By ROGER SCHNEIDER
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Steve Bachman’s not sure just how many sports cards he has, he guessed they number somewhere between three and four million. But Bachman is sure of one thing — he wants Goshen-area residents to visit his new store and take a look at some of those cards.
The store is located on Main Street within the Home Again complex.
Bachman said he has been selling sports memorabilia for 17 years and was co-owner of a store in Elkhart until 2003. He then turned his attention to online sales, which he still does in partnership with his son Jesse. He was also operating a store on Saturday mornings in Bristol, but that has ended with his opening of the Goshen location.
“This space became available, so I thought I would give it a try,” he said.
Inside the store are many tables filled with cards from three major sports, baseball, basketball and football. Bobble-headed dolls of popular sports figures line the walls and sports figurines hang in their packages on the back wall. More items, including pennants, will be added in the coming days, according to Bachman.
Bachman has been operating out of the store for the past three weeks and has been enjoying the change from his Internet stores. “What online doesn’t allow is interacting with people,” he said.
Having coached Little League baseball and still involved with coaching in a high school instructional league in South Bend, Bachman knows his baseball. And he is concerned that youngsters are not being exposed to baseball cards as much as they once were. So, he said he will always have some free cards available for children who visit his store.
“I want this to be a place where kids can come and enjoy sports,” he said.
Cards from his collection are sold on the Internet around the world, according to Bachman, with many cards going to South Korea and Japan.
“The hobby has changed, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. There are still simple baseball cards with the player’s career stats on the back, but Bachman said manufacturers are offering many new card lines. Now buyers have a chance to find an autographed card or a card with a piece of a player’s game jersey or game bat in a pack of cards.
The store also offers some team packs, which Bachman assembles by spending time sorting through dozens of packs of baseball cards. Also available are packs of 20, 30 and 40 cards that feature the same player. He sells many of those to other dealers.
“I can tell you who had a good day on Sunday (in the NFL) because people are buying 20 packet lots,” he said.
Bachman said he invites people who attend First Fridays tonight to stop in and meet him and check out the thousands of cards and other memorabilia on display.