Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Celebrating my Local Card Shop

Today is the 22nd anniversary for my local card shop.  In this day when it seems that card shops are closing on a regular basis, Eddie Barkley at Sports Treasures keeps on going.

I've been his customer for the last 10 years or so.  Since he's on the other side of town I don't get there as often as I like, nor do I spend as much as I'd like, but he's a great guy and a very good dealer.  Even though I don't visit frequently when I do, I'm treated like an old friend.  He knows my name and calls out to me when I enter his store.  He has a range of items, from the latest boxes and singles to a nice collection of desirable vintage.  Dollar boxes, lots of University of Tennessee memorabilia, signed balls, jerseys, banners, you name it, he probably has it or can get it.

I had the chance to do a quick interview with Eddie last evening.  At his request, I've edited his answers for clarity.  I also lifted the images from his facebook photo albums.

Q: What made you want to get into the sports card business?
A: I got into the card business because it was my Dad's love and I had just graduated from college so I had nothing else to do. I love sports so we started it.

Q: With many card shops closing across the nation, what has allowed you to remain open?
A: I think the biggest reason we survived is because we put money into the business and had a full inventory of old and new stuff, whereas most people opened because of one hot product and then faded out.  They didn't have the inventory to survive.  Plus we tried to make our shop open to women and children, not just adult males.

Q: I know that you've had at least two locations, your present one and then before that, across from Litton's. Anywhere else?
A: I've moved two times into three spots total.  I started across the street from Litton's in Fountain City, to up the corner where the bridal shop was and then to where I am now.

Q: What is the biggest change you've seen in the hobby?
A: Wow, the hobby has changed so drastically over the last 20 years. It is hard to say.  I guess the cost of packs, the autographed cards and the value of cards that come from packs.

Q: What is the most interesting item that you've had come through the shop?
A: Most interesting?  Lots of stuff, the best I guess was a Babe Ruth Rookie $8,000 card!!!

Q: Do you have a personal collection? What do you like to collect?
A: I have a small personal collection now.  I used to have more at home but now doing the shop alone, technically everything there is my collection and I just change it around some each month.

So, Happy Anniversary, Eddie, and Sports Treasures.

If you're in Knoxville, drop by and visit him at 4819 N. Broadway.  Online he can be reached via the store's facebook page or his ebay store.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Religious pamphlets.  Not the She's beautiful, she's rich, she's got huge... tracts of land! kind of tracts.

A few weeks ago a purchase from ebay came to me with this Mickey Mantle tract included.

American Tract Society
American Tract Society

Good News Publishers
These tracts are about 3-1/2" x 5-1/2", being four or six pages in length.   The American Tract Society has a few tracts with athletes sharing their relationship with God.  I think that I picked the ATS Hershiser tract up at a card show in the early 1990s.  The Good News Publishers tract I got about the same time.  I worked at Tyndale Publishing House then and they shared a warehouse with GNP.

These are oddballs within my Hershiser collection.  I don't even quite know how to categorize them.  For now they share a four pocket page with some oversized Police Dodger issues.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Custom Cards and their Makers

The other day, Bob Lemke wrote:
You might be surprised at the number of custom card makers out there, and the breadth of their efforts. If I was the organizing type, I'd try to get everybody together on one web site to share our creations, tips, etc.
So, I asked a fellow blogger who did some custom cards and then I went looking out on the net.  I've assembled the list below.  Some of the bloggers create cards to sell, some for TTM autographs, some just to play with.

These are in no particular order and I'm sure that I've missed a few.  If I have, please let me know in the comment section and I'll add them to this list.

    Saturday, July 9, 2011

    More Hershiser cards

    I'm going through my Orel Hershiser collection, making sure I know what I have and trying to collect what I want.  That word "want" is generally interchangeable with the word "need" but I have a hard time reconciling the fact that I really need baseball cards.  There are many more important things in life.  But I digress.

    As I organize using Zistle, I try to add scanned images to their database.  I'll scan the cards in if they don't have them, but then rather than toss them to my recycle bin, they make it to this blog, which I guess is another form of recycling.

    The Duracell Power Players cards were issued in two series of 24 cards each.
    1993 Duracell Power Players, Series I
    Orel Hershiser (card # 4)


    The 1993 Upper Deck Fun Packs were targeting a younger set of collectors.  I think that the back cartoon is amateurish and knew guys in my college dorm that could draw better than that when they were three sheets to the wind.  And I'm not sure what is happening with the green hat that Orel is wearing.  Perhaps this is a St. Patrick's Day spring training game.

    1993 Upper Deck Fun Packs
    Orel Hershiser (card # 88)

    So, as I scan more cards for my Orel Hershiser collection at Zistle, you'll be seeing them here.

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Little Earl Wilson Cards

    These cards are not your "normal" baseball card sized cards. They're little.

    The Globe playing card is 1-5/8" x 2-1/4".  The paper stock is very thin.  When this arrived from BargainBaseballCards.com I almost thought that it was a photocopy.  But it was nice to pick up an oddball for just 15 cents.

    1969 Globe Import Playing Cards (blank back)
    Earl Wilson (5 of Diamonds)

    This approximately 2"x3" Broder card came from ebay.  A bit more pricey.  $5 delivered.  But I used some ebay bucks that I had accumulated by purchasing things for work.  Free cards for me.  And a fantastic ebay seller.  Great communication and super quick shipping.

    1974 Broder PCL "Popcorn"
    Earl Wilson (card # 49)

    I didn't know that Earl Wilson played for the San Francisco Seals.  A bit of poking around old newspaper accounts indicate that he did play in some preseason games but went to serve in the military before the season actually started.  My research there is not yet complete.

    Monday, July 4, 2011


    The ceremonial first pitch.  I've seen musicians, local dignitaries, Little League champs, celebrities, presidents, and more toss out the first pitch.  I've never seen royalty toss one out.

    While doing research for a Fourth of July themed post I came across this gem from 1918.  That led to more research and this blog.  I went to Footnote and grabbed the images.

    The Toronto World - June 27, 1918
    image from Google

    London Times - July 4, 1918
    image from Footnote
    Gorrell's History - AEF Air Service
    images from Footnote

    I can only think that the Brits were in on the jollification to pacify the American troops.  Apparently the royal family didn't want us to open another can of Yorktown on their butt.

    Happy Independence Day!  Be safe.