A smattering of notes from the 2016 National Sports Collectors Convention…
- While the most ardent collectors get to the show on Wednesday or Thursday, the biggest crowds tend to be on Friday and Saturday as working folks make their way to the convention center. Reports on show attendance are mixed, but those who are there are spending money.
- Only about 5-10% of the show dealers hail from west of St. Louis, which speaks to the logistics of getting to Atlantic City, especially with a large quantity of material. A few auction houses who normally have corporate booths did not do so this year but do have reps on the floor.
- One trend we’ve noticed over the last couple of years that should be encouraging to anyone in the industry is that the number of kids at the National seems to be on the uptick. While it’s not like the 1980s and 90s, the love of cards is not entirely lost on the current youth, despite moans and groans to the contrary.
- Panini’s VIP party Saturday night will include Allen Iverson, Scottie Pippen, Shawn Kemp, Lawrence Taylor and NASCAR driver Chase Elliott.
- The NBA’s number one draft pick, Ben Simmons, was Upper Deck’s special guest during an after hours gathering Friday night.
— Upper Deck (@UpperDeckSports) August 6, 2016
— Eric Ralston (@ebayguruEric) August 6, 2016
- PSA and Beckett have recently placed Help Wanted ads as they look for additional grading staff. That should tell you about the demand for services right now, much of it coming from hobby newcomers and some from collectors who have seen the prices for certain cards skyrocket—as long as they are encapsulated. Lines at PSA’s booth were long at times over the first three days of the show.
— PSAcard (@PSAcard) August 4, 2016
- Some dealers reported good sales numbers, despite slower than expected traffic. Vintage wax has been selling well with the Baseball Card Exchange saying it had moved plenty of material including boxes of 1987-88 and ’88-89 Fleer basketball, 1980-81 Topps basketball, 1975 Topps baseball and a 1970 Topps Football by early Friday afternoon. They sold out of their 1993 Upper Deck SP baseball boxes (Jeter rookies) at over $1,600 per box. Signed rookie cards from Unitas, Payton, and Namath sold for record high prices while many unsigned graded vintage cards they saved for the show have sold above the highest recorded auction prices.
- 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookies (and ’86-87 Fleer cards in general) are everywhere. The card has experienced huge price increases as demand grows but there is definitely no shortage.
- Among the autograph guests was Dennis Rodman, who may be facing some legal trouble in connection with a traffic-related incident in California awhile back. He’s denying it and didn’t seem too bothered by the fact that police are recommending felony hit and run charges.
— TRISTAR Productions (@TRISTAR1) August 5, 2016
- Hunt Auctions is based just a short ride from AC. They were previewing the annual Louisville Slugger Auction this fall and items from the Minnie Minoso collection, set to be sold at an event in Chicago next month.
— Hunt Auctions (@HuntAuctions) August 5, 2016
- Less than a day after selling the 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky rookie card (PSA 10) for $465,000, Ken Goldin of Goldin Auctions appeared on Yahoo Finance to talk about the vintage card market and the T206 ‘Jumbo’ Honus Wagner auction that’s happening next month.
We offered some video from the show yesterday. Here’s another mini tour of some more of the items you’ll see on the floor thanks to the hard-working John O’Kane (watch for his story on 10-year-old Brady Kahle and Cards for a Cause tomorrow):