Parking was much different on day two than it was on day one. As we pulled into the convention center parking garage, after waiting a good bit of time, we were pushed right back out onto the street as the garage must have been full. Today I started to see the parking nightmare people were talking about later on in day one. Why they still allowed entry and let us fight traffic for 20 minutes just to get kicked that up on the road, I’ll never know.
We also heard horror stories about the lack of internet connectivity on day one but we didn’t seem to have too much trouble with it (until we got to our hotel room). Well, that issue became very clear today as Wi-Fi was either on vacation or playing the slots in the casinos. Wherever it was it was definitely not in the convention center.
Right from the outset the show seemed to be packed. There was definitely an electricity and excitement circling the building for the vast majority of the show.
Of course, we tried to make a point to stop at the booths and displays that we might have missed yesterday or some that we just did not give enough attention to in the previous go-round. We stopped by the Topps area and tried to make our own digital baseball card and admired the wide array of digital happenings. They also have the “card wall” where collectors can take a card and leave one.
We also bumped into Darren Rovell at his booth where he was displaying one of his passions which is sports and non-sports related tickets and ticket stubs.
Some struck a chord with me including the game in which Bo Jackson ran right over Brian Bosworth in Seattle. The ticket on display was signed by both guys. He also had signed stubs from Reggie Jackson’s three homer game in the 1977 World Series, Franco Harris’ Immaculate Reception, Elvis’ last concert and several others that were fun to see.
I made it a point to spend some time “working” The Steel City Collectibles booth, which is annually one of the busier locations because of the amount of boxes and cases they go through over the five days. More on that coming soon.
Speaking of Western Pennsylvania, we also ran into the Authentic Steelers Memorabilia stand, which housed authentic game worn and practice worn jerseys, pants, game and practice worn helmets and all kinds of authentic Steelers gear.
It was about that time that things started getting crazy over at the box breaker pavilion. A few of the younger breakers started throwing out free product to eagerly awaiting collectors in the crowd. It got a little sketchy at times as they were throwing packs and even hobby boxes into the crowd and people were jumping, diving and fighting over some of the product. A number of the surrounding dealers and vendors were a tad upset with the goings on with the youngins in the breaking area. It may be good for business but bad for public safety.
We made our way to the Flex NBA booth booth shortly after the melee where RUN TMC were together for the first time in nearly 30 years. Hall of Famers Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin were in attendance promoting the new version of NBA Flex. They’re scheduled to be at the booth all weekend.
It’s also great seeing so many kids involved in the hobby and at the convention. There were a huge group of kids doing pack wars and later in the day there was a great educational event put on by the great people at Ultra Pro explaining the importance of card protection and card safety to the kiddos in attendance.
I’m not sure how PSA made out but Beckett had a bit of a rough go grading today. Apparently the team had lost Wi-Fi altogether and all online access for some time and orders that were due to be back in two hours or by the end of day were not done at the time of the close of business, which left some customers rather upset. They did their best to make things right and handled it rough situation the most professional way they could.
My own grading experience went spectacularly well, so I left the convention a happy man. I’ll write later on a special card I submitted.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what the weekend holds for the show. I’ll be sure to check back in tomorrow, Wi-Fi willing.
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