Saturday’s activity at the National was a little sparse.
(Chicago area writer/dealer Tony Gordon continues his takeover of the Editor’s Blog from behind the table at the 29th National Sports Collectors Convention).
I read the New York Daily News story today about federal authorities serving subpoenas at the National during the past few days. Surprisingly there has not been much of a buzz about this apparent federal investigation around my booth.
I think the sports collecting hobby is extremely vast and features many layers. I suppose the folks in the high-end auction business may have some concerns about this federal investigation, but in my world of off-grade vintage set building, participants are a happy-go-lucky bunch oblivious to much of anything other than finding that tough short print or high number.
Today, Day Four of the National, I heard much more talk about the low customer turn-out and sparse sales than the investigation. Many dealers are saying that they made much more money at the 2007 National in Cleveland.
My day started off similar to Friday and I was mobbed in the beginning. I even saw a nice line of customers waiting at the door to get in about 45 minutes prior to the start of the show.
Early on I sold out of my 1961 Golden Press. I sold a large amount of 1968 Topps baseball commons and my 1961 Fleer Greats of the Game were a big seller.
Then the tumbleweeds came and sales were slow. But unlike yesterday, when I got a bit depressed, today I decided to brighten my spirits with some purchases.
I picked up a complete White Sox ticket from 1956 and my first ever W574 featuring Luke Appling. I also bought a near set of 1955 Bowman football. The set is missing just four cards. The Tom Landry is COOL!
My highlight of the day was learning that a Joe Dimaggio autograph that I have had for nearly 30 years is real. I originally purchased the autograph for $10 at a card show at the Hillside Holiday Inn (legendary Chicago area show) in 1979. The autograph is on a paper image of Dimaggio the size of a baseball card. The seller had a whole box of them and told me that Dimaggio was a family friend. Well I never truly believed the seller and had thought all these years that the auto was fake. Today I brought the autograph over to the ACE Certification booth and learned that it is real!!
I would also like to mention that the folks at ACE are some really nice people with a wealth of knowledge. I was lucky enough to be their neighbor at the March Sun-Times show and am going to rely on them for all my future autograph authentication needs.
Observations from Day Four:
(1) Many more local Chicago collectors were on hand.
(2) Saw one middle-age guy wearing a Michael Jordan warm up, top and bottom, and Michael Jordan Nikes.
(3) Joe Namath was charging $250 for his autograph — too rich for my blood.
(4) The autograph area was very, very crowded.
(5) The Chicago White Sox had a booth today.
(6) The Bulls booth had some t-shirts featuring the logo of the old Chicago Stags basketball team for just 10 bucks.
(7) Donruss/Playoff had a large line to play some spin-the-wheel game for free prizes.
(8) Paul Hornung was signing books at one of the booths.
(9) Fergie Jenkins was signing autographs for charity at a booth.
(10) I saw some 1967 Topps Venezuelan cards that had a cool psychedelic green background with the player images popping out of the cards.
(11) Don’t argue politics with baseball card dealers.
(12) I am a bit tired out and if I ever see a doughnut again, that will be too soon.