The National: Day one.

In the run up to The National we had to update all of our checklists, and the blog feels a little rejected. Sorry blog, but we’re back and in full swing! Speaking of The National…

If you’ve never been you’ve gotta at least check out one show. It’s everything a local show could be with hundreds more card, memorabilia, and oddball vendors – more than you could want. Next year’s show is in Cleveland, followed by Atlantic City. While these cities are great hosts, there’s nothing like a Chicago show. GoGTS shared that they heard this year’s show was the most attended since 1991! With the crowds as they were, we were kind of suspecting a huge show as early as the first day.

After landing in Chicago, we took a shuttle to our hotel to check in early. As we were checking in with the attendant we bumped into our local show promoter Rich Klein. He’s a long time hobby member and we shared stories on the way to the show floor to get our passes. We had early access passes and there’s something unique about being on the show floor before they open the gates to everyone. Tables aren’t setup yet, there’s a hustle and bustle in the aisles, and busy employees shuffling around. After a quick look around, we decided to grab lunch and wait for general admission to open up.

A few hours later, and the show is in full swing. The first thing we hit was the Topps Party where several athletes were signing free autographs and there was food provided for all. Inside we bumped into Sooz and gave away our first trade package of the show. Anyway I can get rid of Derek Jeter and Yankees cards, I will. Angela checked us into the Topps Q&A set for that Friday’s show. We then decided to hit the show floor and meet up with a few friends.

After signing at the Topps event, Jose Canseco had a free autograph session on the show floor. It was here we bumped into Rich and Mel who had a package for us. Namely off-centered and miscut cards. While the Johnny Briggs is a buyback, it’s even off-centered being tilted left a few degrees.

Our friend Ben asked us to have him sign something unique. It didn’t matter to him what, just something different. Ask and you’ll receive:

There were several vendors at the show with .10 cent bins, and this is where we picked up this shiny Jose Canseco. The same vendor had a few cards for other people…

1975 Topps MVP subset, and 1975 Topps Bill ‘spaceman’ Lee buyback for NightOwl, Ron Gant for Dub, and Jason Heyward for CardJunk. I think I spent 10$ on dime box cards. Harmless. Wandering around the show floor I then saw what I would’ve bought if we were rolling in dough. A dual signed Goose Goslin, Walter Johnson baseball. Gorgeous. From the bottom left go right one, up one and try not to be sticker shocked.

As for actual pickups on the first day the best may have been a dupe for the Ryan Eades collection. A Bowman Sterling base auto for I believe 2$. Yes please.

While walking back to the hotels with Rich and Mel, we decided to grab a meal at their hotel’s restaurant. Between swapping stories, and enjoying the excellent meal we had the best waitress we’ve had in awhile so if you go to the Hyatt Regency across from the Robert E. Stephens convention center, Rosanna was top notch. After dinner, we retired to our hotel and we’d soon crash in bed dreaming of Thursday’s happenings. :).

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#ben, #bill-lee, #david-ortiz, #jason-heyward, #jose-canseco, #mel, #rich, #ron-gant, #sooz, #the-national, #topps

3 more Diamond Kings boxes

Today being Babe Ruth‘s birthday, I figured I would share the last several boxes of DK that never got posted here. I hit it big at the casino one night, and awarded myself with a few boxes. No Babes here, we all can’t have nice cards like Eric:

First, the minis:

Not a bad lineup, as of 2016 season’s end there’s 17 All-Star games, 5 World Series titles(Henrich), 3 MVPs, 2 Rookie of the Year awards across these four players. A combined 472 HR, 1626 RBI, 113.3 bWAR, with 46-30 WL record, 812 strikeouts, and a 3.29 ERA. Could pick a worse four minis, and this is without the other two minis from t he third box. :).

Pocket pool of letters in his name, Xander Bogaerts leads the ‘hits’ section. Something he’s done a lot of since making it to the big league in 2013 as his 162 game average of 180 hits demonstrates. The two-time Silver Slugger(2015/16) added All-Star next to his name in 2016 for the Red Sox. Pretty plain jersey relics, numbered to 99.

2015 All-Star, mashes at the plate, finished 6th in Rookie of the Year voting(2015). Bright young star, a card to hold onto for now. :).

A prospect in the truest definition of the word, Zimmer’s yet to make an MLB appearance and sits in AA as of 2016. 3.22 ERA with 285 K’s in 232 innings pitched. Not much of note here, plain jane relics, not a huge name… NEXT!

CardJunk‘s favorite! Jason Heyward. Four Gold Gloves as a RF – first player in three successive years to play for three teams and win a Gold Glove each year, 2010 All-Star, and 2016 World Series champ who should surpass 1,000 career hits this year he only needs 74.

2016 All-Star, World Series game six hero. Numbered 1 of 99! #EbayJuanofJuan. Plus, look at all that dirt on the right patch. Filthy.

Goldy! Four time All-Star Game participant, two Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers, two second place MVP finishes. Numbered to 25! Needs to work on his ‘Harmon Killebrew’ signature though.

No, he’s not a ‘Star’ actor, but this A’s/Cubs and former Buck O’Neill scouted Left Fielder/DH looks amazing in green and yellow on card. A sweet curvy autograph to boot on this numbered to 49 card makes this my favorite of the three boxes.

If BlowoutBuzz‘s preview is any indication, my addiction may continue into 2017. Color you shocked, I know.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Babe. :).

#addison-russell, #billy-williams, #bryce-harper, #buck-oneill, #diamond-kings, #jason-heyward, #joc-pederson, #just-the-hits, #kirby-puckett, #kyle-zimmer, #mike-trout, #paul-goldschmidt, #ted-williams, #tommy-henrich, #xander-bogaerts, #yu-darvish