For veteran collectors who remember the name Clayton Pasternack and the Northeast Ohio Collectors Club Show in Strongsville, the return to the ballroom of the Holiday Inn there was welcome indeed three years ago when
well-known auctioneer Paul Fusco decided it was time to bring back an annual card show to the Cleveland market.
From the original show dating back to the mid-1970s, Fusco Auctions has nicely embraced that legacy with a vintage-only card show at the same facility as its famous predecessor and a commitment to the kind of show that old-time collectors remember with great fondness.
When the old Strongsville show stopped, the area went four or five years without a major show to call its own, though the National Convention would come to town on a recurring basis, “The Cleveland area is a strong enough market to sustain a once-a-year show even aside from the National Convention turns,” said Fusco, adding that the goal in bringing back the show to that legendary site was to create a once-a-year place for vintage collectors to buy, sell and trade.
In only three years back, a roster of dealers from nearly 20 states and Canada and more than 120 tables overall includes well-known hobby names like Chris Porter, Hunt Auctions, Huggins & Scott Auctions, Kevin Savage, Lelands.com, Kip Ingle, MEARS, Brian Drent of Mile High Card Co., George Starmer, Dick DeCourcy, Bill Rosenthal and Brian Dec, plus grading and/or authentication services Beckett, James Spence, PSA/DNA and SGC.
With those kinds of vintage heavy hitters, the emphasis on older cards seems to have been right on the money. “This year we’ll have a higher percentage of prewar dealers than in the previous two years,” Fusco added. He noted that initially there may have been a “wait and see” attitude from some dealers when a vintage show was initially returning to Strongsville, but he
insists that signs suggest that’s easing as they launch the third show.
Not surprisingly, he’s enthused about the show’s reliance on older material, a mantra that starts out with the very venue itself.
“When I decided to bring a show back to the Cleveland area, I insisted all along that it had to be at the Strongsville Holiday Inn,” said Fusco.
He calls the show “a once-a-year Mecca for vintage collectors and nothing else.” Just to make it clear that the old-time emphasis is apparently taking hold, Fusco points out that he did get some complaints after last year’s show.
“Several people complained that there was too much vintage at the show,” he said with a laugh.