The National Sports Collectors Convention Daily Recaps

mobile nationalday1
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

Days 3 & 4

The 2022 National Sports Collectors Convention has officially come to an end, and Atlantic City was one for the books. I experienced the buzz generated from trading cards first-hand this weekend, all encompassed in one gigantic venue. Beyond the constant wheeling and dealing in the room, it was also special to see many new ideas/plans cultivated for the hobby’s future.  

Today, let’s give a recap of days 3-4 at The National, which was jam-packed with events and museum-quality cards.

Card Talk Live 2: Introducing the eBay Vault

ebay vault panel
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

On Friday and Saturday, I was fortunate enough to be a part of some truly spectacular hobby experiences. The one that stood out to me was Card Talk’s 2nd annual live event, which had great music, panels, giveaways, and a crowd of enthusiastic collectors.

The first panel, which featured DJ Skee and the eBay Collectibles team, answered questions about eBay’s brand-new vault, which was unveiled earlier this summer.  Another panel featured prominent female leaders in the hobby, who shared some insightful perspectives about their experiences as collectors. Everyone also got raffled into a 2021 Flawless Football giveaway, and one lucky winner went home with a Zach Wilson rookie autograph.  Finally, the night was wrapped up with an epic performance from Memphis rapper Fresco Trey, who knows how to get the crowd jumping.

The vibe from this event was another affirmation to me that the hobby seems to just keep growing.  Everyone I spoke to was in high spirits and incredibly friendly to me, and this is another part of The National that I will have on my calendar for years to come.

The Holy Grail

mantle holy grail
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

I know there was so much going down in AC, and it’s hard to adequately cover everything that happened.  But this once-in-a-lifetime piece is something I just have to talk about.  The card above is the highest-graded 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle to ever hit an auction, and it is currently close to breaking the all-time sales record.  This stunning copy earned an SGC 9.5 grade, and it was up for display this weekend at the Heritage Auction booth.  Interestingly enough, there are 3 known PSA 10 copies, but none have been sold in the last 2 decades.  It’s not every day you see such an iconic piece of Americana, and it is by far the most valuable trading card I have ever seen in person.

Last-Minute Pickups

last minute
Jacob Sawyers // ONE37pm

Keeping with the Yankee trend, I was also lucky enough to find a nice Aaron Judge rookie autograph from 2017 Flawless.  With the historic season that Mr. Judge is on pace for, I figured it couldn’t hurt to add a bold auto of his into my collection.

Looking Ahead

donald e stevens convention
Donald E Stephens Convention Center

While this year’s National may be all wrapped up, I’m already looking forward to meeting some more new faces in Chicago next summer.  Let the countdown begin!

What was your favorite part of the National? Let us know @CardTalkPod on Instagram and Twitter!

Day 2

After a full day of pandemonium at The National Sports Collectors Convention, I was eager to see what day 2 would have in store.  Thursday is the first full day of the show, with VIP entry beginning at 9 A.M.  It also gave sellers, creators, and companies a full opportunity to demonstrate the power of the hobby. 

With thousands of attendees and dozens of planned events, today was sure to be one for the books. Let’s recap and break down all that Atlantic City had to offer!

Show Exclusives

zerocool
@zerocoolcards / Twitter

The central area of the show is packed with a wide variety of corporate booths and auction house showcases.  Places like Goldin and PWCC had some incredible grail pieces on display, so strolling through the corporate area felt like a museum visit. One event in particular that left me awestruck was Zerocool’s innovative setup, which was used to highlight the upcoming Stranger Things set.

The experience included a gigantic cube with striking visuals from the hit Netflix show.  There were also some sick promo card giveaways, which is making me very excited for the official Stranger Things drop.

whatnot
@GoGTSLive / Twitter

Also, it was neat to see the folks over at Whatnot play into the Atlantic City Boardwalk theme. Check out this awesome carnival-style game from their setup.

ebay
@ebaycollectibles / Instagram

Another crazy show exclusive worth noting is the eBay x DJ Skee collaboration, which features a set of limited edition tobacco-style cards.  In the 4-card set, I noticed incredible artwork of notorious figures like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano. I secured one card from the drop so far, but in true collector’s fashion, I am going to have to get them all.

Trade Night

trade night
Jacob Sawyers // ONE37pm

I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about last night’s outstanding Trade Night, which was hosted by Ryan Johnson (@cardcollector2) and Jimmy Mahan (@kentuckybasketballcards).  Ryan and Jimmy were able to create a great environment for collectors to share their cards and network with people all over the world.  An event of this magnitude truly speaks volumes about the strength of the hobby, and it’s something I will look forward to for years to come.

Pickups

pickups
Jacob Sawyers // ONE37pm

I tried to keep the pickups light today and focus on the rare experiences that I will only find in AC.  With that being said, I just could not pass up on this card when I saw it.  The 1996 Michael Jordan Big Man on Court is a card I’ve been trying to acquire since I was in the 5th grade, so this one was definitely a full-circle moment in collecting.  

Thanks for following along! Stay tuned for more coverage from days 3 and 4 at The National!

Day 1

The 42nd National Sports Collectors Convention is underway, and it is THE place to be if you love trading cards.  The showroom boasts over 460,000 square feet, filled with cards, boxes, memorabilia, and immersive experiences you won’t find anywhere else in the hobby.  

If you made the trip out to Atlantic City, I hope you have a great time and enjoy everything that The National has to offer.  If your first day was overwhelming, we may have some quick tips from a previous article. This is a collector’s Candyland, so it’s very easy to get your head on a swivel. However, I assure you that being here is worth all the while.

Today, I’m going to share my day 1 experience and highlight ways you can spend your time at the greatest card show on Earth.  I’ll be blogging all week, so stay tuned for more recaps of this year’s Trade Night and Card Talk Live events.

Buying/Trading

trade
Jacob Sawyers // ONE37pm

When there are 1000+ booths and tables of unfathomably fire cards, you’re going to want to spend some cash.  Many dealers will also help you trade some of your collection to leverage your way into some new cards.  Needless to say, I was fortunate enough to acquire some cards I had on my wishlist for quite some time.

The first major pickup was a 1996 Skybox Z-Force Shaquille O’Neal Big Men On Court PSA 8. This insert and the infamous Dunk ‘N Go Nuts set are my two favorite basketball cards ever made.  So when I saw this copy of the Big Diesel, I knew I had to have it.  

The second pickup was a grail from my top 10 Jackie Robinson cards list (please check that article out if you love vintage baseball). The 1953 set stands out as a remnant of the golden era of baseball.  Jackie’s imprint on this country goes far beyond sports, so to have a stunning copy of his ‘53 Topps is a real treat.

Selling

selling
Jacob Sawyers // ONE37pm

With such a large congregation of collectors/investors, The National is also a great place to move some of the cards you are ready to sell.  I met a few dealers that gave me fair prices for my old inventory, and we were able to strike a deal.  Fortunately, I also got in touch with a friend from Instagram and cashed out my Justin Herbert Obsidian Rookie Autograph. 

The Experience

experience
Jacob Sawyers // ONE37pm

The most important component of The National is being able to connect with collectors from all over the world in one building.  There will always be a place online to buy and sell cardboard, but it’s not every day that you get to meet the folks with that same shared passion as you.  This afternoon I got to link up with a few of One37’s finest and talk shop.  They’ve got some big events planned this week, so definitely check out the live panel this Friday if you have the chance.

Showcasing the Showfloor

showcase
Jacob Sawyers // ONE37pm

I’m also going to pick a card every day from the showroom that I think truly stands out.  Today’s selection is a 2021 Star Wars Galaxy Mace Windu Superfractor 1/1 Auto. This insane signature of Samuel L. Jackson belongs to The Great Curator, who has a remarkable collection of rare slabs.  This is a type of card that I will probably never see again, so I may have to take a small loan out and go buy it.

Stay tuned for a Day 2 recap from the National Sports Collectors Convention tomorrow!

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