Today Alan and I received confirmation that our Cavaliers Championship Parade photo from 2016 made the new “All For The Land” Guardian mosaic downtown! In addition to this honor, our family name also appears on the Wine and Gold United court at the Q. And on the back of the 2016 NBA Championship banner that hangs from the rafters.
This weekend Alan and I made a two separate visits to the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention at the I-X Center. The event was held in Cleveland (Wednesday-Sunday) for the first time since 2014. I attended that year and have been looking forward to bringing Alan to his first card show ever since.
After checking out the opening night preview on Wednesday, I set a game plan and brought Alan with me on Saturday morning. Our first stop was to the PSA table, where I dropped off my Rose Bowl tickets and an autographed Jim Tressel business card for grading. There Alan and I also had personal trading cards made! I was excited to wear the greatest Indians jersey of all time – the late 80s/early 90s Municipal Stadium era version with the red, white, and blue-striped border. Alan had a more modern look, sporting his blue practice jersey with the block C. 🙂
The next stop was Alan’s favorite activity – the indoor Ferris wheel. Alan loved how it peaked through the roof and allowed for a view of the neighboring airport. We looked out for planes at the top of each rotation!
After the ride, we browsed the booths on the convention floor and picked up a 1948 World Series highlight DVD, a 1958 Rose Bowl game film DVD, and a 1975 OSU-Michigan radio broadcast CD. When we came across some vintage baseball equipment, Alan felt relieved that the catcher’s gear he wore this year has improved since the early 1900s model! On the way out we took a photo by the entrance/exit (LeBron is shown top left).
Alan and I decided that one day at the convention was not enough, so we returned again on Sunday morning. When we arrived, we bought two commemorative items – a convention pin and poster. While waiting in line, a Panini representative passed out a redemption card to Alan to turn in at the Panini booth. We found it was for a 10-card VIP set that included Baker Mayfield, along with 9 other top rookies in the NFL, NBA, and MLB.
Being a kid at the convention definitely had its perks, as Alan also received free cards from two other booths. For the first time Alan got to experience the thrill of opening a pack of cards and getting a player from his team, as one of the packs contained a sharp Duke Johnson Donruss card. The only cards that we ended up having to purchase were the latest 3-card installment from the Topps Living Set that included Francisco Lindor! (along with Andrew Benintendi and Austin Meadows). When buying the set the Topps booth we came across some great fortune, as the 3-card set we purchased included a redemption card for a 11×14 print of Lindor signed by the artist, Mayumi Seto.
Of course we had to ride the Ferris wheel again too, after having so much fun with it the day before. Alan also got a kick out of the fun house mirrors right around the corner from the Ferris wheel.
Before leaving, we viewed some more memorabilia, included some LeBron Cavaliers gear and a Satchel Paige game-worn Indians jersey!
My hope is that this convention will spark Alan’s interest in the same hobby that I have enjoyed since I was his age. I think he definitely started to understand what I see in trading cards and sports memorabilia at least. I think the odds are good that we’ll go to another show again someday!
Alan and I had a blast together during the Cavaliers 2018 postseason run, culminating at the NBA Finals. During the playoffs, we raised the banners posted at the Cavaliers website following each victory, and advanced the Cavaliers along in our playoff bracket with series wins over the Pacers, Raptors, and Celtics. Alan especially enjoyed the city’s spirit for the Cavaliers. He made sure to point out “Whatever It Takes” signs and Cavaliers window displays around town. For Cleveland kids like Alan, all they know is winning basketball and championship-level enthusiasm in Cleveland!
Today we arrived for Chinese class early, so we did some sight-seeing on the mall area around Key Tower and Cleveland Browns Stadium. Alan loves seeing the Tower, whether it’s up close or from afar (He also went inside when he visited me at work to deliver Christmas presents when he was 3, but he doesn’t remember that).
It was a beautiful day in Cleveland – weather wise and sports wise. The Cavs began their title defense with a win over the Pacers in Gm 1 of their first round series, while the Indians beat the Tigers right next door.