Unlike the excitement when one dealer was arrested and charged with fraud last year, there haven't been any arrests (that we know of) so far this year, but I spoke with one collector who purchased what he thought was a 1953 Topps Willie Mays at one dealer's table and then got a rude awakening. He submitted it to PSA for grading just a few minutes after buying it and it was rejected as a fake.
"They said whoever made it did a good job," the collector told me. "I brought it back for a refund and told them if I found any other counterfeit cards I would call the police. The dealer told me it was just an isolated case."
Thursday's crowd seemed to be buying--and there were far more people roaming the aisles than there were Wednesday evening. If you have a supply of 1960s high numbers, especially 1966 and 1967, you will have no trouble finding buyers. Dealers can't stock them fast enough. If you're looking for the short prints, you will pay a heavy price--if you can find them. There are simply a LOT of people collecting those sets.
Redemption programs offered by the card manufacturers have been a big deal (who doesn't like free?). Collectors, including kids wit mom in tow, have been literally sprinting to the corporate pavilion each morning to get in line for the giveaways. There were some complaints about not enough sets being made available for all of those who showed up but thousands of packs have been ripped.
Set up towards the back of the room is a company you may hear more about in the coming weeks. Collector Revolution will be an online marketplace that offers no listing fees, free signup, no final sale fees on items under $5 and a maximum 5% final sale fee on items sold for more than that. They'll also have a rewards program with unopened packs and boxes as prizes. The website has been two years in the making and will go live sometime in September.
Thursday night's big auction at the National Sports Collectors Convention, and the display of several historic pieces of baseball memorabilia inside the convention center are drawing media attention across the country.
WBFF-TV in Baltimore was there, and offered this pretty well crafted general piece on the show.
The Associated Press followed up on the auction of E98 lots that gained such a huge profile last month. Not long after the three initial lots Heritage Auction offered were sold, this story including reaction, was posted on ESPN.com.