Thursday, January 14, 2021

A Sports Card Show in the time of COVID

Believe it or not, Iowa has been among the top states listed amongst the COVID-19 hotbeds. Fortunately, just before our latest COVID flare-up, I was able to attend a card show in October for the first time in ages. Usually, it's hosted at the Urbandale American Legion, with dealers coming as far away as Nebraska and northern Iowa.

However, for whatever reason, the American Legion is no longer hosting these Sunday card shows. Since August, a new bar in Ankeny, Uptown Garage Brewing Co,, has been hosting this monthly event. I arrived at 9 a.m., and stayed for an hour or so. I have to say I was amused by the waitress' asking the dealers if they wanted anything to drink, that early in the morning.

Needless to say, whether it's a COVID-19 thing, or whatever, things seem to have changed quite a bit since my last show. For beginners, there were only about a half dozen dealers at the show (Usually there's 7-10). Gone were the nickel and dime boxes - the cheapest loose card box that could be found was 25 cents.

And yes, all the dealers and the majority of those in attendance were wearing masks.

While there was plenty of 2020 baseball product to be found, hockey was in short supply. Besides the "dime" boxes, it seemed as if most of the cards were priced a bit more on the expensive side. I even heard one dealer talking about a certain box running over a $1,200 (I didn't catch which one it was). I love my cardboard, but that's just pure craziness.

I was more than happy, however, to be able to find a plethora of Padres in the quarter boxes.

Where would you like to start with the highlights? Old school Padres players?

2018 Donruss Dave Winfield (#112),  2017 Topps Gallery Hall of Fame Winfield (#HOF14), and a 2010 Topps Update Willie McCovey SP (#US15B).

How about shiny, new cards for that special Tony Gwynn Collection?

2019 Topps Chrome Update 150 Years of Professional Baseball (#150C24),  1997 SP Special FX (#17), and a 2016 Topps Chrome Holiday Mega Box 3,000 Hits Club (#3000C12).

How about shiny, bright, colorful cards?

2020 Topps Chrome Pink Refractors Adrian Morejon (#86), 2019 Topps Chrome Pink Refractors Eric Hosmer (#174), 2020 Topps Chrome Pink Refractors Andres Munoz (#149), and a 2018 Topps Chrome Update Pink Refractors Eric Hosmer (#HMT39).

Perhaps a few cards of one of the Padres' hottest players?

I missed out on El Nino's rookie cards, but here's a few other Fernando Tatis, Jr. cards I picked up. How about four of his 2020 Topps Fernando Tatis Jr. Highlights (From left to right - #FTH11, FTH27, FTH26,  and FTH24).

I found three additional Tatis cards, including a 2020 Stadium Club In the Wings (#ITW4), 2020 Topps 2030 (#T202013), and a 2020 Topps Fire (#95).

 How about a few other "cool" cards (At least, I thought they were cool)?

 2020 Topps Chrome Sepia Refractors Michael Baez (#187), 2014 Donruss Press Proofs Silver Everth Cabrera (S/N 84/199) (#113), and a 2017 Topps '87 Topps Silver Pack Chrome (#87WM).

It was just nice to be able to pick up Padres cards from A to U, in a relatively safe environment.

2020 Donruss Optic Rated Prospects C.J. Abrams (#17) and a 2018 Bowman Chrome Hashtag Bowman Trending Refractors (# #LU). By the way, did you know, that no MLB team has ever had a player with a last name beginning with "X" on it's roster.

While it's hard to tell if and/or when there'll be another card show, as the virus makes yet another surge, I was happy, at least for one morning, as I was able to soothe my cardboard longings.

In the meantime, stay safe and healthy out there.


  1. A. I'm not a big drinker... but that's pretty cool that a bar is hosting a card show.

    B. That Gwynn Special FX for a quarter is an awesome find.

  2. The Nashville show that I go to is considered to be one of the better ones out there, but still, I'm a little afraid to go back whenever just because of the possible change in pricing. It would be hard for me to enjoy a show where dime boxes could no longer be found.