Dear, flatiron. It's humid in Cleveland.
As we conclude our breakfast in the dining area of our hotel, my mother looks over at another table and sees a man sitting alone. He's was wearing a hat. My mom asks, "What's that man's hat say?" I look over and can't make it out. She thinks it says "Hall of Fame." With intrigue, she approaches the man to introduce herself. "Hi, I see your hat says, 'Hall of Fame 1993,' 'May I ask your name?'" The man replies, "Hi, it's nice to meet you, I'm Calvin Murphy."
Life is interesting.
Calvin talks with my mom, and I listen. Knowing someone has celebrity status, I'm aware of the routine public hounding they have to endure on a daily basis. It's this knowledge that has me respecting them and their space. As such, I'm not one to ask for autographs or bother them for some ulterior motives. I just say hello and talk to them like I would anyone else. We'll all just people. I find they're more receptive to this approach anyway.
Later on, we bump into Calvin again in the lobby. This is where the conversation really gets interesting. We talk about his life, his hobbies, and his connections and experiences. In that 15-20 minute span, I learned that before Mr. Murphy enjoyed a successful career as a basketball player, he was a professional baton twirler and he loves fishing. He golfs only when the meeting calls for it. His immense charisma is showcased by his whimsical taste in clothing. Seriously, check out the suits this guy wears; they're incredible.
The day progressed with a shuttle ride to the convention center. The VIP party complete with pizza, calories, and celebrity signings awaits. The act of juggling a plate, napkin, and whatever pizza you can track down while hauling a heavy backpack that's just been made heavier by a VIP promo pack also awaits. In addition to my backpack, I carried the over-the-shoulder promo bag I acquired at the 2012 National. This little thing comes in serious handy when I need my hands free but want optimal storage.
As typical, I picked a side of the convention hall and began serpentining the rows stopping here and there as things caught my eye. I found a few choice bargain bins. I stopped and dug around and pulled some things here and there. If I can't find Frank Thomas cards, I look for other items I collect. I managed to spend about an hour at this table that was made up of a bunch of $0.50 boxes. It was great. I grabbed all sorts of worthy classics. As I continued, I found similar tables and back to my old ways I went - 1980s classics and vintage beaters. My focus is rookie-era stuff so I just made it a point to stick to that. I managed to pull together a nice little hoard on Day 1 (featured in the video).
A few days before the flight out, I scheduled an interview with Tim Getsch: Founder & CEO, COMC.com. That interview landed on 8/1 at 7:30p. At around 7:25, I hustled over to the COMC booth, introduced myself, and got down to business. Tim was receptive to the interview and made it an excellent one. I asked him several questions related to how he got started, the progress lifespan, hiring strategies, and what's on the horizon. Click here to watch the interview.
I took pics of interesting pieces as I went along. My mom supplied general event photos. Enjoy the gallery.