“Pin-Up” of the Week: 2001 National Sports Collectors Convention – Cleveland Pin

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  The National Sports Collectors Convention needs to have more show-branded merchandise.  Not just promotional cards.  Baltimore is the only location I saw them selling shirts.  I want to see more shirts, pins, hats, figurines, and bobbleheads all made specially for the National.  In 2002, Alan “Mr. Mint” Rosen bobbleheads were floating around the National when it was held in Chicago.  National-themed McFarlane figures popup too, along with OYO minifigures.  They’ve lightly touched on these things in the past, but I think more innovative souvenirs could be made.

Tickets for the 38th National Sports Collectors Convention went on sale this week.  It will be held July 26-30 in Chicago.  I won’t be attending this year.  Things are looking good for Cleveland in 2018 though.  Between Cleveland, Baltimore, and Atlantic City, I enjoy the layout of the I-X Center in Cleveland the most.  By then, I might need some new Sports Card Info pins to handout.

Harrisburg Sports Card Show – February 18, 2017

It has been a long time since I’ve attended a classic shopping mall sports card show.  There has been a steady stream of them around, but none really worth going to.  On the Thursday night news during the sports segment, I overheard them state that there would be a show at the Harrisburg Mall February 17-19.  In addition to that, they also mentioned some Pittsburgh Steelers were scheduled to sign autographs.  This definitely sounded like a show worth checking out.

The Harrisburg Sports Card Show is put on by show promoter Carl Hisiro.  Autograph guests for the weekend included three Steelers – Jesse James, Stephon Tuitt, and Sean Davis.  Former Eagles wide receiver Vince Papale was also on the list to sign.  I decided to take my black/gold Penn State football and get Jesse James to autograph it.  I think it turned out really well.  By the looks of it, I bet they sold at least (200) tickets just for Jesse James.  That number might be low.  It makes perfect sense for a lot of collectors to want him given that he is a Steeler and went to Penn State.  The line moved fairly quickly as they called by ticket number.  I was #114.  While I was there, everything seemed to be running very smoothly.  It didn’t take long to get a ticket, they had merchandise you could buy to get signed, and Jesse James arrived right on time.

As for the card show portion, I’d say there were (20-25) dealers.  I didn’t see that many selling new sealed hobby boxes.  One dealer had a truckload of retail boxes though.  A good mix of vintage and new single cards could be seen.  One dealer had a few Harry Kalas bobbleheads, but I already owned them.  The one card I did inquire about was a Mike Schmidt 2001 Topps Archives Rookie Reprint Bat Relic.  There was no visible price on it, but the card was in a case with other cards listed for $10-$20.  After asking the dealer how much it cost, I found out there was a $50 price written on the back.  The lowest they would go was $40.  Well overpriced.

Overall it was a decent show.  The autograph guests are what caught my attention.  This takes me back to when I first started collecting, and met Scott Rolen at a mall show in 1996-97.

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Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James

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Sports Card Info Celebrates 9 Years!

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Today Sports Card Info celebrates it’s 9th birthday.  My blogging career began way back when eBay first introduced their guides.  I remember compiling a lot of information for my first eBay guide called How To Spot Fake Sports Cards That Are For Sale.  Looking back now it seems kind of generic, but it gained traction.  That led me to create my own blog.  Many blogs have come and gone in the last nine years, but I’m still around.

Thanks to everyone who visits on a regular basis.  Let us make it another great year!!!  #10 is coming in 2017!!!

2016 National – Day #3

My third and final day of the 2016 National Sports Collectors Convention began at the Topps booth.  Topps moves people through fairly quickly and my wait time was well under an hour.  Out of the (5) promo packs my 2016 Bowman box got me, I pulled a Babe Ruth Gold Refractor #’ed/50.  When I first saw this promotion I was hoping to pull a Ruth.  From what I saw and heard, this specialized National Bowman Refractor Wrapper Redemption Program has been very successful.  Marty’s Sports Card Exchange was selling tons of 2016 Bowman and 2016 Topps Chrome Baseball boxes.  All of those qualified for the program.

Its best to eat lunch about an hour earlier than normal.  The food court can fill up fast around noon.  Once I finished browsing through my 2016 Bowman box I decided to eat.  Their personal pan pizza is quite good.

I decided to add a vintage bobblehead to my collection.  All of my bobbleheads are from the 2000’s and up, but I never owned an older one.  When it comes to vintage bobbleheads during the National, you want to visit this dude.  He has a few.  Within that large glass case I found some Phillies bobbleheads.  After a little negotiating, we reached a deal.  I’m bringing home a 1967 gold base Phillies bobblehead.  Its in great condition, and is the highlight of my collection.

I was able to score a free Upper Deck hat today.  While stopping in their booth to look at a Penn State autographed helmet, they saw me wearing my Topps hat.  Upper Deck wanted me to give up the Topps hat in return for the Upper Deck one.  That wasn’t going to happen.  Instead I gave the Upper Deck representative a Sports Card Info pin.  Lots of people got pins today, including Leaf’s CEO Brian Gray.

One of the last booths I stopped at was Jerzee Art.  The National isn’t always about cards, boxes, and promos.  Sometimes you’ll see innovators.  Jerzee Art is a new way to display your favorite jerseys without having to place them in a frame.  Framing can get expensive, and they plan to offer some unique alternatives.  Jerzee Art pieces look like statues you hang on the wall and place the jersey on.  They really do bring the jersey to life rather than having it lay flat in a frame.  Jerzee Art was created by Scott MacKenzie who had some prototypes on display.  He plans to have them for sale in the fall.

Tomorrow I’ll be heading home.  My sixth National was really fun.  Like I said before, once I’m home I’ll be posting what I pulled from the boxes I busted.  I might even post a picture of that vintage bobblehead I purchased.  Right now its heavily covered in bubble wrap.

Don’t forget to check out my coverage of Day #1 and Day #2 of the 2016 National.  Next year the National is in Chicago.  I won’t be attending.  Its going back to Cleveland in 2018 which I will be going to so far.

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Babe Ruth Single Signed OAL Baseball

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Jack Nicklaus Signed 1986 Masters Tournament Worn Golf Cleats

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Fidel Castro Vintage Single-Signed Cuban Baseball

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Wade Boggs waiting to sign autographs

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2016 National – Day #2

Day #2 of the 2016 National Sports Collectors Convention is in the books.  What a great show!  When the doors opened I went right over to the Topps booth to get in line so I could take part in their wrapper redemption program.  These specially designed 2016 Bowman refractors seem to be the most popular promotion this year.  Its the only promotion that looks to have the longest wait time.  Luckily I got an early spot in line and made it through in about 45 minutes.  Out of my promo packs I pulled some cool cards of great players.  There were (2) gold refractors #’ed/50, but the big “hit” was a Julio Urias autograph #’ed/30.  Before leaving the booth, I gave the Topps employee who was helping me rip through the packs a Sports Card Info pin.  He reached under the counter and handed me a Topps Pro Debut logo pin in return.  Pretty cool!  I didn’t even know Topps had those.

Upper Deck’s wrapper redemption program didn’t seem to be too busy at the time I stopped by their booth.  I decided to try a box of 2016 Goodwin Champions which got me (4) promo packs.  I’ve never pulled an autograph from an Upper Deck National pack… until today.  Out of the second pack popped out a Kevin Smith Prominent Cuts autograph with a “MALLRATS 2” inscription #’ed/25.  After I get home and organized I’ll go into more detail about what I pulled from all of these boxes.  My desk at home still has (4) unopened boxes I need to work through.  Be prepared for some box breaks coming down the road.

Memory Lane, Inc. is allowing fans to take pictures with a 1930’s Babe Ruth game used bat.  That thing is beyond awesome.  The notches on the bat are thought to have been made by Babe Ruth in order to keep track of his home runs.  The young lady working for Memory Lane, Inc. was very helpful.  They were making people wear gloves while holding the bat.  It makes perfect sense because a piece of memorabilia like that shouldn’t have people’s fingerprints all over it.  Given the amount of time it would take me to put the gloves on, it was just easier for her to hold the bat.  Thank you!

Tomorrow is my final day for attending the National this year.  I’m heading home on Saturday.  The Topps booth is #1 on my list once again.  Before leaving today, I picked up another box of 2016 Bowman.  I’d like to hand out more Sports Card Info pins, and take a look at some individual vendors.  Tons going on.

You can see my recap of Day #1 here.

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Mike Schmidt 1971 Ohio University Baseball Letterman’s Jacket

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Lots of vintage bobbleheads

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Satchell Paige 1949 Bowman RC #224 SGC Mint 9

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Booth attention getter 🙂

The 2016 National Has Begun!!!

I made it to the National!!!  This is the sixth one I’ve attended.  While picking up my media credentials I was greeted by Nate Berkus, one of the sons of National co-founder Mike Berkus who passed away last year.  He looked very familiar, and it turned out to be the same Nate Berkus who has been seen on T.V. a lot.  He is a really popular interior designer.  It was a fun little Easter egg to start off the National.

During the VIP Party sponsored by Topps, I was able to get former Phillies pitcher Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams to sign my bat.  Art Shamsky, Roy White, and Eddie Giacomin were also signing autographs.  Steve Garvey was suppose to be there, but canceled due to a family medical emergency.  The food is really good.  Convention center pizza is the best.  It doesn’t flop around which makes it easy to eat and look around at stuff.

The show opened at 3:30 p.m. for VIPs.  I handed out a bunch of Sports Card Info pins to various people.  Topps allows you to get your own card made right there on the spot.  Ultra-Pro gave me some free top loaders and penny sleeves which I needed to protect my card.

From what I can tell, Marty’s Sports Card Exchange has the best prices on wax boxes.  He usually does.  Before leaving for the night, I picked-up some packs and a box of 2016 Bowman Baseball to break at the Topps booth tomorrow.  Based on what I saw tonight, it looks like there will be a wait at the Topps booth in order to get your promo packs.  This is because they just can’t break the seal on a box and call it a day.  Topps needs to see each pack ripped open.  When you have people show up with cases, it can take awhile.  If they just broke the seal on a box, people could come back with the packs from the same box and double-dip.

It was a great start to the 2016 National.  Who knows what will happen tomorrow.

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Former Phillies pitcher Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams (left)

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Got my own Topps card made.  Its an extreme SP.

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Sports Card Info Pin Contest Round 2 Winner Announced

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Congrats to zagrapanjc on being the lucky winner of the Sports Card Info pin.  Once zagrapanjc sends me their mailing address, I will ship this pin ASAP.  Thanks!