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Rich Klein: Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

When I first met my wife-to-be almost a decade ago, I remember talking to the person who was treasurer of Adat Chaverim in Plano TX, where she was a member and suggested we run a baseball card show in the social hall there. I was always told about all the issues we could have and we never did get the show off the ground.

Richs Ramblings I’m now a member and a couple of days ago during our Men’s Club meeting, the topic of our annual garage sale, traditionally the biggest fundraiser, came up.  The garage sale takes a lot of time, effort and space to run. So when we were looking for an alternative I again mentioned that we could run a baseball card (with comics, coins or other collectibles if needed) show as a pure fundraiser. Within an hour, we had the go ahead and I’m proud to say that March 9, 2014 will be our first card show at that location.

I’ve been analyzing local shows and remembering others here in Ramblings for a few years now, so now I get to put my money where my mouth is.

All-American Sports Collectors ShowWe have many goals for the show. The first is to have moderately priced tables and admission.  Since we are getting the space at a very reasonable price, our goal is to sell a minimum of 20 tables (no more than 2 per person) at $25 per and $1 admission per person with free admission to those 16 and younger.  We will also have snacks available at the show. While I’m not expecting any of the local corporate entities to set up at the show, I will certainly encourage through my contacts any industry leaders (Panini, Beckett, Leaf, etc.) to either have a presence or to donate various door prizes. Again this is a goal and not a certainty.

There are certain aspects I know we still have to discuss which include our final table sales count, the mix of food (being at a synagogue we are not supposed to mix dairy and meat products which means no cheeseburgers for example) and signs for our parking lot so people passing by can see where the show is.  We’d also like to get a web site up and running so we can get a mailing list going (for now, you can email me at [email protected] if you’d like to sign up).  We also need to discover other ways to promote the show and Plano TXalso keep track of the number of tables sold so we do not oversell the show. There will be more issues which arise, and one of our purposes in this series will be to give an inside look as to what is involved in running a small local card show these days.

I’m also very fortunate in that, if needed, Gary Sipos has volunteered to answer any questions I might have. Gary has promoted the very successful shows at the Garfield Boys Club in New Jersey for more than 20 years and what he does is a model for what I want our show to become. Gary has never charged more than $1 to attend his shows and his table prices are very reasonable. What he does with the Garfield Boys Club today or what Ed Keetz did with the Polish Community Center in Albany NY are my history and models for what we attempting to do.

Again, If you are interested in setting up at the show, or just being on our mailing list for updates, please email me and we’ll keep you informed of our progress. We look forward to seeing you on March 9 and I look forward to chronicling our efforts to produce a nice regional show.

Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]

About Rich Klein

Rich Klein has spent almost his entire life collecting baseball cards having begun at the tender age of seven. He has spent more than three decades in the organized hobby including editing the first 12 editions of the Beckett Almanac of Baseball Card and Collectibles. He lives in Plano, TX along with his wife Dena and their two dogs. You can reach him at [email protected].