(Not) Live from the National: Weekend

Shenanigans from a guy who is definitely 100% not at the National Sports Collectors Convention

So, earlier this week I recapped the first couple of days from the National. If you’re late to this party, you’ll want to start there.

Sure, things officially get underway on Wednesday but a lot of folks aren’t even checking in until this weekend. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as expected, saw a surge. Oh, not a surge so much in card sales, mind you. Just in nonsense. I tried to keep this stupidity to a minimum, so I’m wrapping up the weekend in a single post.

Things heated up a bit over the weekend, as expected. There were FBI agents roaming around surrounding the altered cards scandal. Bonafide D-List celebrities sharing pretzel bites with collectors and such. And of course, lots of shenanigans. Here are some of the notables via the Twittersphere.


I’m so sorry. But if this didn’t start with a cheap gag, I wouldn’t be doing my job.



At the National, you’ll find everything. And I mean everything. Sports cards? Check. Non-Sports cards? Check. Autographs, junk wax, and dudes ripping five-figure wax? Check, check, and check.

But seriously, do we really need game-used bowling gear? And who is this Pistol character?



One of the big things at the National are the athletes that come to sign autographs and just hang out. One of the guys there? Dallas Mavericks legend, Dennis Rodman.

Ah yes, who among us doesn’t remember Rodman’s iconic time in Dallas? You know – 12 total games, two ejections, and a suspension, followed by his dismissal a short time later.

Next up, Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics superstar, Shaquille O’Neal!

80s Personified

Then there was this Wayne Gretzky Fan Club photo, courtesy of Go GTS. Now, for $500, I’m guessing this was a hand-signed Gretzky item. But that wasn’t the thing for me here. I just knew I’d seen this image before.

And then it hit me. Game recognize Game.

Gretzky Jackson

Once in a Lifetime

My thing with the National is this. Sure, I’d love to go for the pre-war cards. Lots of bargains were seemingly out there and it looks like a field day.

But I have little doubt that the most notable pickup I’d have would be some entirely off-the-wall item. You know, not only something you didn’t envision finding at the National but something you didn’t even know existed.

I give you such an item, boys and girls. Not an investment piece? Oh, I beg to differ.

Shoeless Greg

So here’s the thing. The National is really big, you guys. There are millions of cards there and that doesn’t even count the numerous other types of collectibles there.

Stuff is bound to get mixed up and stuff is commonly going to be miscategorized. That definitely goes for the really old cards that dealers might have but not be fully equipped to handle. I don’t get to many shows but when I do, I find all kinds of pre-war cards that are mislabeled. I mean, it happens.

But this? I’m not sure I’ve seen this before.

Who’s Who?

A lot of the National is less about cards and more about autograph signings. Now, frankly, these things aren’t for me. They’re often relatively expensive (or in the case of Mariano Rivera and the $499 price tag for one of his signatures, wildly expensive), have long lines, and include incredibly awkward 15-second conversations and crooked selfies with athletes that are there for a quick cash grab.

But as I mentioned last year, it’s also hard to keep some of these guys straight. After all, most of the athletes doing these things are retired and haven’t been in the spotlight for some time. I mean, when’s the last time you saw, I don’t know, Vince Coleman? Or how about Dave Kingman? We have a decent idea of what players looked like from their baseball cards but when you haven’t seen some of these peeps in a few decades, it can be kind of jarring.

So here’s this year’s version of, Guess that Signer! Let me take a stab at it.

Michael Gross from Family Ties?


Bill Goldberg?


One more shot. Tim McCarver and Lil Yachty?

Ugh. Maybe I’ll have better luck next year.

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