By PETE FONTAINE It was a dream come true for autograph-seekers of all ages. It was Mecca for people who collect sports cards and memorabilia and featured dealers from 11 states who set up shop at a record-setting 130 tables last weekend inside Coventry
It was a dream come true for autograph-seekers of all ages.
It was Mecca for people who collect sports cards and memorabilia and featured dealers from 11 states who set up shop at a record-setting 130 tables last weekend inside Coventry High Schools famed C. Arthur Flori Gymnasium.
This is that terrific tradition Cranston’s Tom McDonough founded 44 years ago – in 1976 to be exact – to raise money for the St. Joseph’s Men’s Guild at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church on Oaklawn Avenue and has developed into largest and oldest operating sports card show of its kind in New England.
The 42nd Annual Cranston Sports Card Show, which was an overwhelming success, was highlighted by the special appearances of former Major League Baseball Cy Young Award Winners Denny McClain and “Gentlemen” Jim Lonborg.
Moreover, the show is so highly-acclaimed that Heritage Auctions – the third largest auction house in the world – was well-represented as was James Spence Authentication – which is rated number one in autograph authentication in the collectible’s industry.
“I never – ever – dreamed we’d get this big,” McDonough said during a visit with Lonborg, the one-time famed Boston Red Sox pitcher who recently retired from his long career as a dentist. “Personally, I’m thrilled with what our show has become.”
So is Mike Mangasarian, a.k.a. Mango, who has assisted McDonough in each of the past two shows and predicts that the 2021 Cranston Sports Card Show will set another record with 200 plus tables and dealers from more than 11 states.
“See that wall back there,” Mangasarian, a one-time teacher-coach at Coventry High who has long dabbled in the sports collectibles market, queried. “Next year we’ll have dealers upon dealers in that area.”
Few people, if any would dispute that theory about the CSCS which has been held on Super Bowl Weekend every year, especially with endorsements like the one Scott D. Trudell and his wonderful wife Korrina Greeley – who hail from Glenville, NY and own and operate the largest show in New York – gave McDonough’s classic creation last weekend.
“Everything here is special,” said Trudell, who set up his famed Glimpse of the Past that deals sports memorabilia and rare baseball cards. “We’re honored to be part of this super show!”
If it was an autographed football helmet people wanted, the brothers Stathopoulos –Chris and Peter –from Merrimack NH had plenty to choose from.
If it was an autographed-encased baseball, the CSCS had perhaps more than the Red Sox lose in foul balls every season.
Last weekend’s 42nd Cranston Sports Card Show was exciting for young and old alike and including everything from touchdown treasures from those glorious pro and college gridiron games to even countless treasures for both Boston Red Sox and New York Yankee fans.
And, those highly-popular framed and autographed action photos – and in some cases paintings – as such sports legends as Tom Brady and Mickey Mantle, just to name a few of America’s all-time greatest professional athletes.