Chicago is perhaps the strongest collecting market in the country. That’s one reason why the National Sports Collectors Convention sets up shop there about every two or three years and why the Chicago Sun-Times card show has been such a long-running staple. Heck, your editor can even remember some pretty hoppin’ shows run by the Chicago Sports Collectors Association back in the very early 1980s in hotel conference rooms (note to self: continue time machine research).
It’s also pretty convenient for the FBI.
The Bureau’s investigation of the sports memorabilia industry, or at least certain goings-on has been…well…going on…for about four years now. If it were a Broadway play, the producer would be wealthy and living in the south of France by now.
Much of that work is coming out of the Chicago office, it seems. They were at the National a couple of years ago and according to the New York Daily News, at least one agent was a visitor to the Sun-Times show that was held at the Stephens Convention Center last weekend.
They’re either being very thorough…or overwhelmed by the scope of things.
Late word Wednesday night from the Industry Summit, set for Las Vegas next week:
“Major League Baseball and Topps will be making a major announcement regarding a Hobby-exclusive promotion for this summer. The promotion is built to enhance hobby store traffic and leverage the popularity of the 60th Anniversary celebration for Topps, the Official Trading Card of MLB. We’re excited to be part of the Summit and look forward to engaging the attendees on our ongoing partnership with Topps.”
A big lot of T206 cards topped the bidding at a Phillip Weiss Auctions sale this month. A single-owner collection of over 525 T206 cards sold for $18,080 and featured classic names like Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson. All of the cards were Piedmont and Sweet Caporal backs.
Another single-owner collection – loaded with autographed index cards, baseball cards, Hall of Fame cards, letters and other pieces – hit $7,628. The trove, gathered mostly from the 1950s-1970s, included autographs from Hall of Famers Mantle, DiMaggio, Campanella, Terry, Traynor and others.
A bat used by Yogi Berra in the 1962 All-Star Game sold for $9,605. The bat had been consigned by a former batboy for the Detroit Tigers. He explained that batboys were permitted to bring damaged bats home and Berra had cracked the handle of this one.
Dave Jamieson, who wrote ‘Mint Condition’, a really solid book on the history of baseball cards and the personalities involved, has a very nice new gig. He’s going to be writing for the Huffington Post.
By the way, if you haven’t bought Mint Condition yet, it’s well worth the small investment via Amazon.com.