Sports was just the first of brothers’ business ventures
By Amanda Shafer | Special Contributor
At ages 16 and 13, it was apparent that Adam and Peter Gellert’s after-school activities didn’t fall in line with those of your typical teenager. Sure, sports were involved, but the duo turned the hobby into business.
Park Cities People featured the Gellert boys on Feb. 14, 1991, just as they were about to open Shield Sports Cards — a name inspired by their father Ted’s company, Shield Construction — within the Doak Walker Sports Center in Preston Center. The venture was educational for its school-age owners.
“People would come up to us and try to rip us off because they saw we were kids,” Peter said last week. “It taught us how to deal with people from all walks of life.”
By the end of that year, the brothers had transitioned from selling trading cards to paintball supplies. After finding out the nearest place to buy a paintball gun was Hurst, the family decided to try selling one at their store. When it sold almost instantly, the transition was on.
As it turned out, the Gellerts got out while the getting was good.
“After the ’90s, when cards had massive expansion, there was really only one direction for the industry to take — that was to downsize,” said Chris Olds, baseball editor for Beckett Sports Card Monthly. “The industry has really changed. Cards are more complex these days. They come autographed and include pieces of various jerseys. It’s more of a gamble now.”
Although Adam graduated from Highland Park High School in 1993, followed by Peter in 1996, the family held on to Paintball Games of Dallas until 2000. By that time, Ted said, it grew to be one of the three biggest paintball distributors in the South. When a South Carolina-based rival made the Gellerts an offer they couldn’t refuse, they sold the company.
In our ’91 article, Peter said he would sell his favorite card — a Rickey Henderson rookie edition — to turn a profit, while Adam said his favorite — a Nolan Ryan card from 1970 — was priceless. These personality traits have carried through in their lives.
“I’m more conservative, while Peter is more entrepreneurial,” admits Adam.
After obtaining his bachelor’s degree from Emory and a Master of Business Administration from TCU, Adam works in human resources for a Fort Worth-based eye-care firm. He lives in Keller with his wife and two children.
Peter, meanwhile, graduated from Baylor in 2001. He worked in radio sales for CBS for nine years, but he now runs the family’s latest venture, Double D Ranch in Mesquite.
After selling their paintball company, the Gellerts found out that a ranch they would rent for paintball games was for sale. They purchased the site and now use it to host weddings, reunions, and other family gatherings.
In other words, they’re too busy to keep track of sports cards. When asked if they still had the cards mentioned in the 1991 story, the brothers weren’t sure. But when they dug out their collection for a photo, Henderson and Ryan were still there.
Amanda Shafer is an intern for People Newspapers.
In Feburary, Park Cities residents crowded a school board meeting to contest the expansion of the campus then known as McCulloch Middle School. The plan called for the demolition of two rows of residences on Binkley and Granada avenues.
In March, Richard Allen Abood Lyon, then 34, was charged with murdering his wife, Nancy Dillard Lyon — a real-estate project manager who suffered for nearly three weeks before succumbing to death by poisoning; doctors found more than 100 times the normal level of arsenic in her body. Richard Lyon was convicted and is currently serving out his life sentence at a prison outside of Houston.
In November, John Joseph Caulfield Jr., 44, of University Park was charged with murdering his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kendall Brett Dodson. A jury sentenced the owner of Caulfield’s on Greenville Avenue to 10 years’ probation in connection with the slaying, which prosecutors said happened during a drunken, jealous rage.
CHANGES AT THE TOP
In March, Donald O’Quinn was hired as principal at Highland Park High School, where he worked for nine years before becoming a principal at Yavneh Academy, which is his current spot today.
In May, Highland Park ISD voters elected real-estate developer James F. Mason to Place 1 on the Board of Trustees.
HIGHLAND PARK HIGH SCHOOL
Valedictorian: Sarah Kelley
Salutatorian: Josephine Pichanick
Blanket Award winners: Allison Wade and Dan Myers
Homecoming Queen: Ginger Ray
Ashley Griffin-Jones Akin, Emily Elizabeth Bright, Holly Neil Hart, Amy Woolsey McCall, Mary Francis Norsworthy, Margaret Kane Ryder, Laura Bunche Shelmire, Susan Campbell Shelmire, Amy Virginia Talkington