Celebrating The Return Of Sports Card Shows

When I took a look at the email on my phone this past Friday, I honestly thought I was looking at a saved email from over a year ago.  Before I said something to my kids, I wanted to make sure that this email was current and not something old or perhaps junk mail.  But after spending a few minutes making sure that I wasn’t seeing things, I confirmed to myself that the information in this email was correct and that I would be able to share the good news with my kids that we’ve been waiting on for over a year.

I had the pleasure of telling them that sports card shows were coming back and that we would be going to one on Sunday (yesterday as I’m writing this story on Monday morning).

I’m not about to say that a card show is more important than getting control of COVID with the vaccine rollout, getting kids back to in-person learning at school and continuing to keep people safe. But, the return of sports card shows is another step towards whatever the new normal is going to look like and it was great to be able to have that experience with my kids again.  Throughout the pandemic, there have been milestones in terms of having things that we take for granted come back like having dinner with your family in a restaurant, being able to go to a mall and shop and also actually go to a live sporting event.

Even without card shows, collecting cards has been a hobby and a business, depending on your perspective, that skyrocketed during the pandemic.

Being home with my family a lot more certainly gave us the chance to pay some extra attention to things around the house and one example of that was spending time with my sons Bradley and Jared going through and organizing our collections.  Without shows during the pandemic, the boys and I went to sports card store and places like Target and Walmart to get cards.  Before the pandemic, we would go to card shows regularly here on Long Island, especially the big shows that JP’s Sports/Rock Solid (JPRS) Promotions put on at Hofstra University.  There have also been smaller scale shows at other locations including the Plainview Holiday Inn and that’s the show that made its return on Sunday.

The email said that there would be health and safety protocols in place for the show including mandatory mask wearing and a limited capacity in the room.  When my sons and I arrived about an hour into the show, it was clear that we weren’t the only people that were excited for the return of shows because the line was wrapped around the hotel.  We were told that the estimate was it could take two and a half hours to get in so my first inclination was to just say forget it and let’s go home.  But, after discussing it with my kids and also calling my wife at home, I came to the conclusion that this was something that we’ve been waiting a long time to do so let’s just get on line and see what happens.

I mean, we’ve been waiting over a year for this so what’s a couple of more hours?

So, we enjoyed some great conversation with the other people waiting on line and also took a look at some cards that someone was walking around with and selling out of a briefcase.  It was also great to see someone that I had worked with at Sports Phone many years ago so there were things that kept us busy until….

Almost two hours after we got on line, we were in!

My kids were glad to pick up some cards that they like to collect.  My son Bradley loves to collect jersey and artifact cards while Jared added to his collection of Mets cards while also adding a Clayton Kershaw figure that came in a box of Topps cards.  I kept it simple picking up some Islanders, Jets and Yankees cards to add to my collection.  I probably could have bought some more things but I decided to wait until we go to another show next month.  It was just an amazing feeling to be back at a show for the first time in over a year.

This was the first step but now the hope is that the bigger shows can make a return.  Again, going to a sports card show is not the most important thing given the world we’re living in right now, but it is a business for the dealers and it is entertainment for the collectors.  Just like people have been waiting to go to Broadway shows, sporting events, and other forms of arts and entertainment, the return of sports card shows is another step in the right direction as we navigate towards the new normal.

Thank you JPRS for bringing back a show and hopefully see you at Hofstra really soon!

About the Author

Peter Schwartz

Peter Schwartz is a contributor covering the Islanders for NY Sports Day while also writing about general sports in the New York/New Jersey area. In addition to his column, Peter also hosts his “Schwartz On Sports” podcast as he interviews players, coaches, and other sports personalities. He is also currently a sports anchor for WFAN Radio, CBS Sports Radio, and WCBS 880 radio while also serving as the public address announcer for the New York Cosmos soccer club.

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