Observations from the first day of the National Sports Collectors Convention.
(We turn the Editor’s Blog over to Tony Gordon for a few entries this week. He’s a Chicago area dealer/collector who’s setting up at the National Sports Collectors Convention for the first time).
I was a bit amazed at the low customer turn out for the first day of the National. I had expected a nice crowd, especially when I noticed people starting to line up several hours before the show opened to the public. Yet the crowd was sparse with more dealers walking around than customers.
Though my table was not completely devoid of customers, I made some sales and had some nice conversations. I discussed the Twins and the Vikings with a collector from Minneapolis who purchased several Fran Tarkenton cards from the late 1960’s. He said it is a good time to be a Minnesota fan with the Twins knocking on the door of first place and the Vikings looking like the cream of the black and blue division.
Several folks from Los Angeles escaped Tuesday’s earthquake with a trip to the National. One collector was looking for low grade vintage on the cheap while another collector was completing Dodger team sets from the 1960’s and 1970’s.
A dealer from Chattanooga, Tennessee, was kind enough to unload a nice stack of 1950 Bowman baseball at my table.
The rest of the visitors to my table were all folks from the Chicago area which brings me to a little pet peeve — I do not understand why many Chicago collectors skip the small local shows and only go to the large shows. I mean if you are going to buy from my table at the National why not visit me at one of the small hotel shows where I bring out a far greater inventory?
Though my argument does not carry a whole lot of weight in light of the tremendousselection of cards, autographs and memorabilia available at this year’s National. I have one word for the National — WOW!
I saw more prewar cards than I have ever seen before, from T206 to Cracker Jack to Zeenuts to Goudey and every obscure issue in between. One of the auction houses was displaying a complete set of T206. As a matter of fact, I saw quite a few complete sets for sale from the 1950’s through the 1970’s.
One dealer had some football helmets from the 1930’s and 1940’s while another dealer had old baseball stadium seats and turnstiles. There is also a large selection of non-sports cards and rock and roll memorabilia. There are several artists selling paintings of athletes that are really well done. I even saw one booth selling only Beanie Babies — it’s been a few years since I noticed anyone at a card show selling Beanie Babies.
Well, it has been a long day. I worked a half day at my real job then spent a few hours setting up at the National and several more hours behind the table. I am going to turn in for the night and hope a large crowd will greet me in the morning.