2013 National Show
Show Dates: 7/31/2013 – 8/4/2013
Donald E Stephens Convention Center – Rosemont, IL
Wednesday 7/31/2013 4pm-8pm – Day 1 Links & Info
Thursday – Saturday 10am-6pm
Sunday 8/4/2013 10am-5pm
The big show! Hitch a ride and get yourself to Chicago for all the fun at the National Sports Collectors Convention. It’s a fantastic time and well worth it if you can afford to attend.
Below you will find links to information from around the web about the event. Email me if you have questions about going to the NSCC or have links to share on the page: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get NSCC Tickets
National Show Tickets
Official NSCC Site
The National Sports Collectors Convention
How Much Is It?
$20 Advance – $25 Day Of Show
$129 Advance – $139 Day Of Show –
Includes admission to all days. Gift Package. 12 select free autographs. + More+
Super VIP Package:
$179 Advance – $189 Day Of Show –
Includes everything in VIP + Double Gift Package, 18 select free autographs and Free Parking.
All Access VIP Package:
$229 Advance – Includes everything in VIP + First in line privileges to autograph guests. 5 Free TriStar Autograph Authentications and 2 Photo opportunists with autograph guests.
All Access Super VIP Package:
$279 Advance – Includes everything in All Access VIP + Double Gift Bag, 18 select free autographs and Free Parking.
NOTE: VIP guests can get in 30 minuets early which can be helpful if you want a popular wrapper redemption offer or get in line for an early autograph signer.
Autograph Guests – Ticket Prices & Packages
TriStar Authenticated controls the autograph tent at the NSCC show. Be sure to check out their website for all the information regarding scheduled guests as well as pricing. Buying a VIP package will get you some select autographs for free.
If you want to get an autograph but don’t have anything to get signed don’t worry. You can pick up an 8×10 or another item at the TriStar Pavilion or you could purchase something else from the many, many dealers on the show floor. Some of the top autograph signers at the 2013 NSCC are: Roger Clemens, Rickey Henderson, Chipper Jones, Cal Ripken Jr., Bart Starr, Damian Lillard and many more!
Wrapper Redemption & Promotions
If you are looking to get one of the Topps wrapper redemptions, be prepared to stand in line. It might be worth it, they often times have some good incentives to buy at the show and take it to their booth to redeem. Many dealers stand in line before the VIP and public are allowed in. The picture shown is of collectors standing in line 3 hours before the show started on Saturday.
Topps Wrapper Redemptions at 2013 NSCC
8 Card 1952 Bowman Style Wrapper Redemption – Beckett News
Open 5 packs of Topps or Bowman products at the Topps booth and receive ONE card. Booths like DA Card World and Blowout Sports Cards will have plenty of cheap packs to buy and take over to the Topps booth. Be fast! Some players run out quickly at the booth.Checklist: Ernie Banks – Frank Thomas – Mike Trout – Bryce Harper – E.J. Manuel – Geno Smith – Tavon Austin – Eddie Lacy
2013 Bowman Platinum Baseball Wrapper Redemption
Open an entire box (they will just let you rip open the seal of the packs and not go through each card) of 2013 Bowman Platinum Baseball and get a 25 card set serial numbered #/499.
NOTE: Just 100 Sets available per day!
This is why people stand in line. Plan ahead if you want a set.
Topps Gets artist James Henry Smith to design 1952 Bowman Promo Set – Sports Card InfoThere is some good information on the 8 card promo set from Topps on Sports Card Info, including the artists Facebook page where the original details of the set first became known.
Press Pass Wrapper Redemptions at 2013 NSCC
Press Pass Wrapper Redemption – Beckett News – Sports Card Info
Open a box of 2013 Press Pass Racing, Total Memorabilia, Ignite, Redline or Fanfare and get a pack with cards numbered to #/10 or less and a parallel card #/3. Look for special autographs of top drivers.
Upper Deck Wrapper Redemptions at 2013 NSCC
Open 5 packs of either: 2013 SPx Football, 2013 Upper Deck Football (Hobby), 2012-13 SP Authentic Basketball, 2012-13 NHL SP Authentic, 2013 Goodwin Champions.
OR Open 2 Packs of 2012 Fleer Retro Football, 2012-13 NHL Fleer Retro or 2012-13 Fleer Retro Basketball.
Note: PACKS MUST BE PURCHASED FROM A CERTIFIED DIAMOND DEALER AT THE SHOW.
You Get: 1 5 Card Pack.
Thursday Checklist: Rory McIlroy, Mark McGwire, Troy Glaus, Jonathan Toews and Cheyenne Woods.
Friday Checklist: LeBron James, Tony Cingrani, Wayne Gretzky, Tony Gwynn and Brandon Saad.
Saturday Checklist: Tiger Woods, Bobby Hull, Reggie Jackson, Pete Incaviglia and Ken Griffey Jr.
Sunday Checklist: Michael Jordan, Frank Thomas, Patrick Kane, Darryl Strawberry and Jim Abbott.
Look for randomly inserted autograph cards. More information on Upper Deck Wrapper Redemption
VIP Card Sets
If you purchase one of the many VIP National Packages you will get either VIP sets from companies like Topps, Panini, Press Pass and more. Some VIP packages allow you to get two sets.
Press Pass – 5 Card Fan Following Set.
Checklist: Danica Patrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Jimmy Johnson.
Panini America – 6 Card VIP NSCC Set. – More Information Panini Blog
Checklist: E.J. Manuel, Geno Smith, Oscar Tavares, Nail Yakupov + 2 MORE TBA
Upper Deck – 6 Card VIP NSCC Set.
Checklist: Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Tiger Woods, Jonathan Toews, Frank Thomas, LeBron James +MORE TBA+
What To Expect
Expect a great time. You can easily spend all five days there and have a blast. It’s a massive candy store where if you are looking for single cards, you’ll have options from $0.10 cents – Babe Ruth Cut Signatures. All the big auction houses will have memorabilia on display like a Jackie Robinson game used jersey or Michael Jordan’s American Express card. If you like un-opened wax, check out the booths of DA Card World, Blowout Sports, Atlanta Sports Cards and many others that will have very solid deals on new and older products. The booth by Baseball Card Exchange will feature unopened wax and packs from the 1950’s – 1980’s. It’s a trip down memory lane and it can be expensive if you want a rare item.
If you are going you might want to go VIP. You’ll get some free stuff and it’s $20-25 to get in each day anyways. In addition you can get in 30 minuets early which can help with autograph lines and the Topps or Panini wrapper redemption lines.
Getting autographs from the paid guests is not my cup of tea, but it is a popular thing at the National. Some of the prices can be kind of high, but some people treasure that moment to get in front of their favorite athlete. If you get one of the VIP package with the free autographs it can add value and is another reason to go VIP.
I loved going around to each table – which can take an entire day or two at least. It seemed like every dealer had some card that was amazing. I remember asking one dealer how much the PSA 7 Ty Cobb T-206 he had on his table was and he said around $25,000. It was cool to be that close to something worth the value of my condo! There was one dealer in 2012 where everything on his table was $1. I got a graded ITG Hockey patch last year that I sold for $60 that I bought at at that dealers table. Find that guy, he has some gems at his booth.
Prices on cards and boxes can be pretty good and you can find a deal. Just know your stuff before you go and you might want to have a gameplan if you’re thinking about buying a big card. In 2012 I got a Joe Montana PSA/DNA autograph for $40 which I thought was a good deal. Many dealers will knock off some money so don’t be afraid to bargain.
I would recommend staying close to the Convention Center in Rosemont. There are some nicer and more expensive hotels toward the baller area of Chicago but those can be a ways away. On the NSCC website, there are even hotels that have a skywalk to the Convention Center which could make it real nice if you have to lug up a bunch of cards to your room.
Other Stuff That Goes Down
One of the things I really enjoyed in 2012 was going to a couple dinners hosted by people involved in the hobby. One was for online forum Freedom Card Board. The pasta buffet was much needed after a long day on the show floor and you meet some super knowledgeable collectors. Be on the look out for people that have things going on during the after hours of the show. Group Breakers MojoBreak and Layton Sports Cards are planning a joint dinner with customers and those can be a lot of fun.
The Chicago Cubs have home games during the 2013 NSCC and on the August 2nd game against the L.A. Dodgers they will be giving away cards #41-60 in their special Topps Archives promotion. Check out the information at the bottom of the 2013 Topps Archives Baseball for a checklist of the cards to be given away that day. I’ve been to Wrigley and it’s an amazing place. You can usually get cheap tickets on StubHub.
Eat Pizza! Chicago is famous for it’s deep dish style pizza and at the right place it is incredible. If you are on a diet, then you might not be able to eat for three days after indulging in Chicago’s treasure.
Will the Topps Q&A Panel go down again? At past shows Topps will hold a question and answer session with collectors in a conference room at the NSCC location. Last years proved to be informative and a positive thing for the people in attendance. Topps has a sign up sheet on their booth at the show, be sure to get your name in. But you might be able to just walk into the Q&A session, as they didn’t check names last year. They also give away stuff so your odds are decent to win something. Here are some notes from the 2012 Topps Collector Q&A session.
There will be a 25,000 sq foot Olympic Pavilion with memorabilia on display during the 2013 NSCC in Chicago. This will be a must see as you’ll get a look at some rare memorabilia from the history of the Olympic Games. Hopefully they have some 1992 Dream Team stuff, I would love to see a Magic Johnson jersey!
Famous Fabrics will be giving away their Quad Redemption autograph of Beatles members: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Wow. You had to get a special redemption card in one of their past products, but this will be a card they will have on display and you might want to check it out.
Videos From The 2012 National in Baltimore
Baseball Card Exchange
Great Vintage selection of packs & boxesDA Card World
Current Unopened Wax DealsBlowout Sports Cards
Current Unopened Wax Deals Panini America Booth
Popular U.S. Card MakerBench Warmer Cards
Female Trading Card MakerTriStar Merchandise
Get Stuff To Get Autographed Beckett Media
Print Magazine & Card GraderBabe Ruth Autographed Baseball
2012 NSCC Information & Links: Sports Card Radio
2012 NSCC Facebook Photo Gallery: Sports Card Radio Facebook
Will update with video & pictures from the 2013 Chicago show!
What to Bring
Depends on what your after. Don’t worry about card supplies or boxes, there will be many good dealers selling everything from Team Bags to Baseball Bat holders. You need a backpack at least. Some collectors opt for the rolling suitcase approach. Whatever you decide, even if you are only buying a few things you’ll need a place to stuff all the little items you’ll pick up.
CASH. Hopefully lots of it! The ATM’s around the convention center may be tapped out at some point during the show so plan accordingly. Cash is king. There might be a few dealers who can process a credit card or paypal order for you but don’t plan on it.
Probably try to bring in some water or a snack. They will have some places to grab some food, but you’ll want to keep yourself hydrated as you sift through the quarter boxes. It will be a long day on your feet so plan accordingly. Ladies, it’s not a place to wear your designer heels. Guys, wear the shoes that are most comfortable because you will have sore feet at the end of the day anyways.
If you have some stuff that you might want to sell, bring it in. Keep in mind in 2012 I didn’t see a whole lot of dealers looking to buy. I saw a lot more guys ready to buy at the TriStar show in San Francisco in 2013. But don’t let that discourage you. I was buying cards from collectors at the show last year as I was just walking around! Make sure you bring your good stuff and not anything from 1990 Topps.
Future National Shows
The National will return to Chicago every other year through 2019 – Susan Lulgjuraj – Beckett News
2014: Cleveland – 2015: Chicago – 2016: Atlantic City
2017: Chicago – 2018: Cleveland – 2019: ChicagoIn this article on Sports Collectors Daily they talk about the lone trip to Atlantic City in 2016 and also why the National hasn’t come out west to places like San Francisco and Anaheim.