Shops Bank on Cards’ Ongoing Allure

Long predicted to be near death, the sports card industry plows forward, banking on the desire of American sports fans to own tangible connections to pro leagues, teams and athletes.

The internet has been both friend and foe, creating communities of like-minded collectors and distributing information at the blink of an eye, while rendering hundreds of sports card shops extinct.

There are new products coming out each week and apparently enough people to buy them.

In sports and collecting hotbeds like Chicago, winter is coming and collecting pursuits become more important as more people stay inside.

Shops here often fare better than most, but it isn’t easy.    Making things tougher for long-time suburban fixture Au Sports is the recent death of owner Steve Gold.

Long time customers Scott Beatty and Tom Robak are now helping run the store and its online sales too.

Ross Jacobson, who grew up at the popular shop’s previous location, stopped in again to take the temperature of the hobby.