Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Old cards from an old card show

It's only taken me three and a half weeks to get to it, but here it is, the vintage portion of my purchases from the almost a month ago card show.

Before diving in, consider yourself warned, it's really long, a bit on the rambly side, and probably full of typos (way too long to proof read), so with that in mind... bon app├ętit:

The first table I hit, was literally the first table you saw when you entered in to the smaller of the two gyms that made up the card show. The only other time that I had seen this dealer, was at the last big show that I attended way back in September. If you click on that link, this was the guy who had the 3/$1 vintage boxes, which I had did pretty well at, so of course I was psyched to see what he had brought this time.

I looked at the sign, saw 3/$1, so I went to work on a two row shoe box, pulling out cards left and right. When I was done with the box, I proceeded to start removing cards from a binder of '61-67 Topps that he had apparently added to the mix just for this show. About halfway through the binder, another patron showed up and started to talk with the seller, asking him what kind of stuff had he brought for sell. The dealer mentioned this and that, and then said "oh yeah, and all these over here (pointing n my direction) are 3/$2", 3/$2? I looked back at the sign, and I'll be darned if it didn't say $1 each or 3/$2.

Clearly this was a case of me seeing what I wanted to see, because I could of swore it said 3/$1. Talk about a record scratch moment!  At this point, I had already made a stack of 30-40 cards, but at 3/$2, those cards became a lot less appealing, not to mention now quite a few of them would be considered overpriced. Now that I knew they were more expensive, I had to go through and figure out which ones were still worth getting. I ended up keeping seven, including the three 61's above, I decided to stop working on the set last year, but I'd still like to complete the manager's subset.

Here we've got a sunset card and an almost sunset card. The '63 Pumpsie is technically not a sunset card, but it is the last card of him to be issued while still on an active roster. He's got a card in the '64 set, but he spent the entire season (as well as the next) in AAA.

The '64 is truly the last card for Bobby Shantz, he went 1-3 for the Cardinals before being traded to the Cubs, before finishing up the season with the Phillies.

The '66 set fell by the wayside last year as well, but I still had to have this Astro Aces card. And Max Alvis is a high number (#520), so that was a pretty nice find for my set.

Even though I ended up getting far less from this seller than I had initially thought, I'm still pleased with the seven cards that I did walk away with, but man oh man, if they had truly had been 3/$1...

This next dealer was one whom I hadn't ever seen at one of the shows before. His tables were packed with people, and his prices seemed to be all over the place. With everyone seeming to be jostling for position at their respective boxes, I could tell that I wasn't going to be spending very much time here, and I was right, five minutes and three cards later... and I was done.

I've mentioned before that I'm under no illusions in regards to thinking that I will ever be able to complete the 1953 Topps set, but I still enjoy picking up cheap decently conditioned singles when I can, Ken Heintzelman was the only one found that fit those requirements (he was $2). I hadn't been familiar Ken in the least, if anyone's interested, I found this nice write-up on the Baseball in Wartime site.

I didn't see too many 67's during my brief stay at these tables, but I did find this awesome Tribe Thumpers for fifty cents.

Even though it's not on my want list, and I rarely mention it, but I am collecting the '72 Topps set, albeit very slowly. If I were to have sat down before the show and made a list of my top five most wanted cards from the set, this Cubs Team card would have been on that list. It's not a high number, and it's not really worth (monetarily speaking) anything, and I'm not a Cubs fan (not a hater either), but I've just always liked it from the moment I first saw it. And now after forking over two quarters, I can cross this one off that non-existent most wanted 72's list.

There were probably more deals to be had from this dealer's offerings, but like I said, too many people and not enough personal space! Maybe some other time.

The next couple of 1971-72 Topps came from the same guy that I got my Dr. J rookie from a couple of years ago. His usual spread is made up of 20-25 monster boxes, full of nothing but vintage from the three major U.S. sports, and everything is a $1 each. He's got some higher priced stuff as well, but those monster boxes are what he is known for.

This show was different though as all of his $1 boxes were now $5 boxes, which was kind of disappointing. I suspect that he might have bought another large vintage collection (he does that fairly regularly), that was probably nicer than his normal offerings, so why not try and get a little bit more for them. I sort of half heartedly looked through a box or two, saw a couple of interesting things, but not interesting enough to pay $5 apiece for.

All was not lost though, as he had a small display set up at one end of his tables, this display had a bunch of cubby holes in it, each of which contained an 800 ct box of cards from various sets... and all those cards were one dollar each.

I went through a number of the boxes, but the only one that I ended up getting anything from was the 1971-72 Topps basketball box.

This Bob Lanier rookie, condition wise, is a little rougher than the majority of the cards that I have for the set, but the price was certainly right, and I just really want this set to be done... maybe I'll try to get an upgrade at some point, and maybe I won't, I'll figure that out at some later date.

Bob Lanier is one of those player's you really never hear about anymore, which is kind of amazing seeing as how he's a hall of famer who just happened to averaged a double-double (20.1 ppg, and 10.1 rpg) during his 14-year career.

After getting this quintet, plus one other from COMC last week, I am now a mere 13 cards away from completing the set!

These two came from Jim's (favorite seller) 25 cent boxes, which is where pretty much everything else that I have already shown came from. He doesn't usually have a lot of vintage, so these were a nice surprise. I already had the '75-76 Elston, but I thought it might be in better shape than the one I already had -- it wasn't -- so sometime in the near future, it will be sent out with a TTM request.

Normally I like my '77-78 Topps to be in a little bit better shape than the Grevey above, but it's a gray back, so I was willing to make an exception.

After finishing up with the quarter boxes, I moved over to Jim's boxes of "hits". It was while I was going through those boxes that I started noticing the wares of the seller who was setup just to the right of Jim. It was the stuff in the glass case that initially caught my attention, as I was seeing vintage cards of star players for, get this, reasonable prices!

Anybody who's ever been to a card show knows that when you see vintage cards of star players in a glass case, 9.9 time out of 10, those cards are going to be overpriced, and by show's end, will remain unpurchased.

I continued to go through Jim's boxes, but I found myself leaning to my right in order see more of what was in that case, all the while becoming increasingly more nervous that someone was going to swoop in and clean out that case before I had a chance to really see what was all in there. With that in mind, I asked Jim to hold on to my cards and that I would be back to look through the rest of his boxes, which he didn't have a problem with (he's cool like that).

Now to that case... or so I thought!

As I was sliding over a couple of paces to my right, I happened to notice a small box that was sitting on top of, and towards the back of the case that I was so desperately trying to see more of. This box looked like it was holding maybe 25-30 cards in top loaders with a "$1 each" written on it... which I almost couldn't comprehend the meaning of, and not because it was a dollar box, no, I was having trouble because there was a 1952 Bowman Casey Stengel staring at me from the front of that box!

It was probably only a few seconds, but it felt like minutes as I picked up the card and turned it over, then looked back at the "$1 each" in black sharpie, back to the card, back to the sign, rinse and repeat. I just couldn't process it, and to one in particular I said aloud "I can't believe that no one has bought this for a dollar! I was then brought back to earth by the seller's curt reply "well, it could be yours for just one dollar". Great I thought, "another crotchety old guy, cause there just ain't enough of those wandering around". If I hadn't wanted the card so much, I would've walked away right then and there, because I just don't have the patience to deal with rude people anymore.

Even as I type this post out three weeks after the fact, I still can't believe that I got this card for a buck, I mean sure it's got a little a paper loss on the front, but who cares... it's still an amazing card!

After finding this card, I had visions of more spectacular finds being had from this box, such was not the case, as I did pick up a few more things of interest, but nothing that was on par with Casey.

This '59 Duke has certainly seen better days, but for $1, he'll make a nice placeholder until I'm able to find a better copy.

There were about seven or eight really nice looking 72's grouped together, if they were low numbered commons, a dollar a piece wouldn't be a very good price, but I thought I might have stumbled upon a couple of high numbers, so I of course had to turn them over to check. No high numbers, but a couple of the backs were lighter in color than the others, and you know what that means right?

OPC! I'm not actively collecting the '72 OPC set, but this is the first time that I've ever come across any vintage (In my mind, that's '73 or older) OPC, so I couldn't not buy them.

I've gone back in forth wondering whether or not that $1 box had already been hit or not, as I didn't even get to it until like four hours into the show. On one hand there wasn't very much there look through, but on the other hand, I can't imagine that somebody would have left a '52 Bowman Casey Stengel behind. Either way, I'm happy to have gotten what I did from it, although in retrospect, I realized that I didn't turn over any of the 65's and 66's that were in there... and now I can't help but wonder if they might have been of the OPC variety too.

After going through the box, it was time to finally see what was to be had from that case. One thing that struck right away, was that it didn't look like anything had been bought from the case yet, which as I would learn just a couple of minutes later... was an astute observation on my part. It was also, as I would learn, the reason for the seller's initial coldness. He was just a little annoyed that all these well priced things weren't moving, and he really seemed to warm up to me once I mentioned, while checking to see if I already had one of his, that I was working on the 1960 Fleer set. From that point on, the ice was officially broken.

It's a Stengel hot post! This "59 set me back $2.

Ooh a Larry Doby sunset card for $2, yes please! Larry only played in 18 games for Detroit in 1959, before being traded to the White Sox, so his final card could've just as easily been with Chicago.

Another hall of famer for $2.

This '62 Yogi was the card that originally called to me from the case as I was looking through Jim's cards. Normally, even in this condition, I wouldn't expect to this card at a show for anything less than $10... this had a $3 sticker on it.

Not only is this my first vintage Yogi, but it was also a very nice addition to my glacially slow '62 set build.

Even though I'm still a long ways away from completing the '69 Topps set, I have been very fortunate in the last couple of years to have found quite a few of the high numbers for some very reasonable prices -- in fact, heading into this show, I was down to needing just eight -- two of those eight being Fergie Jenkins, and Bobby Bonds' rookie, which just happen to be two of the pricier cards from the sixth series.

As you can see, Fergie is no longer a need. This fairly nice example was had for $5, which is around $5-$10 cheaper than it would normally go for.

That marks the end of my case purchases. I probably could have gotten a few more things, especially for some other folks, but some other people were finally starting to take notice of this dealer's wares, and it was getting late. Both of which were signs that it was time for me to move on.

After leaving this guy's table, I could tell that I was just about "showed" out, even on a good day, 3-4 hours is really all I can handle, and at this point I was over the three-hour mark. Before I left though, I knew that there was one more dealer that I had see, since his tables always seem to be the most crowded, I had intentionally waited until I was ready to leave before making my over to them.

If you clicked on that "September" link near the top of the post, than you'll have read about the husband/wife duo who's tables I hit last. For those not interested in reading a really long old post, the short of it is, they only sell vintage... lots and lots of vintage! They only set up at the big shows, and they have the largest spread, usually along one of the back walls, that way they have more room for the plastic shelving units that are chock full of vintage sets in binders. And I don't know how many glass cases they have on their many tables, but even those are nearly bursting with stacks of cards from basically any vintage set that you can think of.

I find their whole set-up to be quite overwhelming, between the sheer amount of cards, and all the people frantically searching for that "one" missing card (at least that's how it always seems to me), it's just too much for my anxiety to handle.

In that link to my older post, I talked about their discount box, which was all I really wanted to look through, especially since it seems to be the only thing that all the other people aren't looking through. Once I was able to find a spot to squeeze in, I was pleased to see that the small box of discounted stuff, had been replaced with a small tote (which was bigger than the box) of discounted stuff (I should of taken a picture). I should also probably mention that the prices of the cards in the tote, even though heavily discounted, still range in price anywhere from $2-$50, so there really is something in there for every budget.

I found the above 1957 Topps Hank Aaron almost immediately, set it aside, and continued looking. I did find a few more things of interest, but at that point I was nearing the end of the cash that I had brought with me, so I had to make a decision, either a couple of cheaper cards or... a '57 Hank Aaron, which by the way, I had no doubts as to it's authenticity, which is important, what with the large amount of fakes floating around and all. As you can tell by the picture up above, it ended up being not much of a decision.

The price on the sticker said $33, I offered $25, the guy countered with $30, and after thinking about it for half a second or so, I accepted. I had sold a thing on the eBay a few weeks before, and since said thing went for more than I thought it would, I had a little bit more paper folding money to splurge with. I'm sort of half-heartedly collecting the '57 set, so this was a really nice addition to that. And even if I don't end up sticking with the set build, this card was still a really nice addition to my collection.

I still have two more show posts to do, but now that it's been so long, I don't really know if their worth doing or not. On top of that, I've been on an all-card kick as of late, and am feeling the need to switch it up and do a few non-card posts, so...

Thanks for taking a moment (or two) to look at my page.


  1. Simply, utterly amazing. Wow! Those are some great drool worthy finds at unbelievable prices.

    1. I couldn't of said it any better myself :)

  2. Great aaron. I bought a 57 Clemente for my set build a few months ago and have been looking at some Aarons since then as my next big get.

    1. A '57 Clemente is definitely a big-time purchase, so congrats on that! Hopefully we'll see it on the blog at some point.

  3. these cards have incredible color! Bowman Stengel $1?? That is cracked! I'm not into basketball but appreciate older designs. I look at that 71-72 and cry. Topps is missing out on a big opportunity with baseball fans. I would eat a set like that up! Of course, it would likely be high-end, never making to my hobby table to bust and drool upon.

    1. I'm not for certain, but it seems like I saw some baseball cards (possibly inserts) a couple of years ago, that used the 1972-73 Topps basketball design... so that might be something for you to look in to.

  4. A '52 Bowman Stengel for a buck? I want to comment on so many other cards... but I keep coming back to that Stengel for a dollar. DUDE. Congratulations!

    1. Thanks, the Hank Aaron was really great, but I do think that the Stengel was my favorite purchase from the show.

  5. Oh, there's that 59 Duke..and a 57 Aaron..and a 62 Yogi. Wow, that was quite a card show. The 52 Stengel is an amazing find for a buck, and the 69 Fergie is fantastic, too! What a haul!

    And I enjoy reading long posts like this, especially when I'm snowed in and able to read them without distraction :)

    1. Yeah, I told you it was a little rough.

      You guys up there sure are getting clobbered with the snow. Hopefully you don't lose any utilities this time.

  6. You got some steals. Wow congrats on the pickups

    1. Thanks, I thought I did alright as well!

  7. That's a banner vintage haul for sure! And I said to myself as I was reading -- "That dealer being an asshole is probably the reason good stuff was still in his boxes." I've straight up walked away from people's tables if they're being an asshat. I deal with enough grouchiness/rudeness in everyday life -- I don't need it at a card show. But glad you got the '52 Stengel regardless! That's a surefire steal right there.

    I think I'm most jealous of the '62 Berra, though. I've been wanting that one for a while now, and I've never seen it anywhere close to the $3 you paid for it.

    1. I can understand that if someone has been having a bad day, or doesn't feel good, that they might not be in the friendliest of moods, which is okay, but it doesn't mean you have to be a jerk either. The people that are coming up to your table(s) at a card show are not (in most cases) the source of your problems, so don't take it out on them. And as I said, had I not wanted that card so much, I would have walked away right after his snarky remark.