Christmas came early this year for Chicago sports fans planning on attending the National Sports
Of the more than one hundred former athletes that will be signing at the Tristar Autograph Pavilion, close to three dozen of them have called The Windy City home at some point during their career.
“The National always has a great lineup of legends,” Brian Thomas of Glenn Ellyn, Illinois said. “The amount of former Chicago players is awesome.”
Kicking off the 40th installment of The National Wednesday night was the “man in the middle” for three of the Chicago Bulls’ championship teams…Bill Cartwright. Decked out in the colors of his college alma mater, the seven-footer greeted scores of his fans as part of the annual Sneak Peek.
Nice to grab the great Bill Cartwright’s auto! #NSCC19 @nsccshow pic.twitter.com/rgmCpOeHda
— DCLCards (@dclcards) July 31, 2019
“I loved Cartwright,” Thomas added, “but I’m most excited to see Dennis Rodman and Harold Baines (on Friday).”
For Larry Tingley, seeing Cartwright was just a bonus after making the five-hour car trip from Michigan. “I came down (from Detroit) to see all the NFL Hall of Famers…I like seeing all the running backs. Barry Sanders is my guy and outside of when he played, this will be the first time I’ve see him,” Tingley said. “I definitely grew up watching those Super Bowl Bears though and seeing Jim McMahon up close will be fun.”
No matter who visitors to The National plan on seeing, there’s one guy all of them would like to see signing autographs the next time they’re in Rosemont.
“I’ve seen Rodman, (Scottie) Pippen and some of the other guys,” Tingley said, “I want to see Michael (Jordan) out here.”
“I’d kill to see MJ here. Well, maybe not kill, but you know what I mean,” Thomas said laughing. “Can you make that happen?”
The 40th National Sports Collectors Convention runs through Sunday, August 4 and is expecting to see more than 50,000 fans come through its doors.
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