The new sports card market was at its peak when Dean and Marilyn Bapes opened Dean’s dugout in the Chicago suburb of Naperville.
They’ve moved a couple of times but in October, they’ll celebrate 25 years in business; one of a limited number of hobby shops that have survived the ups and downs of the sports collectibles market. Over the weekend, Dean’s Dugout was the subject of a Chicago Tribune business story.
With that first generation of young customers now grown up and having kids of their own, the Bapes are seeing a connection that goes far beyond ripping packs.
“I don’t think people understand that when kids start doing collecting, you also help them with their reading, learning stats,” Marilyn said. “Also, the collecting gets kids away from sitting in front of computers, and it does teach them some interpersonal skills. … I think you’ve got a lot of parents that are getting the kids into this, because they want them to learn and get involved and maybe they were collectors when they were kids. And it’s just so much fun.”
Read the full story and conversation about what the Bapes enjoy about running their shop by clicking here.