Hobby Musings: TRISTAR Bringing fans, Athletes Together at NSCC – With the 2019 National Sports Collectors Convention only a few weeks away, fans and vendors alike are rapidly preparing for the biggest show of the year. One such company is TRISTAR Productions, headed by Jeff Rosenberg. Hosting the National’s autograph pavilion, Rosenberg and TRISTAR are once again doing everything they can to provide a star-studded autograph lineup for the show.
While bringing in national sports stars is important for Rosenberg, he also emphasized the importance of bringing in local Chicago stars as well. Elaborating on this, he said, “We try to get a broad array of national stars mixed with local stars. One of the locals is Greg Maddux, who is one of the best pitchers of all time and was a stalwart for the Cubs for many years. He doesn’t do a lot of appearances, so he’ll be a big draw this year.”
In addition to Maddux, Chicago will also be well-represented by legends like Dick Butkus, Mike Ditka and Bobby Hull. Baseball’s new Hall of Fame class also has strong Chicago ties as former White Sox slugger and Cubs hurler Lee Smith will be among the signers at this year’s show.
Rosenberg pointed to one of their fellow inductees in Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera as someone who will draw a lot of attention. Explains why, Rosenberg said, “Mariano Rivera is going to be a popular signer this year. For all of baseball’s great players, we’ve never had someone unanimously inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Mariano became the first one this year. We’re so excited for him to get inducted this weekend and then to have him at his first big autograph appearance at the National afterwards.” Rosenberg did say he is expecting inscriptions centered around Rivera’s unanimous HOF induction to be a popular request.
It’s not just sports stars who will be attending the National. Actor and pop culture icon William Shatner will be making his National debut. Alluding to Shatner’s popularity to fans across a wide spectrum, he called the “Star Trek” star the biggest first-time signer at the National this year. He further added, “I’m excited to have him. That’s a real special treat for us at the National, especially as it’s his first time at the show.”
Also appearing from the pop culture world will be actor Patrick Renna. He is best known to fans for playing slugging catcher Hamilton “Ham” Porter in “The Sandlot.” Rosenberg said he himself was excited at the prospect of meeting Renna and getting him to sign an item.
He also explained why it’s a good opportunity for show attendees, saying, “A number of the Sandlot stars have been doing shows and he has not. We reached out to his agent as we thought he would be a good addition, and we were able to have him come. There’s a lot of fans of the movie who need his autograph on their items, and now they’ll have their chance. I imagine a lot of people will be asking for the “You’re Killing Me Smalls” inscription.”
Show attendees on Wednesday will also have a chance to score some free autographs. Ryan Klesko, Drew Pearson and Bill Cartwright will be signing for VIPs at a reception earlier in the day. Afterwards, they’ll be on the show floor signing as well. Asked how he comes up with the players to participate in the free signing, Rosenberg said, “We try to figure out the market with a local and national presence. Looking at certain age demographics too, guys like Pearson and Klesko span across multiple generations of fans. One thing in common with all three of them is that they were very popular players.”
TRISTAR is once again offering VIP packages for show attendees. Offering a wide variety of benefits at the National, including autograph tickets, Rosenberg said they are a popular item again. Asked to expand, he revealed, “We’re breaking all records with them, and we’re ahead of last year’s pace in selling them. They sold out last year and we expect to do so again this year. The Platinum Package is the big one and we expect that to sell out as well.”
Being offered by TRISTAR for the first time this year is a line priority pass. This is for the person who wants to conquer everything at the National and doesn’t have time to wait in line. Limited to 50 packages, the pass allows you the chance to go to the front of the line for your autograph signings and authentications afterwards.
Above all else, Rosenberg relishes the opportunity to bring these celebrities and athletes together with their fans at the National. Elaborating, he said, “I’m living a dream right now with my childhood heroes like Reggie Jackson and Rod Carew coming to the National. Being responsible for them and making sure they can do everything they do for the fans is something I take to heart. At the end of the day, I want everyone to come away with a memory they’ll cherish for the rest of their life.”
For more information on this year’s National autograph lineup and how to score everything you need for the show, be sure to visit https://www.tristarproductions.com/schedule.html.
Stay up to date on everything happening at the 2019 National Sports Collectors Convention by reading our Attendee Guide.
For more Hobby Musings from Kelsey Schroyer, follow him on Twitter @KelSchroy75.
Hobby Musings: TRISTAR Bringing fans, Athletes Together at NSCC
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