August 11, 2012

My National Experience: What I Got

I saw a lot of great stuff at The National, most of which I will never be able to afford. Gem-mint high-series commons from 1952 Topps. Autographed game-used bats, jerseys, posters, and one-of-a-kind pieces. A 1967 Kabaya Leaf Sadaharu Oh. An Ozzie Smith Gold Glove award trophy. Another one presented to Derek Jeter. A Muhammad Ali bathrobe. The Black Swamp Find.

But equally impressive was the range of dealers focused on 25-cent cards, three-for-a-dollar, and dollar cards. I got 30 commons for my 1965 Topps set for $10 total. I got five early Pedro Martinez cards for $1.25. I found one of the holy grails of my childhood (1987 Fleer Will Clark) for 25 cents.

I also found a dealer specializing in autographed cards. Now, that might not sound like a big deal to you, as autographed cards are everywhere, but I'm not talking about new, serial-numbered cards. I'm talking about old-school late 1980s, early 1990s basketball cards and 1980s baseball cards. This guy had easily 5,000 different basketball cards, and more than 20,000 different autographed baseball cards. I could've spent my entire budget with this dealer alone. Instead, at four for $10, I got these three basketball cards and an auto'd Dave Henderson rookie (1986 Red Sox represent!).

Now, I didn't get to the show until around 1pm on Saturday, but by 4:30pm I knew I didn't need to come back Sunday. I had seen much of the floor and really wasn't interested in shelling out a ton of cash on any of the autograph guest lineup. (I had also spent much of my budget.) Here's how I closed out the day:

I also purchased Gary Engel's Japanese Baseball Card Checklist and Price Guide - Vintage Edition. At $30 it was a bit pricey, but completely worth it, as Japanese cards are never included in any of the Beckett guides or the Standard Catalogue of Baseball Cards and Engel's guide is exhaustive. If you weren't at the show, Engel's guide also can be found on eBay.

In my next post I will include my overall review of the convention.

1 comment:

Scott Crawford said...

That's a damn fine lookin' haul, Ben. It's interesting to hear you say you covered the place in a day, though, as there's so much "THERE'S NO WAY YOU CAN DO IT IN A DAY ZOMG" out there. I'd be curious as to how I'd fare, as I've looked at a LOT of stuff in my day, have a pretty good amount, etc., but I can just about always find something in a $1 or less box (or a $10 5000 count box, unfortunately).

I've actually got some more '70s basketball for you. We'll have to touch base soon.