Sunday, July 31, 2022

National Recap Day 5

The end of the show. Overall it was a great show. I had a blast in the beginning and ended on a really high note which I will detail in this post. I decided I wanted to park in the convention center garage today since I was planning to leave right after I got the Don Money autographs around 2 PM (or however fast the line went). I've read quite a few national recap posts in years past (always enjoy them) and it seemed like Sunday dealers who actually want to sell stuff will cut some deals for the things left over. I spoke to a lot of dealers while I was there and I would say 9 out of 10 said they sold a ton. One of them even said he expected to make about 15k profit for this one show. That's pretty great for the hobby. Tons of people were into it and tons of marketing opportunities and tons of cool stuff from low end to high end and everything in between. I consider myself a mid-end collector that lucked into some high end cards before they became what they are today. Anyway back to the actual topic of recapping the day and some musings on the week. 

 I had no issue checking out of the hotel and then driving to the convention center in the AM. I had packed what I could the night before so just had to lug it to the car and was good to go. I arrived as the show was opening for VIPs so got right in. I didn't have a true agenda but I wanted to see if I could get 1 or 2 big cards on my list. (spoiler alert, I found a couple but I didn't have them on my list before but they should've been)  

The only agenda I had was I wanted to go to a raffle around 2 PM at the Hit Parade both. For every 100 dollars spent they gave you a ticket but this raffle you had to be present on Sunday. I was hoping people would be gone so I'd have a better chance at winning even only with a couple tickets. I was debating buying one more box from them before the raffle started to get another card and a chance at some stuff. Hadn't decided yet at this point in the day. 

I started looking at a baseball box that said 20% off if you spent more then 100. There was an array of cards in there but I was able to pull what amounted to 120 sticker price and the dealer said 80 would work. I was good with that.Got these 4 cards. 

Basically 20 dollars a card for 3 rookies and a SP Harper. Hard to beat deals like that. I had traded away my previous NNO's a while ago so it was nice to get them back at a lower buy in then I had before. 

I grabbed this card next, I already have one PSA graded but I wanted one to put in my binder with the team set. It was annoying me. 

Perfect for the Phillies team sets binder. 

The next showcase, a Thomas auto caught my eye and then a card I had traded for then sold on Thursday was also there so I got a bundle deal and picked them both up. I put the Thomas in a different pile so I don't currently have a picture but here is the other card. 

Back in the collection after being gone a couple days. 

The next card that caught my eye was a cheap Ichiro RC. I didn't find any Fleer Tradition ones. I would've spent more for that one if I was able to find it. 

I was making my way down the aisle where I knew there was a dealer with a 1985 wax box that was not wrapped by BBCE. He had marked it as 350 but that is way over comps on ebay. I was hoping to get him down to 275 for the box. He wouldn't budge past 325. He said it would sell eventually at his price. Maybe he's right but eventually could be ten years. 

I let it go and made my way to the next dealer. He had very little out and after talking to him he said they sold about 20k cards this week. Him and his friend were happy how the show went and how much they unloaded. This was my first big purchase of the day. This beauty of a card caught my eye.

It only got that low of a grade because of back centering top to bottom. The card presents really nice and is super clean on the front and back. I was able to work the magic of looking up comps and got him to come down 40 dollars. One of those iconic cards, even though I don't collect much football I am more then happy to have this one in my collection. 

At this point I figured I would maybe buy 1 more big card then grab some food head over to the Hit Parade booth and decide if I want something then kill time before the raffle. 

Not soon after I came across a card I had never seen in person before. I knew it existed and saw it for sale online a couple times. 

This is the 2012 Five Star Bryce Harper rookie from the Collector's club numbered out of 50. It was only distributed to member's of the club by Topps and was not inserted in packs. This dealer had a price of 380 on it and I knew what I was looking at. I felt like that was a really good price so I looked it up real quick and the last sale was 525. I decided to be honest and told the dealer he really underpriced this card. He said he appreciated the honesty and would sell it to me for 380 if I wanted to buy it. We chatted a bit more about some of the other cards in the showcase and things in general while I was thinking about it. I decided I couldn't walk away without it cause I may never see it again. I said I'd pay full sticker and didn't try to negotiate. He said since I was honest with him he'd knock off 20 bucks! Super pumped to get this auto in the collection. One of those rare cards that look really nice in person. 

I got some food after this, extremely overpriced chicken fingers and french fries. 

While making my way back towards the Hit Parade area I was looking at random spots and saw BBCE's area. They have a ton of stuff as usual but they also have individual packs. I picked up these 2 1985 wax packs. I do not plan on opening them. 

Way cheaper then a box and way easier to store as well. I think that satisfied my urge to get a whole box. I'm just as happy with the packs. 

I finally made my way back to the Hit Parade area. It's such a gamble, but hey who doesn't like a little gambling sometimes. I've gotten plenty of boxes with zero value at least with these there is some sort of floor. I decided that I wanted to take my shot at their emerald box (cost 320). Some big chase hits in there but even not getting one of those I should still get a nice card. 

A really nice card from Flawless. A patch auto of Rickey Henderson numbered out of 7 and it's on-card. This is my first Rickey auto so I don't have any reason to not keep it. I did look it up and its probably worth around 220. I did get 3 raffle tickets for the purchase so I was ready when the time came. 

I took a break after this in the VIP lounge for about a half hour. I just chatted with a guy about cards in general. He had done some couple thousand dollar type deals and he was telling me about it. Always interesting to hear what deals other people have done. 

I made my back over to the Hit Parade booth since you had to be there in person. It was a decent crowd and some people had A LOT of tickets. One youngish looking couple said they had 100 which means they spent 10k at that booth. I would love to see their collection. I imagine its ok. 

Hit Parade was giving away 21 boxes. 10 cards, 10 signed jerseys and 1triple box (ball, 8x10 and jersey autos) These boxes were all made specifically for this give away so they weren't for purchase or anything like that. 

Mind you I had FIVE tickets. Naturally, I win the very first box. I asked for a card. 

This is my first Jasson card! It's beyond shiny and numbered out of 250! I'm not a prospector but I would like to hold this one for a while. If he does well it should shoot up like all of his stuff would. 

At this point it was a bit past 2 and I debated just giving my tickets to the person next to me so I could get the Don Money autos and go. I'm glad I decided to wait. There was no limit on winning multiples. They were down to 2 items left. One jersey box and then the triple box at the end. I won AGAIN. The Jersey box. I couldn't believe it. I had five tickets and won twice. The two that won were from my purchase the hour before, so that purchase really paid off. 

In that box, I hit this Jersey auto...

Justin Jefferson Nike Jersey auto. The Jersey itself retails for 130 dollars. It being signed by one of the best wideouts in the NFL should add some value. I haven't been able to find it online yet but regardless it's pretty cool. I am real psyched to win 2 prizes. 

After this, I made my way to see Don Money ..

He signed 2 Rookie cards for me. He was a nice guy and was talking to some people in line. He was  a bit before my era so I didn't see him play. The autograph area was much tamer on Sunday. Yesterday it was a mad house. 

I had to walk the floor to get out of the building and with me that's dangerous. I ended up making 2 quick purchases because why not? 

2 more Griffeys! A PSA 5 and 7! I'm still trying to find the flaw in the 5. It looks just as nice if not nicer then the 7. It was a three Griffey kind of day. I did well with that and did really well with Frank Thomas cards at the National. 

I was able to pickup a good amount of vintage and some cool cards and some rare cards. Overall, I had an amazing time and even though my feet hurt and I have to work tomorrow it was worth it. Shockingly, I did not go over budget! I left with some cash in hand. It helped that I sold some those first few days which offset the purchases. I kept really good records of each transaction as I did them, otherwise I would've never been able to remember the order and how things went down. 

My only complaint was parking on that first day, I should've known better and the food in the convention center was grossly overpriced. 

They all said no outside food or drink but they didn't enforce it. I walked in with 2 water bottles everyday and no one ever said anything. 

Here was some more cool things I saw today. 

I opened 2 of these boxes as a kid. I believe they cost 65 dollars back then.

I hope everyone enjoyed reading these. I enjoyed writing them. I'm sure I made some typos along the way since I didn't edit and wrote most of these kind of exhausted from the day. 

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think! I would 100% attend another National if I have the chance. 

Saturday, July 30, 2022

National Recap Day 4

The national is like a card collecting marathon. You can tell who has been here the whole time and who is just coming for the day. I know I was real tired last night so I was planning to sleep a little. I didn't have any major agenda for the day except meeting up with a friend and getting a Milt Thompson auto. 

I did sleep through the alarm a little and decided to just go straight to Ceasar's to park and not even mess with the around the convention center traffic. That was the correct call. Tons of people were sitting in traffic as I walked the half mile or so from the garage to the center. 

My day started a bit slow. I didn't see anything crazy but I did pick up a couple things. I picked up a Don Money card since I only had 1 and I have 2 auto tickets. His session is tomorrow. 

I also fed my obsession and found another cheap one! (18 dollars)

 Such a great card. This one is a real clean copy. I'm glad it wasn't graded so I could buy it cheap. That dollar was real nice. He had it listed for 22 I said how about 20 he said 18 is fine. That was unexpected but I was thankful and let him know. 

After that I was looking at a booth with a ton of signed baseballs laid out. I have a couple spots in my display case when I re-jiggered the room a bit ago so if I found a ball at the right price I would grab one. I was able to get this one for 40 dollars which I thought was absurdly cheap for a official MLB ball. (another dealer had it for 125)

After that I decided to take a break in the VIP lounge and get something to eat. Not much was going on there but my friend was coming shortly so I was good to wait. He came not soon after and he had pulled some Frank Thomas and Phillies stuff for me. I ended up trading some 93 Jeter rookies for all of it. I'm sure we were close on value but he gets something he wants and I get to add to the PC. A good trade all around. 

I highlighted some of the cards. The Pinnacle Starburst of Thomas is such a pretty card. The swirls really pop out. The Hoskins is a rookie that I didn't have. A real random Brett Myers auto. I'll have to check my spreadsheet but pretty sure I didn't have an auto of his. 

After that my friend wanted to see if he could off load some of his pokemon cards (note: real nice stuff) and I wanted to get Milt Thompson's auto. My friend hooked me up with an all access auto pass so I didn't have to wait in line. Unfortunately, I was only able to get 1 Milt auto though. They never called the wild cards and I didn't get another ticket. He was super cool though. I complimented his batting stance and we talked about the Vet for a bit. Granted, I was literally wearing a shirt that has a picture of the vet on it.(a lot of people randomly wanted to talk about it, definitely was a good conversation opener with people) 

Milt was kind enough to take a picture with me. It came out nice. I got a 1987 Topps card signed. 

I knew the general vicinity where my friend was heading so I headed that way to find him and give him his access pass back. I didn't make any deals on the way (not for lack of trying) but I did find him at the same booth I sold my 4 pokemon cards too. I hadn't really looked at their showcases but I was casually searching the one baseball box when a card in the showcase caught my eye. It is on my main want list and was within my comps that I researched before hand. I made a package deal for these 3 cards. 

The Bohm is from the megabox. The shiny factor is off the charts. The Schmidt is a nice patch numbered out of 25.The big draw was the Orlando Cepeda rookie. I don't know if it was short printed or what but I haven't seen another one even with all the vintage in the room. It's definitely showcase worthy. It got a low grade cause there is some staining around the edges on the back but no paper loss or anything crazy like that.

The dealer's wife explained to me that they only let one person consign with them and it was this gentleman's card. He is slowly selling his collection from when he was a kid and he personally pulled this card in 1958. Hard to beat that provenance! 

Pretty psyched to knock off a big card and plan on displaying this one. At this point there was maybe 2ish hours left for the day. 

I randomly found a Hans Crouse auto in the show case. I know I don't have that auto in my collection so I grabbed it for five dollars. Shout out to the dealer for asking for my blog website, hope you are reading! 

He also had this awesome Jalen Hurts:

This is the black finite 1/1 Rookie card. Prizm really is nice for Football and Basketball. I can see why its highly collected. 

After this I decided to gamble a bit. Bought one of the Hit Parade baseball boxes and got a cool card. 

A Rafael Devers Museum Collection auto. The last sale was 115 dollars. It's not a bad card, but I didn't win so to speak on the transaction. Although, most times breaking boxes you don't 'win'. It is my first Devers auto and he is quite a good player so happy to hang onto it. 

Apparently, even though I was quite tired I had one more big deal in me for the day. This one was completely unexpected. I was walking by a dealer and he made a nice comment about all the people he had talked to that day. It was nice to hear that he had a lot of positive interactions. We started chatting and I offered if he wanted to look at my stuff. He pulled out 4 cards and told me to wait because his buddy would be interested. Turns out he was very right. One of the cards he was super interested in. We ended up talking and going back and forth for about 20 minutes until coming to an agreement. 

I traded the Beta Berserk I picked up yesterday and a little cash for a freaking Sandy Koufax auto graded PSA 9. The card is fantastic in hand. This negotiation was wild in the swings. He wanted to outright buy the Berserk from me but I didn't want to sell it. I wanted the Koufax. He didn't want to trade the Koufax, he wanted to sell it. His friend convinced him to throw out a number for cash on a partial deal and he threw out quite a high number. I looked up comps and it was a bit out of line. Honest mistake cause he said he comped it months ago. He ended up coming way way down on the cash and thats when we agreed but not before some back and forth. I was willing to walk away and I think thats why the deal got done. He didn't want to let me leave with the Berserk in hand. I was totally fine keeping it but the Koufax really fits my collection. At the end of the day I turned magic cards I haven't looked at it in years into a Koufax auto! 

No more deals til the end of the show. Found one card I like (Alec Bohm red ink heritage auto) but no clue if it's a good price so need to research before committing to it. Not entirely sure I'm going to go get it tomorrow. 

Here are some pics I took of things I saw:

The hockey triple auto is the Staal brothers, Marc, Eric and Jordan. There is a card with Drake and Justin Beiber and apparently people like it? Not in my wheelhouse. The 52 Topps pack speaks for itself. 

After the show I wanted to just relax. Went and got dinner back at the hotel (chicken wings yum). After that, I decided to gamble a bit for the first time on this trip. I played some 1-2 no limit for a couple hours and won 200 dollars. Played on a fun table with good action. 

Until tomorrow! Thanks for reading!

National Recap Day 3

We are more then halfway done the show. It's been great overall so far. I've encountered some unreasonable prices on Ryan Howard cards (Bowman's best auto for 90, thats a 30 dollar card, they will be holding it forever). I offered 50 and the guy said 85. That's not a negotiation, that's a robbery. I walked away. 

Before the show today I messaged my old boss who lives in the UK (hi Jack, if you are reading this!) if he needed any Pokemon cards for his collection. There is an abundance of Pokemon cards some dealers, that is all they have.  Jack gave me 3 targets. There is not an abundance of Magic cards. I saw one big dealer with real nice stuff (we will get to him later) and one guy selling unopened boxes of the recent stuff. 

Parking wise, today started off much easier then yesterday. I was able to get a spot in the garage without issue and not a lot of traffic (also left the hotel at the right time). Since I have early entry and wanted to buy a Series 2 jumbo box anyway, since I did that for Series 1 to complete the set and hopefully hit something nice. I bee-lined to the corporate area picked up a box from blowout and then went to the Topps Redemption line. I was 5th or 6th in line so once they opened at 10 the wait wasn't more then a couple minutes. All they do is break the cellophane wrap take it and then give you the packs. Back in 2016, you literally had to open the entire contents of the box in front of them (or case) to get the packs, glad they learned how inefficient that was. I did not sell anything today and that's ok. I didn't really push too hard for anything. I'd rather trade most of the time or do cash/card deals.

The packs overall for the show have been good from what I've seen. Lots of numbered cards and a few autos. I hit a numbered card in each pack. A gold out of 50 and an orange out of 25. 

 Real sharp looking cards.I don't know a lot about Cowser but I know Greene throws 100 and once he gets a bit more control he could be really good. I remember Luis Castillo was a bit wild when he came up and he has been great the last 2-3 years. Some dealers had redemption packs for straight purchase and they were asking 40-50 a piece. 

After that I walked around a bit and picked up a cheap RC I did not have. 

A bit off center Goldy from 2011 Topps Update. I think he has a shot at the Hall of Fame. He's been so consistently good throughout his career. I'd rather grab this card now and if he doesn't make it, thats ok it will be worth about the same instead of waiting and seeing it shoot up. 

Cell service was pretty awful in the show today. It was incredibly spotty and I had no clue if my texts were going out to people. Thankfully, I was able to get Jack's opinion on the pokemon cards for prices. I didn't want to overpay. I was searching for one of them on a pretty large all pokemon both and got into a conversation with a patron and he asked me which cards I was looking for. I mentioned one of them and he immediately said the dealer just bought it from someone. I immediately bought it from them at a solid price. 

Very pretty card in hand. For those that don't read Japanese, this is a 2001 Corocoro Mew promo no. 151. Pretty psyched that I found one of the three cards. Working on the others! 

I was trying to be organized in my searching. I mainly failed at that. It was too easy to look at one booth go across the aisle and sort of get lost. The big corporate guys are in the middle which sort of breaks up the room, but then the breakers pavilion is a large section but they also sell cards and boxes so yea, I guess what I'm trying to say is the National should be 10 days long. 

I finally came across a magic dealer that has a store and does it full time. He had a ton of graded dual lands that go for big money. After I made my deal he was negotiating with someone on a 30kish deal for a bunch of them. I showed him my magic cards that I pulled before the National. After walking around for 2.5 days or so and seeing almost no one with magic I wasn't hopeful I'd be able to trade or sell them. He took a look at the stack and recognized the 2 key cards (Gilded Drake and Survival of the Fittest) the rest were smaller items that would move eventually but would be a pain for me to list out. 

He asked what I wanted and I explained real quick how I comped them and showed my list. These cards full ebay retail came to about 700. I said I'd take 500 cash. Not crazy but it would take him a bit to piece out. He though for a second thanked me for my time and said he'd pass. That's when I went into negotiation mode. I was looking to unload, I didn't want to take all the same cards home. I said I was looking for a Beta Force of Nature and I would trade those and kick in some cash. He said he didn't have one but he had a box of graded Beta cards. I went through the box and pulled a few cards I was interested in. One card more then the others but I was hoping to get one of the smaller cards thrown in. 

Ultimately we did come to a deal... 


A Beta Bersek and an Unlimited Sinkhole for my stack. Key cards I traded are also shown. I actually had room in my trade/sell box after this trade. It was a minor miracle. I'm quite happy to pick up 2 nice cards. I don't care about the low grades but the Bersek is roughly a 400 dollar card and the Sinkhole is 40 give or take. I think the dealer agreed cause eventually he'd win on the deal but I'm happy to consolidate my mish-mash into 1 older card. Win-win.

I was feeling good after the trade and picked up some cheap HOF rookie cards.

Joe Morgan and Don Sutton rookies. Both in perfectly loved vintage shape. From the same dealer, I grabbed 5 Frank Thomas inserts for 15 bucks. All 90s goodness. He was a personable guy so it was nice chatting with him for about 10 minutes and I got some nice stuff. 

I was on a roll and I spotted a card that has been on my want list a while.I was not looking for graded because the premium is outrageous. 

A nice looking Clayton Kershaw rookie! This is my 2nd nice Kershaw pickup (one bought, one traded for) in 2 days. It's not perfect centering wise but I don't care. At this point I decided to head over to get some lunch near the vip lounge and sit down after I got it for a while to rest my feet. (The concrete floor is rather unforgiving after several hours of standing/walking) On the way I found another card cause that's what I do. 

It wasn't expensive and it's on-card so it fits a lot of my criteria.

This is from last year's Tier one. Numbered out of 157 for some reason or another. 

Somehow I made it over to the rather ridiculously long line for overpriced burgers or chicken fingers. I usually strike up conversations with people, especially at this show never know what you might find. I was standing behind one of the workers for a breakers booth. (east/west breaking I think) We were chatting about different cards and he was showing me on his phone the cool cards that people have hit at the booth. I mentioned some trades I made including getting rid of the 1957 Mantle PSA 1 which now leaves a hole in my player run. I wanted to upgrade to a nicer 1 or a solid 2. 

Next thing he says is that he can't believe I just asked if he happened to have that card cause he literally just traded for a PSA 2. He showed me on his phone. I asked if he would sell it, checked comps and we came to a super fair agreement. He was under every single dealer there for low grade Mantles (trust me I asked most of them I think) It's a real nice PSA 2. Bold colors. 

Who has two thumbs and makes a deal waiting in line for lunch? This guy! 

I plan on keeping this one unless I get blown away in a deal and then have to replace it again. What a vicious cycle this could become! I'm just glad I was able to find one so quickly and not have to ebay it at a later date. 

I finally sat down and ate in the VIP lounge. Sat with 2 older gentlemen at a table and learned one of them used to be a postmaster general. I showed him the stamp card and he gave me some education on stamps and what research I should do on the stamp I got from 1855. Once I have some time at home I do want to look into it. (check National Recap Day 2 for the pic) 

Then I watched a kid about 10ish years old break a 2022 bowman box. Unfortunately, didn't get anything crazy. 

My last 2 pick ups of the day were different. 

A low grade Dallas Green, green tint. I know I have the Green in the team set but I don't know if mine is green tint so I bought it. It was cheaper then the cost of grading it by quite a bit. 

This last card was fun.. I didn't pay sticker price (subtract 40) 

A triple auto with Ryan Howard, Eddie Murray and Prince Fielder! With my superior negotiating skill of saying 'would you take 100?' and the dealer looking at the card and saying 'sure i can do that' I got the card for 40 dollars less. Never hurts to ask! 

For those who haven't read the previous 2 posts I traded both of my other triple autos away so got a different one back. Solid way to update the collection and feeling good about it. 

Some other things of note.. found this card, my friend's holy grail (he only collects bowman chrome gold) but it may be out of price range right now unfortunately. 

Here are some other pics.. 

Yes, that is my face on the Mantle. Yes, that is the Mantle currently up for auction. I checked earlier today and it was close to 6 million. Probably will end around 10-12 million. 

Just took some pics of other cool things I ran across. 

Thanks for reading!