TUCSON (KVOA) – Spend 10 minutes with George Mares at his card shop, Showtime Cards, on Speedway and Craycroft and you realize this isn’t a job. It’s a pastime.
“It’s like art to us,” George said.
Cardboard art is filled with nostalgia and some hefty price tags.
George has been hooked on sports trading cards ever since growing up in Los Angeles, going to Dodger games with his dad.
While told his parents this is what he wanted to do with his life, his mom wasn’t sold.
“So, I’d work hard, I’d go mow a lawn and get $10 and run to the card shop. And, she’d be like, ‘it’s cardboard, why are you spending your hard-earned money on this?’ And now I’m like, see, mom, I told you cards would be worth something.”
George has spent decades in this business, through the ups and downs.
“I used to be the youngest one in a room, you walk in and it’s mostly older people, now you walk into a room, I’m the oldest one,” he said. “The pandemic, people brought out their old cards, the nostalgia and now you see a lot of father-son teams.”
It’s one of the hottest times for sports cards, with prices soaring.
“I just recently did a show and it’s not uncommon to see a $5,000, $10,000 deal in cash, that was happening,” Geroge said. “There are swings, there’s up and downs and they could crash. Do I worry? I’m here for the long term. just like the stock market and the housing market.”
Today, George’s mom needs a little less convincing after seeing her son’s store stay open in the Old Pueblo for 23 years and counting.
“She comes into the store and she sees a lot of people and she’s amazed,” he said.