Clemente’s Corner: The Legacy of Jack Adams

Here’s a quiz question that could stump even the biggest hockey fan: Name the only person in history to win the Stanley Cup as a player, manager and general manager? 

Stumped? The answer is Jack Adams. 

If that name is familiar it’s because Adams has a trophy named after him: the Jack Adams Award. It is given each year to the coach who has “contributed the most to his team’s success.” 

Who was Adams?

Why does he still matter?

Should collectors even consider chasing his cards?

These are the questions I was searching the answers for when I read recently that Adams’ rookie card had turned 100 years old.  

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Tim’s Take: Fanatics Strikes Back

If you recall in my article where we first discussed the Panini vs. Fanatics lawsuit, we asked if Fanatics was a monopoly, as Panini accused them of being. In that article, we said the short answer was no, and the long answer was also probably no.

But let’s flip the script and turn the attention to the accuser, Panini. Is Panini a monopoly in the hobby space?

I think the conclusion ultimately ends up being the same. But fortunately for all of us captivated by this drama, if both parties have their way, we may now eventually find out. Let’s break down a simple timeline of what has transpired to get us here, shall we?

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Tim’s Take: The 2023 National Sports Collectors Convention

My every-other year visit to the National Sports Card Collector’s Convention wrapped up Sunday afternoon and I wanted to join the cast of thousands that will take to social media to regale you in the fun they had. But I think I’m going to take a different approach from just showing off what I bought because this wasn’t my first trip to the largest, and most important hobby show of the year. It wasn’t my second, or my third, or even my fourth. This was my ninth time participating in this colossal event.

In that time I’ve seen many, many cool things, I’ve met dozens and dozens of cool people, and I’ve developed many hobby friends. In recent years, I’ve met many listeners of the Puck Junk Podcast as well as those that interact on social media. It’s been one of the best hobby experiences that I look forward to annually, and especially every other year when it becomes a “home game” for me.

But there’s no shortage of controversy and discourse in this amazing hobby and that makes it interesting, and fun. So let me get this part out of the way first. There was a popular narrative on social media all week, which was, of course, the abundance of detracting opinions and negativity. The list is long. There was the stuff about breakers getting loaded boxes. There were the instances of the “influencers” seemingly getting most of the bigger promo pack hits. There was a lot of talk about preferential treatment given to YouTubers with large followings for “on-site grading” promotions. There were the countless examples of the seemingly incessant need of “collectors” to suckle the teat of hobby celebrities and brag about how they are all now “best friends”.

Were all of these things true? Maybe. But that’s not the point and I’m not here to discuss that (at least for now). What I will address instead are the two biggest issues people continually pointed out, the “10x comp pricing” and the “extreme heat,” as well as some observations I had.

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Clemente’s Corner: 5 Things We Learned from This Year’s National Sports Collectors Convention

As a lifelong sports fan, there are some moments I will never forget. 

Kirk Gibson’s walk-off homerun in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, the New York Rangers winning the 1994 Stanley Cup to end a 54-year championship drought and the U.S. soccer team capturing the 1999 Women’s World Cup on penalty kicks, followed by Brandi Chastain’s now-legendary goal celebration.

Add the 2023 National Sports Collectors Convention to that list.

Sure, the 43rd edition of the NSCCC was not a sporting event. Nonetheless, it did bring fans – in the form of collectors – together in one place as it does every summer. 

This year’s five-day extravaganza made Chicago the hobby capital of the world, attracting a record crowd to the sun-drenched Windy City. The sprawling convention floor space, spread out across three areas totaling 600,000 square feet, featured 750 exhibitors, including Puck Junk.

Show promoter John Broggi said the attendance at this National set the record, surpassing the 1991 show in Anaheim that featured 100,000 attendees. Thursday, Friday and Saturday saw the most traffic, while Sunday saw the lightest turnout given that many hobbyists had decided to leave by the afternoon. For those who did stay until the end it turned out, as is typically the case, the best day for deals on cards and unopened wax.

There’s a lot you can learn about the hobby we love by attending the National. Here are five takeaways from this year:

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Visit Puck Junk at the 2023 National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago

…and Get a Free Set of Hockey Cards!

For the third year in a row, I will be at the National Sports Collectors Convention — a.k.a. “The National” — from Wednesday, July 26 to Sunday, July 30.

I will be at Booth #1011, right next to AU Sports (#1009), right behind Memory Lane (#1108/#1110), and very close to both the Main Entrance and the VIP Entrance.

If you can’t remember that I’m at Booth #1011, just look for the giant Memory Lane banner hanging from the ceiling when you enter the show — I’m right behind them! 

Drop by my booth, say “hi”, and check out the awesome hockey t-shirts and sports cards that I’ll be selling. 

I’m also giving away exclusive sets of Puck Junk Bad Hockey Card Hall of Fame Trading Cards. This six-card set highlights five of the worst hockey cards ever made and is limited to 500 sets. 

If you are at The National this week and want a set, be sure to drop by Booth #1011 to get one.

And if you are NOT coming to The National but want to get a set, contact me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or email and I will mail a set out to you in early August. 

The National Sports Collectors Convention starts Wednesday, July 26 and runs until Sunday, July 30. Click here for more information about the NSCC and to buy tickets. 

If you do come to the National, be sure to stop at Booth #1011, check out what I’ve got for sale, talk some hockey with me, and get a free set of cards! 

Love hockey? Join the Puck Junk Facebook Group, subscribe to Puck Junk on Apple Podcasts and  YouTube, and support this site at the Puck Junk Online Shop

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk

A Collecting Evolution: Two Lines of NFTs Enter the NHL World

The NHL kept its distance from the NFT market – but that’s about to change with the launch of two new series of digital collectibles backed by the league.

While the NBA, NFL and MLB all entered the NFT game early, the NHL remained on the sidelines. But that’s about to change, with two lines of hockey NFTs launching.

An NFT, short for non-fungible token, is a type of digital collectible that peaked in popularity during the early days of the pandemic. NFTs usually depict celebrities, athletes or original artwork, and they contain motion, animation and sometimes video clips.

They use blockchain technology, a type of encrypted digital ledger that certifies the item’s uniqueness and tracks its ownership history and sales data.

These collectibles can initially sell for anywhere from a few dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, and resale prices can be much higher. One advantage NFTs have is that the licensor – such as a player, team or league – can continue to collect royalties whenever the item is subsequently resold.

An NFT is like a mash-up of a trading card and cryptocurrency. They’re more likely to appeal to so-called “crypto bros” than they are to collectors who buy packs of hockey cards.

Upper Deck hopes to change that with its new line of Evolution digital cards, launched in April. The company already makes traditional hockey cards licensed by the NHL and NHLPA.

“There’s a place for digital collectibles, but it was never done with the collectors in mind,” said Jason Masherah, president of Upper Deck.  Read the rest of the story at The Hockey News website. 

Clemente’s Corner: Everything You Need to Know About the 2023 National Sports Collectors Convention

Welcome to Chicago! More specifically, the village of Rosemont, which is located just outside the Windy City where this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention takes place.

The 43rd edition of the National will be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center between July 26-30, 2023. It is where the hobby — collectors, dealers and the major trading card companies — comes together once a year.

The NSCC dates back to 1980 in Los Angeles and has grown into the collectibles industry biggest event. The 1991 convention, during the height of the Junk Wax era, held in Anaheim is considered the highest-attended National. Last year’s NSCC in Atlantic City, N.J., according to organizers, was also well-attended despite the venue’s location.

This year’s venue, on the other hand, is known to collectors and dealers since it has hosted previous Nationals. It is also home to the Chicago Sports Spectacular, one of the best regional sports card and memorabilia shows in the country.

Here’s what you need to know before heading to Chicago this month.  

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The 6th Annual Puck Junk Awards

The National Hockey League really needs to upgrade its hardware game. Sure, there is no better trophy in sports than the Stanley Cup. And the NHL does a pretty good job at honoring its best forwards, defensemen, and goalies each year. But what about honoring the best scorer who can also fight, the player who came out of nowhere and wowed everyone, or the guy who clawed his way back into the league after a year-long hiatus? 
Since 2018, Puck Junk has given out awards to such players. They may not have scored 50 goals or posted 15 shutouts, but they were still interesting, exciting — or even infamous — during the past season. 
That said, here are your 2023 Puck Junk Award winners!

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How to Prevent Your Sports Cards from Bricking

Longtime collectors remember when sports cards started using a high-gloss protective coating in the early 1990s. This coating – known as UV coating – gave the cards like Fleer Ultra and Topps Stadium Club a slick, premium feel to them. Collectors loved it!. But this eventually led to a problem called “bricking.”

Bricking is when cards get stuck together in a stack resembling a brick. And once they brick, they are hard to unstick. Read on to learn why cards stick together, what to do if they brick, and how to prevent that from happening in the first place. Read the rest of the story at the BCW Supplies Blog.