We had another interesting week at the shop. One day was even more interesting, and heavier, than the rest.
Early in the week we were running around shipping our online orders before we opened and I had noticed someone hovering at the door and window. So, once we were within a few minutes of our opening time, I popped the door open and the customer came lumbering in carrying a little cloth backpack that had some real weight to it. I’ve seen him in the store once or twice before and I’ve definitely seen him walking around our small Pennsylvania town here and there.
He asked if I was willing to take a look at an item he had that he had been lugging around. Of course I was! He pulls out this huge bronze statue/trophy/award. The thing must have weighed 30 pounds or more, was nearly two feet tall and it was clear right from the jump that it was a pretty unique piece to just randomly walk in the store. It turned out to be Andy Russell’s personal recognition trophy that he received from the Pittsburgh Steelers during their 50th Anniversary celebration.
In 1982 a 100,000- plus fan vote resulted in the naming of the Steelers All 50th Anniversary Team. Russell was a part of the famed Pittsburgh Steelers Steel Curtain defense in the 1970s.
I started taking a few pictures of the piece and although it’s not exactly what I collect or what we sell, it’s definitely an interesting piece of Steelers memorabilia.
We spoke for a few minutes and I told him my thoughts and the customer left… with trophy in hand. Within an hour he was back in again. At that point, I asked if he would mind telling me how he came in possession of such a unique piece. It turns out he bought it at a local pawn shop about ten miles from our store. I’m actually familiar with the shop and its owner. He as is pretty well known in the area. Another key fact is that Andy Russell actually lives in the town where the trophy was found.
After doing quick research everything seemed to check out. After even more conversation, the customer actually left. I gave him our number and even tried to track him down later in the day. We spoke on the phone briefly that afternoon and he stated that, after giving it more thought, he wanted to hold on to the piece. So the Andy Russell Steelers 50th anniversary trophy is still floating around Sunbury, PA… somewhere other than our shop or my office. Like I always say, you never know what will walk in the door on any given day.
New Stock; Out of Stock
It was an incredibly busy sports card week for us at the shop as a number of new products dropped for the first time. We got various forms of 2022 Bowman Baseball from hobby to retail and beyond. They pretty much went right back out the door as soon as we got them on the shelf and a tag written up.
Collectors are Wander-crazy and snagging his Bowman RC logo (although not a true RC) is toward the top of many want lists.
We also got a plethora of 2022 Donruss Baseball in stock including fat packs, hangers, blasters and all kinds of fun Donruss-y stuff.
Although an unlicensed product, Donruss always seems to sell really, really well for us in store and online and that seems to be true at other shops, too. Even without team logos and insignias the Rated Rookie logo and name carries weight and has some real appeal. On top of that fact, Donruss always seems to offer a lot of bang for the buck as far as hits and fun pulls.
We also got a few different 2021 Panini Contenders Football products in including blasters, which are rather affordable and also other retail forms of the product. The only issue, as in other recent years, is if you’re not hitting the rookie auto there really isn’t much to write home about in this product. The subsets are pretty weak, the inserts and other relics and autos are almost non-existent and what we have seen pulled is just blah to be completely honest. It has become a super top-heavy and literally hit or miss release.
Proud Dad Moment
My week ended on a great note as I actually left a little early Friday afternoon to make the trip to see my daughter and son before their junior and senior prom.
My daughter who is a senior looked as beautiful as ever in her dress. As a dad, it’s hard to believe that she’s already a senior and graduating in a few weeks. It was great to see my son all dressed up and ready to have a great time as well. With his choice of suit I think he was preparing more for the NFL Draft than he was going to the prom.
Thanks for reading about my week. I’ll be sure to check back in again soon.