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Old 07-31-2019, 09:57 PM
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Default 2019 National Report - Sneak Peak, DAY 1 and DAY recaps - UPDATED 8/2 PM

OK folks, as in past years I'll give a daily run down of my time at the National. I'm a little tired tonight, so I'll add some pictures tomorrow. I'll update each day, so you'll get a chance to scroll through and see a lot of what I saw.

As a quick background, I honestly collect just about everything. Pre-war, 50s-60s graded, modern graded, autographs and memorabilia, presidential items, pennants, bobbleheads, unopened packs and boxes, baseball, basketball, football, a little hockey, boxing, Olympics, I hit a lot of categories. It's pretty tough to have a booth that doesn't have something I'd be interested in.

This is my 5th consecutive National, and 8th overall. I have to admit, location wise I still prefer Chicago as there are restaurants/bars and things pretty close to the convention center. It's all within a block or two.

From a layout standpoint, though, I don't like Chicago very much. The room is very big, and they put all the corporate booths in the middle. This makes it nearly impossible to set a plan by row or column to walk the show in a manner to ensure you hit all the tables. As a result, I think I walked 3-4 rows today, as there were a couple dealers I've bought from the past 4 years that I wanted to see today and had to take them out of order. It's only 4 hours on Preview Day, which seems like it should be a lot but it really isn't.

At first impression, there were some nice cards to see today, and I only covered maybe 20% of the room. For those who have followed my past reports, though, I ALWAYS seem to struggle on Day 1 and this year was no different. It seems to me the front part of the room every year must be the "old timers", the folks who have been setting up for years and so they get priority in order of picking table space (?). There are also TONS of auction houses, more on that later.

Every year, that front section sets the initial tone of the day, and I have to say going forward I may just skip this group and come to them last. I won't bore you with tons and tons of this stuff, but I'll pick a couple to make a point. DEALERS TAKE NOTE - if you continue to price your cards like this, you should understand that THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of potential dollars are just walking away from you. I asked one dealer about a 34 Goudey #37 Gehrig SGC 50 - he quotes me $3400. This card has a VCP of $2300 from a May sale on eBay, last three sales are reportedly $2500 or less. It may have been nice for the grade, but it's a still a 50 (4), so it's not THAT nice. It's SO FAR AWAY from a reasonable start, I didn't even bother to counter - honestly I didn't say anything other than "thank you" and handed the card back and walked on. T206 Dark Cap Mathewson PSA 4 - VCP around $900, price quote $1750! Another table the price quote was $1650. Mid grade Dark Caps are not especially rare, and everything I'm talking about was a normal/common back. Last one, asked about probably 5-6 1968 Nolan Ryan PSA 7s - maybe once with exceptional centering - VCP $1184, cheapest initial quote $1500 and highest was $1900!!!! I guess my 8 is worth a fair bit more than I thought it was if these are worth 30-50% more than VCP for a pretty commonly sold card.

As someone who sets up as a dealer at shows in Houston and does a lot of selling on eBay, I understand the higher ask expecting a negotiation. But as I've said before and will say again - there's a limit. If you price it TOO HIGH, most people don't have anywhere to go from there. I heard from a couple folks today they didn't know what to ask for their card but knew I had looked them up on VCP and eBay. When I reported a half down sales prices, they told me those were all too cheap. Well then why didn't you buy them?!?!? Markets are what markets are, and there are still a LARGE NUMBER OF DEALERS who are not interested in selling cards. I don't know exactly why they're here, but they definitely aren't here to sell cards and I would be shocked if they actually profit enough to actually pay for the space.

A lot of dealers are starting their prices at least 20-25% over recent sales, expecting a negotiation. Some are pricing in cash and credit card prices, which I think is a decent idea. However, I'm also surprised HOW MANY DEALERS are still not accepting Paypal or Venmo or similar payments. I honestly just don't believe there are that many people walking around the show with $10-20k in cash in their pockets, so how the heck are they supposed to pay for these $9k card if you won't accept some form of electronic transfer/payment? I don't think I was quite as in tune to this in previous years, but it was really surprising to me today that so many dealers are not accepting of that form of payment at this point. I'm not talking credit cards, either. I'm talking friends/family type payments. It just makes sense, but it's still not "base case" for a big portion of the room.

I was ultimately able to buy one card today, though. I'm on the last 10 cards of a fully graded 1954 Topps baseball set and have been in the market for a nice Banks for what seems like a while. Dealer first quoted me $900 cash/$1000 credit on a PSA 5. We ultimately settled at $850, I think we were both pleased where it landed. That was the last "big" I needed for my set, so for me it was a good start to the week.

I visited a couple other dealers I know toward the end, and will hopefully have something to report on those interactions tomorrow. I do think I'm going to be able to get a trade or two done, but it was the groundwork of meeting and working with these guys for the last 3-4 years that's making it possible now.

I can't say that any specific thing was "hot", but again it was only 4 hours and I didn't see much of the room. I think tomorrow I'll be able to get a better sense of that.

Like I said, I will post some pics tomorrow. For now, I could use some sleep. No real surprises today, but to get a card off my want list was a nice start, and hopefully a sign of things to come.

Catch up with you again tomorrow night.

Last edited by bounce; 08-02-2019 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 07-31-2019, 10:30 PM
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Awesome update. Keep Ďem Coming. I havenít ever been to a national
So Iíll live vicariously through you.
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:21 AM
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Thanks very much for the updates...please keep them coming.


Jeff
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:31 AM
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Thanks. Much appreciated.
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:52 AM
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very cool. thank you!
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:04 AM
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I have been to the National half a dozen times, but passed this year as the drive to Chicago is just too far for my old body to take anymore, so your updates are very much appreciated. Keep up the good work
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:27 AM
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Thanks so much David. I have been to the National over a dozen times in the past 20 years or so, but, like boysblue, the drive to Chicago is much too far.
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Old 08-01-2019, 12:02 PM
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Great update!
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Old 08-01-2019, 12:42 PM
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In defense of dealers, these guys spend a lot of time and effort schlepping their stuff around. Travel, hotels, etc. For many of these folks this is their livelihood. While I'm not justifying someone asking $3000 for a card that sold last week on ebay for $1000, I do understand they are trying to maximize their profits and not necessarily make what your or I might consider a fair deal. Hell, Burger King doesn't sell their burgers for 15 cents, but that's probably what they cost to make.

Last edited by Snapolit1; 08-01-2019 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 08-01-2019, 12:51 PM
1952boyntoncollector 1952boyntoncollector is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapolit1 View Post
In defense of dealers, these guys spend a lot of time and effort schlepping their stuff around. Travel, hotels, etc. For many of these folks this is their livelihood. While I'm not justifying someone asking $3000 for a card that sold last week on ebay for $1000, I do understand they are trying to maximize their profits and not necessarily make what your or I might consider a fair deal. Hell, Burger King doesn't sell their burgers for 15 cents, but that's probably what they cost to make.
dealers can sell what they want...i mean when was it mentioned at the Nationals the last 10 years or so how cheap the prices are. Customers and Dealers keep going so obviously it works for now.

Also as said before past prices are just past prices. If prices never change then the card will be the same price forever

I have been offered VCP before and but sent the card to auction and gotten 3x more on a T206 Young for example. Some dealers like to have 'show' cards just for people to see so they make look at other cards to buy.

I never understood what the problem was with sellers listing a card for whatever they wanted. Yeah it sucks to see that same dealer lower the price perhaps to the next person days later but its all in the timing.

if you really want a card and dont want to hope for the timing to be right to not lose out at an auction by 1 bid.....just deal with it ...

Last edited by 1952boyntoncollector; 08-01-2019 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:34 AM
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OK - as promised, some pictures from the Sneak Preview Day on Wednesday.

Here is the entrance to the show, floor layout pretty much the same as other years.



This was pretty cool - Wilt Chamberlain ROOKIE jersey! Just WOW!


Some big dogs, this is some pretty serious cardboard.


A few more. That Matty is one of my favorites.


Some tough stuff here, really cool items.


Cool or creepy? I'll let you decide. These are some Michael Jordan items from middle school, one is a love letter to a girl? ...I'm probably voting creepy. "Unique" is probably how I would describe these.


This is a pretty cool set of autographs.


And yes, PWCC is here. Not really interested in talking about that in this thread other than to acknowledge attendance. I did think this Cobb rainbow was pretty cool, no two ways about that.
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:36 AM
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And last but not least, my one acquisition from Wednesday.

This guy is going in my set, I'm down to less than 10 for a fully graded 1954 set. Super happy with this one, and got it well under VCP. Best thing about it, it's centered slightly DOWN which is somewhat uncommon on this. Most are centered up with just a sliver of white between the border and his name.

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Old 08-02-2019, 09:37 AM
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I'm running a little late today, so I'll post Day 1 and Day 2 later tonight.

Got some good stuff and good stories coming, and I'll also address a couple of the comments so far.

ENJOY!
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:22 AM
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Nice Banks!
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:51 AM
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Thanks for your updates and photos! Much appreciated and enjoyable.
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:59 PM
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Going to update two days tonight, so here goes with Day 1 (Thursday).

I was focused on getting through the rest of the show, since I only saw about 20% or so on Wednesday. Instead of picking up where I left off, I went to the far end of the show out of gates instead. As I've mentioned, the Chicago floor layout is not my favorite, as the sponsor booths are in the middle and it cuts the floor up. I'd much prefer if they had all these at one end. I'm sure the guys near the Topps booth would like that, as well, since multiple times a day Topps is screaming at the top of their lungs for the various give aways. I know it's fun for the people around the booth looking to win, but it's really tough on the dealers near them as a lot of people just walk away mid sentence because of the volume.

I wanted to drop by a couple of the auction house booths today to view some of the auction preview items, and it did not disappoint. These were at the Mile High booth, it's always cool I think to see these types of things in person. If you've got a few hundred grand to drop, I guess it's really a choice of these cards, or a house...or two houses...





Ran across this guy as well, I know they are rare, I like pitchers, a lot of people don't like the black and white cards but I thought this was pretty impressive and would definitely make a top 20 list for me.



I haven't yet taken the plunge on something like this, but I really think these packs look great and really would make a super display with some of the cards. They weren't that expensive, so I'm sure I will own some soon (just not today).

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Old 08-02-2019, 10:12 PM
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This is the other auction house preview I wanted to see. There are so many awesome cards, it's hard to really appreciate them all. It's somewhat overwhelming when they're all together. It's a really great display if you're looking for ideas for your man cave at home.





Switching gears a little, I realize certain cards are definitely iconic cards. Even in the modern era, the 93 SP Jeter, 2011 Topps Update Trout, 89 Upper Deck Griffey. I get the appeal of owning the card, but not sure I get the prices - and yes, I've owned multiples of all three of these in the past, but don't own them anymore. Part of the reason? Check out the pop reports on these cards and then try and tell me how rare they are. Then look at cases like this - it's one where supply and demand don't seem to really work in my view, but I guess that's part of what makes this hobby fun.

This isn't the only case like this that I saw, just the one I took a picture of. There were several others that looked similar, full of 2011 Update Trouts.



In the "sad but true" department, I guess he's really selling all this stuff off? Maybe it shouldn't be a surprise, I don't imagine Rickey is really about "things", but still this is a pretty awesome item. For some reason I don't really like guys not having their trophies, but I guess at some level they "lived it", so maybe they don't need the "stuff" as reminders.



A couple other things that I found pretty impressive. BBCE has teased a "monster" for the show, I'd say they delivered. 1952 packs - WOW! They were still there on Friday, so at least for the moment price exceeds demand for unopened.



They also had this set, no idea if the price is right but as a fully graded set collector, it's always impressive to see these in person. And with the centering issues 1957s have, this is a pretty impressive accomplishment. This one will get you tied for 22nd on the set registry. Only 22nd? I'm a little surprised.

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Old 08-02-2019, 10:34 PM
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As for my pickups on Day 1, it was kind of slow going again.

My Astros shirt got a dealer to pull this out. I have tons of Clemens autos since he's a local, but for $40 I just couldn't say no. If nothing else this will go to a charity auction. But considering what he charges, and I got a ball holder out of it, might have been the best deal of the show for me.



As I said before, I collect a little of everything. This one was priced well, got a little more off the asking price and was an easy deal.



Other than this, my day was going slow and I was starting to feel discouraged. I experienced similar issues on Thursday as I had on Wednesday with mid-grade T206s primarily - every dealer seemed to be wanting to set the new highest price for the grade for every Hall of Famer, regardless of pose or back combo. I definitely appreciate these cards have been on the move, some seem white hot even. But not every one is "high end" for the grade, and at some level just about all of them have nice eye appeal in some way.

To address an earlier comment in the thread, I understand sellers can ask whatever they want and I agree some of the dealers are using these as "show off" cards to get people to look. I do that with some of my cards myself. But I can also say that when I asked about these other cards, the prices generally reflected a similar idea - way overpriced and probably looking for a counter. In my opinion, that plan really only works if the range from the average to the asking price is narrow enough to invite a counter. 40-50% over VCP for most non-rare cards isn't close enough and I'm sure there are other like me who just move on. As a dealer myself sometimes, this is an area that is tough to deal with on hot cards. However, for just about all dealers the overwhelming number of cards that are out are NOT hot cards - which is why we end up seeing many of these same cards year after year after year. I could point out a dozen dealers who have much of the same inventory they did in Atlantic City for instance. I don't view that as a good thing as a dealer, but maybe I'm missing something.

Another comment I've heard from dealers is how much they spent to get there and setup. Well, I spent a lot of money to fly up and get a hotel, etc. In my view, the only difference in "cost" is the table cost - we all have costs to be at the show however we're there - dealer or collector - or realistically some version of both for most? That's not to say that I expect the dealers to offer me a "deal" so I can flip cards to pay for my trip. You should try and get the best price you can for yours cards no matter what. What I do expect to find, though, is fair pricing. I don't think I'm telling folks anything they don't already know, but the "internet" basically made everyone a "dealer". It equalized the playing field in some respects in terms of knowledge and access, and that genie can't go back in the bottle now. I'm sure there are still people who do it, but I don't know why anyone would take $250 for a card they can sell on eBay or otherwise for $350, just because a dealer paid a table fee. That model is now broken - forever - and I think the people who get it have adapted and can continue to do well, and those that don't are very likely going to struggle.

Last edited by bounce; 08-02-2019 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:38 PM
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Anyway, with all that in mind...as I said I was getting late in the day when this happened...



Just when I was about to lose hope for the day, a very nice stack of cards just kind of fell my way, and ultimately made my show to be honest. Great conclusion to a solid Day 1.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:45 PM
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Thanks for posting these write ups David. I appreciate all the perspectives I can get since I won't be there.

Congrats on that Banks. I agree 100% on the centering as well. Much better to shade towards the bottom on that card.

Oh snap! Just saw your addendum. Big time congrats!!

Last edited by DeanH3; 08-02-2019 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:45 PM
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And now for Day 2 (Friday). After the close of Thursday, I'm not really sure what could happen today to top it. There are only a few specific cards on my really really want list, and some of those aren't really expensive or rare or whatever, so I knew going in that today could just be pretty chill.

I should have taken a few more pictures, and I started out with good intentions but I just got into "looking mode" and the day just kind of passed me by.

I was a little more focused on non-card stuff today, and these really caught my eye. This dealer has been there every year I can remember, and the selection seems pretty off the charts. Again, getting a bunch together like this just emphasizes how neat they are.




I also ran across these, and they are just way bigger in person than you can even imagine. It's hard to imagine a human foot could even be this size, the damn things are bigger than my chest.



Back to cards, I'm familiar withe Wagner but had never seen these others in person. I've always thought the Wagner looked kind of funny, but next to these other two maybe I kind of "get it" a little better now. Not sure how rare Laj and Matty are, but assume it must be pretty rare since I'd never seen or noticed them before.



I also thought this was a really solid selection of cards.



And my favorite sign of the show so far...he had another one that said "don't care about your eBay fees", I told him that one wasn't as good to me but this one works.

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Old 08-02-2019, 11:01 PM
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As for my Day 2 pickups? ZIP. Got shut out today. I was close on 3-4 buys, mostly modern stuff but there were a couple T206s and a couple mid 50s RCs. Just couldn't quite close the gap, which I'm sure was some holdover from my spending the day before. But I've got today's cards on a list, and tomorrow is my last day at the show so I might make a final pass on each and see if I can get that final budge. If not, no big deal - I have a nice haul heading home. But hey - it can always be better, right?

All was not lost. To close out the day, I went to the Net54 dinner. I had not been in previous years, but I think I may just make this part of my annual trip. Here's a shot of the room.



It seemed pretty well attended, and I was surprised by how few "dealers" there were - most were collectors which I wasn't necessarily expecting. Sat with some folks I didn't know, and had some talk about cards. My table mates actually collected some rare stuff which I knew nothing about, so it was fun hearing from them about those cards and why they collected them and where they find them, etc. Totally different part of the hobby than I'm in, but the chase and their friendships and stories came through - it was really nice to hear that stuff, great reminder that this should be fun!

Also, Josh Evans from Lelands was one of the speakers. I appreciate that he got up in the front of the room and took questions, thought he did a nice job. It seems clear to me that everyone, collectors and companies alike, are all still trying to figure out how to balance hobby and business, ethics and responsibilities, and how to help find a way to root out the bad actors. There are no easy answers to a lot of these questions, but I remain hopeful that we can all keep a spotlight on some of these issues long enough to get an appropriate response and ultimately change in behavior from some of the "hobby leaders" (whether self-appointed or earned over time). I really think "transparency" is going to be the buzz word for the foreseeable future, as it should be and should have been for a long time. I think as "collectors" that is the demand we should be putting on the "businesses" and each other. How that ultimately comes together to impact "provenance" I think will be a real key to whether anything really changes or if this is the just the next in line of continuing hobby scandals. The FBI is definitely involved, we'll see if there's enough economic impact to keep them involved.

Anyway, Day 2 is now in the books. I'll be back late tomorrow or Sunday for Day 3 summary and final wrap. Hope you enjoy.
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:54 AM
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Anyway, with all that in mind...as I said I was getting late in the day when this happened...



Just when I was about to lose hope for the day, a very nice stack of cards just kind of fell my way, and ultimately made my show to be honest. Great conclusion to a solid Day 1.
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Old 08-03-2019, 07:49 AM
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David, I really love these posts (thank you), especially this year since I am not there. Those Cobbs you picked up are awesome - that;s a year's work in a day. Well done. Great point about the cost of attendees vs the cost of dealers -- we all need to commute, pay for meals, and hotels, etc., which we need to capitalize into the cost of cards we may buy, just like dealers with cards they sell.

I am looking forward to the next installment.

Ryan
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:16 AM
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did not know you arenít at the National. Seems hard to believe.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:59 AM
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Didnít work out this year. But now that itís going on, I am having major Fomo. But I was able to pick this up at the National, even though I am in North Carolina (thanks to some friends keeping an eye out).
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:09 AM
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FO∑MO

/ˈfōmō/

noun INFORMAL
noun: FOMO

anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.

"I realized I was a lifelong sufferer of FOMO"

(Ryan, nice pick ups).
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  #28  
Old 08-03-2019, 09:45 AM
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Ryan & David fantastic pickups
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:50 AM
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Howard Che.r.n.i.ck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MVSNYC View Post
FO∑MO

/ˈfōmō/

noun INFORMAL
noun: FOMO

anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.

"I realized I was a lifelong sufferer of FOMO"

(Ryan, nice pick ups).

I believe I have FOMO too. I am glad there is now a word for it.
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Old 08-03-2019, 10:06 AM
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FOBVRO you guys mean!
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  #31  
Old 08-03-2019, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bounce View Post

They also had this set, no idea if the price is right but as a fully graded set collector, it's always impressive to see these in person. And with the centering issues 1957s have, this is a pretty impressive accomplishment. This one will get you tied for 22nd on the set registry. Only 22nd? I'm a little surprised.

Based on the flip numbers visible in the photo you provided it looks like itís set #21 on the Registry. Looks like there are two PSA 8.5 commons showing in the Registry that broke the tie.
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Old 08-03-2019, 11:17 AM
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Great posts David, thanks for sharing. I will be the oddball and say, that Clemens ball is awesome. That style is my favorite autograph of his.
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Old 08-03-2019, 12:28 PM
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I love your Banks rookie. And yes, you're right, most of them are nearly miscut (at the top).

Here is mine I recently got in a trade:

I cracked it out and submitted it to PSA, and it came back a 4 VG-EX.
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Old 08-03-2019, 02:43 PM
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Terrific
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
I cracked it out and submitted it to PSA, and it came back a 4 VG-EX.
That's a helluva nice looking '4' then.
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  #36  
Old 08-08-2019, 09:42 PM
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All was not lost. To close out the day, I went to the Net54 dinner. I had not been in previous years, but I think I may just make this part of my annual trip. Here's a shot of the room.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/Pxd2r6gl.jpg[/omg

It seemed pretty well attended, and I was surprised by how few "dealers" there were - most were collectors which I wasn't necessarily expecting. Sat with some folks I didn't know, and had some talk about cards. My table mates actually collected some rare stuff which I knew nothing about, so it was fun hearing from them about those cards and why they collected them and where they find them, etc. Totally different part of the hobby than I'm in, but the chase and their friendships and stories came through - it was really nice to hear that stuff, great reminder that this should be fun!

Bounce, it was nice to met you. I enjoyed listening about your collection and travels throughout Texas. I struck out on finding a 1962 Ford Motor Company Detroit Tigers postcard. But like you mentioned itís the chase of finding these oddball items.
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