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Local baseball card shop welcomes MLB’s return

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 10:55 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Few in the area have waiting for Major League Baseball’s return like Wes Johnson. He owns and operates Wes’ Baseball Cards in Lincoln. Since February, Johnson has had 2020 trading cards with no games to match.

Inside the store, boxes line the tables and many packs are unopened. That will change soon at Wes’ Baseball Cards, with the MLB season now underway.

“I always have people that come in on opening day,” Johnson said. “They have to buy some cards. They’ll go home and watch the game and open up packs of cards.”

Johnson’s 2020 inventory is massive, including Topps Series 1 and Series 2 cards, along with Donruss and Bowman. Despite the MLB’s shortened season, Johnson has sold dozens of 2020 packs already. In fact, sales are higher than one might imagine.

“I thought when COVID happened that things would go down,” Johnson said. “Actually, its been sort of the opposite. I’ve been lucky.”

Baseball card trading is a hobby that’s been reborn during the pandemic. Johnson says business remains steady at his store, which he’s owned for 29 years. In March and April, Johnson offered curbside service for customers when his store was required to close.

“A lot of people are now having their sons come in,” Johnson said. “Its neat to see them passing it down to their kids.”

Prior to Thursday’s opening game between the Yankees and Nationals, Johnson had MLB Network playing on his television at the store. Memorabilia, which includes autographed baseballs and bats, were for sale, in addition to thousands of cards. Baseball items surrounded Johnson, who greeted customers while wearing a customized New York Mets jersey with the name “Johnson” written across the back above the number six.

“Its a different year,” Johnson said. “ I’m going to remember 2020. I was concerned we might not have baseball at all. I’m glad we’re starting to play tonight.”

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