The 38th installment of The National Sports Collectors Convention has officially come to a close and (hopefully) everyone left Rosemont, IL with exactly what they were looking for.
That said, if you weren’t among the lucky few that got to brush elbows with Jennifer Lopez while she was slumming it alongside her latest boytoy Alex Rodriguez or catch up with Los Angeles Lakers number one draft pick Lonzo Ball at the Panini VIP party Saturday night, one thing is for certain, The National continues to be a family affair.
Dennis Cross made the long trek from Lexington, Virginia along with his son, who was making his second trip. Their plan of attack…obtain some autographs from the former hockey players signing at the TRISTAR Autograph Pavilion.
“I’ve been coming for many years,” Cross said. “I like to look at the dealers, the merchandise and meet the players. It’s also an opportunity to meet new dealers and see everything! My son is with me as well, so this is an interesting time together.”
Cross isn’t the only visitor who made the trip with a family member or two (or three).
Heather Kaesgen made the six-hour drive from Cleveland with her kids. As she puts it, she gets to “stand in line and get autographs while they shop.” And while Kaesgen won’t publicly disclose what they spend at The National (SPOILER ALERT…it’s in the mid-five digits), she loves the time they spend together.
Similarly, Jeanine Jacobsen also gets to stand in line while others shop. However, instead of it being her kids, it’s her husband who hits the tables searching for golf memorabilia while she secures all the VIP autographs she can.
“This is not my first rodeo,” the Arkansas-native says looking up from a book. “My husband and I have been doing this since the 90s. I love all of the different, really old collectible things.”
Michigan-based buddies Mark Mallory and TC Thornton hit The National Wednesday night to see former Oakland A’s slugger Jose Canseco. They would end up returning Saturday to see the center of any Detroit football fan’s constellation.
“Me and my buddy come every year and this year we finally got the VIP passes,” Thornton said, “but we came for Barry Sanders.”
The chance to meet one of the greatest running backs of all time…that’s something even Henry Winkler would think is pretty cool.
— JB Bernstein (@jbbernstein) July 30, 2017
You can check out all of our coverage from The National HERE.