VIDEO: 2012 National Opens in Baltimore

The 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention is underway at the Baltimore Convention Center.  Wednesday’s activities began with a VIP reception featuring free autographs.  Doors opened at 4 p.m.

Over 45,000 collectors and fans are expected to converge on the Baltimore Convention Center during the five-day event, although Wednesday’s crowd seemed on the light side.

The show, which began in 1980, is in Baltimore for the second time in three years.

“The National is a great experience not only for the father/son relationship but also mothers, daughters, grandfathers and grandmothers as well,” said Ray Schulte, who is heading up public relations for the show. “The event has evolved over the years to cater to the entire family. It is especially gratifying to see dads and moms explain to their kids who Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams or Brooks Robinson was and who they played for.”

While there is, as usual, a massive inventory of vintage and modern sports cards, autographs, programs, yearbooks and anything else you can think of, the show floor has a large number of historic items including a 1938 Babe Ruth Dodgers’ coach’s uniform, Lou Gehrig’s 1934 Tour of Japan uniform, items from the newly announced Angelo Dundee collection including several Muhammad Ali pieces, and of course, PSA is showing off the 700+ cards from the Black Swamp find of 1910 E-90s, some of which will be sold at auction Thursday night.

For those of you who couldn’t make the show, here’s a small taste of what you’re missing.