Ok, so literally the day after I decide that I'm done buying cards, I find out that the National Convention is here in Chicago for the weekend. I've always wanted to go to one and now I finally had the chance.
I have to say that I was disappointed and overjoyed all at the same time.
First off, I thought that there would be loads of free giveaways that would justify my $18 ticket just to get in. Nope. I got the Babe Ruth card pictured above. That's it. I received a few free catalogs at a few places, but nothing collectible. While I think the Ruth card is pretty cool, it's a little bit of a let down that it's all I got.
Second, the graded card thing is out of control. I do not own a single graded card. I cannot stand the fact that it's become impossible to put together pre-1981 sets because of the scarcity of ungraded cards. But there were tables galore that had nothing but graded cards. I saw one where a guy was advertising $5 each. Curious, I looked to see that the first few were all common cards that were released in the last 10 years. Why? Does the world really need a 2004 Topps Jim Edmonds PSA 8? This is just another money grubbing tactic by the fuckers who have ruined this hobby for the people who enjoy the love of collecting.
Which, believe it or not, brings me to the thing I absolutely loved about the show. The amount of stuff I found that has more sentimental than dollar value and just how cheap it was get.
I was 10 when 1980 began and 20 when it ended. So to say that the 80's were my halcyon days of collecting baseball cards would be an understatement. It would also explain my undying love of such things ranging from The Hooters to It's Your Move, but I digress.
I found a treasure trove of niche products from the 80's for dirt cheap that I have been having a blast opening over the past couple of days. Topps Stickers, Fleer Limited Edition Box Sets, and Donruss Action All-Stars just to name a few. And I only paid anywhere from $2 to $8 a box for this stuff! THAT'S RIGHT, A BOX!!! Not a pack, BUT A BOX!!!
I'm currently opening a box right now and I'm having more fun doing so than I've had in a long time. It's amazing what opening a pack and pulling a John Wockenfuss or Atlee Hammaker will do for the soul. Especially when you paid almost nothing to do it.
So I say that the National was well worth the trip. As down as I am on the hobby these days, the show offered me a cheap alternative to collect players from my favorite era of the game.
Oh yeah, my big announcement for today was going to be the preview of the 2009 RobbyT cards. But that can wait. Maybe September.
Somewhere there is a Mario Soto or a Toby Harrah that needs to see the light of day.....