While the crowd yesterday seemed pretty good, today's crowd seemed even larger. The room seemed awfully crowded by 10 a.m. I had a smattering of sales early then made a break for the cafeteria where I chowed on some bacon, eggs and sausage. The 2013 National seems to be the year of the Expoteria for me. I've been eating in that cafeteria each day. The food in the cafeteria is soooo much better than the food at the snack bars. New this year is a full bar near the snack bar. I saw a few guys drinking cocktails early on.
After breakfast, three brothers from Madison, Wisconsin, spent a good chunk of time going through my stuff and making some nice purchases, including both of my 1953 Bowman Color Larry Dobys, my 1956 Topps Pee Wee Reese PSA 4, and a bunch of old Milwaukee Braves cards. Thanks guys! Madison was an early theme for me today. Tim from Madison arrived shortly after the brothers and made his usual large-group purchase. Thanks Tim! Tim also brought a friend by who picked up a bunch of cards out of my 25-cent box, some 1961 Topps baseball, and my 1955 Topps Duke Snider and Gil Hodges. Thanks new customer whose name I already forgot!!
The next group of customers all seemed to be from Ohio. I sold a bunch of Cincinnati cards to several guys. Kevin from Cleveland came by twice to purchase large piles of 1975 Topps baseball. Thanks Kevin! Chris for the Orland shows was around early on and picked up a nice pile of 1960 Topps. I also saw Steve, a dealer from the Orland show, walking around. Another Orland customer also named Steve was there as well. A few other well-known faces from Orland stopped by. I, of course, can't remember their names. I'm lucky I remember my own name. Old age is settling in.
A couple of guys from New York picked up a bunch of 1959 Topps baseball. They were very concerned about the A-Rod situation. They were asking if I heard any news as to whether he's been suspended. Sales were pretty steady most of the morning. I can't remember everyone who came by or what I sold. Freakin' alzheimers!
Our groupie Steve showed up around 1 p.m. with a couple pounds of locally made Polish sausage. Steve stopped at a neighborhood store before the show, picked up the sausage, some fresh baked bread and some fragrant pickles, then cooked up the sausage and brought it out to the show. OH MY GOD! It took me an hour and a half to eat the best Polish sausage I have ever tasted. Our booth was stinking badly of polish sausage and pickles for the longest time. See sandwich pictured below.
Overall, sales weren't quite as strong as yesterday but still pretty good. I'm having a nice show and am on pace to beat my sales total from the last National I attended in 2010. Other familiar faces I saw today include my old friend from junior high, Ross Foreman, then Gary, a flea market dealer, and Larry B., who was sporting a sweet Nolan Ryan Astros jersey. Speaking of jerseys, the most popular jersey today seemed to be the one from the Bad News Bears movie from the 1970s featuring the "Chico's Bailbonds" sponsor on the back. Lots of guys brought out there wives and girlfriends today. It's nice to actually see some women at a show. Lot's of kids around today, as well, which I think is very important to keep the hobby alive for many generations to come. Also, the girth factor didn't seem as high today, though there were a couple of guys sporting some super-sized models.
One customer got angry at me in the morning because I had taped my binders to the table. He wanted to pick up my 1970 Topps binder and look at it on an angle to avoid the glare from the overhead lights. I tried to explain to him why I taped the binder but he sneered, walked away, and barked, "Next time don't set up under lights!" That was a new one on me. Nobody has ever complained that there was too much light. Usually, they're annoyed that the lighting is poor. All the rest of the customers today were pleasant.
Another great day on the buying front. Jeremy from Virginia sold me a nice grouping of 1959 Fleer Ted Williams cards. Thanks Jeremy! My tablemate Dave brought me a bunch of 1958s. My other tablemate, the other Tony, sold me a shoe box of goodies. Then I made a small purchase of cards from a random customer, featuring five different Ernie Banks, a few Willie Mays, Hank Aarons and a 1959 Topps Roger Maris. Tim sold me some 1961 Topps baseball and his friend traded me a 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle. Thanks guys!! I also wandered the room late in the afternoon and picked up a couple of old autographed postcards, including a 1934 Bob Boken, who played that one year for the White Sox and a 1952 Bob Romazotti of the Cubs. The show box of purchases is pictured below. Also pictured below is a Babe Ruth cancelled check that a customer had authenticated at the PSA booth today and brought by for show and tell. That Ruth check is cool!!!
I was relieved at the end of the day to find that nothing was stolen. At the 2010 National, it was the Friday show where my binder was stolen. Unfortunately, a few guys late in the afternoon were talking about some thefts. One dealer had a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle stolen from his display case. I also heard that a 1951 Bowman Mantle was stolen from a display case. Another dealer had some basketball cards stolen. If any dealers are reading this blog, be on alert tomorrow. It looks like there is a group of thieves working the room.
Well, tomorrow is another day. Saturday is usually my busiest day. Based on the crowds we've had thus far, I'm expecting frenzied action tomorrow. Once again, I'm in booth 305 and hope more familiar faces come on by. Pictured below are some more interesting memorabilia I viewed today. Hope to see everyone tomorrow!