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.