Rockets Sports Cards owner Mike Lucio meeting former goalie and coach Patrick Roy at the Upper Deck 2018 Certified Diamond Dealer Conference. (Photo courtesy of Mike Lucio).

Sports Cards Shop Owner Meets World’s Greatest Athletes

A Chatham sports cards shop owner has been lucky enough to meet some of the world’s greatest athletes and now wants local sports fans to have a turn.

Rockets Sports Cards owner Mike Lucio says he started off just selling sports cards, but the shop has evolved since then.

“Our business is a sports card trading shop and we also deal with collectables. We have everything from toys to video games,” he says.

Lucio says he has customers travel from as far as Toronto to get their hands on his shop’s specialty items.

The shop owner says he recently attended the Upper Deck 2018 Certified Diamond Dealer Conference in Orlando from January 9 to 11.

“They invite certified diamond dealers, which is what you have to be to be an Upper Deck dealer to sell their product,” says Lucio. “This year they sent us down and we talked about products that are going to be released and products that are released, they take advice from us, and we have workshops. What we do is we sit down and try to improve the product for the customer.”

Lucio says the coolest part about these conventions is meeting different sports celebrities.

“We’re lucky enough to meet certain athletes because Upper Deck does represent the best athletes in the world,” says┬áLucio. “Last year, we got to meet Mike Tyson and Mike Modano and this year, we got to meet Patrick Roy and Barry Sanders.”

He says it is a surprise every year because Upper Deck does not reveal what athletes will be showing up to the convention. Lucio says he was especially excited to meet Patrick Roy this year, who he says is his “childhood hero.”

Lucio says he is working on getting local athletes to make appearances in his shop.

“We’re actually working with Upper Deck and down the road, you may see us actually bring NHL athletes into our store,” says Lucio. “That is something we’re working on with them and we’re also working on it with the NHL PAs, the player’s association, so it’s definitely going to happen down the road.”

Lucio adds that Upper Deck has been running a promotion for the past 10 years called Hockey Card Day in Canada. As part of the promotion on March 10, he says Rockets Sports Cards will be offering free hockey card packs to anyone that comes in the store.

Rockets Sports Cards is located at 137 Queen St. in Chatham.