I was fortunate enough to attend the Middle Georgia Sports Card Show on September 23, 2017. You may remember the name Middle Georgia Sports Cards from my interview with Charlie Heinisch a few weeks ago. Charlie has been vital in bringing card shows back to my area and I am very thankful for that. I remember when card shows were almost a weekly event in towns around Georgia but they are very rare these days. So when there is one within 90 miles of my house, you’d better believe that I am making the trip!

This show was held in Macon, Georgia and coincided with a busy Saturday where I had a few things already planned; including a couple’s baby shower and the Georgia Bulldogs matchup against Mississippi State, so I had to plan accordingly. The card show was as high as any of those items on the agenda but don’t tell my wife that I said that! My 10 year old daughter, Bailey, decided on Friday night that she wanted to go with me to the show as well so that made the planning even more important.

The card show was from 10am-4pm and the drive is about an hour and a half to Macon. We got up around 8 am and left the house, making some important stops at the ATM and Chick-Fil-A to fuel our morning drive. Bailey and I talked a little about what we were expecting at the card show but she eventually got lost in her iPod and I turned on my fantasy football podcast in an effort to multitask in preparation for yet another major event happening over the weekend (my fantasy football matchup). We arrived at the card show around 10:15 and started our mission of taking everything in during a relatively short time window.


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There were 6 main tables set up, with five being dedicated to cards and one is related to coins and other collectibles. The first stop for me at the card shop is always Charlie’s table to check out what hobby boxes he has on display. There were some new releases that I hadn’t seen yet so I realized I was immediately in over my head. Bailey decided that she wanted an item this time that wasn’t a card but was a sports collectible. She stared at a wrestling boot that was signed by John Cena for a while and then came close to pulling the trigger on a Mark Richt autographed 8×10. She’s a picky shopper though so she held off and kept looking.

I made my way to a table that had a nice open glass case with some high dollar attention grabbers. Those cards did their job because I was immediately interested in what else this seller had to offer. The glass case held a Michael Jordan Graded Rookie, a Derek Jeter Pro Cards Minor League Graded Rookie, a Derek Jeter Topps Rookie JSA Autograph and Chipper Jones 1991 Topps JSA Autograph. There were also a couple of vintage cards and the Roberto Clemente jumped out at me. I love the old Pirates uniform and I only have one other Clemente in my collection. This one was a 1972 Topps and was in pretty good condition with the exception of a small crease on the front of the card. Purchase #1 was in the books.

At this same table, I found a unique item that I had never seen before. It felt familiar but I can’t think of anyone that would have had it and I know I never owned a piece of the collection. There was a small brown case with gold lettering that read, “Topps 1985 Gallery of Champions.” I peered inside and the first thing I saw was a typed letter from JCPenney explaining the product. There was also a Certificate of Authenticity that carried a serial number of 1858. Once I got to the actual contents, I found miniature bronze facsimile 1985 Topps Cards. These were so detailed that the back of the cards even had the miniscule stat lines from the original Topps card. I was very intrigued by this find and the price was very easy on the wallet at $30. Purchase #2 was a very cool addition to my collection and I have since found that they aren’t exactly easy to find in the condition I found this in with the original JCP letter and COA.

I wasn’t quite done with this particular seller as I had to inquire on the Jeter Pro Card Minor League card. It actually was a card from the 1993 South Atlantic League All-Star Game set. The seller had the full set and an ungraded Jeter for less than the price of the graded version. After inspecting the un-graded version, I was totally fine with the condition and decided to purchase the full set. Jeter was a member of the Greensboro Hornets in 1993 and he was the clear star of the All-Star set. There were other future major leagues like Jason Kendall, Eric Chavez, Melvin Mora and Richard Hidalgo. Interestingly enough, the All-Star Game itself was played in Columbus, GA in 1993. I honestly could’ve called it a day after this 3rd purchase but I had to pick up a couple of boxes at Charlie’s before I left.

When we got back to Charlie’s table, Bailey looked at the non-card items again and found a Chipper Jones autographed batting glove. I was quickly able to convince her that it was out of our price range, though it was very nice and I commend her on her taste in collectibles. Ultimately, she decided on a nice John Smoltz Hall of Fame Bobble Head. I even added an additional item from the table as well that I did not intend on getting. I saw an oversized Flair Sweet Swatch Dale Murphy autograph. This large card had a piece of his bat that was signed and was an awesome piece for a Braves fan! As for the boxes, I picked up a box each of 2017 Panini XR Football and 2017 Panini Absolute Football. I had heard a lot about Absolute and how hot it was and the XR box and configuration was very intriguing. Between the two boxes, there were an estimated eight hits!

The XR box advertised 2 autographs and an additional memorabilia card. The two autographs were Allen Robinson and Carlos Henderson. Robinson is a very good wide receiver but unfortunately suffered a season-ending injury a couple of weeks ago. Henderson is a rookie for the Broncos who haven’t quite made a name for himself yet. The memorabilia card was a very nice looking Patrick Mahomes II with a three color jersey patch. I even scored a fourth hit in the XR box that I wasn’t expecting. This was a 1/1 Printing Plate of Eric Dickerson! It’s always nice to add a Printing Plate but it’s even better when it is a stud Hall of Famer!

The Absolute box did not disappoint either. The configuration for Absolute is three mini boxes with an autograph in each box. There are also two additional memorabilia cards in the master box. Two of the autographs were “Absolute Ink”; a rookie Corey Coleman numbered to 99 and a veteran Gilbert Brown numbered to 99. Most people remember Gilbert Brown from the Green Bay Super Bowl days. There was also a Rookie Premiere autograph/memorabilia card of JuJu Smith-Schuster that had a swatch of a jersey, football and sock. This was a very slick looking card and was numbered to 199. The other memorabilia cards were Odell Beckham and Todd Gurley so there are some big names to be found in the Absolute product.

All in all, this was a very productive card show trip for me and Bailey. We got to spend some quality father/daughter time together while looking at cool sports cards and memorabilia. I’m sure it hasn’t really registered with her yet but one day she’ll realize that she saw a Michael Jordan RC, a Jeter autograph, Chipper autographed batting gloves and a John Cena autographed wrestling boot all in the same trip. I am very appreciative of Charlie bringing shows back to Middle Georgia and recommend that you try to find one near you and check it out as soon as you can. You won’t regret it!


Trading Card

Trading Card


  1. Not sure if you Might be interested in a road trip, but my card store in Colorado offers a monthly card show at the shop itself. Perhaps you could make a sports weekend of it. My next one will be 11/18 and it would be great to host you.

    Many thanks,
    Mike Fruitman
    Mike’s Stadium Sportscards