Hobby Musings: 2022 NSCC Once Again Showcased the Best of the HobbyHobby Musings: 2022 NSCC Once Again Showcased the Best of the HobbyThe 2022 National Sports Collectors Convention wrapped up a few weeks ago. Returning to Atlantic City for the first time since 2016, the show provided five days of trading cards, memorabilia, pack redemptions and just about anything else one’s hobby heart could desire. With an expanded floor area and many new entries into the corporate space, this year’s show had a bit of a different feel than years past.

The National’s John Broggi had this to say about the 2022 show, “We are calling this the second-highest attended National ever just ahead of last year’s Chicago show. In excess of 60,000. We met every challenge we faced and believe the show ran very smoothly.”

This isn’t a term I throw around lightly when it comes to the National. However, this year’s show floor felt a little more intimidating given the sheer size. It seemed like more companies tried their best to show out in full force. While some of the usual suspects had their large spaces, companies like Whatnot and Zerocool stepped it up with different experiences than one would expect from the NSCC.

Nat28Whatnot had multiple large spaces set up, including an amusement park game. Delighting several show attendees, including my 4-year-old daughter, people lined up for the chance to win a mystery pack. Near the end of the week, if you pulled a redemption from a mystery pack, you had a chance to win a pack from a 1986-87 Fleer Basketball pack.

Zerocool’s space was highly popular and interactive with showgoers. Of particular interest was the Stranger Things-themed parts, including the vending machine. The packs inside the machine were so popular that people lined up well in advance of the card drop to score a ticket for the limited release.

Even with all the cool new stuff, the card manufacturers weren’t outdone on the show floor. Wild Card had a much larger National presence in 2022. Their prize wheel was a popular and busy attraction where attendees scored a win with every spin. Upper Deck had some great memorabilia on display, as well as a daily raffle that drew large crowds. Panini’s Kids Breaks were popular as ever, and their silver redemption packs remained a popular item. In addition to their VIP party on Saturday, the company also featured an NFT party on Friday night.

Nat2Topps hosted several appearances, including Lauren Taylor and Darryl Strawberry. Their Bowman redemption packs were arguably the hottest item of the National. Leaf again brought back their various levels of redemption items, including 1/1 autograph cards if you bought a case of qualifying product. Brian Gray and the rest of the team were also on hand to talk to showgoers. Onyx’s booth proved to be a popular spot. A number of their show-special items and mystery packs were sold out well before the show ended. Historic Autographs set up and provided collectors the chance to buy their products directly, including 2022 Prime.

Historical cards and memorabilia were on full display courtesy of the auction houses and grading companies. Heritage Auctions showed off plenty of Hall-of-Fame worthy memorabilia, but it was their SGC 9.5 1952 Mickey Mantle Topps card that drew the most attention. While one would think that couldn’t be outdone, PSA had a a PSA 10 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle at one of their booths. Part of Diamondbacks principal owner Ken Kendrick’s collection, the Mantle, as well as several other cards from Kendrick’s collection, drew a lot of fans who wanted to have their pictures taken with the impressive cards.

Vintage cards and graded slabs dominated a lot of the tables, but there was a wide variety of sport and non-sport items alike. I noticed a lot of Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan rookie cards. I also came across a lot of certified Kirby Puckett autographs. While prices were fairly high across the board, there were deals to be had for people in any budget range.

Nat32I was pleased to come across several items that I wasn’t expecting to find at a National Sports Collector’s Convention. The Scooby Doo autograph set I saw in particular gave me a chuckle. This seems like it’s been more of a trend at recent Nationals. In addition to sports memorabilia, more toys, comics, and video games have been showing up at dealer tables.

One big downside of the National this year was the spotty internet connection inside the convention center. Plaguing vendors and attendees alike all week long, it was a topic of constant discussion at the show. The location of Atlantic City itself was once again called into question. Given these issues, it will be interesting to see if the National returns there in the future.

Those problems aside, the 2022 National Sports Collectors Convention proved to be an enjoyable experience. I liked the fact that the show had more to offer this year, especially for younger children. I think the variety of this year also offered us a glimpse into what the National will become in the coming years.

A number of companies expressed their desire to drive traffic to their booths and emphasize interaction with attendees. Given everything that was available, it was easy to see the companies made good on this. The National isn’t solely a card show anymore. If this year was any indication, I can only imagine what next year’s show in Chicago will hold. With a show floor that is set to expand once again, there’s no telling the fun activities that companies will come up with.

Hobby Musings: 2022 NSCC Once Again Showcased the Best of the Hobby – Image Gallery



Kelsey’s ability to bring hobby coverage to the mainstream sports fan has been a true asset. GTS is happy to feature his thoughts on collecting in Hobby Musings. The opinions expressed are his and do not necessarily reflect those of GTS Distribution.
Kelsey Schroyer

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