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Fantastic Finds on The National Floor

BY ROSS FORMAN

The 40th National Sports Collectors Convention certainly lived up to billing as the hobby’s premier event. It was, without question, the Super Bowl of Sports Memorabilia – cards, autographs, game-used souvenirs and so much more.

“The National always is the best show of the year – and this year’s was great, an active event that brought out a lot of really cool stuff,” said longtime Ohio-based dealer Kevin Savage. “The crowd (size) was really good; there were strong sales and the buying was very good, too.”

Collectors had plenty to pick from. Just consider:

  • Ian Desmond worn cleats, dual autographs: $65.
  • Chicago Stadium seat, with wood base: $225.
  • Paint pens: $10.
  • Autographed authentic replica jerseys: J. Watt ($250), Ken Griffey Jr. ($800) and Mike Trout from the 2012 MLB All-Star Game ($850).
  • A 1973-74 Topps Basketball wax box, 36-pack version: $17,900.
  • Al Kaline-signed 11x14 photo: $25.
  • There was a table of University of Oregon game-used football helmets ($200) and team-issued jerseys ($125).
  • Emmanuel Ogbah’s $400 game-used jersey from a game on Oct. 21, 2018.
  • Vintage baseball pocket schedules: $1 each or 6-for-$5.
  • Autographed basketballs: Oscar Robertson ($200), Julius Erving ($140), Jerry Tarkanian ($550), Bill Walton ($125) and Kobe Bryant ($250).
  • A 1966 Chicago White Sox team-signed baseball, with Moose Skowron, Tommy John and others: $200.
  • Eloy Jimenez or Joey Bart autographed baseballs: $100 apiece.
  • A box of 1990 Upper Deck French Hockey, high series: $400.
  • Chicago Cubs’ World Series bobbleheads featuring Joe Maddon, Jon Lester, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and others: $20 each
  • 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair, 3-day unused tickets, graded 9 Mint from PSA/DNA: $120.
  • Winky Wright autographed boxing glove: $40.
  • White Sox sun hats from the 1950s and ’60s were $55; other similar hats were $70.
  • A 1935 Chicago Cubs’ Junior Booster Club pin: $35.
  • Comiskey Park seats: $300.
  • Goalie skates, with multiple signatures each, including Tony Esposito and Eddie Giacomin: $200. The seller said, “I can knock $20 off,” the list price.
  • Louis Stadium seat: $800.
  • A full game-worn uniform of baseball umpire Rick Reed, along with an autographed ball: $500.
  • Jamie Morris game-used University of Michigan helmet: $1,500.
  • Eminem framed, signed record: $750.
  • Frank Thomas autographed jersey: $165.
  • A framed photo of Vince Lombardi, along with Lombardi signed check: $1,375.
  • Ichiro-signed baseball: $350.
  • Derek Jeter-signed baseball: $625.
  • Joe DiMaggio-signed baseball: $575.
  • Sandy Koufax-signed baseball: $485.
  • Babe Ruth-signed baseball, personalized: “To My Friend Joe”: $12,500.

“The show was phenomenal,” said dealer Lisa Stellato of Never Enough Cards, Inc., Port Jefferson Station, N.Y. “We were non-stop busy from Thursday on. The crowd was energized; this might have been the largest crowd The National has drawn in a very long time.”

Stellato said the 2019 National ranks among the top 5 of the 30 she has worked at. “The hobby is very strong right now,” Stellato said. “There is a lot of interest in vintage cards, new cards, among player collectors, for case-break collectors, and more. Everyone seems to be enjoying the hobby now. Most fellow table-holders seem to be happy where the hobby is at now.

"I had very high expectations for this year’s National – and the 2019 National exceeded those high expectations."

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