Saturday, July 31, 2010
While I think the National has added some features to the help justify the $17 ticket price (raffle for Cal Ripken autograph jersey for VIP, O's tickets for Wednesday purchasers, etc), it's still $17 to walk in the door.
Last year I paid the $17 (a few times) and the parking fees to walk around the Cleveland IX Center see some dealers leaving early on Saturday or not showing up on Wednesday.
To go this year, I'd have to drive 9+ hours, stay at least 2 nights in a hotel ($200+), pay for parking ($20 per day at least), probably 2 days at the show ($34) and that's before I even look at a table or pay for a TriStar autograph. When you add the food and gas money, it becomes a pricey trip for me to search for some vintage football or baseball cards. For me, I can't justify it. I've seen the TriStar autograph guests (too many times) and I'm not one to collect the newest released cards.
When trying to decide if I should do the 9+ hour drive to the National, I decided to see what else (for the entire family) was in the 9+ hour drive radius - I found Cooperstown, NY.
This year, instead of going to the National. We're going to do the family vacation to Cooperstown, NY and swing around to Niagara Falls. The Baseball HOF is cheaper than the National, the drive is about the same, and adding the Niagara Falls trip to it should keep the Momma happy. With any luck, the Blue Jays will be home when we're in Canada and we can catch a game up there.
I wish my fellow bloggers and tweeters good luck and safe travels to Baltimore. I'll follow the #NSCC tag on twitter to see the updates and twitpics. I'll also tweet some updates from Cooperstown, Niagara Falls and Blue Jays game: twitter.com/JamesRyanJ.