So I did make it to the National today. Unfortunately, I had a call for work right at 3 PM, so I couldn’t really go to very much of the “VIP reception”. It looked like there was free food and an early chance to get free autographs from 4 athletes – Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden, the Bears’ Neal Anderson, plus 1968 Field Gold Medalists Dick Fosbury and Bob Beamon. Since I didn’t get into the special VIP room until 3:45 – I missed that chance to get the autos early from those guys. But in the actual show they were still signing a little later. So I walked around a bit, and then got in line for Gooden’s auto. That took a while – I waited from 4:30 until about 5:15, but they did move the line quickly along. I’d grabbed a 1987 Topps card from home for him to sign. I’m not a Mets fan or anything, so I’m not bringing some treasured jersey for him to sign. But I like his 87 Topps card – so that seemed like a cool thing to get penned. Doc seemed pretty nice, and he’s a pretty good name for them to get as a free auto.
For 5 bucks, I bought a photo of Dick Fosbury – who invented the method to tackle the high jump that’s still used today. Hence the name “Fosbury Flop”. He won the gold medal in the event in 1968.
I really did want to get an autograph of Bob Beamon – but they ran out of photos of him, so I didn’t have anything for him to sign. I passed on Neal Anderson, too – the line was a bit longer with the Chicago connection.
After that, I just kind of took in the scenery for a while. The National is sensory overload. It reminds me of the first time I walked around Times Square – I felt like I could walk around just looking forever. Very cool stuff even just to look at – for me, that will probably be the best part of going this year.
My excitement overall for the event is a little less than when I originally bought the ticket. That has nothing to do with the event or anything, but it’s just a hectic time right now. We just moved, and right now it feels like half of crap is still at the old location. I had hoped to have more time to move everything and go to the National – but work is not cooperating. It’s hard to have a lot of fun at something like this when you’re stressed out about work and a move. That’s just life, I guess. I do hope to make it back one of the next two days, and then we’ll see about Sunday – depends on when me, the wife and the baby get back from Cincinnati. Eric Davis is signing on Sunday, and I have a free autograph of his. I’d like to bring my son to that, and it may be doable, but it also may just be too much work. We’ll see!
I did buy some Topps inserts on the cheap. I may scan those in another day – I don’t feel like it at the moment. I will scan the promo cards that my VIP pass got me. The first is a set from Leaf, which includes the red-hot Yasiel Puig. And the all-time hit king. I just traded for Puig on my fantasy baseball team, and he hit a homer for me the first day he was officially a member of my squad. Unfortunately, it was a walk-off against my Redlegs – so, catch-22 for me.
Next up is Press Pass. Amazingly, they picked the only 5 NASCAR drivers I recognize by name. That is about all I’ll say about these.
Finally, there were also some Upper Deck cards – this was easily the best promo set of the bunch. The best basketball player of all-time, the best player since MJ, the best hockey player of all-time, the second best golfer of all-time, and two Chicago stars.
There are also a few other companies that you had to redeem at their booth – I didn’t do that yet, because I didn’t realize it at the time. Hopefully I can do so tomorrow or Friday. That’s it for now – I’ll post again when I go back!