Fanatics Authentic Card Show Recap

This past weekend was the Fanatics Authentic Sports Spectacular show at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Illinois. It was roughly a 45 minute drive from my house, but I got to spend the next five hours rummaging through 25 cent bins and drooling over old cardboard.

These photos were taken right when I walked in. The thin crowd did not last long. After my first 25 cent bin session, I looked up to see a big crowd of wandering baseball card dorks just like myself.

Stretching that dollar

There were a lot more 25 cent bins than I remember in the past. A vintage dealer had a 25 cent bin which had a some old Twins and a few Bob Allison cards for my collection.

The cool kids stuff

This show always has a row or two with dealers selling nothing but vintage. A few of the dealers had some seriously impressive tables. Old tobacco cards are pure awesome.

The haul

Thankfully the cheap bins were loaded and I dedicated all my time to plundering the rows of cardboard. I was more than pleased with the nice stack of Minnesota Twins I discovered.

The vintage 25 cent bin was a fun dig. The cards had seen better days, but I didn’t care– It’s vintage!

Once in a while a non-Twins card would catch my eye…

Oddball sets

Thanks to @DubMentality and his recent nostalgic loaded blog posts, I have started re-collecting the 1980’s oddball sets. The dealer only wanted $3 for all three of these sets– I promptly handed him three dollars.

So that’s it. My haul from the card show. It was oddly relaxing to sit and sort through the 25 cent bins. This show is coming back in a few months– I hope those 25 cent bins are still there.

By BaseCardHero

Ryan is a baseball card dork and developer. He has been collecting cards since he was six starting with 1988 Score. Reigning from Minnesota, he is an avid Minnesota sports fan.

3 replies on “Fanatics Authentic Card Show Recap”

It is nice to see people still showing up to shows. My area is pretty much void of anything resembling a quality show. Even the Pittsburgh area only has a couple that are worthwhile. Flea markets are usually your best bet in this area.


The same usually goes for here too. There are a few smaller shows, but this is the only quality one in the area. Chicago is such a big area that depending on where the show is, you would spend half the day driving back and forth.

Thanks for reading!

Love that Murph and Gwynn. Those red spring training jersey’s for the Braves were sweet. Vintage bin boxes are loaded with good stuff. I’m like you, I don’t really spend too much time worrying about condition when it comes to those vintage boxes. I just appreciate owning the old cardboard. I have GOT to get to a show like this. They really don’t have them in Georgia anymore. A few hotel conference rooms from time to time but nothing of this magnitude.

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