If you’re a sports card hobbyist, or even if you prefer the Magic or Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon cards, and you’ve visited the handful of card shops in the metro area, you’ll be blown away by the size and selection now at Inferno’s House of Cards in the City of Vision.
Now open in the Hilltop Plaza, between Big Lots and Defined Fitness, and due east of Weck’s, proprietor Christopher Schmitz has a huge array of all of those cards, plus pennants, felt team logos, team logo clocks and more, with much more destined to come his way.
Looking for cards of Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, Shohei Ohtani? Inferno’s House of Cards has all the hot ones.
He’s been in the area long enough to know football, baseball and basketball rank 1-2-3 in Albuquerque, and “Steelers fans are most loyal,” while “Cowboys fans buy more when they’re winning.”
Either way, he says, “I’m a baseball fan.” Nolan Ryan was his favorite player when Schmitz was growing up, and who doesn’t like the author of seven no-hitters?
Schmitz decided, after seeing so many Rio Ranchoans visit his CJ’s Cards shop on the second floor of Cottonwood Mall, that it might be time to open a shop in the City of Vision. Plus, Schmitz was concerned that people seeking non-sports cards would just bypass his shop, not knowing there were more than sports cards inside.
And although it took longer than he anticipated, once the gym that formerly occupied two suites at 1650 Rio Rancho Boulevard had finally moved out, Schmitz was finally able to start moving a massive inventory up the hill.
Schmitz said he’ll not only sell but also buy and trade. While the Observer visited the shop last week, a man came in, hoping to sell a slabbed baseball card — and a few minutes later, after some diligent research by Schmitz — he walked out with some cash.
Where it began
Schmitz grew up in southern Colorado, a few miles north of its border with New Mexico, in Antonito and Alamosa.
In fact, it was at a Woolworth’s in Alamosa, in the mid-1980s, when his grandmother bought a pack of trading cards for his cousin. Christopher didn’t want to be left out, so he bugged Grandma to buy a pack for him, too.
Although it never became an obsession, it became a hobby of sorts. He’d buy a pack or two on a monthly basis, mostly baseball cards, and trade for other sports cards with his classmates.
In 1990, by his memory, Alamosa had a card shop. By the mid-1990s, it became more than a hobby; he was a dealer at card shows in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
In 2020, he opened his own shop in Cottonwood, and during the pandemic that year, realized that someday — considering customer restrictions and masking back then — a larger location would someday be ideal.
And that’s what he has in Rio Rancho, where he’s making plans tor “a lot of events.”
Here’s his advice for rookies in the hobby:
- Figure out what you’re collecting and collect accordingly.
- It’s not all about money.
The new Inferno’s House of Cards is open Monday-Thursday from noon to 6 p.m., and Friday-Sunday from noon until 8 p.m.
For more information, call Schmitz at 505-892-3727 or visit albuquerquecollectibles.com.