Memorabilia, memories and much, much more.
That could well describe the return – or rebirth as some people are calling it – of what until two years ago was one of Rhode Island’s most treasured sporting events.
“It’s the legendary Tom McDonough Card and Collector’s Show,” mused Mike Mango, a.k.a. Mike Mangasarian of Cranston. “We have a new name and a few changes including the venue, but the faces are basically the same and so is the fun.”
After a two-year hiatus, the oldest memorabilia and card show in New England is back and will be held on Super Bowl Weekend – Saturday and Sunday, February 2-3 - inside Coventry High School’s spacious and famed C. Arthur Flori Gymnasium.
The show, which was originally named the Cranston Sports Collectors Show that Cranston resident Tom McDonough founded back and 1976 to benefit Immaculate Conception Church on Oaklawn Avenue and ran without interruption for 40 years before stepping aside two years ago, will now benefit two parishes as well as a hall of fame.
It seemed as though everywhere Mangasarian - a seasoned sports collector who was part of 35 of McDonough’s 40 super shows – said, “people were asking what’s up with the Cranston show? Why doesn’t someone bring it back?”
Thus, Mangasarian and McDonough huddled and formed a new partnership, of sorts, that means the former Cranston show – which is now officially named The 41st Super Bowl Weekend Show – is back and dealers from all over New England are looking forward to coming back to Rhode Island for what was rated one of the best and longest-running shows of its kind in the country.
“We’ll have 120 tables and that’s expanded from the former 100 which had a waitlist for the last 20 years,” Mangasarian, a former teacher-coach at Coventry High, explained. “The show will open on Saturday (Feb. 2) at 9 a.m. and run through 5:30 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 3), hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Coventry High that’s located at 40 Reservoir Road (Exit 6 and 6A off I-95 and three miles east on Route 3.”
The cost of tables will be $70 and admission Saturday is $4 but will be free on Sunday with a paid admission slip from opening day.
“There will be lots of buying, selling and trading going on,” Mangasarian noted. “We’re already heard from dealers in five states with more to come. There will be sports cards, memorabilia, autographs, non sports cards, programs, yearbooks, vintage equipment, vintage books and magazines, unopened wax packs and more. Everyone is excited about the show.”
No one, though, is more elated that the show is back than McDonough, who as Mangasarian said “at age 80 is showing no signs of slowing down or lacking the enthusiasm he had back when it all began in the 1970s.”
“Let’s just say I’m assisting the new promoter,” McDonough, who is a Director for the Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society and is steeped with sports history and knowledge, deadpanned. “Mike Mango is running the show and doing a great job; this show will be special.”
So much so, in fact, Mangasarian announced that Sure Shot Promotions and Mike Josselyn is arranging to have special sports celebrities such as Craig Breslow of 2013 World Champion Boston Red Sox fame and Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Hall of Famer John Bucyk on hand to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
“We’re hearing that so many people are excited to learn the show is back,” Magasarian went on while adding with excitement ringing in his voice “And it’s back to stay.”
Proceeds from The 41st Super Bowl Weekend Show will benefit Magasarian’s church, Saint Vartanatz in Providence, Immaculate Conception Church in Cranston and the Coventry High School Hall of Fame.
Dealers, collectors or people who’d like to reserve a table – or even admission tickets -- should call Mangasarian at (401)5703.501. Cutline for pix