Day 4 - Grand Island, NE

Next was on to Grand Island, NE, a stop I may have been looking forward to most of all when we first left Lexington. To me, it's about the best parts of this hobby. Grand Island, NE is the home of the Nelson family, an incredible group of people I met solely through cards over 5 years ago. Lance is a teacher and his wife and kids had become friends online over the years. We exchanged Care Packages, checked in on family events and they even visited Cathy and me on a road trip to the east coast years ago. As we opened a shop and shifted to a life in the sports cards business, Lance and his family were some of our biggest supporters. He is a teacher and we always had a bond because that was my first job and love out of college.

Lance and his teacher friends would often jump into our "lives" and get together to watch us online from Nebraska. He would text and tell me that all the Nebraska guys loved watching the breaks and had their Roadshow gear on around town! It was an absolute no brainer to plan a stop to meet and open cards with our friends in Nebraska and see THEIR side of collecting,. I wanted to sit at THEIR LCS, see their collections, hear their card stories and rip with them for a night! We did all of that and it couldn’t have been cooler or more memorable.

We visited their local LCS, Grand Island Cards, and met Gray and Mike, and they brought out a couple big cards they had on eBay that stopped us in our tracks. They had a Lebron James Prizm Black Gold base /5 graded a PSA Gem Mint 10, as well as a Lebron James Fireworks Prizm Gold that was also a PSA 10! We had Gary hop on the phone with the seller and decided to pull the trigger on these monster cards. Needless to say it excited everyone at the shop that day and I couldn’t believe we found such great cards at a fair price in the middle of Nebraska! It only got better from there. We bought some football Optic boxes and the ladies had the mojo that day. Cathy and Holly hit a Herbert Holo RC and a Justin Jefferson RC Auto /25! It was a good day at the card shop.

That evening we all congregated back in Lance’s basement, a shrine to the Cubs, Cards and his collection. It was time to open something big, but let the guys from town enjoy the thrill of ripping that big name product. I had brought a case of Immaculate basketball for a moment just like this. Each man opened a box and I just watched the pure joy of cards just hoping that someone nailed a big hit that would bring the room down and create that memory. Jordan started with two absolute beauties and pulled my Kentucky guys! He hit a De’aaron Fox premium patch auto /10 and a Keldon Johnson logo patch that made the whole case a success from my point of view! As we progressed through the boxes we got to Brian, the wrestling coach and a long time collector. While working his way down to the last card, I could see Lance and his son start to get excited. “I think I saw it!” ”Oh man, I think, I think…” And then BOOM, Brian pulled out a premium patch RC of Ja Morant /25! It sent the room ablaze and we all started to celebrate. It was ALL I had hoped for, just one huge moment among card collectors that we could for share forever. It didn’t matter who we pulled, it was the memory I was hoping to collect and spread. It couldn’t have been any better.

That stop was all I love about the hobby. People who never would have met otherwise, gathering, blinding, becoming friends and having a memorable day with the cards serving as a vehicle. That's what lasts. So Grand Island is forever in our memory and hearts for all the best reasons!

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