Klein’s Korner: Preparing for the National Sports Collectors Convention

Klein’s Korner: Preparing for the National Sports Collectors Convention – Don’t ask me why but the past few weeks the columns and the ideas have been flowing.

What is the greatest show on earth? Well, in the 1970’s it must have been following the New York Yankees. After all, how many books were written about those teams and their constant battles with the Boston Red Sox? The personalities, for both teams, made those games must see TV. If you are a certain age. these three words are amongst the greatest ever uttered; Deep to Left: Followed by a few other words spoken as the ball flew over the green monster:

Of course, for those of us in the sports collectibles business the greatest show on earth is the National Convention. To begin with, in simplest terms, if you can afford to go and have never been to a National, do whatever it takes to attend and walk around. I promise you the sheer volume of material you will see is unparalleled. In addition, the ability to actually SEE the cards or memorabilia and TALK to the people selling those items trumps sitting at home typing out emails and putting bids on sites such as EBay.

Klein's Korner: Preparing for the National Sports Collectors ConventionShould I mention the hundreds of booths most of which have several tables and the corporate booths with their great enticements. I know last year COMC, my employer, was able to have a large number of fidget spinners available and we also gave away a bunch of smaller empty boxes with the COMC logo stamped on them. Our booth was a big hit last year and other people come up with other ways for you to stop by their corporate booths.

Also should I mention the great publicity work done by Ray Schulte. Ray and his team will be sending out emails almost every day until the event featuring some aspect of the show.  If you are not on the National e-mail list, I heartily recommend joining up.  I realize if you are reading this column, you are probably an hobby insider but the information gleamed from the email is extremely valuable.

And perhaps I should mention how the promoters of the National are working on ways to ensure some people who are truly in need of assistance get the special treat of going to the Cleveland I-X Center this year. Kudos to John Broggi, Dan Berkus, Jeff Rosenberg, Ray and any one who helps with this process. I know its expensive but I’d also suggest that as many vendors who can afford to bring someone who has never been to a National do so.  After I went to the 1983 National and experienced Friday which may have been the greatest single day in National show history, there was no turning back to my love for the National.

Possibly it’s time to mention the fine folks at GTS will be there. I’m also looking forward to seeing fellow writer Kelsey Schroyer and talking about the hobby with him. Kelsey has his lane he writes about and I have my lane.Klein's Korner: Preparing for the National Sports Collectors Convention

Can we talk about the National without mentioning some of the givens about bring more cash then you budget for (if you can afford to do so); wear comfortable shoes, if you see something you’ve never seen before and the price is reasonable just purchase the item. Now, if you are looking for Hubie Brooks cards as someone did at the 1988 National; then the father and son who came back on Saturday were fine because they realized he was not so popular that all my cards were going to go away.  But if the item is some rare T-231 Fan card (three total known) and the price is not out of sight, just buy that card whatever it takes.

Autographs: Has anyone mentioned the amazing group of athletes Jeff Rosenberg and the fine people at Tri-Star have put together for this year’s event? Each year they seemingly out-do themselves in whom they bring to this show.

For those of us who like to kvetch (that does include me) maybe we should mention some of the special challenges of hosting the National. Frankly, there are not too many places which are big enough for us and also want us. We as a hobby need to understand and realize some of those special considerations. I’d love to see a National in the Dallas-Fort Worth area but my real instinct says it’s not quite as easy as I would like. After all, who really wants to be in Dallas during the middle of summer and frankly the downtown area is kind of boring. These were the high temperatures in DFW over the past seven days (slight by not much exaggeration): 97-99-98-102-101-97-97. Kind of hot I’d say.

Finally, I need to mention, there is no event in the hobby as the National and if you want to stay home and not attend go right ahead. As for me, I’ve been to more than 30 of them and hope to keep going for a long long time.

Klein’s Korner: Preparing for the National Sports Collectors Convention
Rich Klein
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