The National opens its doors to the common man on Thursday morning in Chicago, Illinois. Whether you are at the show or tracking pics and video on social media, be sure to keep your eyes open for a few people that you will definitely see at the hobby’s signature event.
Art the Grizzled Hobby Veteran
Art has been in the hobby for over 40 years, and always gets his National visits confused. He finally joined blowout forums last year, and is laughing his ass off about the grading scandal, because he has known since 1999 that the grading companies “were full of %$@#.” He has more ungraded Mantles than you have base Luka’s. At approximately age 65, his only concern is upgrading his checklists for his 1965 and 1967 Topps sets.
Tony Let’s Make a Deal
He would have been successful at anything he put his mind to as long as it involved talking at a fast pace, was cash-only, and jogging suit friendly. He loves (insert big city team) and can always be counted on to turn a nickel into fifteen cents. If you walk up to his table and he offers you the “best deal at the National,” just know that he is about to make a 40% margin.
Brian with the Beard
He is an early 30s hipster that got into the hobby after listening to a Gary Vee podcast. He will be relatively easy to spot, because he will be wearing a toboggan despite it being 80 degrees all week in Chicago. You will get stuck behind him at a table while he is looking at a card, because he will be unable to complete a transaction without checking the sold history on eBay.
Dave the Dad
He collected in the 80s and loved it, and is so thankful that 11-year old Dave Junior has expressed interest in the hobby. He will be buying his son 3-5 graded rookies of his favorite players hoping that it will hold off the sway of Pokemon cards and Topps Bunt. Yes, he will be holding a rolled up Beckett.
Steve & Brittany
Dealers have no idea how to treat Brittany. Is she a collector? Is she tagging along? Regardless of the circumstance, the dealers will treat Brittany awkwardly and affirm her belief that her husband is the only cool guy in the entire hobby. Steve on the other hand is delivering an Oscar performance all weekend. He visits some of his favorite dealers while acting like he spends approximately $20 per month on cards. He is banking on Brittany going shopping on Friday. That is the day that his PayPal transaction count will look like a South Side Chicago police ticker.
BigWaxy33 on Twitter & Instagram
BigWaxy got back into the Hobby after a 17-year hiatus. He made some ill-advised eBay purchases in his first 6 months, but since then has “figured it out” and created his own eBay store. He has not completed any necessary business paperwork, and has no idea if he has made a dime, but is happy as hell to be doing it. You also might see him in every Facebook card group.
Phil the Collector
He is part of that rare breed in the hobby that has absolute zero intention of making money. He builds sets and collects Charlie Blackmon and David Peralta because they helped him win his fantasy league in 2017. He just hit a Nathan Burns auto in Ginter, and sold it for $800 feeling like he just won the lottery. He is your favorite guy to talk to at your local card store.
Charlie the Breaker
Charlie is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and confident he and his fellow breakers saved the hobby – and he might be right. He considers every big hit he pulls for someone part of his personal collection. His day job performance really suffers on delivery days, because he spends half of his time refreshing FedEx tracking and bird-dogging his Nest front door cam to make sure his boxes don’t get stolen. He feels absolutely ZERO guilt for beating you to every First Off the Line release. Trust us, he has been burned on a few.
We hope to see you at the National. We would appreciate your follow on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook - @UdogCollect. Underdog is a new show host and online sports collectibles retailer based in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Should you sell VLADDY JR? Read last week's Buy, Sell, Hold at: https://bit.ly/2OFruhc