Jason Chartrand holds a Willie Mays baseball card. Colin Dewar photograph
For the last 25 years, Gerry Chartrand has been collecting and selling sports cards and memorabilia across North America.
From a Gordie Howe rookie card to a high-end Willie Mays trading card, Chartrand and his son, Jason, displayed their collection of sport cards and memorabilia at the Comfort Inn last weekend. The two men were in Moose Jaw looking to buy sports cards and memorabilia.
The father-son team from Montreal work full time as collectors.
"My son got me into collecting cards," said Gerry.
In the mid 1980s, when Jason was about 13 years old, he and his friend wanted to finish a hockey card set that they had started, and they needed a few cards to fill the gaps, said Gerry.
Jason and his friend needed a drive to the card show and asked Gerry to take them over.
Once inside, Gerry was surprised to see about 500 people there with their children, all having a great time buying, trading and selling their hockey and baseball cards.
"From that point, I became a collector and collected intensively for a few years before I decided that there was very good money in it and I have been at full time ever since," said Gerry.
Jason began working alongside his father 10 years ago, starting his own sports memorabilia collection.
"We have separate businesses. My father deals with the hockey cards and I deal with football and baseball cards so we don't step on each others' feet," said Jason.
Jason recently purchased two 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie cards in Saskatoon ranging in price from $10,000 to $18,000.
"We are looking for vintage cards, hockey and CFL drinking glasses prior to 1965, sports programs, postcards and calendars, sport jerseys, sticks, pucks, baseballs and bats," said Jason.
This is the first time the Chartrands have been in the city. The show was a trial run to see what the Moose Jaw has to offer in ways of sports memorabilia.
Moose Jaw was the last stop for the Chartrands for the season.
They will begin again in the fall, coming back to Regina and Saskatoon in October.
"Some people don't know how much the card or jersey they own is worth and want an appraisal. Other times they know how much the item is worth and know for how much they are looking to sell it," said Jason. Their jobs keep them away from their families for months, and both men have become quite comfortable living in and out of hotels.
"We are the road warriors," said Jason.
"It is very hard to be away from family. I have two young kids at home and I miss them a lot."
Gerry said he has been living on the road since 1969 and has spent a good amount of time in hotels.
"It's a great way to travel across the country, meet people and do what I love doing," said Gerry.
Father specializes in pre-and post-war cards
Gerry Chartrand is a high-grade vintage pre- and post-war cards collector.
"I consider myself to be the world leader in high-grade pre-war, post-war vintage hockey cards," said Chartrand.
Last November, Chartrand purchased a set of 1910 Sweet Caporal postcards in high grade condition. Each card was a rookie card, as it was the first year of the manufacturing of cards.
Inside the collection was a rookie card for George Vezina, a Montreal Canadiens goaltender and Hall-of Famer. The Vezina trophy for best goalie in the NHL is named after him. Vezina's card was worth $6,500 alone.
"I ended up selling that set for $138,000. It was by far the biggest acquisition in my career," said Chartrand.
The book price for the set is about $28,000, but when Chartrand put it up for auction, it sold to a Canadian collector for more than quadruple the list price.