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Category Archives: National Sports Collectors Convention

At the National: Collectors in the Olympic spirit with pins, medals and more

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The Olympic Games have their own collectors. They look for all types of memorabilia from programs to medals to pins. The National Sports Collectors Convention hosted the Olympic Pavilion, a place with dealers and collectors with all of the above and more.

Theresa Utecht is an Olympin Trader – just as it sounds, she enjoys collecting Olympic pins and trading with other collectors.

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At the National: 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle stolen from dealer’s display


By Dan Good | Contributing Editor

Thieves stole a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle from a dealer’s case at the National Sports Collectors Convention – and now authorities and fellow dealers are trying to track down the card.

Jeff Foy, a dealer with Indianapolis-based Card Country, said he believes a group of three people were likely involved, with two people distracting employees while the third person swiped the card.

“It’s so frustrating,” he said. “You think people are honest and decent and 99 percent are. All it takes is that one person to change that.” Read More »

At the National: Grey Flannel Auctions shows off its Jerry Lucas collection


By Dan Good | Contributing Editor

Jerry Lucas was one of the greatest players in basketball history.

Grey Flannel has the memorabilia to prove it.

The auction house is showcasing items from Lucas’s iconic career – from his days at Ohio State and in the Olympics, onto the Cincinnati Royals, San Francisco Warriors and New York Knicks.

The power forward is one of only three players to win championships in high school, college, the Olympics and NBA, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.

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NSCC Notebook: VIP winner, table top baseball and pretty paintings

By Susan Lulgjuraj and Dan Good

Mark Vulcani told his friend about the Panini America VIP Reception at the National Sports Collectors Convention.

He mentioned all the athletes that were going to be there – Chris Chelios, Yasiel Puig and Pedro Martinez to name a few – but Vulcani wasn’t attending. To get an invitation, collectors had to spend $7,500 on Panini products.

Unless you were lucky.

Vulcani walked by the Blowout Cards booth on Friday and was handed a free raffle ticket. He was told to come back at 3 p.m. that day to see if he won one of a five prizes: hobby boxes or a ticket to the VIP reception.

Vulcani did as he was told and his number was called. Vulcani is going to Panini’s VIP reception on Saturday night.

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At the National: Collectors can get customized sketch cards on the spot

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

CHICAGO | Collectors spend their lives collecting pictures on cards.

It can be anything from athletes to movie stars to Martians. But Leaf is giving collectors at the National Sports Collectors Convention a chance at getting anything you want on a card, and most collectors are going for pictures of their family.

Jay Pangan III is holed up at the Leaf booth on the National floor. He’s doing custom sketch cards for $40 a card.

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At the National: It’s no secret, vintage remains a driving force (card gallery)


By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

In a current card world filled with brand-new rarities, there may be a bit of a culture shock for some attendees of the National Sports Collectors Convention. It might be a jarring idea to some, but when one jettisons the mountains of wax and wrapper redemption programs that spark plenty of action on parts of the show floor things can look a bit different and one thing is obvious.

Vintage is still king.

Walk aisle after aisle and you’ll see more vintage than you can imagine — almost enough here to make you wonder whether some pockets of older cards are overvalued because they simply can be found. Meanwhile, the reality is that today’s new cardboard environment doesn’t leave this kind of legacy — it’s impossible to see case after case of the hottest new, rare cards with production runs that mean only a handful of people may own one.

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At the National: Sam Snead items, Lou Gehrig hat and Christy Mathewson card highlight Heritage auction


By Dan Good and Susan Lulgjuraj

A collection of items from Sam Snead’s golfing career sold for $1.1 million (including premiums) Thursday, the centerpiece of Heritage’s “Platinum Night” auction. Other high-profile items included Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig memorabilia and a rare Christy Mathewson baseball card.

The live auction was held at Muvico Rosemont 18, a vintage theater located near the National Sports Collectors Convention site in Rosemont, Ill. Online and mail-in bidders also participated, and total sales topped $4.2 million.

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At the National: Fans line up to meet Eric Dickerson and other sports legends


By Dan Good | Contributing Editor

Collectors gathered at the Tri-Star booth Thursday, clamoring to meet their favorite athletes.

Rick Monday and “Mean” Joe Greene drew faithful crowds, with fans excited for autographs and photo opportunities. Read More »

NSCC Box Busters: 2013 Leaf Pop Century

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Watch as Beckett’s Susan Lulgjuraj opens a box of 2013 Leaf Pop Century.

At the National: Every direction you turn is a potential new discovery


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Any direction you take at the National Sports Collectors Convention can be full of surprises, new discoveries and a potential renewal of sorts for even the most veteran of collectors.

If you have the focus and the cash, that is.

One might call the NSCC a collector’s dream showcase — and there’s no doubt that it is. And that cash thing? Well, one can collect here on a budget, too, as there is literally something for almost everyone here at the show of all shows.

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At the National: Upper Deck honors Cards2Kids teen founder

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

CHICAGO | John Makowiec loves collecting cards – so much so, that he wants other children to feel the same joy.

About four years ago, Makowiec decided to give his extra cards to other children and started the charitable program Cards2Kids. As the company’s saying goes, he trades sports cards for smiles.

Makowiec donates cards to schools and hospitals. He also helped create an educational program to help children learn about statistics and math using sports cards. The charity has gone international with cards getting into the hands of children in Canada and Panama as well as those from around the country.

Makowiec, now 17 years old, was honored by Upper Deck at the VIP Reception at National Sports Collections Convention on Wednesday. The company put the young entrepreneur on his own trading card.

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At the National: Day 1 highlights

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The National Sports Collectors Convention opened Wednesday, giving hobbyists a chance to look at priceless cards and memorabilia – and pick up some special items, too. Here’s a recap from the Beckett team. Read More »

At the National: Yasiel Puig’s Topps redemption cards in demand

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

CHICAGO | It’s 2:30 p.m. The National doesn’t officially open for another hour, but the dealers are waiting.

Not at their own booths, either. Instead, they’re in front of the Topps display, hoping to capitalize on the company’s wrapper redemption program.

The Topps wrapper redemption program is a popular one again this year at the National Sports Collectors Convention with a 25-card Bowman Platinum set and Gypsy Queen redemption cards. However, the draw isn’t just the exclusivity of the cards. It’s Los Angeles Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig, the hottest player on cards right now.

He’s worth the hour wait.

“Puig. Puig. Puig,” said Tyson Hauser, who works with RBI Cru 7 in St. Louis. “You sell to people when it first comes and make a lot of money. If you wait, you don’t know what you’re going to get.”

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At the National: A musical reprieve from sports collectibles


By Dan Good | Contributing Editor

Collectors gathered at Will Simmons’ booth Wednesday, considering the purchase of famous signatures and rare posters.

Posters and signatures are pretty common at the National Sports Collectors Convention. But where other dealers sell sports memorabilia and cards, Simmons focuses on rock & roll memorabilia and vintage guitar picks with his Tennessee-based company, Rockit Collectibles.

Instead of Jim Brown, think Jimi Hendrix. Instead of Paul Pierce, think Paul McCartney. Read More »

At the National: Beckett gets its first winner in the NSCC scavenger hunt

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

CHICAGO | The Beckett Cover Cards scavenger hunt had its first winner at the 2013 National Sports Collectors Convention on Wednesday.

Jan Viliral completed the 11-card set in just over three hours. He searched the show floor, following the booth numbers on the cheat sheet in the VIP bag. Then, he arrived at the Beckett booth (#866) for the exclusive 11th card – a Michael Jordan numbered to just 99 copies.

“I like it a lot,” Viliral said. “I think these cards are great.”

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