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Tony Kozelichki
08-06-2011, 01:03 AM
I attended the National on Thursday. I've been to every Chicago and St. Louis Nationals, but have never been to other markets.

First impression... this one is smaller than other Chicago shows.

At the last Chicago National, my son and I were unable to make it through in one day. I attended alone this year as my son was working and leaves for college this weekend. Not only was I able to scan every table, I was able to get through twice.

I would describe the crowd as consistent with what I've seen for opening days in years past. One of the bonuses of attending on Thursday is not having to fight to get from table to table. Saturdays have always been packed in Chicago, so I've tried to avoid that day, in particular.

I did not get any autographs. While the signing lineup is impressive, there was not a single athlete in attendance who fit my collecting interests (namely Chicago Cubs and I've had great success in past years acquiring autos at the Cubs Convention for free).

I went looking for some specific 69 Cubs needs. I'm three shy of having a complete set of Tasco Cubs posters from that year. Found Adolfo Phillips ($6) but still need Bill Hands and Ken Holtzman. I could not find a complete set of 69 Milton Bradley, but probably could have pieced together a set as several dealers had singles available. I would also pay for a complete team set of MLB Photostamps, but did not see one available. With the latter two being inexpensive, I'll probably try to trade for them once I finish my attic later this fall and get back into the trading game.

I picked up an Old Style beer sponsored 75th Anniversary Wrigley Field print ($30) that will hang in the attic's entry, and two mid 70's Chicago Bulls team posters that will go in the stairwell leading to the attic (Mike Mosier of Columbia City Collectibles has some great stuff, but is pricey. I got these for $10 each. I couldn't touch a couple of Banks and Santo items that he had, as the lowest priced were $400). A Ryne Sandberg Hartland show exclusive from a few years back was only $5. I need three 69 OPC Cubs and couldn't find a single dealer with O-Pee-Chee cards.

Found a 52 Sport magazine with Hank Sauer on the cover for $3. Other than that, there wasn't much that caught my eye.

In fact, I would say I was generally disappointed in the National. Yes, there is a ton of high end stuff, but much of it is display only by auction houses. Lots of graded cards for sale, but I don't collect graded items. Too many low end dealers with unsorted boxes of singles. I don't have time to go digging. The card companies were there where you could acquire their promo sets by opening packs and boxes. I don't do that.

Overall, much less Cubs stuff than at the March and November Mounted Memories shows, but that's to be expected as the National doesn't automatically mean dealers from all over the country are going to load up on Chicago stuff just because it's in Chicago. Plus, many overprice their Chicago stuff when they only come in once every three years for the National.

Eight hours of walking and I didn't do much to attack my 69 Cubs collection, but I'm still glad I went.

Hope others post their impressions of National in the coming days.

David K.
08-06-2011, 10:10 PM
Thanks for your review of the National! Last National for me was Anaheim in 2006! Best regards, David

Dilferules
08-07-2011, 01:12 PM
Thanks for your review, I hope other people can post their thoughts. I've only been to one National but I love searching through those boxes you don't like, so I had a great time.
Richard