The Washington State Sports Collectors Association will hold their annual winter convention November 4-5 at Meridian Park Elementary School in the Seattle suburb of Shoreline. The long-running club holds a weekend show twice per year with over 40 eight-foot tables occupied by dealers with vintage and modern cards and memorabilia. Their Summer Convention is the longest running in the country, launching in 1973.
“I do believe there was a Wagner at one show,” recalled WSSCA Vice-President Conor Donahue, referring to the famous T206 card. “Yeah, there are usually some bigger ticket items, but there’s plenty of affordable stuff too. Cards, autographs, memorabilia…. you name it. There are some real treasures at every show. The conventions are great because, even after 30 years of collecting, something always pops up that makes me say, ‘Wow’.”
As Bob D’Angelo described it in a Sports Collectors Daily article last year, the shows are run “by collectors, for collectors.” There’s seldom a corporate presence and there’s an old-school style atmosphere with admission set at $3 per day to help cover expenses. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find some high quality memorabilia or rare cards.
“The hobby’s maturing,” Donohue stated. “Collectors are getting more sophisticated and there’s great stuff coming onto the market because of it. There’s been a lot of extra interest in our upcoming show, from buyers and sellers.”
The bi-annual convention also continues to thrive thanks in part to some of the collectors who were youngsters in the late 1980s and early 90s when the hobby was exploding in popularity. Now, their own kids are collecting and learning to appreciate sports history.
“We’re starting to see more families come out, which is great. It’s always fun to watch a kid discover something they think is cool for the first time,” Donohue said.
Former Washington Huskies football star Joe Jarzynka will sign free autographs from 11 AM-1 PM on Sunday. More information on the show is available at www.wsscaseattle.com.