Friday, July 29, 2022

National Recap Day 2 (tons of pics)

 To sum it up if you don't want to read.. Wow! Quite a fun and exhausting day. The day did not start out great. Admittedly, I did not factor in the craziness of the morning. I did not realize how quickly the parking lot would fill up. I woke up a little late but thought no big deal I'll just get in the show 30 minutes late (around 10 AM). I drive to the convention center and around it traffic is outrageous. My philly driving kicks in and I nudge my way into the parking garage.. come to find out the lot is full so myself and a lot of other cars are stuck in the garage literally waiting to exit. The parking people were not helpful and didn't direct anyone where to go. A lot of people were turning back to make a loop but it was so jammed up I went the other way and decided to just park in the Ceasar's parking garage and walk the mile to the convention center. That was the right call. (got free parking to due to my friend's Diamond card!) I got into the show about 10:40 or so. 

The plan was to look at showcases until the Tommy Greene signing around 2:15 PM. I only had 1 Tommy Greene auto ticket but I wanted 2 cards signed so I was banking on using one of my wild card tickets to get the other card. This will matter later in my story (made another dumb mistake but that's ok!) 

I started my day at the show hanging out at the Mike Berkus main stage just to see what was going on. They have all sorts of speakers and breaks for kids and generally good content to listen to. The CEO of Historic Autographs was talking about his products and how they source and what they do. I never purchased any of their products but it was genuinely interesting. They gave away a few free packs and I opened mine right away and happened to hit one of the rarer inserts (1 in 640 packs). It was a card with a vintage stamp embedded in it. I have zero idea what it's worth but they did tell me they spent between 5-700 for the stamp (no idea if that's true). Either way its definitely something different. 

Pretty cool card:

It's a stamp from 1855. Much older then most people I know. I don't know enough about stamps to have an informed opinion on rarity of the actual stamp and things like that, but if someone can educate me, please do! 

After they left, I walked over to a nearby table and started browsing. I found a Mariano Rivera rookie card just throw in a box for 55 dollars and a bunch of low dollar cards (under 5 dollars) that I picked up. While I was searching those boxes I was not far from the main stage so I could still hear them and they mentioned free t-shirts after they were done talking. I am a huge sucker for free T-shirts. I ended up sitting through the last 15 minutes of the discussion. It was all about the state of the hobby and how to get enjoyment out of it without breaking the bank. And best part of it all. I got TWO free T-Shirts. Freaking jackpot! 

After that was done, I had already won the day with my shirts so everything else was gravy. I decided to just do a straight line down the one side of the convention center until the signing at 2:15. This gave me roughly 3 hours of straight browsing with no agenda. Just to scope the size of the place, I may be a slow browser but I finished maybe half of that side before time was up. I did get some good stuff though. 

Jim Bunning Rookie card -- 

I comped quite a few cards the last week (my wife can attest I was up til 1 am most nights just working on organizing, and it has paid off) I paid the right amount for this card and its a keeper. Very clean on both sides. This Vintage dealer had a ton of good stuff, I'm sure I'll check them out again at some point hopefully. 

After that I was wandering around and a Frank Thomas card caught my eye. Love the 90s inserts of his stuff so more then happy to pick them up. 

It started with this card.. 

Love these Elite Series cards. Numbered out of 10K and tough pulls back in the day. I was chatting with the dealer about it and mentioned I collect Thomas. He said let me show you this box. I wish I took more pics of this box he had a ridiculous amount of amazing inserts. All these rare 90s inserts you just never see out in the wild. 

I did take a pic of this one though ..

This card is numbered out of 100. I had never seen one before that moment. Ridiculous card. I didn't make an offer. 

I did go through that entire box and ended up pulling out 7 Frank Thomas cards. 

All 90s goodness. 

(Got lazy with the pics right now since its super late at night). It was nearing Tommy Greene signing time at this point but I was able to find 1 more cool card from another dealer. 

My Andrew McCutchen collecting friend may appreciate this one.. also if you need it let me know.

On-card and numbered out of 10. Real nice card.

After that I made my way to Tommy Greene. He signed quite a bit for all the VIP people. Nice signature.

I got the Stadium Club card signed first but they wouldn't take my wild card. At this point it was a bit past 3 so I figured I'd go get food and take a break in the VIP lounge to eat. I walked over that way saw the line for food said meh I'll just walk back and get it later. I walked back to the signing area. They hadn't called wild cards yet so I decided to browse near that area. I ended up finding a 90 Leaf Frank Thomas graded CSG 9. Love that card, so I bought it since it was priced right. 

After that I only waited a few minutes and they called wild cards. I was able to get my other card signed. 

Very happy I was able to get both. Also, I was getting very hungry. I pulled over and ate a snack from my bag and re-organized my backup to make it easy to carry. I figured it was time to walk back across the floor and actually get that overpriced food. (foreshadowing, I did not make it) 

I have an incredibly difficult time not glancing as things as I walk by. Then an even more difficult time not stopping to look. I tried my hardest and failed, but it all worked out. I ended up at my buddy Nash cards booth. I made a massive trade with him for the 86-87 Fleer Basketball set minus the Jordan's in King of Prussia a while ago and bought a 93 Jeter SP from him. I know he likes real random cards and is really easy to work with. He had some cards in his showcase that I wanted, so I figured perfect time to try and trade. My number 1 target being a nice Mike Trout on-card auto. I owned zero Trout autos and I just didn't want to pay straight cash for one. I don't open enough product to really hit one and I can live with that. 

I let him look through my box and was enjoying the convo. He pulled out a handful of cards and asked for comps. Luckily, I was super prepared and just had to check my notebook with every card I brought written down and the most recent comps. Hard to argue when I do the research before hand. Stopping at this table led to 2 deals, 1 Big, 1 Small. The small one was simple the dealer next to Nash heard I had magic cards and wanted to take a look he saw one that caught his eye asked how much I wanted for it and didn't negotiate at all and bought it for his PC. 

The big deal was the aforementioned Trout auto. We went back and forth on a couple cards but came to a deal. 

I traded my 57 Mantle PSA 1(really beat and paper loss on the back). My triple auto of Howard, Pujols and A-Rod, Steve Carlton auto, Schmidt Auto and the Schwarber for 40 dollars and the Trout. I said we were off about 80 bucks in valuation in my opinion and he split the difference with me in cash. The Mantle I will be replacing but I wanted to upgrade. Even if I get another PSA 1, I want one without paper loss. The Triple auto was tough to comp, but we generally agreed 250 was fair. I told them to price at 300 and take 250. I was in it for 180. The Heritage Trout auto is a 8.5/10 if you can't tell by the picture. 

After finishing this deal up I ran over to the food. I was too late. They stopped cooking but still had some drinks and snacks. I literally had a Hershey bar and a soda for dinner. It was not the best diet choice. As my wife can attest sometimes I fail at scheduling in food time so she would not be surprised I didn't do that. I can't say I will be much better in the next few days but we'll find out! I'm usually too busy to worry about it with all the cool stuff to look at. 

I sat down for a little while and ate and drank and had some random conversations with people. Also, I re-organized my cards again and made sure I recorded everything in my notebook. Thankfully I am keeping these records cause I would not remember all this in chronological order. 

The official trade night started at 6:30 after the show and was set to end around 10 in the ballroom in the convention center. It was free to go and you get a T-Shirt so I was in. I had never been to one so I didn't know what to expect but I can talk to anyone so I figured I'd have no issues. 

Right before the show ended, I got into an in-depth conversation with a dealer about pokemon and collecting and variations and all that super nerdy awesome stuff. He wasn't even trying to sell me anything. I ended up letting him look at the 4 pokemon cards I had. I sold them to him for 75 dollars. He'll probably get 100 out of them which is a fair deal. They had been sitting in a binder for 20 years and I don't collect pokemon. (speaking of pokemon there is quite a bit of it at the show)

I walked out of the show around 6:15.. the line to trade night was crazy. It went all the way back into the show. They started letting people in at 6:30 but they couldn't all at once so they split it into groups. Took maybe 20 minutes to get in. Thankfully, I was standing next to this guy and his son and we had a really good conversation about cards and collecting in general. Get into trade night and get another free t-shirt. (I did not mention the third shirt but just in case anyone cares I got 4 free T-shirts in 1 day!) 

Trade night was a blast. Basically, people would just sit on the floor or at tables and put out their cards. You could look at what you want and ask to see more or offer what  you have. Just generally strike up convos. I decided not to display my cards and walk around because I wanted to see as much as possible. I ended up making 5 deals. Pretty successful. 

I sat down next to a group of 3 guys and ended up trading or selling with all 3 of them. One guy liked Yankees, one guy liked the 90s and Phillies (our tastes were very similar) and another guy liked Soto. 

The Yankees guy I did this trade ..

Traded my Rivera Gold (out of 250) for the Mystery Finest Refractor Jeter and the Jeter George Bush card. Nothing crazy here.

I then sold my Awesome Powers Griffey for 20 dollars. 

Last deal I made was I traded away my Soto Jade Green. 

I gave the Soto and 10 bucks (60 valuation total) for the Griffey Select blue out of 9. I figured it's shiny even though there are no logos. I could move it or send it to a Griffey collector. I did not own this card a long time. 

Those guys decided they were leaving so I kept walking around. 

I made a large trade with the next person. I had 1 Triple auto that dealers were having trouble comping. I wanted around 750 and the highest I could get anyone to commit to was 400 and I just wasn't willing to compromise that low. 

This negotiation took a while. The person I traded too is a huge Miguel Cabrera fan (he showed me a few autos he picked up at the show) He said he had never seen the card I had before. I'm happy I traded it to a true collector of Miggy's. The card that really caught my eye is the SGC 10 Clayton Kershaw rookie mini. It's such a nice card. He also traded me a Bobby Witt SGC 10, a Kevin Durant Rookie and gold refractor of Harper and 170 dollars cash. Based on our agreed valuation it came to 690 of value. I wasn't going to get that from any dealer so more then happy with this trade. I plan on keeping the Kershaw but if I move the Garnett or Witt for something else cool.

After this, I wandered a bit more and found another couple people to talk too.

One card caught my eye so I wanted to work out a cash/trade deal for it. The person said they would rather sell it which I understand but they would take a look. It worked out the way I wanted it to just in a round about way. The one guy pulled what he liked and we worked out a deal.

The only card of these 3 I brought with me was the Gwynn. I had paid 60 for it. I ended up selling this lot for 220. The Rivera I picked up earlier in the day and basically made 10 dollars on it. The Bush card I had zero attachment too so was more of a throw in. 

The one card I really liked was from 2020 Ginter. They were stuck on 400 cash. I wanted to go to 350. They didn't want to go that low. Eventually we agreed to 375. I handed back the 220 he just gave me and some extra and got what I wanted.

Paul Rudd auto! Recent comps are 440 and 575 so I think did real well on this one. If someone offers me 500 though I'll probably take it and go buy a 57 Mantle. Or I'll just keep it, everyone likes him. 

After this I walked around a bit more but was pretty burnt out. I didn't make any more deals and left not too long after. (had to walk to Ceasar's!) 

Here are some random pics I took of cool things at the show ..

Til tomorrow! Thanks for reading!


  1. This was a good read, thanks! I'm not much for shows so fun to read about the wheeling and dealing