2017 NSCC #5 – An Elite Card Show

The National is easily the best card show I’ve ever had the privilege to attend.  I know not everyone has the opportunity, but if you can arrange it, please do yourself a favor.  There are so many vendors there that are simply looking to liquidate everything that they have, and there’s so much to look through that it’s easy to find good stuff on every single day even though you’re “competing” against thousands of other buyers.

I don’t really have any “holy grail” cards per se, but the show is one of those elite experiences where its possible to find those types of things as well (assuming it’s not a 1/1, although…maybe).  Tons of vintage, which I’m still too scared to even think about, a lot of recent stuff, a lot of memorabilia, some oddball stuff, virtually anything you can think of is on the floor.

Silver = class

You can even find a few surprises, like some 1996 Donruss Elite cards for $1.  When Elite hit packs in 1991, it changed everything.

Cursive = class

By the time 1996 rolled around, they were still numbered to 10,000 copies each, but the luster had gone away a little bit.  They were still tough, but the floodgates had been opened.  I would also say that the actual design of these, compared to the flashier 1991 and 1992s makes them less desirable too.

Marble = class

However, spending a dollar on each of these is still a pretty good deal and quite a surprise on the last day of the show.  I can’t find one online for less than $5 before shipping, doing a quick search.  And now, I don’t have to open cases of old Donruss chasing the dragon, either.

Love the way the blue foil pops

Speaking of floodgates, how about the fact that two years later, Elite had it’s own set and this Craftsman insert #/3500 is now “worth” just as much?  Elite was a shot in the arm of the hobby, but maybe a different disease came through.

Framed like a work of art

Here we have a really nice looking 1998 Elite Aspirations die cut numbered to only 750 copies.  I might have paid $2 on this, but I’m not sure.  I did expand my price ranges a bit this time considering I didn’t have to worry about shipping.  So, if I were to pay $1 plus shipping, why not pay up to $5 on some cards?

Wait, what’s the set again?

Even though Elite was its own product in 1998, Donruss also still had their Elite inserts, which I like more than 1996.  They’re also down to 2500 copies each two years later.

Gold = class

By 2001, The Elite brand was basically all numbered inserts, all the time.  Probably before that, but you know.  These are the highest print run, aside from the base cards, at 2500.

Kitchen tile =/= class

That only means there’s a lot more to try to find in a future show from the set.

Strange that 20 wins was his career high

Stuff like this, from 2004.   The 1000 run is close to the top of the print runs here.  They were also adding more hit variations, so I have a few more Career Bests left.

Not supposed to checker foil the middle part

Lastly, is a throwback to the 1992 days.  This is an un-numbered insert from the 2014 Panini Hall of Fame set in 2014.  That confused me in my checklisting, because they also had Elites in this style in the normal Donruss release as well.  They sure do know how to milk a brand name, don’t they?

I don’t get to go to the 2018 show, but I should be there in 2019.  Maybe I’ll get really lucky and find some even older Elites I need!

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