Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dime Box Heroes: An icon

1999 Sports Illustrated Greats of the Game #88 Mark Fidrych

In my life, I've looked through thousands and thousands of dime box cards.

Of those thousands of cards, there's a fraction of them that have come home with me. And of those cards, there are those very special few that are in a class of their own in my collection.

This is one of those special few.

I couldn't tell you what my absolute favorite dime box find ever was, but I know this card would be in the "Top Ten" if I ever took the time to actually sit down and make a list.

This card came from one of the most spectacular dime boxes I've ever had the privilege of going through. It was at the National Card Convention this past August. In terms of the numbers of dime boxes, I didn't find there to be too much of a difference between the National and the regular show they hold in that hall twice a year. 

The awesomeness of the dime boxes at the National, however, was a whole different story. There's levels of dime box cards I need, you see. There's cards I want. There's cards I really want. Then there's the "Oh my God" kind of cards that come along every once in a while.

The National had a lot of those "Oh my God" cards.

One particular table stands out in my memory. This guy's dime boxes had quite a few of the "Oh my God" kind of cards. And to top it all off, they weren't even a dime. They were 12/$1. There were about three or four of those big boxes that hold about a thousand cards, and I looked through each and every one. (Am I crazy?)

I managed to find a Ryan Zimmerman Sweet Spot rookie card in that box. A card of value and one that I really wanted. The guy also had a bunch of base cards from Topps Fan Favorites that I needed, one of my all-time favorite sets.

But what set this dime box apart from all the others that day was the stack of 1999 SI Greats of the Game cards I found inside. From my experience, these cards are a bit tougher to come by. Before the National, I only had a small handful of cards from the set.

It really is a great set. There's a few others from that dime box that I already have in mind for later "Dime Box Heroes" posts.

This Fidrych card was definitely the highlight of that dime box, if not the entire National itself.

Speaking of dime boxes, I'd just like to take a moment to say that I'm glad this blog has inspired at least a few of my fellow bloggers to dig into a dime box here and there at their local shows. They really can get lost in the shuffle with the more pricey stuff at card shows. There may be some better cards out there, but nothing is more rewarding than finding that one card you really want out of a simple dime box.

Nothing beats finding a dime card of "The Bird".

If I could go back in time to one point in post-WWII baseball history, I'd go back to 1976 so I could see Mark Fidrych. Almost everything I know about Fidrych comes from my dad's stories. The amazing hype. The effervescent personality. His nationally-televised complete-game victory against the Yankees.

Fidrych's '77 Topps rookie is arguably the most iconic card of the 1970's, if not one of the most iconic in baseball history. That card is imprinted in the memories of almost every single kid who grew up during that era.

"The Bird" himself is one of the most lovable figures in baseball history. I don't know that we'll ever see a baseball player quite like Mark Fidrych ever again.

For me, this card represents one of the most memorable years in baseball history, capturing a great moment of the man that was the forefront of the baseball world at the time.

I'll take this card over one of those high-end "glass case" cards that I always see.

I wouldn't even have to think about it.


CaptKirk42 said...

I missed those 1999 SI cards because it was during one of my hiateses from cards. They are really nice looking cards the photography on them is top notch fantastic.

years ago my local card shop (in one of their former locations) used to have these bargain drawers of commons and a drawer or two of non-sport I think they were 25cents, 50cents and mabye one for slightly less common at a buck. In their first location the drawers were nice and neat and all the cards were in neat rows, when they made their move acorss the street (literally) the drawers were just a junk drawer with the cards tossed in siting in a massive pile in the drawer. I think they did away with the drawers and in their current location which is smaller than their previous location across town, the drawer has been replaced by a 25cent box. I think they have a deal where for $x you can buy the entire contents of the 25cent box or used to.

hiflew said...

That would be an interesting post or series of posts. Which card is the most iconic of the 1970s? or 60s or 80s or 90s or whatever. I don't have the 70s experience to even come close to putting something like that together, but I think I would lean toward the 1975 Topps Herb Washington pinch runner card. Although, the 77 Mark Fidrych (along with the 76 Topps Traded Oscar Gamble and the 71 Thurman Munson) would definitely be high on that list as well.

Hackenbush said...

The signed version (not a dime unfortunately) is one of my favorites:;postID=6876642155935122856