Cranston Sports Collectors Show set for 39th year

Pete Fontaine
Posted 1/22/15

To say that the Cranston Sports Collectors Show is a rare breed would be an understatement of huge proportions.

For starters, the annual show – held each year on the day before the Super Bowl …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Cranston Sports Collectors Show set for 39th year


To say that the Cranston Sports Collectors Show is a rare breed would be an understatement of huge proportions.

For starters, the annual show – held each year on the day before the Super Bowl – is the oldest and longest running event of its kind in all of New England.

More impressively, perhaps, is the fact that it’s estimated the annual gathering has raised over $250,000 in the past 38 years for the sponsoring St. Joseph Men’s Guild at Immaculate Conception Church in Cranston.

“It just doesn’t seem like we’ve been doing this for almost four decades,” said Thomas McDonough, the show’s founder.

McDonough, who is a retired state administrative employee, once attended a similar show and then went to Immaculate Conception Church officials with the suggestion “that we do a show that could help make some money for the St. Joseph Men’s Guild.”

The parish’s priest and others gave McDonough the green light, and the rest, so to speak, is history.

So it’s all systems go for this year’s show – the 39th annual anniversary edition – which will be held on Saturday, Jan. 31 inside the West Valley Inn’s Triple Crown Room located at 4 Blossom St. The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Cranston Sports Collectors Show, which was founded in 1976, annually attracts upwards of 1,800 sports collecting fans that buy, sell and trade items such as sports cards, books, equipment and apparel.

“We get dealers from all the New England states,” said McDonough, who lives in Cranston just a few blocks from Immaculate Conception Church. “We’ve had people come from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and even Michigan.”

When asked about the list of vendors who’ll set up shop at this year’s Cranston Sports Collectors Show, McDonough replied: “I think it’s pretty safe to say we’re sold out as far as dealer space is concerned. But, as has happened in past years, there’s almost always something that comes up and a certain dealer can’t make it.”

And that means that McDonough will probably have a few spots open for vendors the week prior to Jan. 31’s show date.

As for the everyday sports fan and those folks who dabble in collecting sports memorabilia, this year’s show – as it has in all 38 previous events – will transform West Valley Inn’s spacious facilities into a sports mecca. Admission is still just $3 per person.

“We haven’t changed the price for admission and vendors in 38 years, so why start now?” McDonough mused. “After all, this collectors show has become a New England tradition and just one of the many valued pieces of sports life in our own little state of Rhode Island.”

In keeping with tradition, the show will again feature a special appearance by Alan “Mr. Mint” Rosen, who McDonough noted is the “most recognizable sports dealer in the country” and spends more than $1 million annually at various shows.

Yet another icon at this year’s show – as he has been in past years – will be Frank Galasso, a Cranston native who is recognized as the premier sports cartoonist in New England.

“Frank is a very, very talented man,” McDonough said.

“His works have become legendary in and around a number of sports collectors shows in all six New England states. He’s got everything from Boston Red Sox drawings to coffee mugs to just about every area professional sports team, including our own Pawtucket Red Sox.”

And, as the West Valley Inn management has done in recent years as a courtesy to attendees, food will be offered throughout this year’s show.

“And I can attest that the food’s always good,” McDonough said.

Anyone who’d like further information concerning the Cranston Sports Collectors Show should call McDonough at 401-942-1230.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here