Friday, September 29, 2017

Colossal card show recap: Part 3

Welcome back, for the third, and final installment of this recap series.

Seller #8:
The way the two gym system was set up, you had to enter through the smaller one, go across the small alley/car lane, and in to the larger gym. They blocked off the lane in between the gyms, so that the dealers who usually park there, couldn't. It worked out pretty well that way, at least people didn't have to try and squeeze between cars as they walked form gym to gym. I mention this because when I arrived  at around 7am, about half the dealers in the smaller gym hadn't set up yet, so I did a quick walk through of the ones that had, and made my way to the much fuller large gym.

After about two hours in the larger gym, I decided to make a trip out to the car so that I could unburden myself a little bit (especially the comics from the first post), so I had walk back through the smaller gym to do so. By now all the dealers had probably been set up in the smaller gym for at least an hour, so when I came back from the car, it was time to see what this gym had to offer.

Walking in, at the first row of tables directly in front of you, was an older guy who hadn't been there during my original pass through. The first thing I saw was a 3200 ct box marked "50 cents each or 3/$1". There was a guy just finishing up with said box, and after I saw some of the cards in his stack, my inner self started dropping four letter words for not getting here sooner.

The box was only about half full at this point, and as I saddled up to it, the seller informed me that it had been picked over pretty good so far (more internal swearing). The box was full, or rather half full, of nothing but 60's baseball and football. And everything was in either top loaders or those soft flexible holders (don't know the name), so most of the stuff was in fairly decent shape.

There was quite a bit of '65 and '66 Topps baseball, neither of which I'm collecting, so I didn't end up getting as much as I thought I would. And of the stuff I'm collecting, there were a lot of thing I already have. That being said, I still found 30 cards, including the 67's above.

If you look closely, you can see that four of the 63's here have wax stains on the front. Which doesn't bother me anymore, especially after I learned last year of the method using pantyhose to remove front of the card stains. Everything's still in boxes right now, so I don't know where my pantyhose are (that sounds weird), but once I find them, these will clean up nice.


These were the only three 64's in the box.

One lone '71 as well.

I think these '67 Topps football were the best, and most surprising thing to come from the box, as this is a set that is never found in discount boxes (at least not by me). I suspect that there had been more, but by the time I got there, there was only four left, so I ended up with a pair of Oilers...

... and a pair of Patriots. Even though I don't have a lot from it, this set is probably tied with the '69 Topps as my favorite vintage football set. And speaking of 1969...

... I found some of those too!
It's been a while since I've been able to cross any numbers off this checklist.

After finishing up with the discount box and paying, the seller, having seen what I bought, let me know that he had some better cards from some of the same sets in a two-row shoebox that was marked "$2 each or 3/$5". After looking through it, I came away with four cards that he let me have for $6:
Some more 64's. At #521, Tom Satriano is a needed high number. And Boog... well, he's just Boog.

Another wax stained card that will look amazing once it's removed, this Dave Giusti rookie is also a high number, at #509.

I'm always surprised that I don't see more 1969 Topps at these shows, as it's not like it's a hard set to come by, but for whatever reason, I just don't come across it very often. At least I was able to add this cool home run leaders though.

I'm not usually a very talkative person, but I really enjoyed talking to this particular vendor (so much so, that I apparently forgot his name already). Normally when someone asks me what I collect, knowing that they are just going to try pawn off some overpriced item in one of their cases, I will give a non-specific answer along the lines of "well, you know, a little bit of this, a little bit of that". But when this guy asked, you could tell he was genuinely interested, so I didn't mind giving him some specifics. He thought it was funny to hear how many sets I'm trying to work on. And I couldn't help but think, that this guy is like the grandpa that just about everyone ever, wishes they could have. I certainly hope our paths will cross again.

Seller #9:
This was my second to last stop, and I was just about done for the day. My social anxiety was starting to kick in, as even though the show had been going for at least four hours by now, it seemed like the amount of people showing up was growing exponentially. This was another dealer I hadn't seen before, from what I could gather, he owns a card shop in Kentucky. He had two tables (I believe) of mostly vintage baseball and football. In retrospect I should have spent more time at his tables, but again, I was really wanting to leave at this point. So, I basically stopped long enough to look through one of those floppy binders (I don't know what you call the non-rigid ones) that had 4 or 5 pages of '62 Post. It wasn't the greatest selection ever, but I did find this needed Don Zimmer for a dollar, so that was pretty neat.

Seller #10:
Even though I was past the point of needing to leave, I decided to make one more sweep through the larger gym, which turned out to be a pretty good idea. There is a husband/wife (I'm assuming) combo who only set up at the big shows, they usually have a couple tables of nothing but vintage. And when I vintage, I mean like, just about anything you can think of... they probably have it. Glass cases loaded with stacks (and stacks) of high end stuff, and shelving units behind them, that must have at least 50 thick binders of cards separated by set. It's really quite something, I'm to gather that they set up at The National every year, so I would imagine to well there, you would need this kind of inventory.

Even though I have seen them there four or five times now, this was actually the first time I had ever stopped at their tables. There are usually so many people going through their stuff, that I, not wanting to try and squeeze in, just keep on going. When I had gone by earlier, it was crowded, but now there was actually some open space for me to finally see what all the hype was about.

I can honestly say that at this point in the show, I was very much overwhelmed by their selection, I just couldn't take it all in. Realizing this fact, I decided that would just ask to see one of the binder's, try and find something I need, and leave. Because it was already the closest one to me, I went with the '62 Post football binder, and even that ended up being too much for my sleep deprived/anxiety riddled brain. Did you know that there are multiple background color variations for almost every card in that set? Well, I didn't, and that binder was chock full of all those variations. I got a couple of pages in, found the Bart Starr for $4, and figured that was enough for one day... or so I thought.

As I was paying, the guy asked me, I'm assuming because the Starr is somewhat of an off condition, if I was interested in "scratch and dent" stuff. I know he didn't mean it, but the way he said it sounded kind of like an insult, I brushed it off though and said "depends on how bad they are". I was then directed to box the size of a literal shoebox, with a couple of small stacks of marked down cards.

Sitting right on top was this 1939 Play Ball of John "Black Jack" Wilson, who just so happened to be a fellow Portland native.

Even though it's a little rough, for $3, I had to have it. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that, other than being familiar with his name and that he was from Portland, I didn't know much about Jack Wilson. If anyone is interested, I found a really good article that the SABR.ORG people put together.

For two bucks apiece, I also ended up getting two 1950 Bowman's, which also happen to be my first cards from that set.
Both of these are pretty cool in their own way. The Earl Johnson, not only because of the PNW connection, but more importantly, because he was a celebrated WW2 veteran. As far as Al Papai goes, this was his one and only card, so it's always kind of neat to find those guys that only ever got one piece of cardboard.

At this point, there was another wave of people coming in, and it seemed to be getting very warm in there (it was 90 degrees outside) -- and the walls started feeling like they were closing in, so after paying, I made a beeline for the exit. I had spent four hours there, and in that kind of setting, with that many people, fours hours is just about my limit. Even though it started to get a bit rough towards the end, I'm still very glad that I went, as I was able pick up some really neat cards (and comics).

I know these past three posts have been pretty long(winded), so I really appreciate any of you out there, who actually took the time to read them all the way through.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Colossal card show recap: Part 2

Welcome back to the second installment of this three part series. Today's post will start with what I consider to be my best purchase from Saturday's show.

Seller #6:
There was a father/son duo with a two or three table spread in one corner of larger gym, who from a distance, appeared just to have pretty much all graded cards. And since graded cards aren't my thing, I was just going on walking by without stopping.

On the far right of their set-up, there were three boxes filled with what looked like all graded cards (I know, big surprise!), the boxes were marked $3, $5, and $10 respectively. I still wasn't interested, but as I got closer, I noticed Hank laying out on top one of the rows in the $5 box -- now my interest was piqued!

The bad news was, their was a guy looking through that $5 box, and with the way the card was just sitting on top, I figured he had just found it and laid it there while he continued to look. I decided that if there was a '64 Aaron in one of those boxes, it might be worth my time to stop and look through them, which I did, all the while thinking that if I would have just gotten there a minute or two earlier, Hank would have been mine (I think everyone that's ever been to a show knows that feeling).

I got through the boxes very quickly, as their were only a few non-graded items, which were all contemporary cards of kids I haven't heard of. As I was just about done, the guy who I thought was about to be Hank's new owner, was paying for his card... and his card wasn't Hank! I couldn't believe it, now it was just me standing there, and Hank just laying there. I started to wonder if it was even supposed to be in that box, or even worse -- somebody bought it somewhere else, brought it there, and accidently walked off without it.

Now that he was gone, and nobody was running over to claim their missing card, I was finally able to pick up the card and turn it over. I was expecting something to really be wrong with the back (like being skinned), but as you can see, while not in mint condition, it's not exactly disastrous either. Now that I had the card in hand, the only thing left for me to do, was find out it if it actually was going to be only $5. It might not be word for word, but the rest of the story played out like this:

Me: Get the guy's attention, and hand him the card without saying a word.
Dealer: "Yeahhhh, which box was this in?"
Me: "The $5 box"
Dealer: (Makes a hesitant sound that I don't know how to duplicate in written form) "Yeahhhh, somebody moved that there from somewhere else"
Me: (In my head "dammit, I knew it")
Dealer: After a few seconds that felt like an eternity "What the heck, let's do it, five bucks"
Me: "Really?"
Dealer: "Yeah, why not? (pause) It's a heckuva a deal"
Me: "Yes, it is. Thank you!" (I may have thanked him more than once)

So even though I still don't have a lot of cards from the '64 set, at least I can cross another big name off of the checklist. Oh, and if the dealer ever happens to see this post, thank you again!

As a quick aside, if anyone cares about the card that the guy who I thought was buying Hank got, it was '77 Topps Mark Fidrych PSA 8. Out of curiosity, I looked up what it goes for, and it would appear that for five bucks he got a pretty good deal.

Seller #7:
Back in March, at the last big show, there were two guys who's wares consisted mainly of $1 insert boxes. I had gotten a bunch of really great stuff out of their basketball boxes, which were packed to the gills with 90's inserts and parallels, and because of this, I was really hoping they would be back again. Well, they were, and even though they didn't has many boxes this time around, I still came away with some solid finds, including the 1997-98 Bowman's Best Atomic Refractors shown above and below.
I ended up getting 40 cards from their boxes, but due to so many of them not photographing/scanning well, I'm only showing 19 of them. By the by, how fantastic does that Eddie Jones look?

Another atomic refractor, this time from the Best Techniques insert set.

After the atomic refractors, these regular refractors (still from the same set) seem kind of bland. Some big names though.

Even though I usually love die-cut cards, these 1997-98 Topps Generations have never been one of my favorite insert sets. But, I needed both of them, and a buck apiece is a really good price on these.

I already had both of these 1998-99 Skybox Premium Soul of the Game's, but since this is an insert that just keeps getting more desirable as the years go on, it doesn't hurt to pick up a few cheap extras here and there.
I'm not quite as fond of the 1998-99 Topps Roundball Royalty's as I was almost twenty years ago when they first came out, but again, they were well priced and I needed 'em.

This Iverson 1996-97 EX2000 Star Date 2000 was a pretty good get too.

Now here's a pair of something's that I wouldn't usually care about, but for whatever reason, I ended up buying them. I had to wait until I got home to find out that they are from the 2005-06 Topps Pristine set.
I know these aren't part of the base set, but other than that I don't know anything about them. Being in sealed cases, it makes me think that they might have been like a one per box bonus in addition to the packs? Like I said, I don't know. I'll figure it out at some later date, for now I'll just clean off the old price tag sticky, and call it good.

I didn't expect to find any newer Prizm in the boxes, so I was kind of surprised to come across this lone 2013-14 Blue, White, and Red Wave. I sure would have liked to have found more of these, but one was better than nothing.

After I got done going through the basketball boxes, I moved on to the baseball, of which there was only one box of. Like 99% of it ended up being stuff from the last year or two, so that was a little disappointing, but I did manage to find this 2000 Pacific Paramount Fielder's choice. I had never seen one of these in person before, so it was pretty cool to finally get one. Granted, I would have liked to have found someone other than Sammy Sosa, but whaddya gonna do.

That's it for this installment, stay tuned for the final part, which might be up as early as tomorrow.


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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Colossal card show recap: Part 1

As mentioned at the beginning of my previous post, this past Saturday I attended the largest card show to ever grace the state of Tennessee, and I must say, it was pretty freakin' awesome!

The normal twice a month shows are held at a school that has two gymnasiums, one small and one large, the former is used for those regular shows. However, shortly after I moved here, they started doing a larger show twice year a year that is held in the larger gym, which I believe can hold around 120 tables. Since the bigger shows seem to always sell out so quickly, bringing buyers and dealers from some surprisingly distant locales, it seemed to me like it was only a matter of time before they upped the ante and opened up both gyms for a show... well, for this last one, they did just that.

With 90 dealers and 180 tables, there was certainly no shortage of things to look at/purchase. In fact, for this humble buyer, there was too much to look through -- not that I'm complaining, as more is always better than less, when it comes to card show offerings.

One of my favorite things to do at the shows (especially the bigger ones) is walk around the parking lot(s), and look at all the license plates to see where everyone is coming from. Even though I lost count, there were at least a dozen states represented this past weekend, which was the most I have seen so far. It's amazing how many of those people were driving 10+ hours, one way, just to be there. It really makes my complaining about an almost 4 hour total drive time, to get there and back, seem kind of lame.

And as per usual, even though I had planned on doing so, I didn't remember to take any pictures until I was about halfway home. So all I can say is, I'll have to try again next time.

Overall, I think I did pretty well, purchase wise, so I'm going to be showing a large percentage of it over the next three posts. The only items being left out are the things that didn't scan/photograph well, and of course, the stuff destined for other people.

Also, everything is being shown in the order it was gotten, mostly just because I'm so proud of myself for being able to remember the order in which everything was purchased.

Seller #1

The first table I visited was that of the guy who's dime boxes are usually full of all the old-timers sets (Fleer greats, SP Cuts, etc.) that I'm working on. The selection wasn't as great as it usually is, and there seemed to be a lot of dinged up cards (I don't care if there only 10 cents, I still don't want cards from the mid-2000's with wonked up corners), but I was still able to find a few needs -- including a pair of Indians from 2004's Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic, which is a set I don't come across very often.

Another set I don't see too much of is the 2006 edition of SP Cuts, so even finding just three, seemed like a win. Having not seen these needed cards before, I thought it was kind of interesting that the image SP used of Wally Post, minus the color, came from his 1957 Topps card. I'm kind of surprised that Topps wouldn't have come after them for that.

It just wouldn't be a show, without getting a few needed 2001 Fleer greats.

The few '01 and '02 Archives Reserve that I have been able to get, have all come from this dealer, but I was still surprised to see all these from the 2002 edition.

And yeah I know, the pictures kind of suck, but I was at least able to bring out a bit of the rainbow.

Sorry for the sideways Boog!

Even though most of the 2012 Cooperstown in the box were in sad shape, I did find this one needed Ballparks insert featuring the original home of the Red Sox.

This shiny (although you can't tell from the picture) Dave Parker, is from a new to me set, 2005 Topps Pristine Legends. I certainly wouldn't mind finding more of these.

 This is a black signature parallel from the 2003 Bowman Heritage, which is yet another set that I'm completely unfamiliar with. Neat card, ridiculously thick though.

Seller #2:
The next table I hit, had a quarter box, which yielded this 1998 UD3 Die-Cut parallel. I've mentioned it before, but these '98 Die-Cut's might be my favorite baseball parallel of all time. Unfortunately, this one was the only one in the box, however...
... the box did have more Archives Reserve waiting for me.

I couldn't believe my luck, the first two tables I stopped at, both end up having Reserve. It was shaping up to be a really good day.

Since this box had some of the bigger names, I didn't mind paying a quarter apiece for 'em.
At rate I was going, I thought I might end up knocking off most of the set(s), but alas, it wasn't meant to be as these were the last one's I would see that day.

Seller #3:
My one lone buyback of the day came from a dealer who, due to his high prices, I don't normally stop at. As I walking past him though, I noticed a couple of two row shoeboxes that said 80% off, so I figured I might as well see what's in there. Big shock, even with the huge markdown, everything was still a couple of dollars more than it should be. I only ended up going through one row of cards, while doing so, I came across this Russ Meyer, which seemed to be the only card that wasn't priced. After what felt like an eternity, I was finally able to get the guy's attention, and was quoted a price of $2 (which meant he thought it was worth $10!). Normally I wouldn't pay that much for a buyback, but I haven't been getting very many lately, and I didn't have anyone in the #471 spot... so I decided to splurge a little, and overpay for a buyback.

Seller #4:
My only real complaint about the Nashville shows would be in the lack of variety, I know it's a sports card show and all, but I would still like to see some non-sports card stuff. That is the one thing I miss about the Portland Shows, even though they were considerably smaller, you'd have people selling comic books, DVD's, and occasionally action figures. Plus you'd often find vintage non-sport cards as well, which is something else you don't often see here. That being said, one of my favorite dealers, who also happens to be one of only two that actually remembers me, is just about the only guy who ever brings any oddball non-card items for sale. Well, this time around he brought a box of comics, which might be a first for one of the shows here.

Most of the books were of the Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, X-Men variety, which really aren't my cup of tea. I did however find the Detective Comics shown above, at $2 it was overpriced, but I didn't have it, and I was hoping by buying a couple it might encourage him to bring more to future shows. This issue of King Conan was no brainer for me, I mean look at that cover! It's more of a reading copy, but since I really wanted to read it, I didn't mind the $1 price tag.

Seller #5:
This dealer only does dime boxes, and even though his stock doesn't seem to change very often, there's always a few new things added from show to show. I was able to mark a few more 2014-15 Prizm base set needs off the checklist.

I was also able to find a couple of prizms and parallels from the same set.
There were also a couple of 2014-15 Hoops parallels to be had.

I'm not really actively collecting either of these, but I like green things, so I will pick up any cheap green 2015-16 hoops parallels that I come across. The multiple years worth of Panini Threads die cuts are kind of fun, so I was going to pass on this Manu Ginobili from the 2012-13 edition.

And to round things out, a couple of 90's inserts/parallels. I'm pretty sure I already have the Rahim and the Bibby, but I didn't have the Webber 1999-00 Skybox Metal Emerald, I'm working on that parallel set so I consider that to be a pretty cool find.

If all goes well, I hope to have part two up sometime tomorrow, so until then...


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