While the excitement builds in the weeks prior to the National, by Day 3, it is all routine. Wake up, drink coffee, get down to Rosemont.
After suffering through the hot-as-hell walkway the past two days, I decided to just walk the street into the convention center. It is a shorter walk and less stifling in the morning. I was the first to arrive at the booth.
My morning booth routine begins with removal of the tarps covering my display cases. Then I unlock the cases and fill all the holes where I sold cards the previous day. I try to get this done before the masses enter the building.
Once again, I watched a monstrous crowd come down the nearby escalators for a couple of hours. Friday, like the past two days, was jam-packed with people. Sales continued fast and furious with Wednesday’s slow sales a distant memory.
My sales outpaced Thursday. My buys were non-existent.
I felt much better Friday morning than I did on Thursday. I did not take any insulin this morning so I did not have to worry about going hypoglycemic. Dave brought me a sandwich.
Now I would like to talk about briefcases and backpacks. This stuff is out of control. I saw more insanely large backpacks than ever before. The problem with briefcases and backpacks in a massive crowd is that those carrying these weapons are completely devoid of any common sense and compassion. They will peg you with their briefcases and backpacks with blinding abandon. It was nearly impossible to walk the show without getting hit with either a briefcase, backpack or both.
Friday, I was at the edge of my booth helping a customer when a guy with both a briefcase and a backpack muscled through the crowd to get at my neighbor’s table. First he hit me in the knee with his briefcase. As I doubled over in pain, he turned around and nailed me in the chest with his backpack. It was a pop, pop, then dizzy dance where I almost hit the ground. The guy did not apologize. None of them ever apologize.
As a result, if it was up to me, both briefcases and backpacks would be banned at the National. Guys are totally irresponsible with these things and will hit you with impunity. This needs to end. No more backpacks and briefcases at the National!
I soldiered on with my numb knee and my bruised chest. It helped that sales were excellent. I hardly sold any T206s on Wednesday and Thursday, but Friday was a different story. I sold a bunch of them along with all sorts of other stuff. Seemed like a lot of folks were asking for 1972 Topps baseball and football high numbers but I did not bring any of the baseball along, big mistake.
I had a little incident while selling T206s. At one point, I had a crowd around my T206 display case. While I was pulling cards out of the case and handing them to customers, some knucklehead came behind my tables and stood next to me. I figured he wanted to get a look at the T206 display case that was covered with people on the other side, so I allowed him to stay behind the table. When he started telling all my customers that he had T206’s in his backpack that were for sale, I chased him out of the booth. I paid $1,300 for the right to sell cards at the booth. Go get your own booth! The guy is lucky he walked away with his teeth. I was ready to knock him out!
I do not mind folks walking up to my booth and offering to sell me cards, but when they start pulling customers away from my display cases in an attempt to sell their own cards, that is where I draw the line. Only I have the right to sell cards at my booth, no one else. Dave did not think it was a big deal but the guy was not pulling Dave’s customers away from his display cases, he was pulling my customers out of the booth and away from my display cases. I will fight to the death with anyone who attempts to pull customers out of my booth to sell them cards. Again, go get your own booth! This one is mine!!
Thankfully, the customers at my T206 display case ignored the guy and purchased cards from me. I can’t believe what a dooshbag that guy was. I was in a foul mood after that. Yet, continued good sales changed my mood. Though, I got tired in the afternoon, too tired to walk around. This may be the first National where I did not walk around and explore. I was pretty much tied to the booth the whole time.
Once again, I saw all sorts of friendly faces on Friday. Big Paul came by early on but I was much too busy to chat. Sorry Paul. Great to see you! Scott S. came by and purchased my 1950 Bowman Ted Williams. Thanks Scott! I saw Donny and Anthony. Love those guys! Tom D. came by early with some modern Ernie Banks autograph cards to sell. I just don't do modern. I saw many, many others. Sorry, my memory is foggy. Thanks for stopping by!!!
After the show, PJ and I again ventured to the square behind the parking garage. This time we decided to hit the Park Tavern. The hostess told us the wait would be about 40 minutes. We saw an open table and sat down. After a while, a waitress kicked us out of the table and we moved to another empty table.
The waitress eventually served us at the second table. She was sassy! I had an ice cold Lagunitas IPA which hit the spot. PJ had a Heineken. To eat, I had a cup of chili and some hot wings. PJ went with the roasted chicken again. My food was awesome.
Like Thursday, the parking lot was empty after dinner and I had an easy exit and drive home. Day three in the books.
Before I get to my Day 4 blog, I want to let you know that I am taking the next weekend off — August 12 & 13. I’ll be at the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, Michigan, on Saturday, celebrating my main man Mr. Cigar’s 50th Birthday. Happy Birthday Mr. Cigar!
I’ll next be set up on August 20 in Orland Park. I am probably bringing display cases to that one, as I am way behind on reloading the binders as usual. I am slowly but surely working on reloading my 1970 Topps baseball binder. I hope to have it done by the September 2 Oak Creek show. If anyone wants to see any binders in Orland, let me know beforehand.
A huge thank you to everyone that came by my booth Friday at the National. There sure was a lot of you and I appreciate it!
I was pretty excited Friday when Robert Plant, pictured below right, arrived at the booth. Who woulda thunk that he was working on the 1960 Fleer baseball set.