(Not) Live from the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention: Thursday

Commence Shenanigans

Against my better judgment I’m doing this for another day. Beyond that? Ehhh, I don’t know. I can only sing and dance for so long. If you missed yesterday’s post, you better start here.

We’re onto Day 2 if you’re confused already. The National was open yesterday but it was more like a cold open. Dudes were riding bicycles around, most dealers still had stuff covered up (and in some cases, were still arriving). Old friends were reunited. It was pretty laid back. Today, chaos. I mean, not the madhouse it will probably be this weekend but the pace is definitely picking up. There’s a palpable buzz. I mean, I’m kinda guessing. I’m not there but if I was I know there would be a buzz.

The focus today seemed to be these box break things, autograph signings, lots of people taking cameos with famous cards, and booze. I mean, of course there was booze and, if we’re being honest, it was probably entirely necessary.

One final note before I start. I’m seeing all kinds of sideways pictures in my Twitter feed. Get with the program. You can’t expect me to aggressively steal content to crank out poorly-produced articles if you don’t know how to use a camera on your phone. Fix it.

Okay, let’s get started. #NSCC2018 timeline, here we come.

NSCC

Behold! The splendor and glory of it all … well, crap, we’ve been duped again by the good ol’ Twitter timeline. These fools, wanting to capitalize on the real NSCC, have taken the top spot in the search results. For shame. This is no good. You’ll be hearing from my attorney. And by my attorney, there’s only one guy for the job.

A certain, elderly mustachioed chap, from the early 1900s. No, not Colonel Sanders, but close. Ty freaking Cobb. Top that, jerks.

We Need a Plan

So, look. People are at the National and, for most, good times are being had. I’m seeing lots of pictures of boxed lunches and swapping of 1988 Fleer and such. Good times. But, how long can that continue? I’m not trying to be a pessimist here but let’s be honest with ourselves. At some point, something’s going down.

Maybe it’s something as simple as the guy on the bicycle from yesterday crashing and taking out a junk wax display or a Mike Pagliarulo photo session. Nah, think bigger. We’ve got some six-figure cards and random dudes walking around with pockets full of Benjamins after a night of binging on stale 1980s Topps gum. Something’s gotta give. And if something does go down, the last thing you need is to be stuck in the madness with no way out. After all, that Gregg Jefferies Kevin Maas Brien Taylor Mark Prior Stephen Strasburg Shohei Ohtani rookie card has to make it home to your family since it’s obviously going to pay for someone’s college education down the line.

I’m not talking about just something in the building, either. If we’re going the hyperbolic route, let’s go all in. Maybe it’s some cataclysmic event in the larger Cleveland area. It’s clear that you’re going to need more than a bicycle to get out of such a mess and good luck getting an Uber if the entire city is being swallowed up by Bane. You’ve got to think outside the box. Ladies and gentlemen, I have taken the liberty of quietly but shrewdly calculating your way out. Pay me later (and, no, I don’t accept that Bitcoin garbage).

Here is your escape.

Wait, I got it

Alright, well it’s a little early for Christmas shopping. But if you’re one of those folks that likes to get an early start, the National is a great place to go hunting for gifts for collectors.

We all know that one person, don’t we? Like, if you get him/her something, it’s guaranteed to flop. It will flop for one of two reasons – they already have it or they hate it so they would never buy it – ergo, why they don’t have it. It’s literally a no-win situation.

That’s further complicated if said person is a die-hard fan of something in particular. They want anything with the team’s logo on it and likely have so much crap they’ve forgotten about some of it. This is hoarding times ten. But as much of a collector that they might be, I mean, no one has everything. There’s always something that’s so niche it has gone under the radar and has evaded even the most popular websites for the weirdest of the weird. Perhaps the company developing them never got their funding so after a batch of a few dozen samples, the project was scrapped. Maybe the inventor realized what an inane product it was that they simply called it quits. Whatever the reason, there’s some weird stuff out there that some people just won’t have.

I give you, Exhibit A.

Next up, we’ve got …

I’m sorry, I can’t let that one go. This needs further evaluation.

Okay, what is this nonsense? I mean, I’m guessing the ‘W’ is for the Cubs’ Fly the W thing they do. Little creepy, but I can deal with it. But why the football helmet?

Is this some weird soccer parallel universe deal where the teams move to different divisions based on performance each year only the Cubs have switched sports altogether? Or is it some kind of stupid cross promotion for a football movie? Like, maybe the Cubs are co-branding with the Milwaukee Bucks for the production of the Blind Side 2. Inquiring minds want to know. Actually, we don’t. I give up.

Oh, Noes

I thought had this covered yesterday but you’ve got to stay alert.

Sure, I get it. It’s tough. There are shiny things all around. Box breaks galore. 100-count lots of those oh so attractive 1981 Topps Fernando Valenzuela rookies. But we’ve got to remain alert at all times. This is no time to slack off. Otherwise, it could mean a trip to the emergency room. Those 1985 Jumbo Donruss wax packs won’t be any good to you if you’re dead.

One of These Things is not Like the Other

Ever have the feeling that something is off? Like, you can’t put your finger on it? You don’t know what it is but something is wrong. Collector’s intuition, let’s call it.

Is your wallet stolen? You quickly reach into your jorts only to find it still there. Hotel key lost? Nah, that’s there, too. Is your 00 jersey from (insert favorite team name here) inside out? A quick look into the neck hole reveals that’s not the problem. You’re not sure how to fix the problem because you don’t know what the problem is. There just, clearly and quite assuredly, is a problem.

Francisco Lindor has had that feeling all day.

Dopplegangers Galore

One of the highlights for a lot of collectors at these shows are the celebrity autographs and meet and greets in front of not-so-subtle company-logoed backdrops. Not my personal bag but I refuse to knock it because the autograph portion of shows is what keeps some of these things going. Remove that and see what kind of attendance you’d have.

Problem is that, seeing some of these guys 20, 30, or even 40 years after their playing days can be a little confusing if they’ve not been in the public spotlight. But, hey, I’ve got a keen eye. I’m sure I can pick these guys out.

Let’s go.

George Jefferson?

Crap.

Alright, rookie mistake. He died like 5-6 years ago. Shake it off. Next up – Steph Curry?

Ugh.

Well, I’ve never even seen the Sandlot (don’t @ me your hot takes) so I should get a pass there. Let me get another crack here.

Oh, this is in the bag. Anyone can clearly see this is Uncle Drew.

/Slams mouse

I give up.

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