Guess I never should have made that zippy hand-flicker movie using my 30 or so ‘62 Mantles.
It is five o’clock in the afternoon and “Mr. Mint” is sitting at his desk in his office in Mahwah, N.J., looking longingly at the telephone.
“I need this phone to ring,” he says. “I need to hear from somebody — anybody — with a treasure trove in their attic. It’s been too long. I need one more big find!”
...In recent years, however, Rosen has seen his sales decline to around $2 million annually because of what he says are the changing times. “Because of the Internet, eBay and all that, people stopped coming to card shows — which is where I did most of my business,” he said. “Real collectors like to touch and feel the cards. You’d see 200-300 dealers at shows. I used to do 45 shows a year. Now I’m down to five. At the same time, it became progressive — the hobby publications all dried up because the show promoters who all supported them with their ads, went out of business and the dealers now all do their advertising on eBay.”
Leaving Rosen as pretty much the last “in-person” baseball card dealer — the guy who will still go anywhere with his briefcase full of cash — to buy cards.
“I’m fortunate in that, because I took out all those ‘million dollar dealer’ ads in the hobby publications every week, people still know me,” Rosen said. “I just don’t get the volume of calls I used to get.”
...“If you’ve got old cards, I want them,” he said, “but please no more Cal Ripkens! If I see more Cal Ripken rookie cards I’m gonna throw up.”