By Ray Schulte, Schulte Sports/Schulte Auctions
Baltimore hosted the 31st Annual National Sports Collectors Convention to rave reviews from the more than 35,000 fans and collectors that converged at the Baltimore Convention Center Aug. 4-8, 2010.
The five-day event, the largest collectibles show in the nation, ncluded dealers from all over the country more than 75 athletes representing baseball and football signed autographs for the public throughout the duration of "The National."
For the past 30 years, the multi-billion sports collectibles industry has looked upon The National as its crown-jewel event. Coming off the success of this year's edition, other show promoters have recognized the rich sports tradition Baltimore provides, including loyal, knowledgeable fans and collectors who reside in Charm City.
MAB Celebrity Services, a New Jersey-based collectibles show promoter, and Schulte Sports Inc., located in Woodstock, Md., are teaming up to co-promote a regional blockbuster show featuring the Charm City Heroes, April 22-23 at the Pikesville Hilton. MAB was instrumental in bringing many of the high-profile athletes in to sign at The National.
|Charm City Heroes will feature Orioles Hall of Famers Jim Palmer, Cal Ripken, Earl Weaver, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and Eddie Murray. (Photo Courtesy of Schulte Sports)|
"We saw firsthand how Baltimore responded (to the event) and we look forward to bringing another successful show to Baltimore," said Mollie Bracigliano, owner of MAB Celebrity Services.
Although the Pikesville Hilton show won't reach the 30,000 attendance mark The National set, the caliber of athletes signing make it second to none. Scheduled to appear publicly and sign autographs are Baseball Hall of Fame and Orioles greats Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken, Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray and Earl Weaver,as well as newly elected inductee and former Oriole star Roberto Alomar.
In addition, all the living Baltimore Orioles who won American League Rookie of the Year honors will appear. They include Ron Hansen (1960), Al Bumbry (1973), Murray (1977), Ripken (1982) and Gregg Olson (1990). Davey Johnson, Ray Knight, Bob Turley, Lee May, Marty Cordova and Juan Beniquez, will join them, with more added to the show's roster every week.
The Charm City Heroes show will open at 6p.m. April 22. Admission is free Friday night with Robinson and Olson scheduled to sign for the public from 6-8p.m. On Saturday, admission is $8 and the doors open at 9a.m. In addition to the athletes signing all day, JSA Authentication and many of the prominent Baltimore memorabilia and collector dealers will be set up to buy, sell and trade their unique sports and entertainment collectibles.
For up-to-date information concerning which players have been added to the signing roster, what times players will be signing and how to purchase autograph tickets, visit www.MABCelebrity.com. Exhibitors who would like to participate in the two-day show can contact Melissa@mab-celebrity.com or Ray@SchulteSports.comfor more information.
A Home Run For Baltimore Economy
The 31st Annual National Sports Collectors Convention was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, not only excited fans and collectors, but also the city of Baltimore, including retailers, downtown restaurants, hotels, rent-a-car companies, etc.
The Baltimore Business Journal ranked The National Sports Collectors Convention with having the highest (out of 25 top conventions reported) economic impact in Baltimore during 2010. According to the ranking information, the event's estimated financial impact on the city was $15.48 million.
Fans, collectors, exhibitors and the promoter raved about their Baltimore experience.The National Sports Collectors Convention owners recently reached out to the exhibitors and they voted to change previously agreed to venue changes in order to bring the 33rd Annual National back to Baltimore in 2012. Why not? It was a win-win for all concerned.
Listen to Ray each Wednesday on the PressBox Power Lunch (Fox1370 AM) when he co-hosts with Stan Charles from noon to 1 p.m. He can be reached at Ray@SchulteSports.com.
Issue 158: February 2011