Convention Sponsor Hopes Bid Is in the Cards : Collectors: Promoter vying to bring annual baseball card convention to Anaheim in July, 1991.


The bids are in to play host to the 1991 National Sports Collectors Convention, an annual event that is the ultimate in baseball card swap meets.

Barring any last-minute maneuvering, Jack Petruzzelli figures his bid to hold the convention at the Anaheim Convention Center will win.

Dealers at this year’s National, as baseball card collectors call it, will vote next Friday in Arlington, Tex., to decide between Anaheim and San Diego.

Petruzzelli, a 41-year-old police officer from Fullerton, would figure to have the inside track, having been in the baseball card show-promoting business for 11 years. He and his wife, Patti, promoted the most successful National of its time when Anaheim had the convention in 1985.


“I feel confident,” Petruzzelli said. “But you always wonder about people stuffing ballot boxes and doing behind-the-back things.”

The baseball card show business becoming cutthroat?

Well, when there’s big money to be made and spent, one never knows.

Last year, the Petruzzellis’ bid to host the National at Anaheim appeared to be a sure thing. But at the last minute, Arlington won out.


This year’s competition comes from San Diego and Frank and Vivian Barning, publishers of Baseball Hobby News magazine.

Among the Petruzzellis’ selling points:

--A projected attendance of about 50,000 for the three-day convention. That would break the previous attendance record by 10,000, set last year in Chicago.

--Free autographs from a lineup of Hall of Famers to be named.


--The largest facility to hold a National, 125,000 square feet at the Anaheim Convention Center.

--Booths instead of the tables used at past Nationals.

--Heavy corporate sponsorship.



According to Jack Petruzzelli, the financial impact in the area would be enormous. Area hotels, restaurants and businesses could rake in “millions of dollars” from convention-goers.

“We’ve already reserved 3,200 rooms,” he said. “The average stay is four nights. And there will be 700 exhibitors. Our area has the second-largest concentration of card-collectors in the country.”

Only the New York-Philadelphia region has more, he said.

If the Petruzzellis’ bid wins, the Anaheim convention will be held in early July of next year.