A Guide To The National

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5.00 star(s)
Hey Group,

I'm writing an article for another collecting/trading site as a guide to the National Sports Collectors Convention. The problem is I've been to four of them over almost literally my whole life-- I went to my first when I was 13. So trying to think of things that rookies to the show would want to know about is slipping my mind.

So, for anyone who has thought about going to the National, what would you want to know before going? For those who have gone, what do you wish you had known before going? For those who don't know what the National is... get out more often.


5.00 star(s)
Staff member
First thing I would want to know is where it is being held. Also how much admission will be. I have been to the National twice and was not very impressed. Maybe because it costs so much for a table but the prices seem to be a little inflated. Especially for vintage stuff. But that is just my opinion.


5.00 star(s)
Is it worth going if you build sets of modern parallels that are serial numbered? What percentage of collectibles are modern and what percentage are vintage?

How much money should I bring?

Are there hotel deals?

What's the closest airport?


5.00 star(s)
How many Mantle rookies will you see at the National?

Will a Wagner card be there?

Goudey Lajoie?

to name a few...


5.00 star(s)
I have only been to one National, back in 2012 in Baltimore. Here are a couple of things I noticed:

It would be nice to have a map of the tables. Even though it is a huge show, it would be handy to have a floor plan. there were a few times that I saw stuff, but couldn't remember where the table was later.

Wear comfortable shoes. Lots of walking and talking.

A secure backpack to carry your lists and pick ups.

Know ahead of time your limits, especially with $$. You can easily get carried away and blow a mortgage payment. As with going to a casino, only bring what you are comfortable leaving at a table.

Breath mints. can come in handy for you and to offer to some dealers. Just sayin.

Carry a bottle of water in your backpack. Drink and food prices inside these shows can be pricey.

Visit the manufacturer booths. Even just to see what they are all about for the next year's offerings. You never know what freebies they may have stashed behind the table.

If you are going for the autograph guests, be sure to keep an eye on the time. the lines can get long and if you wait too long, you may miss who you are interested in.

And above all, be careful hanging out with Champs96WS. Pete can be a lot of fun but cause some trouble!!!!

Remember also, this is supposed to be fun!

Looking forward to reading your story.


David K.

5.00 star(s)
Cash is king at this shows....so be careful of someone picking your wallet. I worn a money belt! You need a light backpack.....Note book with a list of cards that your looking for and the price and condition. Snack such as peanuts, etc.. don't forget to take breaks to eat and rest. Keep track of where u lefted off....so that u can pick up after a break or lunch. Its hard to see everything in one day....so plan on at least two days....Pens, several card holders..Best regards, David PS Above all have fun!! Been to three Nationals all in Anheim, CA.
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5.00 star(s)
In the past some hotels have offered discounts on rooms for National attendees. You have to start looking now. These rooms go quick and may be a limited offer.

A dealer floor plan map is in the National program every year. These programs can be picked up for free near the main entrance doors in the lobby.

Others have offered some good advice already.

The best tip I can offer is this. Be friendly to the dealers. It can go a long way.


4.90 star(s)
Staff member
We are planning on going on August 6th and purchasing autograph tickets/photo op tickets for Andy Pettitte. Any advice on how that autograph stuff works would be something we are interested in. Also, any general advice on making the most out of our day down there would be of interest.