The National was great and I'm going to start a few posts of recaps with the big one. My wife and I found the Frank Thomas NNOF by just being in the right spot at the right time. We spent a good portion of Thursday not buying anything and just asking dealers if they had it or knew someone that had it. We got a lot of 'yea that's a great card wish I had one' or 'oh yea I had a bunch of those years back but they're all gone now' (fyi saying that to people doesn't help).
Around 2ish it seemed hopeless so we decided to at least do some digging in boxes and picking up a few cards. That was a good time!
Fast forward to Friday, we more or less figured the Thomas wasn't going to happen, so we decided to spend some time at the corporate booths and browse a bit more. (Also, met Donovan McNabb, very cool) We had decided to try and pick up a case of 2016 Chrome. All the big dealers we asked were out which was great cause I couldn't have afforded the Thomas if I had bought the case.
After the blowout giveaway at 3 pm, my wife decided she wanted to take a break and sit down. I decided to just browse a bit by myself and see if any cool cards popped out to me. I stopped at a booth where the dealer was negotiating a deal with someone. In one of the dealers cases he had 5 or 6 Koufax rookies in all different grades. I decided to wait for the deal to be done and then ask for prices.
As soon as the deal finished, a friend of the guy who sold the dealer cards asked the dealer to take a look. The first three cards out of the box were Frank Thomas NNOF's. I couldn't believe it! He had 2 graded PSA 8 and one raw. I asked immediately what he wanted for one. He was in the 4K range for the PSA and he said the raw wasn't for sale but if he was going to sell it he'd take X,XXX and nothing less. I said "I'll buy it for X,XXX". We had a handshake deal but I had spent a bunch of money on other stuff so I was short cash. I ran across the floor to get my wife and let her know what was going on and then ran to the ATM to cover the rest of the money. Then ran back to buy the card. My wife said while I was gone 2 other people inquired about buying the card but the person selling to me said he had already made a deal (thank God for honest people).
Of course it being raw we were all concerned with authenticity. He said he had bought it from a dealer on the floor but he had worked out the deal before the National and just picked it up there. The dealer had guaranteed the authenticity to him and we walked over and the same dealer gave me that guarantee. I wanted it slabbed as soon as possible to keep my mind at ease and so it was protected. The grade was secondary but we all assumed it would grade about a 7. I was cool with that. The dealer had a connect at SGC and he did a rush job for us and got it slabbed in about an hour and 15 minutes.
Here is the card raw... snapped a quick pic with my phone.
And here it is now in all it's glory.. and oh yea it graded an 8!!!
The card I had only personally seen once in person. I witnessed 4 of them at the National. Three of them were owned by the person I bought mine from. The last one was a PSA 9 and the dealer wanted 25,000. I'm sure that one is still sitting in the case.
I'm not sure what my next big card will be, but this one will be hard to top!
Thanks for reading!