I was in the Flint Michigan area earlier today. There is one card shop left. Zittlels' Final Score in Grand Blanc.
The shop was mostly neat and well organized. I was looking for some Ultra-Pro 50point screw downs. He had a bunch of different sizes, but was sold out of the 50pointers. Gary offered to order some for me. I browsed the showcases. There were sections of all three major sports, and a hockey case too. The pickins were slim for singles, and I didn't see mass quantities of common boxes out on the floor. I think there was a stock room behind the counter. The commons are probably back there where they belong. There was a table set up with grab-bags for the kids. A huge wall was adorned with pennants from all kinds of teams. If I was a pennant collector, this place would have been heaven. Behind the main counter was the new wax. They had a case of Allen & Ginter's, a box of Goodwin, and about 20 to 30 other wax boxes to buy packs from. When I asked for a couple packs of Goodwin and a couple of A&G, he handed me the boxes and let me pick out my packs. I like that. One of my local shops won't let the buyer select his own packs. They charge the most in the area too. Zittels has Ladies Day on Thursdays, 10% off anything. Nice.
The Goodwins were priced at $5 bucks a pack. Five cards per pack at five bucks a pack... yowch!
Here's what I got;
Two mini's #222 Perez (SSP) and #123 Rudy Valentino
#156 Lincoln (SP), #40 Aikman, #25 Machado, #150 Corbett
#142 Spitz, #47 Mallinger, #131 Couture, #77 Tavares
I like collecting cards. I don't like logo-less cards so much. I will have to bust a few more packs and maybe a blaster to see if Goodwin grows on me.
I did grab a couple packs of A&G as I mentioned. I didn't get anything earthshaking. I did however, get a card of a germ. No wait a virus. Crap, oh... wait, it's a bacteria. Prokaryotes. Good lord Topps this is a reach.
I also got a mini card of last years A.L. rookie of the year runner-up, Naftali Feliz. Oh, wait, they gifted him the award.
I also grabbed a few packs of 2011 Heritage. He gave me .50cents off per pack. I got a Mauer Sporting News All-Star card that I needed.
I really hope the small town local card shops in America survive. We NEED to have a place that we can walk into and grab a few packs on a whim. Browsing the web for the best deal is not very rewarding. Having a nice conversation with a guy that cares about the hobby, cares about his customers, and wants to run a business that he obviously enjoys is a pleasure. I hope it's not the Final Score for Zittels and other local shops.