National founder Mike Berkus passes away

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Mike Berkus

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

National Sports Collectors Convention co-founder Mike Berkus, who is regarded by many as being one of the most influential forces in the history of the hobby, passed away yesterday.

A longtime collector that transitioned into a show promoter in the 1970s, he played a key role in making the National into the world’s most prominent trading card show and an institution among collectors.

According to a Net54 message board announcement from Ken Goldin, Berkus died as a result of brain cancer. Over the next few days, Beckett Media will collect memories from many of those whose lives he touched and share them here.

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5 comments

  1. jim stromquist 21 November, 2015 at 21:06

    I met mike in 1979 when I was just opening my store in Pomona Calif. He was always ahead
    of in the sports card hobby. A lot firsts and willing to try new things and always took time to
    say Hi at different shows. He will be missed by the hobby………Jim Stromquist/ Jimmy’s USA

  2. jay/jayandbutton 22 November, 2015 at 08:30

    please share funeral arrangements. mike was a good friend and many will want to be there to respect his passing.

  3. Howard Gleeman 23 November, 2015 at 11:50

    Mike will be greatly missed by all his old pals in his home town of St. Paul, Mn.
    Our hearts go out to his family.
    “The Boys”

  4. Mark Pokedoff 21 December, 2015 at 11:48

    Mike was my boss for some time at Score Board. In fact, he was the one who told me I was being laid off. While I was shocked and saddened by the news, I could not be angry at him. How could I be? He was a sweet, respectful man with an immense knowledge of the business. I was shocked to hear about his passing, and I send my condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

  5. marc williams 25 December, 2015 at 22:24

    R.I.P Mr. Berkus.I sit here crying with a heavy heart as someone who always treated me with respect and kindness has passed on. Mike Berkus will always be (Uncle Mike) He is the Founding Father of The National Baseball Card Convention and was The Owner of Dancing Waters at D Land Hotel I have known him since I was 8 years old when he drove up with his Big Caddy to a small monthly show in Anaheim and the trunk filled with baseball cards from the 1950,s and 60,s.This was around 1973 and I have never forgotten that or all the times at the Baseball Card Shows when other kids were to goofy at times for him and the group to be around. I however was always welcomed and trusted with things to do including being the Night Time Security in the Big Show Rooms.Please (keep in mind) Nothing was ever missing when I was the room security at night. For those of you who are avid TV watchers his son is (Nate Berkus) and he had his own television show for a while thanks to Oprah along with a line of house goods which is still out there in stores today….Completely Shattered as I was not able to say goodbye

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