One unexpected flower re-blooming in the shadows of the long pandemic winter: sports trading cards.
Yes, the things kids in the 1950s and ’60s put in their bike spokes, and kids from the 1980s and ’90s stuffed into protective casing, are popular again in the 2020s.
Driving the news: Our city will get a card store for the modern Charlottean today when One Stop Sports opens in South End. It’ll have a bunch of cards, of course, but it’ll also be a place to hang out and have a cold drink and watch sports.
- They’ll have a LaMelo Ball rookie card valued at $100K at the store today for the grand opening, which starts at noon today.
Why it matters: The sports trading card industry exploded during the pandemic, as people cleaned out their homes and rediscovered old joys like this buried in an attic or basement, as Axios’ Jeff Tracy reported earlier this year.
- In August, a rare Honus Wagner card that was on cigarette brands in the early 1900s sold at auction for $6.6 million.
- That broke the record set in January when a Mickey Mantle rookie went for $5.2 million.
- In fact, all five of the most expensive card sales of all time have come in the past year.
One Stop’s owners — former ESPN SportsCenter producer Mike Martin, UNC Charlotte grad and card-quality-grader Brent Schepel, and businessman and financier Jordan Edwards — believe they can build a Charlotte community around the revived hobby.
- “Half the fun of ripping packs of cards is celebrating with friends when you score your favorite player or a really valuable card,” Martin said in a release. “Until now, there hasn’t been a place like that in Charlotte. Now there is.”
Details: One Stop’s address is 115 E. Park Ave., Ste. C. Grand opening is from noon to 4pm today. After that the shop will be open seven days a week.