Guest Article by Enigma 

A couple of weekends a year, the Triad area in North Carolina will have a spike in its population anywhere between 500-1000. The epicenter of the population boon is the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC. The reason: the Greensboro Toy, Hobby and Sports Card Show.

Inside Pitch Promotions is the host of this event; usually three times a year in February, May and November. It’s a two day show that encompasses many hobbies, including sports card. Collectors from all over North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia make the trek to Greensboro to feed their cardboard appetite. Whether it’s vintage, memorabilia, autographs or wax, this show has it all.

I had the privilege to attend the show as a dealer with a business partner to represent CardsByTheBox.com. We were fortunate to get an ideal location in the middle of the show arena. Set up with wax products from five sports, supplies and individual cards, we began our assault on the Greensboro area. Right away, we were besieged by an onslaught of fellow collectors looking to acquire the latest hobby releases such as 2008/09 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey, 2008 Bowman Chrome Football, 2008 Press Pass Legends Racing, 2008/09 Upper Deck SPx Basketball and 2008 Topps Stadium Club Baseball.

We were fortunate to be the only dealer set up that was there primarily to sell wax products. At times, this caused congestion around our tables, but we took it all in stride. As with any show, you get the opportunity to shoot the breeze with fellow collectors and forge future relationships in this ever-growing hobby. One conversation in particular was refreshing.

When I asked this lady why she collects cards, her answer was simple, “I love my (Carolina) Panthers”, nothing wrong with that rationale. Then I asked her why the Panthers were her favorite team. Her reply, “Because I like Sir Purr (the mascot) and when he goes grrraarrrr (a growl)”. She followed by doing hand gestures like she was clawing someone and growled. Yes, the young lady in question was a cute 7-year old girl in pigtails visiting the show with her father.

While her father was perusing our selection of baseball wax products, she stumbled upon our Nickel Bin. The Nickel Bin is a series of boxes with loose cards that are a nickel a piece, regardless of the number purchased. Not five seconds later, she had come across her first Panther, a 2008 Donruss Gridiron Gear base card of WR Steve Smith. She smiled like only a young kid can and ran over to her dad to show him. He patted her on the head and she asked if she could have it. More than willing to let her have it, I noticed her father reach into his pocket and give her a $1 bill. He told her to go and get some more. Like a kid in a candy store, she went digging. And she struck gold. She pulled out close to 150 Panthers cards out of three boxes. Sheepishly, she handed me the $1 and asked if that was enough. Without hesitation, I said it sure was and got her a bag for her goodies. Seriously, wouldn’t you do the same thing?

In a hobby that is male dominated and oriented and priced primarily for adults, it was pleasant to see a young collector understand what collecting should really be about. It’s not the money, it’s not the card value predicated by sales or a magazine or someone’s opinion. It’s just for the love of your sport, team or player. Hopefully that card innocence remains for a long time.

Another aspect I enjoy at card shows is the ability to trade with fellow members is trading. Like logging into SportsCardForum.com, it’s always exciting to execute deals to pick up new pieces and send old ones to a new home. Unfortunately, this was not a show for that. Because of economic times, dealers weren’t open to trading as much as normal and the ones that were wanted something for nothing. But that’s ok, there’s always the next time, which makes this hobby wonderful. Not to mention, that didn’t stop me from viewing all the collections spread out throughout the arena.

Probably the greatest attribute a card show has is that it is for everyone. Young or old, male or female, monetarily with or without, there’s something for all of us. So next time you have the chance to go to a card show, big or small, come on out and enjoy yourself. They are much more entertaining that a trip to the theater or a concert.

See you in Raleigh, NC, for the Supershow from December 19-21…