Hudson Valley Sports Cards, a brand new memorabilia and card shop opened by Anna Miressi and Matt Yerkes in Kingston, is aiming to give enthusiasts of all ages a place not just to indulge in collecting, but also to hang out.
Miressi is a teaching assistant at George Washington Elementary School in Kingston and Yerkes is a photographer and graphic designer. According to Miressi, Hudson Valley Sports Cards is filling a void in the community.
“We’re marketing ourselves as your local sports card shop,” said Miressi. “It’s the only one locally between Albany and Middletown. Back in the day, back in the ‘90s, there were at least three or four in Kingston. So there’s definitely a demand for it. And people seem to be very excited about it.”
The shop will feature trading cards across a wide range of sports — baseball, football, basketball, UFC — along with autographs and memorabilia. There are also arcade games, a pinball machine, a basketball machine and televisions tuned to live games.
It’s going to be a fun place to hang out where you can bring your family,” Miressi said.
And while Hudson Valley Sports Cards will primarily focus on, well, sports cards, they’ll also include other cards in the shop.
“The kids now are really into the Pokemon, into the Yu-Gi-Oh, into Magic: The Gathering, those kinds of things,” Miressi said. “And they’ll be alongside their parents who’ve been collecting their whole lives.”
Miressi said that after a protracted decline over the past couple of decades, card collecting has been on the rise again since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After the ’90s, it kind of died down and it wasn’t so popular,” Miressi said. “But the true collectors, the diehards, had been collecting this whole time for the last 20 years. And in the pandemic, people just started to come out of the woodwork and saying, ‘Oh wow, look at what I have; I wonder what it’s worth.’ And it’s really turned into an investment. People are buying cards like the stock market, and it’s pretty incredible to see what people will spend on these cards. If you peek into that world, it’s crazy. The diehards are very competitive.”
Many of the autographs in the shop were acquired by Yerkes at signings and have been fully authenticated. Some of Yerkes’ own card collection will also be available.
“Matt is 41 and he started collecting cards when he was eight or nine years old,” Miressi said. “He has been quietly collecting his whole life.”
But while Hudson Valley Sports Cards will sell cards with famous ballplayers on them, they’ll also create custom cards with players a bit closer to home. Eight years ago, Yerkes helped a friend by creating a baseball card of his son who was in little league at the time. The shop is large enough to accommodate a photography studio where Yerkes can continue making cards for kids.
“One of the things we’re really excited about doing is possibly collaborating with local little leagues to make team sets,” Miressi said. “Kids in the Hudson Valley can come into the shop and get their photo taken and make themselves their own actual custom baseball card.”
Hudson Valley Sports Cards is located at 897 Route 28 in Kingston, just south of Brad’s Barns and Gazebos. The shop is already open, but they’re hosting a grand opening celebration on Saturday, May 22 from noon until 3 p.m.
“We’re going to have a big celebration and officially be open to the public,” Miressi said. “And we’re really excited about it. It’s been a lot, but it’s definitely very exciting.”
Hudson Valley Sports Cards is open Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m., Mondays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. They’re closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays.