JOHNSTON'S SMALLEST: Murph’s Card Town & Sports Shop, a place to sit and trade a little

By RORY SCHULER
Posted 8/27/21

James Murphy went to college to study sports management.

Then he lost his father.

The 24-year-old decided to change his career path.

“I wanted to help people,” Murphy said, …

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JOHNSTON'S SMALLEST: Murph’s Card Town & Sports Shop, a place to sit and trade a little

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James Murphy went to college to study sports management.

Then he lost his father.

The 24-year-old decided to change his career path.

“I wanted to help people,” Murphy said, standing in his new store on Atwood Avenue. “I started my masters program in the summer of 2019 and realized it wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to be around people. Make them happy.”

A passionate sports collector, Murphy decided to explore entrepreneurship.

On Thursday, Aug. 26, he opened his first store and called it Murph’s Card Town & Sports Shop.

He promises the shop will be much more than an ordinary store.

“I want it to be a very homey environment,” Murphy said. “I want this store to be a place where you feel comfortable coming in for sports cards or memorabilia, and hang around for a while. I want people to feel welcome here. Not just buy and leave.”

Like many collector’s, Murphy has been watching the sports card market soar over the past two years.

“My personal opinion is that the sports market has been on an increase since before the pandemic in 2019,” Murphy said, bending down to neatly arrange rows of graded cards in a glass collector’s case. “Then the pandemic hit, and people couldn’t watch sports anymore. So what’s the next best thing?”

Murphy pulled three graded cards out of the display case and held them out at arm’s length.

“You can collect your favorite player,” he said, holding out the cards — a 1996 Kobe Bryant, a 2019 Fernando Tatis Jr. and a 1998 Paul Pierce, each encased in sealed plastic and graded by condition. “There are way too many people seriously invested in sports memorabilia now. I don’t think the market will ever go down again.”

Business Name: Murph’s Card Town & Sports Shop

Owner’s Name: James Murphy

Business Address: 1478 Atwood Ave., Unit 106, Johnston

Length of Operation: 1 day; opened Thursday, Aug. 26

Hours: Monday through Friday (12 p.m. to 8 p.m.); Saturday (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.); Sunday closed

Business Description: Sports cards and collectibles store

Owner’s Address: Providence

Entrepreneur’s Quote: “Buy a box of cards, sit down and rip them open!”

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third installment of an ongoing series focusing on Johnston’s smallest businesses. “The Smallest” will profile proprietors with few or no employees, how they make a buck, the challenges they face, and why they decided to start their own business in Johnston. If you know a business owner who deserves a profile, or would like to see a story about your business, please contact Johnston Sun Rise Editor Rory Schuler at rorys@rhodybeat.com.

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