Friday, February 17, 2012

Dime Box Heroes: 1980's nostalgia

1980 Highlanders Nostalgic Enterprises #11 Willie Keeler

Almost all dime boxes are fun to go through.

In my experience, I'd say I've found at least a decent stack of cards from about 95 percent of the dime boxes I've come across. Every once in a while, I'll see one filled with mostly newer Bowman Draft and TriStar-type cards, complete with hundreds of guys that I've never heard of and probably never will. 

I pass those up. Dime boxes aren't about trying to predict the future, trying to find that new "hot prospect". 

They're about taking a ride through baseball history, one card at a time.

For the most part, the more diverse the box is, the better. The boxes that have a nice mix of current sets with earlier stuff are the best ones. The main reason I love dime boxes so much is because you never know what you'll find.

That's especially true with those types of boxes.

One of the dime boxes I searched through at Saturday's card show was mostly newer stuff from sets like Bowman, Bowman Platinum, and Finest. While I genuinely enjoyed looking though those (I came away with about sixty cards), I'd much rather look through a box filled with random cards.

Of all the dime boxes I've ever seen, there's been just one exception to the "diversity" rule.

About a year ago, I came across one particular box that caught my eye. Usually, you can tell if a dime box is any good by grabbing a couple handfuls of cards at random, and seeing if you need any. If you don't find much after that, it's probably not worth the time.

After sifting through a couple stacks of cards, I didn't find much. A decent amount of it was cards from the overproduction era. I almost walked away, but I decided to try just one more handful for the heck of it.

I'm glad I did.

That particular stack was filled with late '70s/early '80s baseball card goodness, and I found quite a few cards from just that handful alone. At the time, my collection was really lacking in cards from that era. I decided to dig a little deeper into the dime box.

I soon found out that the whole box was '70s and '80s stuff. But it was as fun as any other dime box I've seen. Just seeing all those names and faces from that era made it a blast to dig through.

In the end, I came away with about 100 cards.

I found quite a few neat cards, including a 1977 Topps Rico Petrocelli (his final card) and a 1981 Topps Traded Bobby Bonds, to name a couple off the top of my head.

But probably my favorite out of all the ones I found was the "Wee" Willie Keeler card featured at the top of the post. 

I'm not exactly sure if these are reprints of actual turn-of-the-century baseball cards, or if they were made specifically for this set.

They're cool either way. Keeler's nickname was quite appropriate, as the back of this card has him listed at 5'4" and just 140 pounds! It's hard to believe a guy that small was one of the best hitters in baseball history, posting a .341 career batting average.

Keeler also is responsible for the famous quote, "Hit 'em where they ain't." 

To find a card of a guy like Keeler for a dime is amazing. Especially a card as nice as this one.

It just goes to show that you really never know what you'll find in a dime box.


moremonkeys138 said...

To this day the best find I've ever had in a dime box was the 2010 Topps series 1 Whitey Ford short print variation. I'm quite sure it wasn't supposed to be in there but I definitely grabbed it!

Nick said...

Short prints are another great thing about dime boxes, I've still got that idea rattling around for a future one of these posts.

I've found a nice amount of SPs from Topps Heritage and A&G over the years in dime boxes. They're easily worth a few bucks a piece.

I've never found anything near a Whitey Ford SP, though. I guess that's what happens when you don't look at your sale boxes closely enough!

Kev said...

hey nick, partially inspired by an earlier post of yours, i am going to head to my first card show tomorrow...

i am requesting you to do a post of what a "low-end collector" should look at at a show, and what he should avoid...

thanks, and wish me luck! (my budget is $50 tomorrow, but i could go up to like $80, if i am blown away by something)

Nick said...

That's a great idea for a post!

I was going to do one on something else tonight, but I'd love to do a post like that to share some of my card show "strategies".

Kev said...

thanks! i really don't know what i am going to find tomorrow - the only thing i know is "40T" (40 tables? is that big?)

Nick said...

The card show I went to on Saturday was probably around 40-50 tables, yours sounds similar to that one.

I'd say it will be about the size of a school gym, maybe a bit smaller.

Oh, and one more thing that I forgot.

Good luck! :)