Hobby Musings: National potentially record setting traffic – Two days of the 2017 National Sports Collectors Convention are officially in the books. The biggest early impression of the show has been the higher than normal weekday traffic. This is my sixth straight year attending the show, and I don’t ever recall seeing this many people and this much buzz through the first two days. Whether it’s been an hours-long line of people waiting for Jose Canseco’s autograph or customers getting their wrapper redemptions, the show floor has been fairly packed. It certainly begs one to wonder just how busy it will be over the next two days?
Not surprisingly, vintage cards graded and ungraded have dominated the floor. The trend seems to grow every year at every show, but you can barely turn around on the show floor without seeing some old cardboard. This extends to auction houses, including Robert Edwards Auction. Speaking with Consignment Director Brian Dwyer, they had some impressive vintage on display, including an Eddie Mathews 1952 Topps RC graded at PSA 8. Perhaps even more impressive were game-used jerseys of Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown and Mickey Mantle.
The wrapper redemption lines have also seen significant traffic. Topps’ Bowman redemption cards have been extremely popular. If you’re planning on taking part yourself over the next few days, I would recommend doing it early as Topps has shut down giving them out well before the show ends for the day. The reason being so that they can have them over the rest of the show. Not to be outdone, Panini and Upper Deck have also had some very impressive cards in their own redemption packs. Interestingly enough, the lines for the redemptions have been crazy out of the gates, but have slowed down as the day has gone on.
Something else to keep an eye on at the show is PSA’s custom card promotion. If you visit their booth, you can have your very own trading card made and encapsulated in a PSA holder. To add some more fun to it, you can put on an MLB jersey or hold a game-used bat of Derek Jeter, Kris Bryant or Frank Thomas in your picture. Either way, it’s something fun to do by yourself or with your family.
Tristar’s autograph pavilion has been very busy as well. Highlighted by players such as Cal Ripken Jr., the lines have been fairly strong. The VIP signers in particular have had hours-long lines. Football Hall of Famer Charlie Joiner signed for well over two hours on Wednesday. If you have tickets for the VIP signers, budget your time wisely as you can spend quite a bit of it waiting for them. If you can swing it, I recommend waiting an hour or so and trying to get in the line near the end of the signing session so you can accomplish other objectives.
If you’re only coming to the National for one day, be sure to budget your time incredibly well. The show floor has a lot to offer and after two days, I still have not been able to get across the entire floor. It’s not just the cards either. The auction houses have a lot of sweet memorabilia on display, and I plan on spending a good chunk of Friday perusing the unique items.
If you are coming this weekend, be sure to have a good time. For anyone looking to buy 2017 baseball products, good luck as a lot of it is drying up fairly quickly. If the first two days have been any indication, it should be an interesting weekend in Chicago.
Hobby Musings: National potentially record setting traffic – Image Gallery
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