SUNBURY — While sports card shows were at one time a common event in the area, the number and size of them has dwindled, making this one even more distinctive and appreciated by local sports fans.
The Shikellamy Marching Braves are hosting their annual Sports Card Show on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the cafeteria of the Shikellamy High School, Sixth and Walnut Streets.
More than 35 tables of sports collectibles are a big enough draw, but the marching band has gone a step further and invited a local celebrity athlete. Loyalsock High School graduate and Colorado Rockies prospect Kyle Datres will sign autographs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“I always like to have a local athlete for an autograph guest,” said organizer Sam Smith. “It shows kids, if they work hard they can be a success.”
Past athletic celebrities have included Montoursville High School graduate Mike Mussina, who played for the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees; Lewisburg High graduate Steve Kline, who played for the Cleveland Indians, Montreal Expos, St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants; Selinsgrove High graduate Ryan Keiser, who played football for Penn State, and Nick Dunn, 2015 Shikellamy graduate and a fifth-round draft of the St. Louis Cardinals.
“You always have a chance to meet a professional athlete,” said James Sanders, a vendor at the show. “They’re local guys, and you can get their autograph for only a dollar.”
Sanders has been selling football and Phillies and Penn State trading cards at the show for five or six years and said it gives people a chance to browse or shop for baseball, football, basketball, hockey and WWE cards, McFarland figurines and NASCAR and Hot Wheels cars.
“I went there the first time not knowing what to expect and had a really good time,” Sanders said. “There aren’t many in the area. They’re just so small. This card show fills up the Shikellamy cafeteria at the high school. It is the biggest card show, by far. They have a tremendous variety of cards and memorabilia.”
Trading cards range from players in the 1950s through today’s athletes.
“I’ve been putting the show on since 1991,” Smith said. “It’s a good thing to do after Christmas. There’s lots of old stuff and lots of new stuff. It’s a good mixture.”
“There are lots of knowledgeable, friendly vendors, and great food made by the band parents,” Sanders said. “I look forward to it every year. It’s a thing that brings people together, something that not a lot of people know about.”