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.

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Card of the Day: Kerri Strug 1997 Sports Illustrated for Kids April Fools Card #574

Grand Opening – Sports Zone Toys & Comics

Sports Zone Toys & Comics is a card shop that’s been around for over ten years.  The shop recently moved into a new location – 359 Market St., Sunbury, PA.

I attended it’s grand opening this weekend.  Let me tell you something.  This is how every single brick-and-mortar store should look.  Its easy to get into, lots of space to move around, and very well organized.  Every collector should have this type of shop in their backyard.

Glass cases full of singles, sealed boxes, packs, OYO minifigures, bobbleheads, and new/used wrestling figures just cover some of the items you’ll find.  There are even some tables you can sit down at and rip open a box.  I highly suggest stopping in if you’re around the area.

To commemorate the grand opening, special OYO minifigures were made with the Sports Zone Toys & Comics name on them.  Along with the minifigure came a coupon.  These coupons ranged from $10 off of a $100 purchase, free bobblehead, free Fathead, etc…  Very cool!

I left with a new Nick Foles Super Bowl LII MVP bobblehead, and a Phillies TeenyMates Big Sip water bottle.  Next month I’ll be heading back as that’s when the Gritty bobbleheads are due out.

Tickets For The 40th National Are Now On Sale

The National Sports Collectors Convention will celebrate it’s 40th anniversary this year.  40 years is a long time.  Just think about how many autograph guests, memorabilia, and cards have made their way through each show.  I’ll give you a hint.  Its a lot.

Every collector should experience at least one National in their lifetime.  Its the greatest show in the world.  I’ve attended seven of them starting in 2007.  Its an awesome opportunity to meet-up with industry insiders, get some autographs, and pull incredible cards.  Many of my big pulls have come at the National.  Lots of luck floating around.  Anything can happen.

In 2019, the National takes place 7/31-8/4 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont (Chicago), IL.  Tickets are now on sale.  General Admission and various VIP packages are available.  I highly recommend purchasing one of the VIP packages.  Each comes with a ton of free stuff.  TRISTAR will announce the autograph lineup in the coming months.

Onyx Authenticated will be in Chicago, and they’ve got shirts all ready to go.

BIG PULLS!!!  Only at the National.

Top Eleven Pulls To Celebrate Sports Card Info’s 11th Birthday

Today Sports Card Info turns eleven years old.  Thanks to everyone who checks in here on a daily basis.  Sports Card Info began when I was in college.  Many others were starting sports card blogs at the time, and I thought to myself “Hey, I can do that too.”  Lots of blogs have come and gone within that time, but Sports Card Info is still going.  I continue to keep it updated regularly.  At the very least there is a “Card of the Day” post every day.

Over the last eleven years I’ve pulled some amazing cards.  The last three years though have particularly been quite lucky.  In the past, I’ve pulled some cool stuff from Panini, Press Pass, In The Game, and Upper Deck.  But as you can see, for the last three years Topps and Leaf have been my jam.

To celebrate Sports Card Info’s 11th birthday, here is a rundown of the top eleven pulls I’ve had since the blog began in 2007.  Like I said, 2015-2018 has been extremely lucky.  Thanks again for stopping by.  Lets hope we make it to #12.

Babe Ruth 2017 Leaf Immortal Collection Game-Used Boston Bat Relic Purple #’ed 1/1

Brett Favre 2015 Topps Chrome 60th Anniversary Superfractor Auto #’ed 1/1

Frank Thomas 2017 Topps Luminaries Autographed Game-Worn Jersey Letter Patch Book #’ed 1/1

Aaron Judge 2017 Topps Finest RC Blue Wave Refractor Auto #’ed/25

Aaron Judge 2017 Topps Tier One Break Out RC Auto #’ed/140

Aaron Judge 2017 Topps Series 2 ’87 Topps RC Red #’ed/25

Ronda Rousey/Miesha Tate 2015 Topps UFC Knockout Dynamic Duels Auto/Relic Book #’ed/5

Neymar Jr. 2017/18 Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League Lightning Strike Auto #’ed/10

Babe Ruth/Shohei Ohtani 2018 Leaf In The Game Used Sports Reflections Relics Gold #’ed 1/1

Shohei Ohtani 2018 Topps Heritage High Number Real One RC Auto

Mike Trout 2017 Topps Archives Signature Series Active Player Edition – 2013 Bowman Buyback Auto #’ed 1/1

2018 Leaf In The Game Used Sports Christmas Box Break

I absolutely love this product.  2018 Leaf In The Game Used Sports debuted during the National Sports Collectors Convention last summer.  Collectors quickly realized how loaded these boxes are, and the supply dried up significantly.  Individual box prices went from a starting point of $160 to $270 as of right now.  Sometimes a sealed box will popup on eBay with an asking price of over $300.  Very few dealers have any of this product left.  In fact, the only dealer that I can find who has any boxes left is Steel City Collectibles.  Back in August, I busted two of these boxes at the National, and they certainly didn’t disappoint.

Santa Claus found me a box.  As expected, it totally delivered.  I have yet to find a bad box of this stuff.  Highly recommended, and worth the price.

Here is what I pulled:

Relics

  • Rod Carew/Tony Gwynn Reflections Relic #’ed/20
  • Michael Jordan Enshrined Silver Relic #’ed/2
  • John Smoltz Jumbo Patch Magenta #’ed/4
  • Andruw Jones Fantastic Fabrics Patches Gold #’ed 1/1
  • John Elway/Peyton Manning/Steve McNair/Dan Marino/Kurt Warner/Tom Brady/Steve Young/Joe Montana MVP 8’s Patches #’ed/20

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.