Amateur collector reviews little-known shop

You wouldn’t expect Kenny’s Collectibles to be what it is if you were visiting the store for the first time, as I did last weekend. Situated in a warehouse across from a giant industrial complex, Kenny’s looks like somewhere where you would find, like, plywood. Instead you are instantly greeted by a plethora of trading cards, jerseys and other sports memorabilia when you walk in the door. The first room you enter looks like one of those old-school inner city pawn shops, with the glass counters on either side protecting the smaller valuable and fragile items. The reason why I say “first room” is because there are nine of them, each filled to the brim with any kind of sports memorabilia you can imagine. One full of plastic action figures. The two Hot Wheels rooms. Even an entire space solely dedicated to beverages with promotional packaging for sports events, most of them unopened from over 20 years ago.

But all of these pale in comparison to what I call the card room. Boxes upon boxes of sports trading cards, each box holding anywhere from 50 to 100 cards. At least one box for every professional sports team (for the four major American sports), too. Though it’s main purposes are for trading and storage, the card room also has more action figures, signed jerseys and two TV’s, always tuned to whatever sporting event is going on time. It’s not even an exaggeration to say one could spend hours, even days going through everything in this room. I haven’t even gotten to the signed helmets, basketballs and footballs yet. When I went to Kenny’s last week, I could only stay for about 30 minutes because I arrived around 5:30 p.m. and Kenny’s closes at 6:00 p.m. daily, except for Sundays when the shop is closed.

One of the best parts about Kenny’s is the pricing and the promotional deals they offer. There are card trading shows once a month, and other sales that happen around the year. The best way to get informed about these is to visit the shop and get on their email list, or watch their  Twitter account, @Kennyscardstore. Kenny’s next major sale will be on Black Friday. On this day, the store will offer free Panini Promo Packs with every purchase, and huge discounts are a certainty. I’ll be in New Orleans for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, so I will have to sit out on the event. However, I probably need to slow down a bit anyway, as I spent $140 at Kenny’s last weekend.

Surprisingly, the best part about Kenny’s isn’t even the huge selection. It’s the prices. On Saturday, I was able to get a signed and stitched George Gervin jersey for $125, which is a great deal considering there was no tax or tip on top of my purchase. Most if not all of the signed jerseys Kenny’s has in stock are authenticated by James Spence Authentication, which means that a JSA official had to physically watch the player sign the item, or the item’s signature is put through rigorous, state-of-the-art testing in order to determine if the signature is authentic or not. When you buy a JSA authenticated item, it always comes with a card that confirms the signature’s credibility. Even if you lose the card, a small sticker is pre-attached to the item with a code you can enter online if there are any doubts about the authenticity of the item. I also bought a few NBA cards for only 25 cents each, and a sort of action figure depicting NBA legend Kevin Garnett trying to dunk over Ben Wallace from 2004. All of this with the Gervin jersey should’ve added up to a little over $150, but Kenny was gracious enough to knock $10 off my price, no haggling required.

If you or someone you know is a huge sports fan, Kenny’s is the place for them. Or even if you need something to do on a Saturday, I highly recommend Kenny’s Collectibles.