CARMEL, N.Y. -- Passing through the front door of Carmel's Village Baseball Cards is kind of like going back in time.
As customers gaze at the walls - covered with framed, autographed photos of sports icons, jerseys, autographed balls, bats and all types of memorabilia - memories of childhood come racing back.
Younger sports fans coming in can get a look at items related to their current heroes, and the stars of yesterday as well.
Carmel resident Mike Dwyer - a 31-year fifth grade teacher at George Fisher Middle School, now in his 15th year of retirement - opened the shop 27 years ago, spending the first 22 years in the center of town, under the Palmer Insurance Agency in a small, nearly hidden storefront.
Five years ago the store moved to its current location at 128 Gleneida Avenue - still a bit hidden, down a flight of stairs.
But sports collectors will be glad they found Dwyer's shop.
"If you love Mickey Mantle, there he is" Dwyer said, pointing to a large, framed and autographed Mantle jersey. "Parents come in the store with their kids... it brings back a piece of their childhood."
Dwyer said that the most popular items are Yankees related. "Yankees stuff is always the most popular," he said. "And Giants football is right up there."
And while baseball card collecting is a hobby passed down through the ages, Dwyer said it's not as big as it once was. "Baseball cards are always popular, but not as popular as they used to be," he said. "Now it's autographed photos, balls, bats, lithographs."
Dwyer's stock changes regularly, with new items always coming in, all autographed items are certified authentic by a top company, and he's open to trading or buying as well.
Village Baseball Cards is located at 128 Gleneida Avenue in Carmel. For more info: www.villagebaseballcards.com
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