PHOTOS: The 2010 National Sports Collectors Convention

The National is by far the greatest show of the year.  I saw a lot of people, opened a ton of packs, and participated in many of the wrapper redemption programs provided by the manufacturers.  I even had time to watch the Orioles take on the White Sox Friday night.  The marketing was much better this year, not only for The National, but for other companies too.  There were T-shirts, cups, and all sorts of promos flying around the Baltimore Convention Center.  Check out some of my photos.

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Panini

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Press Pass

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Sportkings

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Upper Deck

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TRISTAR

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Topps

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Brian Gray plans to bring the Leaf brand back starting with 2010 Leaf MMA in Sept.

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D & A Card World

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Blowout Cards

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FreedomCardboard.com

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This was one of the coolest artifacts on display at The National.  This is the bat Cap Anson used in 1897.  I had never seen anything of Anson’s before.

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Former Baltimore Colts running back Lydell Mitchell

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Member of the Miami Dolphins Perfect Season team, Earl Morrall

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1983 Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier

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Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Palmer

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This has nothing to do with The National, but Pickles Pub was right next to the hotel I stayed at.  Every night the place was packed.

Back From Baltimore!

Yesterday I took a trip down to Baltimore to scope things out for this year’s National.  While I was there I visited the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards and the Babe Ruth Birthplace & Museum too.

The Baltimore Convention Center takes up three city blocks and looks really nice.  I think there was a pet industry trade show going on yesterday because they had banners all over the place.  But overall I think it will be a nice place to have The National in August.  I didn’t have trouble at all finding a parking space.  In August we plan to park the car at the hotel and walk to the Convention Center each day.  I’m staying at the Hampton Inn at Camden Yards, which is right across from the stadium.

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The Sports Legends Museum sits right next to Camden Yards.  It was once an old train station and was the site of an assassination plot against Abraham Lincoln.  Inside you can sit on the exact bench Lincoln sat on while he was on his way to Washington D.C.  There are three floors of historical artifacts that were really great to learn about.  After the museum, I made my way over to Babe Ruth’s birthplace.  Check out some of the photos.  Click on each to enlarge.

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1895 Baltimore Championship Banner

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1983 World Series Trophy

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Babe Ruth has been traded!  On the bottom right-hand side is the transfer order.

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Championship pins and buttons – extremely old

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1895 Wilbert Robinson Mayo’s Cut Plug #33

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The biggest ’87 Donruss card I’ve ever seen!

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Kimono presented to Babe Ruth while over in Japan and a Jimmie Foxx All-American jersey.

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Frank “Home Run” Baker Yankees sweater

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Samari helmet presented to the Orioles while playing in Japan

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Colts General Manager Don Kellet made his famous $0.85 phone call and was able to obtain Johnny Unitas from the Steelers using this phone.  For $0.85 he got two Championships.

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Unitas’s many awards

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Johnny Unitas’s uniform

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Babe Ruth statue outside of Camden Yards

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Cal Ripken, Jr’s retired number

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Outside the Sports Legends Museum you’ll find these baseballs painted on the sidewalk.  If you follow them you should end up at Ruth’s birthplace.

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Look!  I made it!  The birthplace of the greatest baseball player of all time – Babe Ruth.  Unfortunately, I was unable to go inside because its not wheelchair accessible.  Being a historic building, I guess it doesn’t have to be.  I wonder how Ruth would feel about that?  The sign out front said “See Ruth’s Rookie Card”.

PHOTOS: Phillies vs. Orioles

This was my first trip to Citizens Bank Park, and I must say its one of the nicest stadiums I’ve ever been to. Check out some of the photos! More can be found on Facebook.

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Connie Mack

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Suite #65 is where I got to watch the game. Probably the best box I’ve ever watched a game from. Someday I want to see the name “Sports Card Info” on a box.

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Cole Hamels before the game

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Upstairs they have a Phillies Hall of Fame exhibit: Schmidt, Roberts, Ashburn, Carlton

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Stadium model

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Dick Perez has a bunch of paintings hanging upstairs. This one is of Connie Mack.

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Eddie Collins

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Eddie Plank

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Napoleon Lajoie

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Original seat from Connie Mack Stadium

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2008 World Series Championship ring

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Chase Utley

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Utley at first

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Victorino at first

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Adam Jones & Carlos Ruiz

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Hey look! Upper Deck is on the scoreboard.

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Matt Wieters & Ruiz

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Phanatic shooting hot dogs

They can’t make a fake Iron Man card. Or can they?

Cal Ripken, Jr is one of the best to ever play the game.  He has some of the most collectible cards on the market.  Some of his most valuable Ripken cards don’t even feature him in the classic O’s uniform.  Many collectors are after his minor league cards.  Ripken’s 1981 WTF Rochester Red Wings card was produced by a college student to help pay for school.  Only 1,800 sets were produced not including the 50 uncut sheets.  Another favorite of collectors is his 1980 WBTV Charlotte minor league card.  These two sets of cards could be purchased back in the 80’s for only a couple of bucks.  Now those sets go for a ton because of what Ripken did.  Of course, since many collectors want these cards some people have found ways to make counterfeits.  While searching the internet I found a website that has a lot of info about Ripken, Jr and his minor league cards.  They supply a ton of information about how to spot fake Cal Ripken, Jr minor league cards.  I think it is important for any collector to read.  The site is titled “Ripken in the Minors“.  We don’t want Ripken fans purchasing these valuable cards and having them end up being fake.