David Lee's Thoughts From The National
Aug 2 2008 11:35PM
By David Lee
"You're going to be pissed at me, but I just got two sweet Mannings."
I heard those words uttered as I walked the show floor with Beckett Media associate publisher Tracy Hackler at the 29th National Sports Collectors Convention. The excited-but-anxious collector was on the phone, no doubt leaving a message (and warning) for his wife or girlfriend. Just about any collector knows where the guy was coming from.
The funny thing was, I was conjuring up something similar to say to my wife regarding a cool Bobby Layne-signed postcard I found. Just goes to show that, no matter where you're from, what you collect or how long you've been collecting, collectors generally think alike.
We all got into this great hobby because we love to collect. The National is a terrific annual reminder of that. In that spirit, here are some of my random thoughts as I think back on another great National:
There still are a lot of people who collect cards. Today's technology- and Internet-dominated hobby often alienates us, making it easy to forget just how many of us are out there. This week I met collectors who have been at it from anywhere to a few months to a several decades.
Collectors love Box Busters. As if the number of hits these videos get on our site weren't enough, we were repeatedly told by collectors and dealers how much they like Box Busters. Some comments weren't without some constructive criticism, which we welcome all day long, but one message was clear: Keep 'em coming.
Where's Topps? The only Topps corporate presence at the show was eTopps and the Topps Vault. No main Topps booth. No pack wars with Allen Narz (my ears thank you). No special National redemption cards. In a very real way, Topps is the Adam and Eve of our industry. For the company to not have a bigger, more official presence at the hobby's biggest event is just strange.
Link Up! One of the best pieces of advice I can give collectors at The National, or any show for that matter, is to get the contact info for dealers and other collectors who have stuff you are interested in. Many dealers don't display a good amount of their inventory at shows. Don't walk away from The National disappointed that you only picked up a few things. The contacts you make there can prove to be long reaching and invaluable.
For the 1,000,000,000,000th time: WE CANNOT PRICE A 1/1! One-of-a-kind cards may sell a handful of times in the span of a few years. There's no way to gauge a true and fair secondary market Price Guide value for such cards. The closest thing we can do is report confirmed sales of such cards to help guestimate what they might sell for.
Boxes of $5 to $25 jersey and autographed cards were big players at this year's National. So many products dumping tons of new autographed and memorabilia cards onto the market at both the box and pack levels creates an overflow of low-dollar inventory that dealers must move … and move they did. It seemed like ever few tables had boxes of autographed and jersey cards for collectors to flip through. Collectors spent hours scouring (often shoulder-to-shoulder) rows of cards. (I scored some needed Longhorns jersey cards.)
Gibsons Steakhouse makes a darn good filet mignon. Went with medium-well; should have gone with medium. A mighty tasty piece of cholesterol and protein, though.
"All Day" coming up short? A reputable source told me that Adrian Peterson was now signing "AP 28" for his memorabilia autographs. Let's pray that doesn't last, or worse yet, carry over into his card signings.
I should have gotten that Bobby Layne auto. It was even PSA/DNA authenticated. I opted for a less expensive 1964 Cotton Bowl (Texas' first National Championship) ticket stub instead. I like the ticket, but it's a different experience passing on a quality collectible in person.