Got back last night from a 4-day trip to the National. Pretty beat up from it all and still groggy, but here's a short update.

If not for the Topps/Upper Deck/other corporate booths, this was one of the deadest National's I've ever been too. More traffic at the tables on Wed/Thur than Fri/Sat.

However, plenty of cards still out there. I spent my wad mostly on 1952 & 1959 commons (what else?), the latter of which was subbed to SGC on Saturday morning using the August 15% OFF special. Now I wait. I did have Earl write on the invoice "Need 88/92 for Set Registry upgrades, please have mercy."

Seriously, he wrote that.

Almost pulled the trigger on a 1959 Mantle in SGC 88, but upon close inspection, it had a serious print flaw just inside the right border. Plus it wasn't centered as well as my 86. And he wanted $2,200 for it ($2k cash). Pffft! My 86 cost me less than half that. Way less.

I saw the first/only PSA 10 Nolan Ryan Rookie ever graded. Hugely disappointed. PSA wasted a 10 on a card that didn't deserve it. Natex had a MINT 9 that was clearly a better card. The dealer displaying the Ryan (who will remain unnamed), agreed with me. It wasn't for sale, just displayed. He wouldn't tell me who owned it except that it was a "professional athlete" not named Dmitri.

Earl showed me the new SGC slab. You guys are gonna like it. Slightly rounded corners, 40% to 50% thinner and lighter, completely stackable with the current slabs, and a promise for a price special to reholder if one is so inclined. Will fit 80 to a box vs. 42-44 I have now in the SGC custom boxes. Good move, SGC. Thank you.

PSA bought lunch on Friday. (I snuck in, incognito.) They are changing their holder, which looks like a cheap version of the Beckett slab. No examples, without fighting the enormous crowds at the PSA booth to get a first hand look. They are also launching an online "game" to get people "interested in collecting" who wouldn't otherwise be. Kind of fun-looking, but not sure what it does for the long-time collector.

Maybe more later.

#1 in 1959 Topps. Officially known as Assassin according to stanthemanfan 3/31/2014 and god of minor league basketball according to cammb.