You see, every other year, The National Sports Collectors Convention hits Rosemont, IL, and, again, my 13-year-old son (who is NOT a sports fan) will be in tow.
“It’s like Comic-Con for sports nerds,” I tell him every year, “but this year…Jose Canseco will be making an appearance.”
He’s been suckered into that erroneous Comic-Con comparison before (three times now, if we’re counting), but, still…he opts to come with and, invariably, gets bored and needs something to occupy his time so I can do my thing.
So, much like two years ago, I gave him a chore.
Find me the strangest items for sale at this, The 38th National Sports Collectors Convention. Naturally, he didn’t disappoint. And while Bill Simmons might disagree (more on his later), here, in no particular order, are our seven favorites.
Joe DiMaggio Signed Plate
Surprisingly, you can find Joe DiMaggio stuff all over the place at The National.
Included, this autographed plate that features what I can only assume is Jerry Lewis as Joltin’ Joe.
Tom Nieto World Series Ring
Let’s pretend someone bet you $10,000 that you couldn’t name what team Tom Nieto played for in 1987. You’d answer the Minnesota Twins and, subsequently, would be able to afford to buy his World Series ring from that same season.
Ted Turner Autograph
I’m not sure if Ted Turner was a businessman who yachted in his spare time or a yachter who owned the Atlanta Braves as a hobby.
Either way, an autographed yachting card signed by the former Mr. Ted Turner himself? Sign me up!
Signed MLB Business Cards
While Ted Turner was not included in the batch of owners, GMs and “mangers” (trust me…we looked), I found this lot to be pretty interesting. Sidenote…is it worth $30 for you to get the personal cell number and email of your favorite (or least favorite) exec?
If so, you’re probably also a stalker.
Milwaukee Brewers Trading Car
Baseball. Trading Cars. Get it? You see, it’s a play on…oh, never mind.
Full disclosure…I almost bought this car.
Blue Jays Catcher’s Gear
Game used? We don’t know! Who’s gear? No idea!
Still, hands down, one of the more unique items for sale.
Mickey Mantle Intercom
Take it from Mickey Mantle, this “transistorized” 2-station intercom (endorsed by the Yankees great himself) was, hands down, our favorite baseball item at The National.
Would anyone ever think to get Mike Trout to endorse walkie-talkies? Absolutely not. That didn’t keep Mantle from cashing those fat Fedtro checks back in 1966.
Alright…back to Bill Simmons.
Four years ago, I ran into “The Sports Guy” and he totally broke my heart. Seriously…find ME at The National some time and I’ll tell you the tale.
Suffice it to say…dude totally redeemed himself.
You can check out more of our finds (and exploits) over at SPORTS COLLECTORS DAILY.