This weekend was the time of the big Long Island National card show, taking place at Hofstra University. I've attended this show in the past, most recently meeting the late Ralph Kiner in 2011.
Now, back to the present day. There were many good players at the signing, but there were only two that I were interested in getting autographs from. The first was former Islander and Devil, Glenn 'Chico' Resch. Before I talk about him more, take a look at this brief video below. Resch recently announced his retirement from the broadcast booth. Here is what he told the viewers of MSG on Saturday night.
I heard Resch is nice to meet in person, and I wanted to see for myself. He was also one of the two people signing at the card show that was free with paid admission to the show. Other people, like Mike Bossy, were charging for autographs.
Resch was scheduled to be there from 11-1:30. I got to the line at about 12:15, and was behind about 100 people. The line was moving slowly, and I soon found out why. Unlike the other people who were sitting behind a table and signing, Resch was standing at the side of the table, signing and talking to everyone that had a ticket for him.
After about 45 minutes of waiting, my father and I finally approached Resch. We bought an 8x10 photo and had a puck for Resch to sign. First, I shook his hand, and told him that I had seen the Albany Devils many times this season. He asked if they were going to the playoffs, and I told him they likely were as he singed the 8x10 photo. I handed him the puck which wasn't an ordinary black puck, and my gold sharpie. Resch asked if I was sure I wanted gold on the puck because it may not come out well, and I said it would be fine. He signed the puck, then he said it didn't look too good. To my surprise, he flipped the puck over and signed the back as well. Before I left, he wished me luck in my studies, shook my hand and my dad's, and thanked us for coming. My dad was taking photos of the whole thing, as you can see here. Here is the puck (both sides) and the photo that he signed for me. He was as good in person as I heard he would be.
As I was walking away from Resch, the second free autograph was just showing up. That would be Ron Blomberg, who was the first ever DH in MLB history. Not wanting to wait in another long line, my father and I wanted to explore the show. Before that, I took a selfie with Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, from very far away. From what I heard, he wasn't the friendliest person. He didn't show up until 20 minutes after his signing was scheduled to begin. He even left half an hour before it was scheduled to end.
After seeing almost every type of sports memorabilia that one could imagine, I went back to see how Ron Blomberg's line was. An hour into the two hour signing, there was no line!
All the people waiting for the free autograph had gotten the signature and left quickly. I walked up to Blomberg with two cards that I had found in my dad's old collection of cards, and handed his handler the autograph tickets. After telling him how I had to dig into my dad's collection to find the cards, I handed them to him to sign. He quickly signed them in blue as my dad took more photos. He then handed me one of his business cards, which took me to his website. After that, I thanked him, shook his hand, and went back to looking around the show. Here are the two cards that Blomberg signed for me:
The show itself was very well organized, there were many tables with cards, autographs, and other memorabilia from almost everyone you can imagine. I even saw a photo signed by OJ Simpson and his lawyer, Johnnie Cochran. There were cards from over 100 years ago, balls signed by American Presidents, pucks signed by Ryan Strome, and pretty much everything in between.
With all of those options, I just bought some display cases, a few Rawlings Official Major League Baseballs that I hope to get signed this season, and a 2014 Mets Yearbook. Overall, the deals were good, the people were nice, and I had a great time at this show. Hopefully I can come back one day if I am home for it.