Summer in Chicago can be a bear (that’s with a small “b” but the other kind are not far away now that NFL training camps have opened). This time, the humidity is nowhere to be found. No thunderstorms either. It was a bright, beautiful 80 degrees when the 2019 National Sports Collectors Convention opened Wednesday with its annual “Sneak Peek.”
For collectors and others in the industry/hobby, though, it could have been raining 1990 Donruss and no one would have noticed. The place to be is indoors at the Stephens Convention Center, a behemoth of a hall that for five days houses the sports collecting hobby’s biggest annual gathering.
When the doors opened to VIP ticket holders at mid-afternoon–and a little later for general admission folks–there was a mad rush. Some headed for the dime or dollar boxes. Others were off to rip open boxes. A bunch couldn’t wait to give their business to grading and authentication companies.
For a weekday afternoon/evening, it was a good crowd and there was plenty to see: from Wilt Chamberlain’s rookie year uniform (not for sale) to Babe Ruth signed photos; vintage wax to the new cards released just that morning.
Here’s a video tour of some of the sights just before the doors opened to the public:
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