Even before the Dodgers and Giants broke the hearts of New York fans more than a half-century ago, baseball was a staple of the California landscape through the excellent play of the Pacific Coast League. Despite fact that the first National was held in Los Angeles in 1980, the show has not returned to the west coast since 2006. With National locations announced through 2018 not including California, three local collectors banded together to host a show in Los Angeles and the result was last May’s Southern California Sports Collectors Show.
The group’s second show will be held in Culver City at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, October 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
None of the three promoters holds a full time job in the sports card and memorabilia industry: Jason Miller works in post production on feature films; Anthony Nex is a photographer; and Adam Warshaw is an attorney. Using a self-described ‘old school’ approach that includes free admission (and parking), reasonable table fees, and a focus on young collectors their first show was met with success and attracted several notable figures in the hobby. Now, five months later, as the baseball seasons comes to an end, and the football season heats up, the trio will be holding their second show.
“We’re not promoters who are looking to line our pockets, rather we’re collectors who are trying to help grow the hobby,” explained Jason Miller, who is hoping the next show will build on the success of the first. “If we see kids, we make sure to not let them leave without fistfuls of cards. We talk freely and openly to anyone who asks about the hobby. It’s a hobby we all love and we just want a place to be able to share it. Hopefully the dealers come and make money, because otherwise they won’t come back. The last show we had a steady stream of customers from open until right before closing so I have to think that the dealers were happy. Also, many of the dealers are setting up again so it seems to have struck a nerve with the public as well.”
“The goal for our show is to take things back to the time when local shows were about the cards and memorabilia, not about the autograph guests or amusement games. The three of us all came up through the card clubs in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and we are trying to restore some of that family-friendly, collector-oriented feel. We also want to be welcoming to the weekend warrior-dealers, the guys who do not deal cards as a full-time profession and cannot take the time to set up at a three-day show and cannot afford the table fees of a longer show. We offer single tables at $95 each, which anyone with a good batch of extra cards will find very affordable. The low table fee combined with free parking and free admission gives the dealers the most bang for the buck,” said Warshaw, echoing Miller’s comments, and reminiscing about a time in the hobby when collectors came together to share their passion for the hobby.
While the internet has surely enabled the hobby to grow and brought together collectors who otherwise never would have found each other, it has unfortunately created a sterile environment where real-life interaction has been minimized. It is this old school approach to the show that has attracted collectors and dealers not from just across California, but across the region. Among the dealers set up will be Brian Marcy, All Marty’s Stuff, Ryan Christoff – Cuban Baseball Cards, Mark Macrae, Dan Studebaker, Paul Markoe, Moss Benmoche, Jay Miller, Ted Zanidakis, Mark Hellman, Patrick Prickett, Jim Schneider, Ron Kinwald, and Michael and Derek Hogue.
“The May show had a great assortment of vintage sports and non-sports cards. It was nice to see a grass roots baseball card show like back in the day. I enjoyed meeting new customers and the location was outstanding,” commented Brian Marcy, owner of Scottsdale Cards, who will be driving eleven hours round trip to setup at the show.
“I set up at the first Culver City show in May and found it to be a pleasant atmosphere, with a number of specialty collectors present and very few problems or distractions,” added hobby veteran Mark Macrae, who has been attending California shows since the early 1970s and has promoted his own Northern California show for 29 years. “There was a nice selection of material at the show from 19th century to modern items. A few National exhibitors were present, but it was also nice to see a good representation of local dealers, including some younger guys with recent Dodger material. The promoters are also collectors so they understand what it important to an attendee. I will be set up there in a few weeks again and hope that their show does well.”