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Owner Kevin Weisnberg cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of his store, Coach K’s Sports Cards and Collectibles, in South Euclid Sept. 21. South Euclid Mayor Georgine Welo is to his left. 

At Gross Schechter Day School in Pepper Pike, Kevin Weisenberg was the athletic director, basketball coach and a physical education teacher. But he couldn’t wait to “trade” it all in to open a sports collectibles store.

He was an avid card collector for decades and when COVID-19 started, “it became more of a business,” he told the Cleveland Jewish News Sept. 21 at the grand opening of Coach K’s Sports Cards and Collectibles at 14433 Cedar Road in South Euclid.

“I bought a lot of collections locally, started selling online, Instagram, eBay, and then one thing led to another, one deal led to another. It got so big so fast it took over my life, and I left Schechter for this and very happy I did.”

Weisenberg, 40, has thousands of cards in cases and other memorabilia on walls inside his store, which officially opened Labor Day, Sept. 6.

“I just love the location,” he said. “The Cedar and Green intersection is one of the busiest in the area, it’s close to the freeway and it’s close to Beachwood, Pepper Pike, Solon, which is where I have a lot of my connections and people I know said this is a good central location.”

Weisenberg grew up in Beachwood and graduated from Hawken School in Chester Township, where he played baseball, basketball and football. He then graduated from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.

He owned a similar-type store in Boynton Beach, Fla., but when his first child was born eight years ago, he moved back to Northeast Ohio and dealt collectibles out of his house.

“I decided this is where I grew up and is a much better place to raise kids,” said Weisenberg, who lives in Pepper Pike with his wife, Nancy, and children Kolby, 8 and Kendall, 5.

Weisenberg, who attended Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood for the High Holy Days, said his store is different from others.

“Most collectible stores you are going to find are just piles off stuff, stacked up everywhere, most of it’s a few dollars here and a few dollars there,” he said. “My store’s extremely clean. It’s got a variety of stuff that’s as little as $2 to $3, as much as thousands of dollars and everywhere in between, all sports, wax boxes, memorabilia, Bobbleheads, collectibles, single cards. I try to have a variety for everybody.”

Some of Weisenberg’s business partners attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony along with South Euclid Mayor Georgine Welo, city officials and former Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Hall of Fame coach Mike Fratello, who signed autographs for attendees.

In welcoming remarks during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Welo told Weisenberg’s children that their father is leaving them a “legacy.”

Weisenberg opened his store at a time when the sports card collecting business has regained interest after decades of little interest.

“It’s a renewed interest in the market in the younger generation,” Weisenberg said. “COVID was a big start of it. People instead of going to (Las) Vegas and nightclubs and sports games and spending money there, this became their outlet, staying at home, searching eBay and Instagram looking for a way to make a quick buck, flip a card and make a few dollars.”

Some even made millions by selling a single card. A rare Honus Wagner baseball card printed between 1909 and 1911 sold for $6.606 million – the most expensive card sold in history.

Weisenberg said the most valuable cards today are those of Patrick Mahomes, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Michael Jordan.

“Those,” he said, “are the big four today.”

Store hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. The store is closed on Mondays.

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