So, without further pomp and circumstance:
Yes, I did get them. The Mantle was close to being a wash. Thankfully, internet trading All-Star, Mr. Haverkamp, did some scouting before I got there and showed me a reasonably priced 1956 Mantle when we met at the show. With that knowledge in hand, I was better able to evaluate the various Mantle's available.
To be honest, many of the sellers were quite proud of their Mantles. I get that dealers will deal, but pricing $500 dollars for a 1956 Mantle that looks like it was used as a baby pacifier or dog toy seems a bit much. I didn't end up buying the one Jim showed me, but found one of similar condition for a bit less. So, I am down to needing 4 cards to finish my set:
- 95 - Milwaukee Braves team card
121 - Pittsburgh Pirates team card
- 166 - Brooklyn Dodgers team card
226 - New York Giants team card
So, to draw this to a close, I have to say that I enjoyed the National Show.It is almost impossible to describe the size of the show. I am used to shows held in small to medium sized hotel conference rooms, with 8-12 different sellers. The National was immense and you can't really do it in a day. I spent two days there: the first to mainly scope things out and the second to make my purchases. My serious purchase day was the last day of the show. I noticed a number of dealers had decamped and left overnight and many others were packing up throughout the day. If I go to the show again, I'll probably extend my visit out to three days: Friday to scout, Saturday to buy, Sunday just to wander and enjoy looking at cards I can never afford. Like this one that apparently sold for $10,000.
Anyways, great experience. I do feel like I was a little too serious about my priorities for the show. I wouldn't change them, to be sure, but I probably should have had room in my budget for a little serendipity. That will involve a little more advance planning. I really didn't decide to go to the National until the end of May, leaving only two months to save. Live and learn.
What I am listening to: Years by Sarah Shook and the Disarmers