The popular annual card show in the Pittsburgh area was held this past weekend. As usual, a large collection of autograph signers was supplemented by a room full of dealers offering both vintage and modern cards and memorabilia.
The card show was previously held on the campus of Robert Morris University located just outside of Pittsburgh. However, replacement of the former venue (the Charles Sewall Center) meant a change in location. This year, the show was held just east of Pittsburgh in nearby Monroeville at the Monroeville Convention Center.
The event was held in two rooms. One room hosted the majority of the card dealers while the other, which included a few other dealers, was primarily occupied by the autograph guests and collectors waiting in line. That room was particularly crowded and busy throughout the show with guests scheduled at various hours.
As usual, a large selection of players were at the card show signing autographs with about three dozen guests on hand over the three days. Pittsburgh athletes were again the big draw with many collectors donning jerseys and apparel of the local teams with equipment and photos in hand. Steelers signing during the event included T.J. Watt, Mel Blount, Jack Lambert, and Rod Woodson while Pitt football was represented by NFL greats Chris Doleman and Rickey Jackson. A few collectors posted their encounters on social media.
— TJ (@FranchiseTJ44) May 21, 2018
Numerous Pirates were also on hand headlined by five-time Gold Glove winner Andy Van Slyke and four-time batting champion Bill Madlock. Jose Canseco, Bobby Hull, Lenny Moore, and Mel Renfro were among other guests.
— ?Billy’s Mancave? – #LetsGoPens (@BillysManCave) May 21, 2018
Autograph guests weren’t the only things local collectors were interested in. Several of the dealers said that Pittsburgh items such as cards and memorabilia for local athletes was in high demand. One dealer even indicated he wished he stocked up more on Pittsburgh cards as they were selling well.
Attendance, at least on the show’s main day of Saturday, seemed pretty good. The aforementioned autograph room was filled for the entire two hours I was there and the other room with dealers had probably around 75-100 other people milling around at the various tables.
In addition to the cards, SGC was on hand to accept submissions for grading and their table, while not overwhelmed, generally had a few people there at all times.
I couldn’t get any confirmation of the event’s future venue. The reaction, as you might expect, was mixed among dealers. Dealers coming from the east coast had a shorter drive to the show but also indicated that things such as hotel prices were more than what they had paid at the old location at Robert Morris.
One plus for the venue that was noted was the abundance of local shopping and restaurants as the convention center is located just off of William Penn Highway, the main thoroughfare in the city. But a negative was the traffic as some dealers, depending on where they were coming from, mentioned a slow crawl once they got closer to the venue.
Regardless of location, though, the show still managed to bring a little bit of everything to collectors in western Pennsylvania.