Report from The Baltimore National

Reporting from Baltimore at the National.

It’s been hot, darn hot, and then there are the Orioles having fun under their new manager, with a bonafide winning streak under Showwalter. But back to the National.

If you want it straight, the traffic is pretty good for the return to the National, but dealers are saying the actual buying, especially lots of money, is not where they’d like it to be. Wednesday was the sneak peak night that say decent traffic flow, but Thursday was really good in the morning. Today, Friday, saw again good morning traffic, with an actual line to kick off the show. However, a bigger mainstream crowd is expected Saturday with a much better autograph guest list ( full of Hall of Famers.

Is the FBI on the show floor? Yes, but again, there hasn’t been anything dramatic aa result. No one in handcuffs being escorted or anything. Thus far it’s more of the same – investigating with supposedly some outcome later this year,

ESPN’s Bill Simmons decided to bring a film crew this year and he whizzed through the aisles pretty quickly grabbing stuff here and there and interviewing some of the dealers. On a more hobby front, Old Cardboard and Auction Report were showcasing booths and auction houses which you can view on their websites.

On the auction front, Heritage topped $1.8 million for its Thursday auction and Legendary Auction conducted their’s tonight with some great bids for a Stan Musial game-worn jersey and a Lou Gehrig signed book to his personal doctor.

On a more selfish front, the Al Demaree Die-Cuts are getting a lot of attention at the show, especially for Hank Greenberg, Lefty Grove and Pepper Martin ( The Roberto Clemente signed cards and the Willie Wilson silver slugger bat are also highly coveted.

Saturday will be a tell-tale day, as many dealers really want to see a pickup in the physical buying. Sunday is family day if you want to come out – discounted prices are available.

Hope to have more after Saturday’s event.

 – Tom Bartsch

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