Believe it or not, I did get to the National with a bit of a plan in mind. I had printed out my want lists for everything but this year's cards (they're all over the place, so no sense rushing into the 2012 set finishing just yet) and made my way into the show on Friday.
My standard M.O. when walking into a large card show is always the same. Walk the floor for the first 30-60 minutes and get the "lay of the land". I've been to big shows before (250+ tables) and this method of attacking the show has always worked for me.
I had seen layouts online of the floor plan for the Baltimore Convention Center, and thought nothing of it. Boy, what a mistake that was. I had vastly underestimated the size of the hall, and by the end of the first 45 minutes I had probably walked 2/3 of the hall...and was tired.
I truly learned then what I had read many times before, that you cannot hope to see everything at the National in 1 day. I also wound up collecting a lot more vintage than I expected, largely because after hunting around, the deals on cards from the '64 and '75 Topps sets were just too good to pass up.
The '64 set is my weakness, and this show helped me get some cards that were in pretty decent shape. The first table I hit had commons/semistars for 50% off that were in great condition, mostly in EX-MT. Even the checklist that I found at that table was unmarked and in beautiful shape.
That same table also had some '62s as well, but they weren't in as good condition as the '64s, so I only picked up a handful.
Easily the highlight of day 1 for me at the show was the final table that I hit, where I hunkered down in front of a 2 row "shoebox" that had vintage for 3/$1.
Hot damn. In hindsight, I probably should have bought more from him, but the hour was getting late, and I was getting a little tired after a few hours of walking and digging, so I only bought $10 worth of cards from him.
Here's a handful of '65s that I picked up from that table. The '65 set is something that I've never considered collecting, but it is growing on me....
Here's a sampling of some of the '64 cards that I picked up, the scan is actually a mixed bag of the two different tables that I picked the cards up from:
It's tough to see, but the Grover Powell card in the center is in really good shape, indicative of the first table that I hit. Most of the others were from the 3/$1 table, but still were in OK enough shape to be worth purchasing.
For now, this post is just the start of day 1....still quite a few good cards to show you...
Thanks for reading, Robert