That Sports Spectacular Show that was held a couple weekends ago at the D.E.S. Convention Center in Rosemont was not definitely not what it was cracked up to be. Not by a long shot. But, nonetheless, I still was able to find some cool things to add to the old collection.
A few observations (some of which have already been made by other bloggers):
1. They didn't have the show in the normal spot. It was downstairs in one of the back halls. The room was large enough to fill with all the dealers and still have plenty of room for the endless list of Tri-Star sponsored signing guests. But, many of those tables were either empty, taken up by memorabilia and "art" dealers, or in such disarray that it was pointless to even bother looking. Plus my three favorite dealers were also there...the guy with the plastic over his tables so no one can touch anything and a sign that reads "DON'T PUT HANDS UNDER THE PLASTIC"; the guy with the laptop and no pricing on anything and when you ask him, everything is Beckett Hi Value or HIGHER; and the guys with the two boxes full of National Treasures, The Cup, and UD Black autos that you can't afford and three glass cases full of "Hot Packs".
2. Quarter boxes are all the rage and many dealers at this show took full advantage. These tables were everywhere and if you had the time, energy, and patience to give them a whirl, deals were to be had at every turn. That is, if you could actually get to a table. The popularity of these has grown to the point where every 400lb, ripped t-shirt wearing, "comic book guy" looking dude with dirty hair and extreme body odor pulled up a chair and parked themselves for hours. Surprisingly, I did manage a few go-rounds at a couple tables and I'll post those later.
3. As much as I love my kids, taking both of them to one of these shows is very difficult when you want to "window shop". Patience is not one of their strong suits to say the least. But overall, they did quite well, especially after we found the $1 Starting Line Up guy. Who would have thought that a Steve Bedrosian SLU could give such entertainment.
4. Trading is still, by far, my favorite part of the show. These Chicago-land shows afford me the opportunity to trade with a few guys (some bloggers, some not) that never fail to surprise me when we sit down at a table to swap. So far, there have pretty much been four of us that regularly frequent these shows and use this as our opportunity to unload what others want and save on postage at the same time. I was able to land some interesting stuff this time too which I may or may not post about.
5. I mentioned before that many dealers, especially regulars, were absent at this show. That wasn't good if you were planning on buying wax. Normally there are five or six dealers with a large supply of unopened boxes and cases. This time, I only counted three with more than a handful of product. I'm going to pin that on the fact that the National is coming up quickly and many guys are saving their wares for that show.
The autograph ticket was quite impressive, especially if you are a fan of Chicago sports. But even while at the show, many cancellation announcements were made for guests that were scheduled to be there. Something about that doesn't sit right with me when I pretend in my mind that I am an auto hound. A promoter plans a show as big as this (not National size but definitely not your Sunday afternoon swap meet either) with an autograph guest list as extensive as this was, pre-sells a ton of tickets, including pre-sold autos, and we find out five minutes before line up time that the guest isn't coming? It just seems strange that these are last minute cancellations. I would think these things are firmed up all the way up to "game time". But what do I know?
I'm going to stretch out the posts of what I added to my collection but I suppose I can start out with a bang. Here are a couple oldies, but goodies for sure and my three new favorite cards that I own. (Don't get to excited because my favorite cards change at the drop of a hat.) From the 1971-72 Topps set, I give you...