The 2018 National – Day #1

The 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention is officially underway.  It is the greatest gathering of collectors, dealers, manufacturers, and other prominent hobby individuals all under one roof.  This year’s National is taking place in Cleveland at the I-X Center.  I like this location the best as I find it the easiest to get to.

I arrived at the I-X Center around 2:00 p.m.  Thanks to Sports Card Info I’m eligible for media credentials.  That got me into the show before the 3:30 p.m. opening time set for VIPs.  I immediately went over to the Topps booth and signed up for the Q&A meeting scheduled for Friday at 5:30 p.m.  Topps leaves (125) spots open, and they fill up fast.

The TRISTAR autograph pavilion was my next stop.  I bought a few autograph tickets – Ickey Woods and Jack Ham.  Ickey Woods started signing at 5:30 p.m. today and Jack Ham is scheduled for 11:45 p.m. on Thursday.  I didn’t know this.  But having media credentials gets you a discount on autographs.  Ickey Woods normally would’ve been $29, $19 for the media.  Jack Ham $59, $55 for the media.  Way cool!

You almost need a Ph.D. to understand how the autograph signings work.  I had ticket #1 for Ickey Woods.  The first level of people who get their autographs are the ones who spend about $300 on the high-end All Access Platinum Passes.  After that come those who purchase single tickets like myself.  TRISTAR never mentioned that they were accepting tickets like mine.  All I heard were the high-end passes.  After waiting awhile I finally showed them my ticket and they told me I could go in.  Who knows how long I sat there for no reason.  Just a communication error on their part.

One of the best things about the National is meeting all of the people you talk to online.  I met Rob Bertrand of Go GTS Live, Susan Lulgjuraj of Topps, and former Eagles/Broncos guard Evan Mathis with his impressive collection.  Of course, Ickey Woods too.

The National is a monster of a show.  Its the show of all shows.  Nothing else comes close to beating it.  There is a lot to take in.  It closed at 8:00 p.m.  Before leaving for the night, I snooped around some booths and got pictures.  I’m looking to add another vintage bobblehead to my collection.  I’ve already inquired about a few Philadelphia Eagles ones.  I’m also possibly looking to add a Mike Schmidt 1973 Topps Rookie to my collection too.  I’ve found three.  One graded a PSA 3 for $85, a PSA 5 for $125, and a PSA 5.5 for $175.

Ickey Woods – Get some cold cuts!

Susan Lulgjuraj of Topps

Rob Bertrand of Go GTS Live

Former Eagles/Broncos guard Evan Mathis

Mickey Mantle 1953 Topps PSA Gem Mint 10

1910 Old Mill Cigarettes T210 Joe Jackson Series 8 SGC 4.5 – $500k+

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Leaf Announces Their 2018 NSCC Wrapper Redemption Programs

Its been awhile since I participated in any of Leaf’s wrapper redemption programs, but this year that might change.  Leaf plans to have three redemption programs going on during the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention.

Box Level Redemption Program

Open a box of 2018 Leaf In The Game Used Sports or 2018 Leaf Pop Century at the Leaf booth, and you’ll receive a 2-card pack of 1948 Leaf Metal cards.  These cards celebrate Leaf’s 70th anniversary.  This set covers a wide variety of sports stars such as Shohei Ohtani, Stephen Curry, Conor McGregor, Lionel Messi, Baker Mayfield, and Gordie Howe.  Watch out for low numbered parallels.

Case Level Redemption Program

Open a case of 2018 Leaf In The Game Used Sports or 2018 Leaf Pop Century at the Leaf booth, and you’ll receive a 2-card pack of 1948 Leaf Metal cards for each box in your case.  You’ll also receive a special 70th anniversary autograph #’ed/1.  These autographs include greats like Jerry Rice, Nolan Ryan, Shohei Ohtani, and Mike Tyson.

2018 Leaf Metal U.S. Army All-American Football Exclusive National Sports Collectors Convention Bonus Box Offer

Open a case of 2018 Leaf Metal U.S. Army All-American Football, and receive an exclusive 2018 National Sports Collectors Bonus Box.  Each one of these special boxes contain (12) autographs numbered to (2) or less.  (4) Metal Proof Autos, (2) Printing Plate Autos, and (6) Blank Back Autos make up a box.  Only (50) boxes will be made.

Stop by the Leaf booth every morning of the show as they will be distributing at random cards from their 39-card promo set.

Past And Present Cleveland Indians Highlight The Topps 2018 NSCC VIP Set

Cleveland Indians of the past and present will be found in the Topps VIP set this year for those attending the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention.  Its a 5-card set.  I wouldn’t be surprised if packs only contain (4) cards.  Like in years past, Topps wants you to trade in order to get that fifth card.

Leaf’s 4-Card 2018 NSCC VIP Set

Leaf has unveiled their 4-card set VIPs will find inside their swag-bag.  The Leaf booth usually takes up the most space when it comes to corporate attendees.  Brian Gray always uses the National as a platform to show off future products.  2018 Leaf Best of Sports and 2018 Leaf Metal Pop Century qualify for their wrapper redemption program.

Upper Deck’s 2018 NSCC 5-Card VIP Set

VIPs attending the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention will find a 5-card Prominent Cuts set in their swag-bag thanks to Upper Deck.  That’s not all, Upper Deck has tons of fun activities planned for collectors who visit their booth.  Lots of interesting autographs will be found inside their wrapper redemption packs.  I pulled a Kevin Smith autograph while attending the show in Atlantic City in 2016.  Monumental boxes are making a return too.

For a full rundown of Upper Deck’s plans, and which products qualify for their promotions, check out this press release from the National.  As of right now, my favorite Upper Deck product is Goodwin Champions.  Its like their version of Allen & Ginter.  2018 Goodwin Champions doesn’t come out until the National is over.  So I probably won’t be taking part in any of Upper Deck’s programs this year as the products that you do need to open are 100% hockey.

Panini’s 2018 NSCC 10-Card VIP Set

I don’t do much with Panini products anymore.  But here is a look at their 10-card set VIPs attending The National Sports Collectors Convention will receive.  A redemption coupon will most likely be found in VIP’s swag-bag which can be used to redeem the set at the Panini booth.

Upper Deck Bringing Ohtani Autographs To The 39th National

One of my favorite activities to participate in while attending the National Sports Collectors Convention are the wrapper redemption programs.  I mainly focus on Upper Deck and Topps as they both seem to do the best work.  While attending the 2016 National in Atlantic City, I pulled a decent amount of valuable promos from both companies.

Upper Deck is the first manufacturer to give us a glimpse as to what their promos will look like for the National this year.  Have you heard of this guy named Shohei Ohtani?  Only a few people have been hunting for his cards 🙂  From the looks of it, he will have autographs randomly thrown into Upper Deck wrapper redemption packs.  Upper Deck seems to be bringing back the Prominent Cuts theme.  As we get closer to August, more details pertaining to VIP sets and wrapper redemption programs will become available.

I can imagine Topps will have Ohtani autographs too.  They’d be crazy not to have them.  Upper Deck has been using the Prominent Cuts name for National promos for awhile.  One of these years I’d like them to put that Fleer brand into use.  I believe Upper Deck stays away from creating special parallel promos for the National because Topps does that with their products.

The 39th National Sports Collectors Convention takes place 8/1-8/5 in Cleveland at the I-X Center.  Be sure to pickup an official t-shirt beforehand.  TRISTAR has already announced a hefty autograph lineup.