Readership is down, comments are down (nobody loves Jackie), the pace of posts are down, and every time I hop online someone is talking about traveling there, seeing that or drinking this.
So I'm not going to knock myself out the next two days. Besides, nothing can compare to what's flashing across the screen direct from The National.
It's been kind of fun on Twitter the last few days getting reports from the lucky few who are there. Lots of buzz about cardboard, both good and bad. Information. Ranting. And plenty of pretty pictures. SOOOOO many pretty pictures.
The pictures are where my interests lie. What is Topps going to do about redemptions? Who is autographing next? Why is the VIP line already starting? I don't care about that. I want to gawk at cards.
I know I can't afford the vast majority of what is there. But even when I'm at a regular, old card show -- and I've mentioned this before -- I like to stand next to the glass cases of '50s Dodgers or tobacco cards just in case an airplane flies overhead and accidentally spills a pallet of cash through the roof of the convention hall. I'll be ready.
So I've been gawking from afar on my computer. But I know that not only are some of you not on vacation and not at The National, but you're not on Twitter either. So I'm going to show some of my favorite photos from the NSCC, courtesy of the fine folks who took them. I hope they don't mind.
Most of these are from @ThoseBackPages who also writes The Diabetic Card & Comic Geek.
If you ask me, he's the star of this National. Not only does he take a lot of pictures, but he seems to know exactly what I want to see.
This is a panoramic view of the show floor that he took. Looks pretty much like every other show, except with more stuff.
Here is one of those glorious '50s and '60s cases, also taken by @ThoseBackPages. I'm proud to say I have a couple of these. And I have my eyes on a couple others. Of course, none of my cards are graded. I'm too touchy-feely for that.
Moving on from the '60s into the '70s, also from @ThoseBackPages. I'm fortunate to own quite a few of these cards. And also fortunate to know that the ones that I don't own, I'm really not all that interested in owning.
Which pre-war set am I the most interested in obtaining? You're looking at it. I don't anticipate ever coming close to completing the set or even having one card. But I thank @ThoseBackPages for indulging me.
It's funny how ingrained some of these cards are in our brain yet we never have a real chance of obtaining them.
Graded packs from the '70s and '80s!!! This is from @Project1962, who you will be happy to know got '73 Topps cards signed by Bob Gibson and Carlton Fisk.
My eyes went right to the cello '75 packs that are dead center. Cesar Cedeno! Keith Hernandez rookie! I opened a few of those in '75. And there are the '75 wax and '75 mini wax packs next to them.
The '80s wax packs don't mean that much to me. In fact it seems weird to have them graded. I suppose there's the Gwynn and Boggs rookies in '83, but really, why?
This picture was taken by @yanxchick. I'm sure you know her as Sooz, former A Cardboard Problem blogger and now an editor at Beckett.
Holy Grails like this card are a prerequisite for the largest card show of the year. But walking around in a place that has armed guards would make me a little nervous. (A '52 Mantle, by the way, was reportedly stolen at The National this week, too).
If I were to go to The National, I would most likely get what I'd get at any other card show, vintage needs, Dodgers and assorted oddballs. I suppose if I was going to travel a long way to get there, I'd feel obligated to pick of something I couldn't get at another show.
Perhaps something like this:
That was a card nabbed by @ThoseBackPages. Isn't that fantastic?
I told you he was the star of The National.
As for the rest of the stuff there, I'm not really interested in the exclusives, the mojo raffles or putting the bigwigs on the spot. Although, I admit the Q and A with Topps yesterday was interesting to me as someone who is a sportswriter. And this question got the biggest laugh out of me:
But really, I'm happy to have saved my money and merely watched the proceedings from the comfort of my home.
Many thanks to all that are/were there and took a moment to take pictures and describe the festivities.
Maybe I'll get there someday. Cleveland is a lot closer than Chicago.
In the event I do get there, I hope I'll have enough focus to send pictures and tweets out to you all.