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Changing times hard to avoid at shows ...


I spent the weekend at the Chicago Sun Times Show at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., and it’s hard not to notice that our hobby that’s so resistant to change finds a degree of it unavoidable at modern card shows.

Just as its famous counterpart in Valley Forge, Pa., the iconic Philly Show has done for decades, the Sun-Times Show holds a unique position for Midwest collectors as a twice-annual reminder of how the hobby started and the powerful hold that shows have.

Still, even a horse like the Sun-Times has had to make concessions to the current economic climate, this time with a show about 16 percent smaller in terms of the number of dealers.

Show promoter Brian Schwartz insisted the attendance numbers were probably close to those of the November 2008 show, and noted a strong turnout from fans for reunion of the beloved 1985 Super Bowl Champions Bears on Sunday afternoon.

Chronicling sales is even trickier, since such considerations can vary widely depending upon whom you ask. A number of dealers told me that collectors seemed a little slow to pull the trigger on deals, a perhaps understandable observation given the tenor of the times. For my part, it seemed to me there was a bit more sightseeing than I might have expected, with many collectors seemingly give short shrift to many dealers as they walked by.

Still, there was a lot going on, from a serious buzz Sunday from all those lovable Bears to a Heisman Trophy that walked in the door Saturday afternoon, in a manner of speaking. Plus, all weekend long, the gang from Hartland and Mike Shuba(shown in photo at right), the son of George “Shotgun” Shuba, were hawking a unique “Kwik Mit” that is designed to give fans at the ballpark a big assist when it comes to catching foul balls and home runs.

More on all of that later this week.

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