Hello PSA Customers,
Wow. This year’s National was one for the record books. With pent-up energy from watching the hobby’s biggest show get cancelled last summer due to COVID-19, collectors converged on the 41st National Sports Collectors Convention with a purpose. And, of course, PSA was right in the middle of the action.
41st NATIONAL RECAP
I’m relieved to have the National in the rearview mirror, but I couldn’t be happier about the event – for PSA, our customers, our employees and for the hobby overall. For PSA, we authenticated and graded over 10,000 collectibles over the five days. And we didn’t add a single item to the backlog. In fact, the backlog is smaller today than before we left for Chicago by over 100,000 cards. Plus, 100 lucky customers combined to win $50,000 in free PSA grading given away at the event (see below for more details). What struck me personally is the incredible strength of the hobby. Record crowds, roughly half of whom were first time National attendees. That’s an amazing stat. And maybe most inspiring, the diversity of the crowd. The convention center was filled with collectors young and old, from all walks of life (including many more TCG collectors than I’ve ever seen at a NSCC). The hobby is vibrant. The energy is electric. And it’s never been more evident than at the 2021 National.
PSA INTERVIEWS APPLICANTS IN CHICAGO
Approximately three weeks before The National, PSA began engaging candidates online for several job openings at our southern California headquarters. That effort led to a full schedule of in-person interviews at the PSA booth over the course of the show. I would like to thank all the applicants for meeting with PSA representatives in Chicago. There are so many talented and skilled professionals in our hobby. Now the fun part – job offers! We’re back home vetting and taking the next steps to continue to fill PSA’s halls with a team that is passionate about collecting.
PSA GIVES AWAY $50,000 IN FREE GRADING IN CHICAGO
“My son and I had an amazing time running around the show floor to find a couple of cards for grading. Thank you for providing a lifetime memory at his first National!”
– Craig S., Shelbyville, IN
In an effort to give back to the hobby during the industry’s biggest show, PSA gave away $50,000 in free on-site card grading. One hundred fortunate collectors each won two free $250 grades processed at the National. Ten drawings conducted over the course of the show each produced 10 lucky winners who had until the end of the day to claim their prize and submit their cards. Some pulled cards out of their briefcases while others, like Craig and his son, walked the floor and went shopping. Check out the reactions from some of our winners.
THANK YOU, JOE ORLANDO
On July 16, 2021, Collectors Universe President and CEO Joe Orlando, who also served as PSA President from 2002 until 2018, stepped down. Joe gave CU and the hobby 22 years of dedicated work, providing structure and security to the hobby while simultaneously ushering in new collectors with engaging and educational collecting content. I just want to take a moment to recognize Joe for all of his incredible accomplishments at CU and PSA over the past two decades and thank him publicly for his mentorship since I joined the company in 2012.
Joe built PSA into what it is today – an industry leading brand with industry leading expertise. Joe’s list of professional accolades is long and includes introducing countless innovations and upgrades to PSA services: half-point card grading; autograph grading; ticket grading; photograph authentication; pack grading; even professional model bat authentication and grading…the list goes on and on. But Joe is also a baseball historian who appreciates research and accuracy at every level. In fact, he began his career at PSA as a content manager who spearheaded the monthly execution of PSA’s Sports Market Report (SMR) by serving as its Editor-in-Chief. It’s a role he faithfully maintained throughout his tenure at CU, no matter how many other duties he took on. Besides writing a compelling column every month in SMR, he also wrote or co-wrote many successful coffee table books including Collecting Sports Legends – The Ultimate Hobby Guide, Legendary Lumber – The Top 100 Player Bats in Baseball History, The 100 Greatest Baseball Autographs and Baseball & Bubble Gum – The 1952 Topps Collection. When it comes to sports collectibles, Joe is THE expert.
He was a consummate sounding board for me, and I appreciated the leadership skills and insight Joe shared over the years we worked together. It’s never easy to lose great people, but Collectors Universe is in great hands with the arrival of Nat Turner as our new CEO. Nat, who also serves as the executive chairman of CU, is an entrepreneur, a technologist and avid card collector all rolled into one. He is committed to leading PSA and CU into the future by keeping our brands at the forefront of customer experience and innovation.
Until next month, enjoy collecting,