The National – The Final 3 Days

Between poor WiFi at my hotel, a long drive home that spanned two days, and a busy week at a new day job and preparing for my Sunday card show I did not get a chance to post about the rest of the National.

Started Friday off with my third box wars, another Prime Sigs football. Once again I missed.

Next up was my Mike Richter autograph. I went to 4 of the previous 5 Nationals, missing Baltimore, and they usually only had one or two hockey signers.  This year they actually had quite a few including three New York Rangers: Richter, Brian Leetch, and Adam Graves.  I still don’t know how I grew up a Rangers fan living in Detroit but I did so I was excited.  Unfortunately with limited funds this year I only got the one and since I’m a goalie guy it was Richter.  Since I had ordered the basic ticket I got his autograph on a New York Rangers puck.  I saw some cool mini goalie masks at the show and I would have bought one of those to get signed but that would have needed a premium ticket.  Maybe next time.  I’m told him and some of the other guys sign occasionally at shows in the New York area so I’ll have to try and go sometime.

Dropped off a few of my Bowman Chrome refractors at the COMC booth to add to my account. Still trying to build up my port there.  They didn’t have any submission specials this year but I still save on what it would have cost to ship them the items.  I’m still trying to build up my inventory there so I can generate more sales.  Instead of taking the percentage hit when cashing out I use the money to buy odds and ends I can use at my shows.

I thought I was done with redemptions but Panini had no line in the middle of the day so I bought a couple cheap boxes to get a few more packs. Nothing really major in this batch, just a couple low end memorabilia cards and the usual assortment of inserts.  After that all I really did was walk the floor digging through boxes here and there picking up more small cards for my local shows.

Saturday was mostly just walking around. I got one raffle ticket from Blowout but did not win anything in their drawings so once again no Panini VIP party for me this year.

I did end up jumping into a couple more box wars, the last two they did for the day. I was only going to do the Clear Vision basketball.  The category was highest serial number on the left side and I had a blue parallel D’Angelo Russell numbered 135 (out of 149) and I was doing good but I was done opening early and waiting only for someone to swoop in on their last pack with a 149 of 149.

I figured I would try one more time with the Clear Vision football. I thought it there would have been less people at the end of the day but there was a few more than the basketball. This time it was highest card number and again I was done opening early but had card number 165 out of a 170 card set.  I had to wait a little bit and put up with the Panini guy screwing with me by writing 166 on a decoy card and giving it to someone else but it held up and I finally won one.  I was hoping to pull the box of Immaculate Collegiate since I’m still looking for the Charles Woodson auto but instead ended up with a Panini National black box.  It contained a Luxe Kevin Durant 4 color patch with the ‘Black Box -1 of 1-‘ stamp on it.  Wasn’t an auto but still wasn’t bad.

For the first time all week I decided to venture off the beaten path as I looked for dinner on the way home. I think I found the shady area between the Tanger Shops/Convention Center area and the Boardwalk area that people warned us about but the little hole in the wall Chinese food place I found on Atlantic avenue turned out to be pretty good.

Sunday had arrived and I knew that dealers would be packing up early. First up was another VIP signer, this time former heavyweight boxer Lou Savarese.  Someone had given me a photo op ticket earlier in the week so I used that as well and he actually had a decent crowd for that but the actual autograph line didn’t have too many people so it didn’t take long.  I got his autograph on a boxing glove to have something different to put out at my shows back home, since I carry some of the 2010 and 2011 Ringside boxing autograph cards from ITG/SportKings.

Dropped off another batch of cards at COMC, this time a mix of stuff I brought from home and some other small stuff I found decent deals on at the show. Bought a couple boxes of the new Upper Deck MVP hockey to have for my shows and walked around a little bit more but that was it.

Left the show at 3 PM Sunday and another National was done and in the books for me.  Already started looking forward to next year in Chicago as we started the first half of our drive home.