It's a growing and booming market. Sports memorabilia and collectibles are something that everyone enjoys and as the hobbies continue to be fueled by interest from collectors as well as companies wanting to feed the beast, collecting, trading and swap meets have taken on a whole new level of fun while maintaining that classic feel of being able to go to an event to find that "magical unicorn" of an item that you just have to have to round out that card collection of a certain team from a certain year or maybe it's that one item you had as a kid that you've been looking for ever since.
We've seen the emergence of the "Con". Where it's an entire weekend of dress up and cos-play around everything pop culture. Toys, games, gamers, movie stars, developers, computer nerds....you name it. Entire Garrisons of Star Wars characters show up and a sensory overload ensues. All a lot of fun but there are those collectors too who like to stick to sports and maybe dip into some of the pop stuff as well.
As Bill Welch and Rusty Morningstar saw it, Muskegon was a little behind on the sports card and collectible shows. Sure, they remember going to the mall back in the day for the shows and of course anyone can go on Ebay and buy stuff, but it's the combination of a lot of things that make the collecting fun. It's the strolling past the vendors, the random chats about sports memories, the anticipation of what you might find minus the search engine on some website and maybe, you'll see something there you have and had no idea how much it was worth till you saw it's match at the show! Oh ya, there's another great thing about sports card and collectible shows... meeting the sports stars themselves!
This Saturday, at the VFW located at 5209 Grand Haven Road, Bill and Rusty open the doors at 9am for the fun! You'll be able to meet and get autographs from Denny McClain of the 68 Detroit Tigers, Dave Rozema of the 84 Tigers, Larry Foster of Detroit Tiger fame as well as Terrance Taylor from the University of Michigan and Jay Vincent of MSU fame! Admission to come in to the show is free but some of the signers do ask for a small fee. There will be awesome food catered by Bone Ends of Whitehall, which Rusty happens to own and that timeless atmosphere of the collectors show will be back once again.
I met up with Bill and Rusty to talk about the event. Take a listen.
A great time coming up. If you're a long time collector or just see it on TV, stop in. If you'd like your kids to meet some of your favorite sports hero's, they will be there. If, like us you want to help a couple of local guys trying to keep alive a great tradition and pretty timeless event...get there from 9a-3p this Saturday!