With all the excitement surrounding the National, it reminds me of the fact that...I CAN'T GO!! Jealousy runs rampant in the hobby and I am not immune to it's wicked stranglehold.
It seems like so many bloggers out there will be meeting up at some point or another and this is a great opportunity for faces to be put with names. Plus, it is always fun to do some trading in person rather than over the interwebs and through the mail. All I know is next year's in Chicago will not be missed, nor 2013 or 2015. Hmmm? Why is it that every odd year is in Chicago while the even years are moved around? Weird.
In years past, I have always been big on the promotions that were offered by many of the vendors at the show. I remember going to my first National that was held at McCormick Place in Chicago back in 1993. I still have many of the promotional items that were given out over the three days that year including...
- an 8x10 photo of Shaq in his Orlando Magic "uniform"
- the Eric Karros Ultra Pro cards that were given out at their booth and in "grab bags". Ah, the hot pink border...so rarely used these days.
- a Fred Flintstone in a 49ers jersey card. I'm not sure what that came from
- a pile of motorcycle cards that have a border straight off a Trapper Keeper from 1989
- postcards from Topps that show both the Rockies and the Marlins
- Topps Finest Promo cards /5000
- an uncut sheet of Stadium Club cards
- a ton of "sell sheets" from various card manufacturers and supply dealers. I don't know why I thought these were cool back then.
I still remember some stuff I bought too...Two wax boxes of 1990-91 Upper Deck Hockey, One box of 1991-92 Upper Deck High Series Hockey, One box of 1989 Donruss Baseball, One box of 1990 Topps Baseball, One box of 1990 Score Football, One box of 1991 Upper Deck Football, a bunch of singles, a card album which I still have, Two boxes of pages which I still have most of, and some card holders which I don't know if I still have but that maybe all the ones I've been finding lately with the yellowish tint. I also remember getting almost run over by Mario Lemieux and his body guards enroute to his autograph signing table (that was awesome).
This year has some cool promotions too. Check it out.
-Apparently, they are advertising that kids under 12 are free all week long. That is great for families trying to find something fun for the weekend. Also, Sunday is Family Day so a group of 4 gets in for $25.
-Anyone going to the Wednesday "sneak peek" will get free Orioles tickets. Coincidentally, anyone not going can also get free tickets because the O's can't sell the ones they have for the game anyway.
-Wrestling fans will be thrilled with the opportunities from TNA. For $130 you get 15 wrestling personalities autographs, a box of TNA Icons, and 4 pictures taken with Kurt Angle, RVD, Mick Foley, and others.
-Tristar, Upper Deck, Topps, Panini, and Press Pass all have wrapper redemption programs at their respective booths. These promo items include anything from free singles, limited edition sets, Million Card Giveaway codes, autographs, and other memorabilia.
-Even the blogs and forums are getting into it too. FreedomCardboard has a booth with three free auto guests. On Friday, Junichi Tazawa of the Boston Red Sox will be signing, Saturday is Dirk Hayhurst of the Toronto BlueJays, and Sunday is Josh Bell, a prospect in the O's system.
I hope everyone has fun and I can't wait to read about it on all the blogs.