Drive by and you might miss it. Right across the street from the old Rosenblatt Stadium, the original home of the College World Series is Stadium View Sport Cards. This small space was built in the late 1890s.
And for the last 26 years it's been a store packed with sports memorabilia. When you walk up to the door you are greeted with sarcasm...and hospitality. “You want a beer?” It’s the first question Greg Pivovar, owner of Stadium View Sport Cards, asks any customer that walks in.
While the building itself has a lot of character...Pivovar has even more. "I've been sarcastic my entire life." Pivovar opened Stadium View Sport Cards in 1992 right before the College World Series. "For the first 19, 20 years,19 years we had a booming business," said Pivovar, all in good humor.
From sports magazines to autographed baseballs Pivovar has it all. "Most of it has been accumulated through time much to my wife's chagrin,” admits Pivovar. And while everything is technically for sale, “most of it has a memory that goes with it so it's hard to get rid of it,” said Pivovar. So, the store hasn't changed much over the years. "When we first opened there was only one bar up the street within walking distance,” said Pivovar. Which led him to bring the bar to the store. “We've given away about 57,000 beers since we've been open,” said Pivovar.
And if you're in luck you might get more than just a beer free of charge...ESPN reporter Peter Burns was in luck two days ago. While in town Burns visited the shop and when he went to pay his $150 bill Pivovar didn't accept credit cards so he offered burns the merchandise for free. Something he would do for any customer. "A lot of time it will be a situation where it's hold this for me and they never come back so I might as well just give it to them,” said Pivovar.
Even though business for now sucks admits Pivovar. His still a fighter, in more ways than one, he's been cancer free for nine years. And his store is just one more thing he will continue to fight for. "I've done it and I’ve never quit on anything,” said Pivovar.
Pivovar said he plans to keep this store open until he can't afford to anymore. And as long as the doors are open the beer and memories will flow free for anyone who walks in the store.