The Nov. 17-19 Chicago Sun-Times Show found itself butting up against some serious competition for the hearts and minds of the Windy City faithful: the college football game of the millennium on Saturday and the Bears at noon on Sunday. That would be a daunting challenge for any autograph and memorabilia show, but the twice-annual effort at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont was more than up to the task.
“It was another great crowd, more than 9,000 people,” said show promoter George Johnson. Johnson saved his most effusive praise for a certain ballplayer who headlined the Mounted Memories autograph lineup Sunday afternoon.
“I was most impressed with Cal Ripken Jr. and what a class act he is,” Johnson continued. “I’ve never seen anyone put all the people off to the side to take photographs after the signing like he did. It was just unbelievable.”
On the show floor it was a steady stream of traffic and solid sales for most dealers virtually from the opening bell Friday afternoon. Memory Lane was displaying a spectacular triumvirate of cards slated for its December sale: a T206 Honus Wagner, a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle in PSA 8, and a 1935 National Chicle Bronko Nagurski, also a PSA 8. Heritage Auctions displayed some remarkable material from the family of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, that it will be selling next month.