As far as game worn jersey shows go, this can arguably be one of the best of the year as far as presentation, location, and collector travel goes (Don’t worry NOVA and Meigray Expo, we aren’t saying it IS the best, but its up there).
This year, we had plenty of collectors traveling in from all over. Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, California, New Jersey, Virginias, were all represented well. Unfortunately as with life, some things come up and there were a few cancellations along the way. Despite Barry from Meigray canceling his appearance, he still made sure Meigray was represented well with a great display of jerseys, including 2 full sets of Mark, Marty, and Gordie Howe jerseys.
The speakers, Ted Tucker,.Brian Kinsella, Brian Patafie, and Nick Vitucci were a great presentation. Once the speakers began, all ears tuned in to listen to great stories of old time hockey, prank wars, and stories behind the hunt for jerseys from Nick’s career.
As you can see in the pictures, there were some incredible displays brought in by our collectors. In an effort not to forget anyone, I will allow the pictures to do the talking. You will see some extremely beautiful table set-ups as well as incredible targeted collections and extremely rare jerseys. It seemed like a mix of everything was present and there was never a dull moment.
To break up the day, there was the all you can eat burger and hot dog bar and plenty of tables to sit with fellow collectors and talk over your meal. Some of the most enjoyed time was had as collectors met other collectors face to face while their previous interactions were only had behind the screens of computers. It is a great opportunity to put a face to the names of the people you read and interact with.
The raffle had many prizes donated by collectors all over the country, the grab bag was a blast opening, but we still do not know who got the Bobrovsky (its in the mail to someone). We had a live stream set up for viewers unable to attend the show to experience a bit of what we had to offer. Show attendees could communicate with the views from a computer that was projecting the feed as well on a screen as you walked into the event.
After the exhibitors were packed up, there was still a Toledo Walleye game to attend. Unfortunately, as life is always busy, many collectors were not able to attend, and had graciously made their trips just for the show. The Walleye won 5-0 in a great game against the Evansville Icemen during princess night at the Huntington Center where young girls screeches vibrated the ears every time the light bar said “Girls Make Noise”.
Post-game, there was a team autograph signing on the ice for Walleye season ticket holders. Some lucky collectors that stayed behind were assisted into the line by local collectors in order to take advantage of the opportunity! After this, they were treated to a little taste of what Toledo is about at a hole-in-the-wall style pizza and bar restaurant called “Home Slice” (As the world famous Tony Packos was already unfortunately closed).
Beers were had, pizza pies were devoured, and stories were shared about jersey deals, favorite hockey moments, music and concerts, and everything in between. A truly great moment of bonding between new friends, old friends, and distant now not so distant acquaintances and collectors.
It was truly a great experience had by all that we will never forget. We hope that the next time we have this opportunity, we are able to enjoy showing even more collectors some of the additional things to see that Toledo represents, and allow them to partake in the post-expo game.
Please enjoy the video archive from the live stream (it was recorded over spotty 4G service, we did the best we could!) and the pictures below. Have we missed anything!?
(Photo Credits: Paul Rank)