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Sports card shop opens in North Naples

East west Sports Cards in Naples

East:West Sports Cards celebrated its grand opening Saturday at 2349 Vanderbilt Beach Road, suite 522, in the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt in North Naples, and did so with three celebrities on hand: retired pro football players Warren Sapp and Fred Taylor were there along with golfing great John Daly.

This marks the return of a brick-and-mortar sports card shop to Southwest Florida. Owner Joe Gritser said he felt the need to open a store with online sales taking off during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Warren Sapp at East:West Sports Cards

Submitted

Tampa Bay Buccaneers legend Warren Sapp was in attendance for the grand opening of East:West Sports Cards on Saturday in the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt in North Naples.

Gritser has been doing card breaks, which is when a group of buyers pay in advance for particular teams. When a box or pack of cards is opened, the buyers keep the players from the teams for which they have pre-paid.

“A lot of our sales are already online,” Gritser said. “We have a Facebook group. We do card breaks. And we’ve thought about doing a brick-and-mortar because there’s nothing like that around here. We thought, ‘Why not bring the nostalgia back?’ There used to be local card shops everywhere.”

The hours for East:West Sports Cards are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. The store is closed Mondays.

“When the pandemic happened, a lot of people were looking for a way to stay connected to sports, because it was no longer on TV,” Gritser said. “Cards were selling for record highs … for multiple millions of dollars.” 

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