We recently had our second guest, former All-Pro Dallas Cowboys defensive back Michael Downs at a show I help promote here in the Dallas area. He was terrific, very friendly to all his fans and has a delightful family including his youngest son, whose name is actually Dallas. When I saw him approaching the hotel room where we have our show, one could tell he was still quite the athlete and there did not appear to be an ounce of fat on him.
In addition to his enjoying the experience, he also is working on providing us contact information for other retired Cowboys we hope to have soon.
As we’ve written before, making a contact with a popular, reliable and well-connected former player can often lead to finding others who would love to pick up a few bucks signing autographs and chatting with fans. Some of those guys have rarely—if ever—made show appearances and it’s a great chance to draw a larger crowd for a reasonable price. Some promoters might also be able to create a mail order option that could bring in more revenue for themselves and the player.
We were fortunate to have Stephen from JSA again at our show to do authentication and witnessing of the Michael Downs autographs. I felt truly sorry for him because our small show kept him so busy that once again he couldn’t take a bathroom break until several hours after the show began. I was leaving after the show but he still had a couple of hours of work ahead of him. JSA comes to the DFW area quite frequently, but there are still tons of items which need authentication.
We did have some last-minute cancellations and while those can be troubling, both dealers had good reasons for not setting up. I understand why some promoters always want money up front, but I’m personally fine with collecting table fees the day of the show. One of them offered to pay for a half day by arriving at noon. He actually did very well, by the way, in his abbreviated appearance. Perhaps show promoters should offer “half day options” for dealers. Nah, it would probably be too confusing and convoluted. Can you imagine a one-day show with rotating dealers?
What made me feel really good was when I checked in at Triple Cards on my way home after the show as I always do. Al, the owner, was happy to tell me he had several people come to the store after our show and all were very pleased with the whole event. Nothing makes a promoter happier than when he hears people enjoy what they do.
Our next show will feature two guests for the first time. Nomar Mazara, the star Rangers prospect, will be signing for one hour and Warren “the Deacon” Newson will be signing for two hours. Mazara plays AA ball for the Texas Rangers at nearby Frisco.
Having two guests at the same day is going to be a first for us. We’ll see how the traffic bears up during the day as Newson will be signing from 2 to 4 PM at the last two hours of our show.
We’ve talked about the growing interest in soccer, especially in larger markets like here in the Dallas area. At the show, there were actually several people who asked me for MLS cards. We even had a customer from another state who came to the show and told me he not only attends all the local games he can but also comes frequently to DFW to watch FC Dallas games. Obviously, he’s a collector as well.
Many of the people I see collecting soccer are in that sweet spot of having collected as young men in the early 1990’s and are now returning. The passion of soccer fans is on its way to rivaling hard-core hockey fans in some places. Perhaps after nearly 50 years, soccer is finally reaching across to the traditional American sports masses.
Chris Inoue recently sent us a box of donations for our next non-profit show at Adat Chaverim, “Plano IV” later this summer. There has been a wild mix of material coming in for the free giveaway bags we provide and Chris’ donation was terrific. I also want to give a shout out to my former Beckett colleague Mark Anderson who donated a bunch of inexpensive but fun autographs. Yes, we’re always accepting more goodies for our next show and we are always grateful for all the cards and memorabilia we have received as we continue to build the coffers that help sent a lot of great kids to summer camp.