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Free trading night at Med City Sports Cards spans generations

Jan. 28—ROCHESTER — The binder Grayson Niemyjski brought to Med City Sports Cards shop Saturday holds 50 nine-pocket pages full of baseball, basketball and football cards.

The cards depict stars including Anthony Edwards, Brett Favre and Darin Erstad among other greats and Hall of Famers.

But these approximately 450 cards aren't the best of his collection; this is his trading binder.

"These are all the ones I don't want or need any more," he said.

These are the cards that can get him the ones he wants.

Grayson was one of dozens of people attending a free trading night at Med City Sports Cards Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024.

It was the second event the shop has hosted.

"I'm a hobbyist at heart and this is what I loved to do as a kid," said Tyler Bauman, store owner.

Bauman recalled growing up going to trading events and sports card shows with his father.

"A lot of this hobby is about nostalgia," he said.

After the success of an event in November and the attendance Saturday, Bauman said he plans to host a free trading Saturday every month this year.

At the November event and at some card shows, some of the older collectors and traders have gifted Grayson Niemyjski with some of their extra cards to add to his collection. To pay that kindness forward, Niemyjski gave a younger collector a stack of his extra football cards.

Grayson Niemyjski's father, Josh Niemyjski, said he was glad to bring his son to the trading event. Josh began collecting cards when he was Grayson's age, he said. He even worked at a card store while he attended college.

"I was hoping he would get into it, but I didn't want to push him," Josh said.

Bauman said he doesn't mind hosting an event that doesn't focus on sales.

"It's great publicity for the shop and it helps build a hobbyist community," he said.

Trading events lets people get to know each other, appreciate their collections and trade or sell to build up their own collections. In the end, the hobby supporting the store flourishes.

"That's how it works," Bauman said.

The shop is a part-time endeavor for Bauman. It occupies a loft space

overlooking the batting cages at D-BAT Rochester

.

Garry Marta, general manager and co-owner of D-BATS, said he was glad to offer the space to Bauman after the success of a rotating display case at the entrance proved popular with customers.

"Personally, I like it because kids get to know the players," Marta said.

It's also an introduction to business skills, he added.

"I'll be surprised seeing kids, 11, 12 years old swinging deals and stuff," he said.

It isn't just sports cards kids and adults were making deals over Saturday. Janiyah Gobin, 11, haggled down a stack of unopened Pokemon collectible trading card game cards from their listed $1 per pack. Gobin said she plans to open them on video on social media like her dad, Mike Gobin, does with some of his sports card packs.

Mike Gobin said he enjoys sharing the hobby with his kids. However, selling sports cards is a full-time job for him. Although Gobin goes to card shows around the region, most of his sales are done online.

Card collecting can mean big money. Vintage cards depicting stars such as Mickey Mantle or Ty Cobb can sell for thousands of dollars.

Even rare new cards, or a new rookie card can fetch hundreds of dollars — as long as they're in good condition, Bauman advised one of the young customers at the shop Saturday.

"You've got to take really good care of them," Bauman said. "That's the most important thing."