Spikes vs. Black Bears – Ki-Jana Carter Bobblehead Night & Autograph Signing

Last Sunday, the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention came to an end.  But I’m still going.  This show must go on!!!

On Friday night I attended my fourth and final minor league game of the summer.  The game took place in State College, PA between the Spikes and the West Virginia Black Bears.  The Spikes went on to lose 3-2.  A local Shikellamy High School graduate, Nick Dunn, was recently drafted by the Cardinals and plays for the Spikes right now.  I got to see him score.  I suspect he’ll get his first cards in Bowman Draft later this year.

There were two reasons why I wanted to attend this game.  The main objective was to be one of the first 1,000 fans through the gate so I could obtain my Ki-Jana Carter bobblehead.  The former Penn State running back and 1994 All-American was also in attendance.  Before the game started he was down on the field giving interviews, throwing out the first pitch, and handing out additional bobbleheads to fans.  Shortly after the game began, the Spikes had a table setup for him down the first base line.  Once he started signing, the line moved fairly quickly.  I got him to autograph my Rawlings black/gold Penn State football.  Everyone was allowed (1) autograph and (1) photo.  This was the first time I had ever participated in an autograph signing during a baseball game.  It went very smoothly.

Ki-Jana Carter was the Round #1 Pick #1 in the 1995 NFL Draft.  He went on to play for the Bengals, Redskins, Packers, and Saints.  For the price of a ticket, I got a bobblehead, autograph, and photo.  Not too bad.

Penn State running back and 1994 All-American Ki-Jana Carter

Nookie Monster!

State College Spikes second baseman Nick Dunn

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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The 36th Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show

One of the longest running sports card shows in my area is held once a year by the Ephrata Lions Club.  Its held for one day at the Ephrata Rec Center, and they always have an autograph guest.  This was their 36th annual show, and the signer was former Phillies HOF pitcher Steve Carlton.  About 40-50 dealers were setup, and they had many items for their live auction.

The show opened to the public at 8:30 am.  I left around 6:15 am in the middle of a minor unexpected snowstorm.  On the way I passed six car accidents due to the snow.  Luckily none of them slowed down traffic when I was going by.  I arrived at 8:15 am and quickly got in line.  Once the show opened the line moved very quickly.  Inside the show you needed to purchase autograph tickets for Steve Carlton.  The Ephrata Lions Club was only selling 300 tickets, and they went like hotcakes.  After the autograph tickets were obtained, it was time to dive into the show.

During this particular show I was on the lookout for Harry Kalas stuff, bobbleheads, pins, and some 2015 wax to bust.  At first glance I didn’t see too much wax.  The only boxes I saw were some 2015 Topps Series 12015 Topps Opening Day, and 2015 Topps Heritage.  Those products are great, but have way too many base cards for my taste.  My usual wax dealer wasn’t there, but then I came across VSM Sports Card Outlet.  This was the second time I’ve seen VSM Sports Card Outlet at this show.  I purchased a Harry Kalas UD Sweet Spot Auto from them last year.  In addition to some very high-end singles, they also had boxes just fit for me.  I ended up buying three boxes from them – (2) 2015 Leaf Metal Draft Football, and (1) 2015 Upper Deck Inscriptions Football.  I’ll be posting what I pulled from those boxes later, but lets just say I got some fantastic cards 🙂

While walking around a little more I found a 2009 World Series Phillies vs. Yankees pin, and a Reading Phillies Crazy Hot Dog Vendor bobblehead.  I ran into a lot of people I knew too.  That includes the owner of the first card shop I ever went to back in 1997.  I hadn’t seen him in over twelve years.

Overall, it was a great show.  I can see why its been around for thirty-six years.  Now check out the photos.

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Phillies HOF pitcher Steve Carlton

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Reading Phillies Crazy Hot Dog Vendor bobblehead.  He has to be one of the coolest mascots in all of sports.  Its a hot dog vendor riding an ostrich.  These all came unpainted as you’re suppose to paint them yourself.  I’m leaving mine like this.

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THE SHOW!!!

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THE SHOW!!!

Hall Of Fame Pitcher Steve Carlton Set To Sign For Annual Ephrata Lions Club Show

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The Ephrata Lions Club has been holding their annual sports card show for over 35 years.  They always have a ton of Phillies stuff and bring in a decent autograph signer.  The next show will take place on Saturday, March 28, 2015.  Former Phillies pitcher and Hall of Famer Steve Carlton will be signing autographs.  Additional details can be found on their website.

Last year I was able to find a Harry Kalas card I needed for my collection.  This is one of the last remaining card shows worth attending in my area.  I’ve been going since the 90’s.

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

New York Giants – Nicks & Hynoski – Amato’s Autograph Signing

New York Giants fullback Henry Hynoski and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks signed autographs for fans at the Amato’s Pizza in Selinsgrove this afternoon.  Amato’s had plenty of items to get autographed, plus a silent auction filled with many signed pieces of memorabilia.  Hynoski is a graduate of Southern Columbia Area High School which isn’t that far away from the Selinagrove area.  I believe this was the first time Amato’s held an autograph signing at their restaurant.  Tickets had to be purchased in advance, and the lines seemed to be steady.  In my opinion, everything ran smoothly.  There didn’t appear to be any major hang-ups.  Amato’s is about 3 seconds away from my house, and this has to have been one of the easiest autograph signings I’ve ever attended.  It was very well organized.  Amato’s has great food too.  Along with their pizza, I also enjoy their ravioli and cheesesteak in the garden.

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Henry Hynoski – Hynoski doesn’t have that many cards to collect.  His rookies can be found in ’11 Playoff Contenders, ’11 Plates & Patches, and ’11 National Treasures.

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Hakeem Nicks – Nicks was a rookie in 2009 and has tons of cards to collect.

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Nicks during his interview with ESPN 92.3 FM

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Hynoski’s signature (on top)

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Nicks’s signature (on bottom)

Henry Hynoski & Hakeem Nicks Upcoming Signing @ Amato’s Pizza

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For those collectors that plan to pass through the Susquehanna Valley in March, this might be right up your alley.  New York Giants fullback Henry Hynoski and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks will be signing autographs at Amato’s Pizza in Selinsgrove, PA.

Here are the full details:

WHEN: Sunday – March 10th, 2013

WHERE: Amato’s Pizza in Selinsgrove – 892 U.S. Route 522, Selinsgrove, PA 17870

TIME: Henry Hynoski will be signing from 12:00pm – 1:30pm.  Hakeem Nicks will be signing from 1:30pm to 3:00pm

PRICE: The first 100 people will receive a FREE Henry Hynoski autograph.  After 100 have passed, there will be a $10.00 fee which will include JSA authentication.  Hakeem Nicks pricing is the following: $55.00 for flats, and $70.00 for all other items.  All pricing includes JSA authentication.  Photo opportunity and extra inscriptions are available for both athletes at an extra charge.  There will also be a silent auction and Giants memorabilia you can purchase to get signed.

TICKETS: For advanced tickets and more information, please contact Marcello Amato @ (570-847-2797) or amato@ptd.net

’87 Cy Young Award Winner Steve Bedrosian Signing At 2013 Ephrata Rec Center Show

Sports card & memorabilia shows worth attending are becoming smaller in my opinion.  The two shows I enjoy attending the most include The National Sports Collectors Convention and the Ephrata Lions Club Sports Card Show & Auction.  When I first started collecting, I thought the show put on by the Ephrata Lions Club was the biggest thing in the world, then I went to The National.  Then again, size doesn’t matter.  Its the content that really makes a show good.  The Ephrata Lions Club Show has tons of Phillies stuff.  I’ve picked-up a lot of nice Phillies items there.  Their next show takes place Saturday, March 23, 2013.  1987 Cy Young Award Winner Steve Bedrosian will be signing autographs from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Here are some links to the past shows I’ve attended: