Greetings from Athens, Georgia!Athens is my first stop in a week-long commitment that I could not avoid. It will keep me from Chicago, but sometimes obligations take precedence. I am concerned about the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, and it is adding stress to the trip. But I will miss being at the World’s Fair of Money.
As of today, it looks like my next show will be the Whitman Expo in Baltimore next November.
Please don’t think that the trip is all work. When I come to Athens, I am reminded of my youthful days as a student at Georgia. It is always interesting to see how the area has changed, but it is fascinating as to what remains the same. Tonight’s dinner came from The Taco Stand on Milledge Avenue. The sign inside said it has been open since 1977, and I was a freshman in 1978. My Baja Burrito was a taste down memory lane.
When I received my change, one of the dimes is dated 2021. It marks the first time that I found a 2021 coin in my pocket change. It has only taken 219 days and a trip to Athens to find my first 2021 coin. I was hoping to find the new Washington Crossing the Delaware quarter first, but a dime is a good find with the year more than half-over.
Last week, The National Sports Card and Collectors Convention (The National) held its annual show in Rosemont. According to the reports from many collector publications, the show was a rousing success. Although there were a few complaints about Cook County’s mask mandate, the reports said it did not take away from the show and called it a success. Sports cards have made a big comeback that even some of the over-produced cards of the 1980s and 1990s are selling. It has helped players find ways to be accessible to fans and willing to sell their wares to anyone who will pay.
Finding new avenues to attract new collectors and existing collectors to spend more is always a challenge. Sports memorabilia collectors are beginning to see what can happen with the new market in college sports’ Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rules. The NIL rules allow college players to sell their name, image, and likeness and remain eligible for college sports.
There was always a potential for better college players to earn money for NIL, but the NCAA rules prevented this. The NCAA suspended Georgia’s Todd Gurley for four games for selling his jersey to a collector in 2014. He used the money to take his girlfriend to dinner. And I won’t talk about Reggie Bush who’s situation is a travesty given the new rules.
Numismatics has to consider what it will take to expand the base. The base is not going to be expanded by recycling the Morgan and Peace dollars. You expand the base by embracing everything new and welcoming everyone that does not care about the old. There is so much fun to have with modern coinage that I think I will explore more over the next few months.
In the meantime, if you can make it to Rosemont for the ANA World’s Fair of Money, have fun. If you are like me and have Real World commitments that prevent you from going, stay tuned. There is a lot more to come!
And new the news…