2005 Sweet Spot #106 Ryan Zimmerman RC
I'm feeling a slight twinge of jealousy right now.
Why? Posts about "The National" have been rolling in lately, and I can't stop reading them.
I've already heard that the big attic find in Ohio was on display at the show this year. That would've been quite the treat to see in person.
And how about not one, not two, but four '52 Mantles on display at the same table? Should I ever strike it big one day, I'd probably buy one.
I also saw that a certain Storage Wars member was signing at the show, which is a little odd considering it's defined as a "sports card convention". (I can't help but wonder how many people shouted "YUUUP!" at him.)
All the daily reports are fine and dandy, but I can't wait to see the cards that fellow bloggers brought home with them.
I'll be especially jealous if anyone posts their "bargain bin" finds.
All things considered, I probably shouldn't be as envious as I am. I've been fortunate enough to attend the National twice already, including last year's show.
While it was great looking at all the specialties the big convention held, I still treated it like any other show.
Honestly, I could've cared less what was going on at the Topps-sponsored booth or whatever they were giving away.
I was still on the hunt for dime boxes, as usual.
Since my budget wasn't as expansive as it has been for the last few shows I attended, my vintage "finds" took a back seat at least year's National. (Although there was still some great bargain vintage to be found.)
The sheer quantity of dime boxes was about the same as most of the other "big" shows I'd attended in the past.
The quality, however, was a whole other story.
Call me "Captain Obvious", but I love any dime box that nets me a few new cards for my collection. That being said, there are certain levels to the "finds" themselves.
Every dime box I dug through at the National seemed to be of the upper echelon.
At one point, I found a Nomar Garciaparra parallel (numbered to just 40 copies) for a dime. Since "book value" is the name of the game on my trading forum, I managed to "flip" it for the same amount in return.
A whole 25 bucks' worth of cardboard. (According to Beckett, at least.)
The Sly Stone-like '72 Oscar Gamble card popped out of the very same dime box, one of the first great additions to my Gamble collection. (I nabbed his '73 issue for a quarter a few minutes later.)
Then there was the dime box that contained one of my first cards of "The Phenom". (Which turned out to be even less than a dime, since I got around 170 cards for ten bucks.)
However, the unquestioned "king of the dime boxes" was actually the first one that I looked through that day, if memory serves me right.
Technically, it wasn't a dime box. It was even better than that. A 12-for-a-dollar box.
I've already told the tale of a few of my all-time greatest discount box finds, which came from this very table. A stack of the hallowed '99 SI Greats of the Game cards found their way into my collection that day, all for about eight cents each.
While there were plenty of "legends" on display in that particular discount box, cards from the recent generation were also well-represented.
I ended up purchasing about 200 cards from those fantastic 12/$1 boxes. Putting the '99 Sports Illustrated cards aside, I'd have to rank this Ryan Zimmerman rookie as perhaps the best "find" of the day.
I've always been a huge Ryan Zimmerman fan, which means that I'm always on the lookout for any cards of his. Back when I was a little more frivolous with my spending habits, I shelled out around five bucks for his 2005 Topps Update rookie card.
Because of that, you can imagine how shocked I was when another Zimmerman rookie card fell out of a 12/$1 box, this time from the overlooked "Sweet Spot" set. Ironically, it's even cooler than the one that cost me five dollars.
I guess it's fitting that one of my best finds of "The National" would be of a member of the Nationals.
Look at how many discount-box memories the simple term "National" conjures up for me. Can you blame me for being a little jealous? (Although I am really looking forward to seeing what this year's convention held for all the bloggers who attended.)
Maybe I should look on the bright side. The National comes back to Chicago next year.
Let the countdown begin.