson will be in his place.

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Former Baltimore Orioles pitcher and Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Palmer is scheduled to sign autographs during the 37th annual Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show.  Additional information about the show and signing can be found on the Ephrata Lions Club website.  The next show takes place on Saturday, March 19, 2016.  If you plan on getting an autograph, I recommend getting there early.  The sooner you get your autograph ticket, the earlier you’ll be able to get your autograph.  Tickets for Steve Carlton sold out fast last year.

The Ephrata Lions Club Show is usually a good one.  While attending the show last March, I opened a few boxes of 2015 Leaf Metal Football.  Those two boxes contained a Jameis Winston autograph #’ed/10, and an Amari Cooper autograph #’ed/1.  Over the years I’ve also found lots of stuff for my Harry Kalas collection too.

I’m not sure if I’ll go to this show.  When the National Sports Collectors Convention was in Baltimore for the first time in 2010, I got Jim Palmer to sign a bat.  I really don’t need to get his autograph again.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll just go for the show.

Here are some of the past shows I’ve attended: