The National Sports Collectors Convention wound to a close Sunday in Chicago. As is often the case, several dealers had packed up and left for home after the doors closed on Saturday evening, but this year they likely left some good money on the table. While show organizers have never released official attendance figures, it was clear to anyone who attended that 2017 was very strong.
A few notes:
-If you bought a ticket to get an autograph from Alex Rodriguez, you also got to say hi to Jennifer Lopez. The two have been dating for several months now and she joined him at the TriStar Autograph Pavilion on Saturday.
— Todd McMahon (@ToddMcMahon23) July 29, 2017
J-Lo didn’t sign anything but seemed happy to be with her man. The appearance at the National drew the attention of TMZ.
-The show’s last couple of days once again collided with the Baseball Hall of Fame inductions which may have kept a few big names off the autograph guest list but others went right from signing Thursday or Friday in Chicago to Cooperstown for the weekend.
— Ross Forman (@RossForman1) July 27, 2017
-Panini once again gave those who spent the most money on its products a chance to rub shoulders with some current and former athletes during an after-hours VIP party Saturday night. Among the guests were Pete Rose, Deion Sanders, LaDainian Tomlinson, “Hit Man” Hearns, Latrell Sprewell and Glen Rice.
-One of the two T206 Honus Wagner cards on the show floor was sold privately through Memory Lane on Friday. No word on exact price but we’re told it was “high six figures.” Another PSA 2 sold back in November for $776,750.
-Can’t say I’ve ever seen an entire case of nothing but T206 Cobbs but Brady Hill of Luckiest Man Sports Cards had one.
-Baseball Card Exchange, which sold seven boxes from an original case of 1986-87 Fleer and a full case of 1987-88 Fleer, also sold a 1962 Topps cello box. The asking price was $100,000.
The interest in vintage unopened material continues to soar, although the $2,000 price tag was apparently too much for a planned break of one of those ’86-87 Fleer boxes. It was cancelled late Saturday with about half of the packs unsold.
-PSA had invited a collector to break a 1961-62 Fleer pack on stage Friday morning but it didn’t happen. They say the pack showed evidence a possibly having been resealed. The collector who owned it stills plan to open it and submit the cards for grading. There was a Wilt Chamberlain rookie card on the back of the pack.
There were two unopened boxes in Memory Lane’s booth–asking price was $120,000 each.
-You may have seen pictures of unopened 1950s Red Man tobacco with baseball cards on the back but here’s a video that shows offers a 360 look at how the packages looked when they were on the shelf over 60 years ago. It was in the collection of the late hobby icon Bob Lemke and is now at Collect Auctions.
-Former NFL offensive lineman Evan Mathis has been collecting since he was a kid but had a table at the National for the first time, although that wasn’t really in his plans. He told us he shared space with a dealer friend at the last minute, mostly to support what he described as a fairly insatiable appetite for high quality cards–new and old.
Mathis had an acquaintance do some heavy online advertising for just as the show opened. He buys significant collections, keeps or grades what he wants and sells the rest.
-Bill Simmons, who did more for the National than any mainstream media outlet when he wrote his gigantic online columns for ESPN.com several years ago, was back again this year. If he writes again, we’ll have the link for you.
-Former NFL coach Rex Ryan is a collector and although we didn’t see him, we’re told he spent at least one day at the show.
-Upper Deck sold out of its $1,000 signed memorabilia grab boxes it labeled “Monumental”. Each of the huge cardboard boxes had autographed items in it. Some were better than others. Signed Gretzky and Jordan jerseys and LeBron shoes among the items pulled.
-Redemption promotions were popular as collectors bought boxes by the thousands and redeemed them for special NSCC-exclusive packs. Topps ran out of its Bowman Platinum silver packs by 11 AM Sunday, even after placing limits and delaying the start of the daily giveaway until noon Saturday.
-The big sellers of modern products were busy, with boxes moving thanks in part to wrapper redemption programs tied in with the card companies. Adam Martin of Dave & Adam’s talked about what they were buying and show traffic with GTS Live.
-There were a lot of kid-friendly events at the show thanks to the card companies. Free breaks, scavenger hunts and other activities drew big crowds of youngsters.
— Panini America (@PaniniAmerica) July 28, 2017
-Some of the redemption cards from this year’s show have begun showing up on eBay. If you weren’t there you can check them out here.
-Auction houses were meeting with clients and taking consignments. One of the two PSA 10 1969-70 Lew Alcindor rookie cards graded PSA 10 and one of the five ’75 Topps Robin Yount rookies were turned over to Heritage. Being in the front of the room helped Lelands snare this very old school binder full of Mantle cards that walked in:
We can’t hold back the excitement!This FULL binder of ONLY Mantles came in today at the national sports convention! And Yes, there’s more!! pic.twitter.com/YAOrUBBIkq
— Lelands.com Auctions (@Lelandsdotcom) July 29, 2017
That wasn’t the only nice item to walk into the show. BBCE paid a five-figure price for this previously unknown collection.
-Mile High Card Company gave away a 1952 Topps Mantle graded Authentic by PSA in a random drawing for those who consigned to the company’s upcoming auction.
— Auction Report (@Auctionreport) July 30, 2017
-The National held a contest for a meet and greet autograph opportunity with Hall of Famer Dick Butkus. Here’s your winner (and Chicago radio legend Chet Coppock on the left).
The @38th @nsccshow conducted our first meet & greet sweepstakes via our website www.nsccshow.com supported by our social media and our official media partners. . We had a fantastic registration for the NSCC’s Dick Butkus Meet & Greet in @chicago. We were excited to have Jeff Ochoa (Orange County, California) randomly selected as our first winner. . Jeff got to meet one of the greatest football players ever to play the game, get a photo taken with him and #Chicago’s own Hall of Fame media legend, @chet430. In addition, Dick signed / personalized the photo and signed a Butkus replica Jersey for him. . .Congratulations again Jeff! Can’t wait to see you again in #Cleveland! . . #NSCC17 #chicagobears #nfl #bearnation #thehobby #chitown
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