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Albany sports cards and memorabilia show

February 22, 2015

by Vinnie Rullo

Some 80 people made it out Sunday to take in the Sports Cards and Memorabilia show at the Ramada Inn on Watervliet Avenue.

Branfalt looking at sports cards at the Ramada/Vinny Rullo

Branfalt looking at sports cards at the Ramada/Vinny Rullo

The card show offers collectors a wide variety of both new and vintage cards, and a place to spend time with like- minded sports memorabilia fans. Admission is $2 a person, and a visitors get a chance to win a door prize.

A number of vendors also sell autographed memorabilia. Mickey Mantle vintage cards are one of the most valuable items at the gathering.  A number of Derek Jeter rookie cards were also on display this month.

The next show takes place on March 22, from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Scott Trudell and Mike Dzembo have been running the event since March 2012, and for several years it was located on Wolf Road.  “This is a great show, that has a great selection of vintage and modern sports cards, memorabilia,” said Trudell.

Some 15 sports card dealers set up at tables, that feature a wide variety of inventory. Dealers set up their tables to make money on their stuff, they also may buy items off people selling items. Some dealers even put out sports cards or memorabilia items in their personal collection for sale.

Gilbert browsing cards at the show/Vinnie Rullo

Gilbert browsing cards at the show/Vinnie Rullo

“I like to look at more modern material 1980′s & up, un-open material, graded cards, and cards that might be worth grading,” said Ken Gilbert of Albany.

The show allows people to try to build on their collections, and people can browse around what they’re looking for, people have the option of being able to buy, sell, or trade depending on who they deal with at the show.

The card show also always people to see the cards in person, where people can get a better sense of what they’re looking to buy. Tim Branfalt of Albany enjoys seeing  the cards in person and enjoys interacting with people.

“It’s easier to buy at a card show compared to eBay because you can get a feel for the card,” said Branfalt. Attending the sports card show allows people to feel more comfortable when trying to purchase sports cards or memorabilia. “It’s more personal, (you) can negotiate at a show, eBay you’re just a number,” said Branfalt.

One shopper who attends the show regular, Tracy Dougherty, comes from East Greenbush. “It’s one of the best shows going, and the dealers are really nice,” said Dougherty. “The prices are fair, all of the dealers are reasonable.” Dougherty buys strictly old baseball cards. “I look for mainly vintage baseball, something that catches my eye, or mainly Mickey Mantle cards,” said Dougherty.

A North Greenbush dealer, Bruce Bishop, said his best sellers are football cards ranging from the years 1948 to1992. The card dealers like attending the show not only as a place to sell, buy, or trade cards or memorabilia but it’s also for dealers to educate themselves about the hobby more.

“I learn a lot from other dealers, what they’re buying, or things I don’t know a lot about,” said Bishop. “I think the show is slowly coming back to our area, and more people are coming each month.” Card dealers pay $60 to set up at 8-foot table.

For Antonio Abate of Voorhesville, card dealing is a hobby and a way to make extra money.

Browsing the memorabilia show on Sunday/Vinny Rullo

Browsing the memorabilia show on Sunday/Vinny Rullo

“The whole process makes you feel like a kid again, bringing you back to a time when life seemed simpler,” said Abate.  “I get some requests, when I can come across something I do keep them in mind.”

He is also a big proponent of trying to get new items for his table for people to look at each month. “In this business you have to constantly keep moving your inventory so people can see stuff they haven’t seen before,” said Abate.

At the April  25 and 26, a professional authenticating company, SGC, will be available. Customers who have any autographs, or cards, or any other auto-graphed memorabilia they want authenticated  can bring it to the come to the show. The prices will vary depending on the items.

Upcoming shows will take place Sunday, March 22nd, April 25th and 26th, and May 31st.

“It’s a great show for families and children to come, and offers a lot of history to our national past time,” said Trudell. -30-

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