Clemente’s Corner: Recapping the 2022 National Sports Collectors Convention

What Was There and What Did You Get?

If you attended the 42nd edition of the National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City, then you’re probably still dealing with sore feet. 

I found myself soaking those dogs a day after walking the showroom floor for seven straight hours. My feet did hurt for a day – but you couldn’t take the smile off my face for days.

In 2020, my plan had been to attend my first National, scheduled to take place that summer in Atlantic City. COVID-19 upended the planet. The event, like everything else, was canceled.

Two years later, I got my chance to attend the NSCC, albeit for a day (on the Friday) following a three-hour bus ride from New York City. I finally got the chance to take in all the buzz and enthusiasm that comes with such a massive show. Aisle after aisle lined with tables made it disorienting at times. I couldn’t even find the exit at one point!

There was plenty of buzz and enthusiasm. Indeed, from July 27-31, all hobby eyes were fixated on the coastal New Jersey resort famous for its casinos. In a summer where I attended both the Toronto Sport Card Expo and Chicago Sports Spectacular, I was truly in awe of the National’s size (750 exhibitors spread out across 460,000 square feet!) and variety of collectables inside the Atlantic City Convention Center. It also seemed as if nearly every breaker and YouTuber was at the show.

I got to see a SCG 9.5 Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps card, a bat used by Babe Ruth and a game-worn autographed Lionel Messi jersey. While the cards, autographs, ticket stubs and pennants for sale at the National was the big draw, it’s also the chance to meet up with friends, talk about the hobby and get away from the realities of everyday life.

In addition to hockey, I collect baseball and soccer cards. In that regard, the show did not disappoint – although hockey typically gets the short end of the stick at the five-day show.

Here’s my recap of this year’s National.

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Clemente’s Corner: Go ‘Fourth’ and Collect These Iconic USA Hockey Cards

We’re officially in the NHL offseason. While the league goes into hibernation mode until a new season starts on October 11, there’s still plenty of hockey out there for everyone to enjoy this summer.

The new 3-on-3 league, known as 3ICE, just launched, while card and memorabilia collecting never stops as many of you out there prepare to attend The National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City at the end of the month.  

The dog days of summer get into high gear with the Fourth of July and everything that goes with it such as pool parties, cookouts and fireworks. Of course, America’s birthday is also a great excuse for me at my very first “Clemente’s Corner” to write about some of my favorite hockey cards featuring players in their USA uniforms.

It could be because I am also a big soccer fan, but I do love international hockey competition. I miss seeing NHLers play at the Olympics. It’s for that reason that I am going to rundown my favorite cards featuring U.S. players just in time for Independence Day.

Some of these cards are true gems. Indeed, they are cardboard miracles when you consider how infrequently players have appeared in past sets wearing their national team colors. Here are a few of my favorites:   

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Five Things to Know About the Toronto Sport Card Expo

Story and photos by Clemente Lisi

Sports card collectors have the annual National Sports Collectors Convention to look forward to at the end of every July. Hockey card collectors, on the other hand, got to enjoy the Toronto Sport Card and Memorabilia Expo during the first week of June.  

Sometimes referred to as the “Canadian National,” the Expo typically features tons of hockey cards and collectibles and sections of the showroom floor do sometimes feel like you’ve stumbled into a museum. The spring edition of the Expo that took place from June 2-5 was no different.

It was the first spring Expo held at The International Centre, located near Toronto’s Pearson Airport, since the pandemic forced stay-at-home orders and halted travel. The easing of COVID-19 restrictions, both in the U.S. and Canada, made for large crowds during the four-day show, which was moved from March.  

While the majority of people at the show hailed from all over Canada, a few out there, like me, made the trek across the border to Toronto. After four days in Toronto, I totally recommend taking such a trip in the future. For example, Toronto takes as much time for me to get to from New York City by plane (just two hours) as Atlantic City, site of the next National, is by car. It’s true that airfare costs more, but finding a deal is possible. 

For anyone considering attending the Toronto Sport Expo in the future, here are five things from this last show that you should know. 

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