Cllct named official media partner for the National in Cleveland

National Sports Collectors Convention will be held July 24-28

Cover Image for Cllct named official media partner for the National in Cleveland
The National is the pinnacle of the hobby and paradise for sports collectors. (Credit: NSCC)

The National Sports Collectors Convention is my version of Disneyland.

Like a kid who can't wait to get into the "Haunted Mansion" or "Pirates of the Caribbean," I can't wait to get into a convention center in late July and make my rounds.

From doing it so many times, I know that the first 15 minutes are the hardest. That's when a large amount of cash is guaranteed to leave my pocket.

It's hard to pace myself when 30 steps inside the door is Dan Wulkan, seemingly waiting for me at Memory Lane's booth with the latest, obscure high-end stuff he has rounded up.

If I get through Wulkan without getting weak in the knees, all bets are off 80 paces down, where Ed and Dylan Kosinski await at the Gotta Have Rock N' Roll booth. In recent years, these two have sold me Shaquille O'Neal's college ID from LSU and Bruce Springsteen's Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance card.

Yes, in our space the National is the pinnacle. And that is why I'm so proud to announce that, just five weeks into cllct's launch, we will be the official media partnership of the best collector's conference in America, which is being held July 24-28 in Cleveland.

The passion of collectors is immediately apparent at the National. (Credit: NSCC)
The passion of collectors is immediately apparent at the National. (Credit: NSCC)

What does it mean?

Well, the full cllct team is not only going to be there in Cleveland, but we are going to provide comprehensive, live coverage. You will see us as soon as you walk in the door, as if to say, "We are here to collect your stories."

Which items are drawing the most eyeballs, and what are the stories behind them? What's the sale everyone is talking about, and who was the buyer and seller? What's the most eye-popping item brought in for an athlete to sign in the Autograph Pavilion? What was the biggest card pulled from the breakers area?

Cllct will provide the answers and provide coverage that makes you feel as if you're inside the convention center.

We'll have drop-ins from the movers and shakers of the industry to give their latest takes, and we'll bring you the unheralded seller who is drawing the crowds.

The only thing as impressive as the collections inside the room are the collection of the people and the passion that drips from every pore in their bodies.

And although this is the 44th time they're doing this, the National Sports Collectors Convention has never had a media outlet to give its play-by-play and call it like the incredible game that it is.

Until now.

For those who have found us already and have made us your home by checking in on what we have to offer each and every day, we're thrilled. You can expect more from the same leading up to and during the National.

We're just as excited for those who will see us for the first time in Cleveland and will understand how embedded we are inside the hobby.

At the first National in 1980, collectors marveled at how a Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps rookie in mint condition cost $2,500. Today, a card in the same condition sells for more than $12 million.

At the National in 1987, Joe DiMaggio, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Duke Snider, Warren Spahn, Ernie Banks and Bob Feller all signed live inside the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with DiMaggio getting the high price of $12 a signature. This year, boxing fans won't bat an eye at paying hundreds of dollars for a picture with Floyd Mayweather.

Times have changed, and we're honored to be the rookie in Cleveland this summer. We promise we'll earn our keep!

Darren Rovell is the founder of and one of the country's leading reporters on the collectible market. He previously worked for ESPN, CNBC and The Action Network.