FanFest closes with record numbers expected

MLB FanFest

Officials from Major League Baseball had not released attendance figures for this year’s All-Star FanFest in St. Louis, but they still believe the event was close to breaking last year’s attendance record of 130,000 in New York City.
Another attendance milestone was set on Sunday, when the total attendance for the 19-year history of FanFest topped the two-million mark.

Floor traffic definitely seemed at its highest on Monday, as did business in the Collector’s Showcase area of the show. Again, Topps and Upper Deck sold out of their respective wrapper redemption cards long before the show’s 8 p.m. close.

That was good news for dealers like Larry Chrisco of Central Missouri Sportscards in Rolla, Mo. He made the decision to invest in one of the dozen or so 20-by-20 exhibit areas available in the main hall for memorabilia dealers. That $6,500 investment was a bit of a gamble for Chrisco, but he said he was happy with the results.

“Yes, we’re very happy with the investment,” he said. “We were within easy walking distance to the Upper Deck and Topps booths, so we had a lot of people purchasing the three-card packs needed for the wrapper redemption offers. We were running low on products by Sunday.”

Hundreds of bidders and FanFest attendees watched during the day-long Hunt Auctions live sale on Tuesday. Among the top-priced items were a game-used Lou Gehrig cap that brought $74,750, a Ted Williams autographed game-used Red Sox jersey from the 1957 season that sold for $60,950 and a single-signed Christy Mathewson baseball that went for $50,600.

– Scott Kelnhofer reporting from St. Louis

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