National Report

Tony Kozelichki

5.00 star(s)
Went to the National on Thursday, July 29. With no major shows in Chicago since November 2019, I had quite a bit of cash saved up and was really looking forward to this one. While I did come away with some treasures, in one word I would describe the show as "disappointing."

I went hoping to complete a 49 Bowman Cubs team set, complete a run of Cubs yearbooks (only vintage was 1956, the others were in the 2000's), pick up some modern Cubs programs, find a Denby cigar box of either Grimm or Hartnett, find some 36 or 37 Cubs News pamphlets, a Jim Hickman model Spalding glove and some auto balls I need from 1969, 1945 and 2016 players. I ended up accomplishing only one.

When I got into the show at 9:45 (if I had paid extra to get in at 9:30, I would have been pissed everyone else was let in 15 minutes later), I headed to the back of the room to meet with a long time dealer who lives about 45 minutes from me and whose wares are exclusively vintage, especially equipment. When he saw me, the first thing he said was, "You're not going to like this. I know what you collect, and it's not here." Sadly, he was mostly correct. There were plenty of tables full of stuff, if you were looking for graded cards or newer cards and unopened material. There were few with vintage material and even fewer that specialized in Chicago stuff. Not only that, but plenty of long time dealers were seen on the floor, looking to buy, and not set up to sell. Many of the dealers of these hoards of graded and new stuff were guys I'd never seen before who were having to rely on their copies of Beckett since most of their stuff wasn't priced.

The more I walked around, the more I had flashbacks to 1987 when, in my early 20's and living there, I would head to Chicago shows all the time and saw little more than 87 Donruss wax boxes and the like. How did that all turn out? I understand the drive for money, but haven't people learned anything? Hey, if you want to invest in this stuff, don't be surprised and don't complain when those $500 unopened boxes turn into 1988 Score packs and every new high dollar rookie turns into an 88 Fleer Gregg Jeffries.

Within the first three hours of being there, I hadn't spent a single dollar. I did end up staying until closing and came away with some nice stuff, but not what I originally looking for.

1. I did complete my 49 Bowman team set (3 high numbers). Now to try to whittle away those 52 Topps high numbered Cubs.
2. Picked up a 50 Bowman Bill Nicholson, which I only recently realized I was missing from my Swish collection.
3. One issue of Cubs News from 1936, Issue 1, number 7.
4. One early 50's Cubs pennant.

Total for these items, less than $70. However, I did land two others I wasn't necessarily looking for, but happy to come away with:

An Ernie Banks #14 flag that flew over the grandstand at Wrigley Field, complete with tagging and an authentication letter from Major League Baseball. I already own the left field retirement flag, so this one will look good handing from the ceiling of my attic. $500.

The other item was an empty, original Ernie Banks Hartland box. I would rate it at least good condition, which looks better when filled out with styrofoam. 'The dealer had it for sale with a statue inside, but agreed to remove the statue since their was no original neck tag. I already own the statue and tag, so getting the box really makes the set. Both dealers came after 4:00 pm with a 6:00 closing. $250.

I probably shouldn't complain, but I was hoping to land so much more and walked away with a large chunk of money. Can't see myself going back in a month when the spring Mounted Memories show is going to be held, and the regular November show just a couple months later. Can you say overkill?

Lots of people. Dealers saying it would be the largest National ever, with the exception of Anaheim. If I remember correctly, that came not long before the market crashed. Is the same going to happen? Part of me is hoping it does, because I collect and trade, not buy to resell and hope to get rich.


4.90 star(s)
Wow, I laughed at the Gregg Jefferies comment. Todd van poppel and Scott Erickson were such hot sellers a few years later when I had a card shop. What a different but fun time.

I got reports back from national and it was just like all the other shows I go too. Nobody has what I collect. I see most of the same stuff and dealers look at me like I'm crazy for collect Allen and ginter. So glad the market prices haven't changed the prices much other than the Mike Tyson and hulk Hogan autos in the set I collect

David K.

5.00 star(s)
Great report as always! Please champs387....I was one of thoses collectors of Erickson (we had the same birthday!)...remember buying those UD cards/pink cards of him....Only purchased 5 of them. About 5 years later threw them out! Best regards, David


5.00 star(s)
I went to a local show yesterday and it was my first is probably close to 10 years. Although I enjoyed the in person card time I have been lacking for years, I only spent 2 hours and $65. It was almost exclusively cheapo autographs and a dozen or so $1 GU cards. I ended up with just over 50 cards. I saw almost zero vintage, zero oddball and mostly packs/boxes and high end singles dominated by sparkly panini type cards. It's clearly a product of what is making these guys money, which is probably why I stick to ebay almost exclusively anymore.

This show may have sparked my interest in at least hitting up the next WSSCC show, as those guys do tend to have the older and oddball stuff.


5.00 star(s)
Thanks @Tony Kozelichki for the update, great to hear that I didnt miss a lot, I always wonder! I checked the list of autograph guests, and saw that there were not a ton of guys who dont already sign TTM, and even fewer I am currently looking for, so that was good. My friend really wanted to go, but heard the reports of predicted long lines and high prices, so was happy we decided to pass.

Glad for you that you ended up with a few good items for your collection though, that is awesome!

Hope you are well, God bless!