Saturday, August 19, 2023

Utah baseball stops in August 2023

I spent a chunk of August visiting family in and around Salt Lake City, a town with more than a century of minor league history. We made multiple baseball stops in the area and caught Tuesday's night game at Smith's Ballpark, home to the AAA Bees.

Stop one: Lindquist Field in Ogden

This current Ogden Raptors facility does its best to compress 100+ years into something approachable at the street level. My brother and I visited during a road series, so took photos along their park's main thoroughfare.

These three Dodgers cut their teeth in Ogden, winning multiple titles under Tommy Lasorda prior to his time as their MLB manager. The Salt Lake Tribune revisited those days in 2018.

As a Steve Garvey and #5 collector, it'd be amazing to find an Ogden jersey today. I'll accept this photo for now.

Frank (Frankie) Robinson also starred for Ogden way back in 1953 and "hit the horsehide" in a literal way.

Lindquist's Wall of Fame spans HOF catcher Ernie Lombardi ("C" in 1927) to the Raptors debut (1994)...

...with several Dodgers, Reds, and Athletics in-between. While we missed the Raptors this time around, I look forward to catching games there in future years!

Stop two: Baseball Kid statue(s) in Ogden Park

This park contained two statues at one point, one pitching and one batting, just outside the city amphitheater a few blocks south of Lindquist Field.

The batter's missing at the moment, perhaps undergoing repair, so I paid respects to this pitcher and his newsboy duds. I expect Ogden's batter to return at some point to that flattened patch of grass in the distance.

One statue or two statues, I'll nominate them for inclusion as a SABR baseball landmark.

Stop three: Smith's Ballpark for a Salt Lake City Bees game

This pleasant SLC ballpark features a family-friendly circumference with grassy berms behind its outfield wall and Wall of Fame banners overlooking its warning track. As a Boston resident, three former Red Sox stood out to me.

We sat along the third base lane and avoided direct sunshine for its first few innings by hiding under this second-deck overhang. Attendance filled about half the park on a "discount Tuesday," where fans got four tickets for $20 plus $2.50 hot dogs & sodas.

Smith's sixth inning trivia question gave Clemens (354 wins), Cy Young (511 wins), and Paul "Aussenmacher" (Assenmacher, 61 wins) as options.

Their fan contestant picked the right answer and won tickets to a future game. I wonder how Assenmacher ended up on that list.

Did you know Mike Trout spent time as a Bee?

Oh, cool, just checking.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

"Baseball in the Berkshires" exhibit in Lee, MA (July to August 2023)

A long chain of events, fortunate and unfortunate, led me to factory outlet shopping in Lee, MA, over the weekend. I parked our car and turned around to see a local success story looking back.


Earlier in July, a dedicated group of local historians opened a storefront museum featuring the many MLB, minor league, and amateur baseball teams that played local forms of our pastime since (by their count) at least 1791, with online details at

Jack Chesbro garnered a street-facing banner as half of their Cooperstown inductees.

African-American pioneer Frank Grant is their second HOFer

Local news coverage gave a good sense of the inside, including an on-camera chat with its curator: "Baseball in the Berkshires opens new exhibit in Lee" (July 6, 2023).

I spotted card sorting near the back, where they offered any visiting kids a free variety stack of 1960s to 2000s.

I hope those youngsters appreciate broadcasters well-known, lesser-known, and also Ron Salcedo.

Lots of recognizable names in those stacks, even in the minor league sets. Those exhibit hosts said all their cards came from local collectors and donors.

Their batch of hand-updated cards should be perfect for people playing Immaculate Grid. I've already used Jim Perry multiple times!

If you live anywhere near the Berkshires or take a roadtrip to Cooperstown, I recommend stopping by before the end of August. Tell them you heard about it from that guy holding a Calvin Klein bag!

Monday, July 17, 2023

1935 Goudey Big League Gum baseball: over the border line (for the SABR Baseball Cards blog)

Intro for my latest at the SABR Baseball Cards blog

I enjoy picking apart hard-to-explain details of vintage cards to see where that journey leads. This post puts three aspects of Goudey's 1935 Big League Gum baseball set, which most shorten to "1935 Goudey," under the microscope. It plays with definitions of "border" and considers how gum companies took advantage of legal gray areas to sell more gum to baseball fans. If you like learning about Prohibition's impact on greater society, this will be grist for your mill. You might even agree that "1935 Goudey" tells just half of its story.

Read the rest there!

Saturday, July 8, 2023

1923-24 Tomás Gutiérrez (Cuban cigars) Baseball #5, Dave Brown

While my type collection might never include this hobby rarity, it deserves a profile on its own merits and for those of its subject, Dave Brown.

First excelling on independent teams in the 1910s, Brown's star burned brightest for Rube Foster's American Giants, winner of the first three Negro National League titles (1920-22). He might well reach the Hall of Fame, given sufficient time and career examination by their election committee.

Havana-based tobacco company Tomás Gutiérrez published this set of 1923-24 winter league players and each back explains that collectors of complete sets could redeem them for a display album. Hake's Auctions sold one SGC-graded collection of all 84 known numbers in 2014. That listing and this Flickr album provide good pictures of most cards.

The collector album shows players by team, two pages each, with Brown's photo taken against a studio backdrop, while others stood next to an outdoor stadium or building.

1923-24 Santa Clara team (detail from Christie's album auction)

Gutiérrez released this set at a high point for Cuban winter league ball, as explained in Brown's SABR profile by Frederick C. Bush.

"[Dave] Brown, [Oliver] Marcell, and [Bill] Holland were three of the numerous Negro League players who joined the Santa Clara squad for the 1923-24 Cuban winter season...finishing in first place with a 36-11 record. In fact, this Santa Clara squad came to be “[c]onsidered as the most dominant team ever in the history of Cuban baseball by amassing an 11½ game bulge over their nearest rival." Bill Holland led the team and league in wins with a 10-2 record, Rube Currie contributed an 8-2 mark, and Brown finished with a 7-3 ledger.

The 1923-24 Cuban season was such a popular success that fans clamored for more baseball, and a special season, named Gran Premio, was quickly arranged. Santa Clara finished with a 13-12 record that enabled it to edge out Almendares by a slim half-game margin. Brown (4-2) and Holland (4-3) tied for the team lead in wins in this second season."

A handful of graded examples exist for almost #1-85, with none at all known for #84. I've seen just one #5 Dave Brown card in person. Given that scarcity, my shot at this type card will rest on good "chance" fortune, good "money" fortune, or some of each!

Value: In today's market, you can expect to pay hundreds for individual cards and far higher for Hall of Famers, reflecting its quality player selection and good images for that era. Brown will cost me thousands, if that opportunity even presents itself.

Fakes / reprints: I know of no official reprints. Many Negro League collectors possess considerable knowledge about this era's sets and players, making it risky to attempt fakery in such a niche market. Perhaps some exist that are good enough to slip by everyone!

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

1927 Honey Boy Ice Cream Baseball #5, William "Snake" Siddle

This Honey Boy set exists thanks to an ideal confluence of circumstances: baseball's growing popularity at all levels, recent success for a local (Manitoba) team, and better refrigeration technology. Mix all three for this set of 21 cards that recognized local heroes, including Snake Siddle, alongside MLB stars like Babe Ruth and Grover Cleveland Alexander.

"Snake" played shortstop for 1926's Wesley Senior League champs, the Arenas (plural of Arena), who won several titles during Snake's era. searches for Siddle will come up empty, as that league played amateur ball on days off from work. Count us fortunate that Western Canada Baseball does a great job summarizing year-by-year results, including title series highlights of his game seven heroics.

"Home runs by Greig Warren and Bill 'Snake' Siddle accounted for three of the winners’ four counters. Siddle’s blast was a two-run clout but he also contributed significantly on a defensive level by igniting a pair of twin killings."

In 2005, Manitoba recognized Siddle's career achievements with induction into its sports hall of fame and picked him as the shortstop for its All-Century team. He also appears (as umpire) in a SABR game story from Satchel Paige's long exhibition career and did some barnstorming of his own, sporting a requisite beard, for The House of David.

Snake's The House of David look, circa 1929

I bet this set exists in large part because Winnipeg's 1926 club won that title in thrilling style. Its first nine cards feature Canadian amateurs (TCDB gallery), including Snake, followed by 11 major leaguers, almost all of whom later reached Cooperstown. This contrast reminds me of earlier prewar sets, such as T206, that mix top-tier Hall of Famers with minor leaguers who appear on their sole baseball card.

While you can still learn about Snake Siddle today using Google, the Purity Ice Cream name more-or-less disappeared in 1930. Major advances in refrigeration technology around this time helped dairy companies grow from family farms into industrial operations. A larger holding company acquired Purity not long after this set's release, folding its products into a nationwide umbrella of Canadian dairy producers.

A handful of contemporary sports sets exist with this "redeem a full set for prizes" model, including some other ice cream collectibles. I remain amazed that any of these cards survived past the 1920s, let alone 2023. Anything convertible into ice cream during my childhood ended up in mah belly sooner than later!

Some who suited up for amateur baseball did so for more than fun. Western Canada Baseball's 1926 season page shows that players could also win prizes, including these Regina home game bonuses from local businesses.
  • MVP - overcoat by Ware's
  • Top hitter - silk pyjamas by "Mac and Mac"
  • Best fielding average - suit case, Wood Hardware
  • Each player with a steal of home - meal ticket, Balmoral Cafe
  • First homer of the season - season pass, Capitol Theatre
  • Most homers - Stetson hat, R.H. Williams
  • Most stolen bases - ton of coal, City Coal Company
  • Most extra base hits - silk shirt, Warren and Wilkins
  • First perfect day at bat - box of cigars, Royal Billiards

Getting a ton of coal for stealing bases would encourage me to do more wind sprints, that's for sure. Even though our preferred sources of power have changed, would giving practical awards change how people played the game? Imagine if the MLB gave each SB league leader a solar farm!

Value: Some sets remain too scarce to predict a reasonable price. Several years into my quest for #5 type cards, Snake Siddle popped up on eBay for $200 and I pulled the trigger. Hall of Fame players could run several times that amount today and who knows how much Babe Ruth would cost?

Fakes / reprints: Take care when buying this kind of obscure regional set. It contains huge names that should sell for big money, so you want to be certain any card is genuine. Work with dealers you trust and get second and third opinions from other seasoned collectors before you lay down $$$$.

Sunday, October 2, 2022

1974 TCMA "1952 Brooklyn Dodgers" Baseball #5, Sandy Amoros

Starting in 1972, TCMA found growing success with direct-to-collector sets built from their collection of vintage baseball photo negatives and sold via mail order. Some of their work covered classic teams like these Boys of Summer-era Dodgers and others reprinted scarce issues from our hobby's past. According to, they produced 26 different sets in 1974 alone!

Today's set includes a bunch of guys who suited up (and had their pictures taken) for Brooklyn's pennant-winning 1952 squad.

Crinkle-nosed rookie Sandy Amoros played 20 games in 1952 as a late-season addition, often pinch-hitting or taking over on defense. His last appearance that year came during Brooklyn's 5-5 tie on September 28th, something impossible in today's era.

TCDB calls this set "unnumbered" on its checklist, yet Sandy's uniform #5 makes this a type hit in my eyes. Sometimes collectability overcomes sensibility.

MLB history contains one more Edmundo (Sosa), but Sandy's its sole player named "Isasi" or "Amoros."

Look for two card ink variations, blue and black, with examples below. Little surprise that Jackie Robinson's cards rank most popular with people who know about this TCMA set.

This group shot of Brooklyn's 1952 infield (Jackie, Gil, Campy, Billy, and Pee Wee) grouped around bats and balls now includes four HOFers following the 2022 induction of Gil Hodges, with just third baseman Billy Cox on the outside looking in.

Value: My Sandy cost $1 from the oddball table at a local show, a price I'm happy to pay for hard-to-find hits. Jackie and other Dodger stars will run more.

Fakes / reprints: While color variations show that TCMA itself printed more than one run of cards, it's hard to imagine anyone else reprinting such an obscure set.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

1979 Tony McLaughlin's Early Red Sox Favorites Baseball #5, John (Johnny) Gooch

It took me several years to track down today's oddball #5, thanks on one hand to its small-scale production and on the other to its niche appeal among Red Sox collectors and those who like "Tools of Ignorance" (catching equipment) on their cards.

Self-published in 1979 by Maine collector Tony McLaughlin, this 25-card set features some Red Sox players and locations otherwise tough to find on cardboard. In true 1970s oddball fashion, card size is a bit larger (2-5/8" by 3-3/4") and printed on thick card stock, making it a tight fit for 9-count pages.

Gooch himself appeared on a handful of cards during his career and some retro sets afterward. lacks this 1979 set listing as of 2022, so we can bump Johnny up to 10 known cards.

Early Red Sox Favorites cards carry a brief description, card number and circled TM logo on the reverse. While "favorite" seems a polite stretch for Gooch's single season and 37 games, its full checklist features confirmed Boston stars like Jimmy (Jimmie) Foxx, Lefty Grove, and Joe Cronin.
  1. New Fenway Park Just Being Completed
  2. Mrs. Tom Yawkey & Mrs. Eddie Collins
  3. Tom Oliver, Earl Webb, Jack Rothrock (Red Sox Outfielders, 1932)
  4. Red Sox Ace Pitchers (John Marcum, Wes Ferell, Lefty Grove, Fritz Ostermueller)
  5. John Gooch (Red Sox catcher, 1933)
  6. Red Sox recruits with Joe Cronin at Sarasota, Florida
  7. Danny MacFayden (1926-1932)
  8. Dale Alexander (1933)
  9. Robert (Fatsy) Fothergill (1933)
  10. Red Sox Sunday morning workout, Sarasota, Florida
  11. Jimmy Foxx signs ball for Mrs. Tom Yawkey
  12. Lefty Grove receiving key for new car, gift of Boston fans
  13. "Fireball" Lefty Grove (1934-1941)
  14. Jack Rothrock ... practicing base stealing with infielder Urbane Pickering
  15. Tom Daly, Al Schact & Herb Pennock (circa 1934)
  16. Heinie Manush & Eddie Collins
  17. Tris Speaker (1922)
  18. Home Run Star Jimmy Foxx (1936)
  19. Smead Jolley (1933)
  20. Hal Trosky, Cleveland Indians first baseman & James E. Foxx, Boston first baseman (1936)
  21. Harold "Muddy" Ruel, catcher & Wilcy "Fireman" Moore, pitcher (1931)
  22. Bob Quinn & Shano Collins (ca.1932)
  23. Tom Oliver, outfielder (1930-1933)
  24. Red Sox coaches Joe Cronin & Herb Pennock looking over pitcher Buetter
  25. Jimmy Foxx says "Nix" to chef at Sarasota, Florida 
Value: You can find scans and expensive singles ($6+) on This is a rare occasion where I recommend buying the whole thing for a low price (like this eBay listing) or hunting oddball boxes at shows. Most people interested in this Boston baseball era will want more than a single type card.

Fakes / reprints: While it's possible Tony himself reprinted the original set, I doubt reprints or fakes exist.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

1920 Universal Toy & Novelty Co. Hollywood Actors #5, Charlie Chaplin (and June Caprice)

The story so far

My past posts about the Universal Toy & Novelty Company covered their ten-card strips of boxers and American presidents.

Those strips lay groundwork for more Universal Toy subjects, including today's 20-card set of movie actors. Its #5 features Charlie Chaplin looking a good deal cleaner than his signature Tramp character.

Its checklist includes Hollywood legends like Fairbanks and Pickford, who were married to each other from 1920-36.

  1. Douglas Fairbanks
  2. Theda Bara
  3. Fatty Arbuckle
  4. Pearl White
  5. Charles Chaplin
  6. June Caprice
  7. George Walsh
  8. Olive Thomas
  9. William S. Hart
  10. Mary Pickford
  11. Elaine Hammerstein
  12. Bryant Washburn
  13. Mabel Normand
  14. Charles Ray
  15. Dorothy Dalton
  16. Owen Moore
  17. Mae Murray
  18. William Farnum
  19. Norma Talmadge
  20. Wallace Reid

As with Universal's boxers and presidents, some actor strips include UNIVERSAL "MOVIE MATCHING CARDS" SERIES 2 text across Chaplin, #6 June Caprice, and #7 George Walsh.

A text variation shifts its header text to the left, starting UNIVERSAL on #4 Pearl White and placing "MOVIE over Chaplin. These text variations prove somewhat harder to find than cards without header text.

Note how SGC used "C(irca) 1919 W-UNC" on this flip, which implies the submitter and SGC each failed to nail down a year or manufacturer.

Why so little info? Jefferson Burdick's 1960 edition of the American Card Catalog articulated challenges identifying this category of low-cost, high-volume sets.

Friday, December 24, 2021

1927-28 Mallorquina Cuban Baseball #5, Oliver Marcelle

As best I can tell, baseball existed in Cuba as long as Cuba and baseball each existed. Its professional league started in 1878, just two years after our National League. Cubans love to play it, they play it well, and Cuban ballplayers remain touchstones for American political conversation.

When baseball writers first talked about integrating the American game, Negro League star Oliver Marcelle came up as a risky choice, enough so that baseball's HOF site titled their profile, "The Talent and the Temper of Oliver Marcelle."

While little-known today in the USA, Oliver played a key role on one of Cuba's all-time teams and local fans will know his name as Americans might memorize the 1927 Yankees lineup. (Marcelle did more with a bat than equivalent New York third basemen Joe Dugan, so advantage Cuba.)

This card's back stamp appears to advertise flavored cigarillos from Mallorquina, who used baseball to promote Cuban products much as American tobacco did for decades. This set included 100 players from that winter's three pro teams on a single print sheet, cut along those white print gutters, and distributed players one-per-pack.

This amazing proof sheet shows the set's flow of photos, grouped by team. Almendares players, with Marcelle at #5, occupy most of its first row. Find a full checklist at

HOFer Willie Foster shows off my favorite league uniform, with Cuba's flag flying from its eponymous C. His squad somehow came in last in that winter's Cuban league, despite being named Cuba.

Value: Singles from this hard-to-find set cost $100 and up, depending on which way the wind's blowing. HOFers could run you a lot more. (I have yet to find #5 Marcelle for my type collection, so borrowed a friend's scans.)

Fakes/reprints: I encouraged the owner of that complete sheet to create direct-to-collector reprints for others to enjoy. While none yet exist to my knowledge, there's a nonzero chance someone reprinted its Negro League HOFers.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

2021 Chicago National show report

Been away from this blog too long and yet still close to our hobby! This post covers my week at Chicago's 2021 National Sports Collectors Convention, from local sightseeing to show shopping. Let's go day-by-day.

Sunday and Monday

My girlfriend arrived ahead of me to visit North Side cousins and I joined her Sunday afternoon. We checked into the downtown Athletic Association Hotel, a great place for dark wood rooms and old-school sports motifs. Their room key card even featured a Cubs Hall of Famer.

Five highlights for my pre-National days.

  1. Giordano's deep-dish pizza
  2. Chicago Art Institute's collection
  3. Multiple public beaches
  4. Excellent murals and graffiti all over town
  5. Chicago's architectural boat tour, which starts along its downtown river and goes out onto Lake Michigan for skyline views

One regret: I missed seeing Nighthawks at the Art Institute. At least there's a Great Art Explained episode for it.

Tuesday -- almost show time

National dealers start setting up on Tuesday and I understand a lot of money moves around as dealers sell to each other. Many come with shopping lists for their customers back home and I bet it helps to buy from colleagues before they spend five full days managing their booths.

Game time!

That night, I joined friends from at Impact Field, home to Rosemont's independent minor league baseball team, the Chicago Dogs. Helmed by baseball lifer Butch Hobson, the Dogs play an entertaining AA-level of competition from the Midwestern US and Canada. That night's visiting lineup (Kane County Cougars) included Kacy Clemens, Roger's son, who was celebrating his 27th birthday. Chicago, for their part, fielded K.C. Hobson, Butch's son.

After yielding three runs in the first inning, the Dogs clawed back to tie things in the sixth and won 4-3 in the tenth inning on an infield hit, sacrifice, and double. My friend Sal was over the moon to learn that Chicago's league does not start a runner at second base in extra frames. ("That's real baseball!")

Wednesday show day

I helped a dealer with Wednesday setup, so arrived about 10am and beelined for his booth. He dubbed me "sign guy," which meant scribbling long lists of complete vintage sets on bright-colored paper for people willing to spend several hundred dollars or more. He also invited me to pull any cards I wanted from a large box of 1980s cards and I went long on my boyhood favorite, Spike Owen.

After a few hours of setup work, my own shopping got underway. One of my first buys proved a show highlight.

I spotted this 1941 Goudey Carl Hubbell, with its card number written as "our price." I asked that dealer to confirm and he said, "yeah, it's twenty bucks" -- about a tenth you'd expect to pay for one of that scarce set's key cards. No dickering needed, it was mine. (For comparison, I later picked up a 1941 Goudey Mel Ott for $120.)

You see all manner of things at National booths, like someone scrawling their opinion of Ty Cobb on an otherwise good-looking prewar card. (I imagine some people did consider him a punk.)

The National show floor sequesters its low-tenure dealers to one end and that area tends to be heavy with UV. My oldest buy came from a prewar guy in its far corner. He kept some low-grade stuff in a box under the table, which yielded these $5 1920 W520 and W522 strip cards.

Wednesday's haul went beyond expectations, including a handful of 1936-37 World Wide Gum from a friend divesting himself of that scarce Canadian set. (More about it in my lengthy post about "Canadian Goudey.")


I spent most of Thursday using the program guide's map to walk its show floor row-by-row, in an effort to see everything at least once. Most booths took less than 20 seconds to confirm if they stocked interesting vintage stuff. Even at a brisk pace, it took me until Sunday morning (3+ days) to confirm I'd visited them all!

Along the way. I spotted cool things like these Robert Laughlin promo stand-ups. A steal at $500 each! 😮

Thursday included my first "dollar box" stops. I found two 1960s Gehrig cards in a $4 box and a variety of others for $1, $2, and $3. I dropped $90 upgrading my 1957 Topps #407 (Mantle/Berra) to VG-EX.

If I had big money to throw around ($5500), it'd buy this 1880s Black Stocking Nine cabinet card. They prove tough as nails to track down, so I considered it a win just to find and hold one.

Speaking of winning, I made a return trip to watch the Chicago Dogs on Thursday and upgraded my food choices to include steak.


The morning's first purchase proved to be its best. I will buy boxes of 1950s Red Man cards in well-loved condition anytime you find one to sell me.

That round-cornered bonanza gave me a great start on 1954 and 1955 sets and I traded its duplicates to friends at our Saturday dinner.

Friday found my first #5 type hit of the week, as a friend passed along this 1967 Coke Cap of Astro Barry Latman.

I later found 1974 Bra-Mac #5 Jack Chesbro for $4 in a binder of similar photos. His "red label" design resembles other Bra-Mac sets from the same year.

Friday's haul ran the gamut from prewar to 1974. A friend pointed out that the bio on that 1952 Topps Eddie Waitkus card mentions his run-in with a violent stalker that almost killed him.

Eddie's shooting and recovery inspired, in part, The Natural.


My hotel roommates and I woke up in a funny mood and somehow decided that Tone Loc's "Funky Cold Medina" would be our weekend theme song. Who's to say it shouldn't be?

Many anticipated packed show floors throughout the week and Saturday delivered in spades. A growing number of attendees wore masks as aisles grew thick with other shoppers. A few dealers I chatted with talked about enduring COVID themselves during 2020, either solo or because it hit their whole family.

The day's attendance ebbed mid-afternoon, about the time its most popular autograph guests (Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan among them) finished signing for long lines of fans. This left more space around the 10 cent tables, where I spotted a card from my childhood.

Second-year Canseco for 10 cents! Say it ain't so, Jose, say it ain't so.

Those 10 cent boxes also yielded a pair of cards that mentioned a Mariners game I attended in 1979. They beat the Yankees so bad that night, every guy claimed a piece of the highlight pie.


By Sunday morning, every dealer booth on my map showed a check mark, so I returned one-by-one to places marked for further investigation. When the dealer with Bra-Mac cards turned down my discount offer for its whole binder, I picked out my 25 favorites for their regular price.

2021 marked the first time I stayed at a National long enough to feel the whole thing shutting down, which started about 2PM. Dealers started boxing up inventory and shoppers faded away right about the same time. I caught my own shuttle to the airport at 3:30 for a comfortable flight back to Boston. My pickup pile looks big when you lay it all out!

General thoughts

It proved educational to help out a National dealer for the first time. Stationed behind their table, you try to keep track of everyone, fielding questions from browsers and minimizing risk of theft. Sellers spend a disproportionate time talking with the minority of shoppers who want to chat, often as they hunt for a particular player or card set.

Next year, we'll be in Atlantic City, which I hear gives the National organizers such a good deal on space that it's almost free. Given its limited cultural appeal, compared to Chicago, collector enthusiasm depends on how close you happen to live to Atlantic City.

Spotted this discarded pack wrapper on my way out Sunday evening. New rule: if you crack the wax, you chew the gum! #ShowRules