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2022 National Sports Collectors Convention
Friday, July 29, 2022
Posted by jaygross
Comments: 2

Yesterday I made the 2.5 hour car ride to and from Atlantic City, NJ for my 5th trip to the National Sports Collectors Convention. Previous years I have attended:
This show was originally scheduled in Atlantic City for August 2020, but it was cancelled due to the COVID epidemic. While I have went to a few smaller card shows in NJ and bought lots of items online since 2016, it is pretty different than the "National".

I get there early and they have everyone with General Admission tickets wait about 20 minutes to enter:


I noticed a few things as I began walking around:
  • It wasn't all guys in their 40's, 50's and 60's - there were families (wives and kids). I saw many more teenagers at this show than in previous years.
  • It was really busy for a Thursday - there was a huge swarm of folks ready to enter at 10am (and it stayed busy all day).
  • The corporate sponsorship is a main thing - from the banners all over the convention center to the wrist bands.
  • It also seems like there are a lot more companies offering grading services and online marketplaces.
  • From what I saw, dealers were selling roughly 60% newer cards, 40% vintage. I would think it was the opposite ratio at my last National.
  • Prices on items seemed really HIGH consistently. And every dealer had display cases loaded with high end slabbed cards.
  • There were fewer dealers selling autographed cards than what I remember and the selection was considerably less than what I saw in Baltimore in 2010-2012. I guess we've collectively picked over the best inventories since then.
  • There was NO INTERNET OR PHONE RECEPTION for just about anyone. Not being able to look up my wantlists or playing signing habits on SCN was definitely a challenge. Dealers had problems charging folks credit cards.

Some stuff I saw walking around:

I walked by a booth and there was a gathering of folks. So I looked over and see Run TMC (Chris Mullin, Tim Hardaway, and Mitch Richmond) signing for folks who bought something called Flex:



I am not really into new cards, but it was interesting to see a whole display case of signed Derek Jeter rookie cards (at $3K a piece):



For us crazy signed set collectors, I am sure many of us wonder what completed sets are worth. This guy had some for sale:






I bought stuff, but not as much as previous years:

purchases from the National

I wound up buying mostly cards to send off for TTM requests or things I liked. All of it was pretty low end:

purchases from the National

purchases from the National

purchases from the National

purchases from the National

purchases from the National

purchases from the National

Post show thoughts:

  • It was really nice to get to meet a few SCN members. Without question this was the highlight of the show for me.
  • It is awesome there is so much interest in sports collectibles and people were definitely buying things. I wouldn't have thought this would be a reality in 2019.
  • The show seemed bigger, more commercial, and with fewer deals than at previous National shows I have been to. I came with the intention to pick up a bunch of items, but I would up spending more on admission + parking + tolls than on purchases.
  • I rarely buy from dealers that do not put prices on their cards and I noticed this from other buyers too.
  • I was exhausted and burnt out by the end of the 7 hour marathon. It was just so crowded and some folks needed some/better deodorant.
  • I realize now that I like going to these mega-shows with other collectors I know rather than walking around solo. I tried to convince a few folks to go with me, but they couldn't take off of work.


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