Two weeks later, and I am still wading through the stack of cards and other assorted goodies that I got at the 2013 National Sports Collectors Convention. I’ve busted boxes, found many cool singles and acquired a lot of new autographs for my collection.
When I went to the National, I paid for a VIP ticket, which included 12 autographs from the “VIP Signers”–basically, the ex-athletes who were signing autographs for around $15 to $25. You get a sheet of tickets that have the athlete’s name printed on it. What I did on the first day of the show was trade tickets. If someone was wearing a Cubs jersey, I asked them if they would trade me their Ed Olcyzk or Murray Bannerman ticket for, say, a Jerome Walton ticket. Most people were willing to trade, and some even gave me their tickets for the ex-Hawks without wanting anything in return.
Here’s a rundown of the autographs I got at the 2013 National:
On Wednesday, former Chicago Bears running back Neal Anderson was signing autographs for free. You did not need an autograph ticket, and since I got into the show early I was able to get in and out of his line rather quickly.
I decided to get Anderson’s rookie card autographed. Not much of a decision, as it is one of the few football cards I’ve kept from my childhood, for sentimental reasons.
When it was my turn to get Anderson’s autograph, I said “I’ve had this card since I got it in a pack of cards from 1988, and I’m excited to finally get it autographed.”
“Well,” he cheerfully replied, “I’m excited to sign it for you.” He seemed to mean it too. Anderson appeared to be having a good time talking with fans and shaking hands.
I thanked him for the autograph, and for coming to the show. I can’t say I was the only one who got a football card signed, but most others were either getting Anderson’s autograph on a photo or a mini football helmet.
Thursday was the first full day of the show. Former ‘Hawks player and current TV color commentator Ed Olczyk was signing autographs. Through trades and a few “gifts” from fellow attendees, I ended up getting eight items autographed by Olczyk. You can see the rest of the items here on my autograph blog.
On Saturday, former Blackhawks goaltender Murray Bannerman was signing autographs. In all, I ended up with 11 tickets for Bannerman’s ‘graph, which was way more than I needed. I gave three tickets away and got eight items signed, including this 5″x7″ photo of Bannerman as a member of the Vancouver Canucks. He played one game — only 20 minutes — with the Canucks in 1978 before he was traded to the Blackhawks. You can also see the rest of the items here on my autograph blog.
On Sunday, I pulled this card of baseball legend Ken Griffey Jr. from an Upper Deck redemption pack and promptly traded it to another collector for this autographed card of Jonathan Toews. (You can read more about the redemption programs at the show here).
One of the dealers — all the way at the back of the room — had this 1983 Cartophilium Hall of Fame card signed by Ken Reardon, who passed away in 2008. I love this set, and could not pass up the opportunity to get this card. Plus, the price was very reasonable.
Finally, I purchased a few cheap autographed cards over the weekend. The autographed cards of Benoit Cote and Greg Andrusak were 25 cents each.The Stephen Weiss signed mini card was $4. The 2010-11 Panini Certified autographs of Bobby Butler, Justin Mercier and Brandon Yip were $1 each.
Tomorrow, I’ll share some of my cool non-autographed finds from the show.