My dad gave me a choice at yesterday's show.
He'd either treat me to a box of 2012 Topps Heritage, or give me a little extra cash for the vintage boxes.
What do you think I chose?
Heritage is great and all, but nothing beats owning some real vintage Topps cards. Right?
There's always one table at this show that is absolutely brimming with discounted vintage cards (and a lot of really expensive ones as well). It was there last November when I found a bunch of two-dollar '50s and '60s cards.
They were there again yesterday. And they actually had even more to choose from.
It was sheer vintage insanity.
A few things before I start:
1) A heartfelt thanks goes out to my dad (who reads this blog almost every day). None of these cards would be in my collection today if it wasn't for him shooting a little extra cash my way.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
2) My regular readers probably know this already, but I'll say it again. When it comes to vintage, condition is not a factor at all. You'll see creases, rounded corners, even some writing.
In the hobby, condition has become a focal point, especially when it comes to vintage. But a lot of these cards are over fifty years old. I don't expect them to be in great condition, and to tell you the truth, I wouldn't really want them to be.
To me, a crease here or a dinged corner there just means that they were loved by their previous owner. I hope I can give them as good a home as they previously had.
Not to mention that it saves me a lot of money.
3) Get ready for some sweet vintage goodness, because here we go.
My dad and I actually made two trips to this table. We were trying to scope out that $2 box the first time, but there were already a few people occupying it. They had their lists and everything. (My dad said one guy even forgot his list, panicked, called his friend, and had him read it to him over the phone. Wow.)
As we disappointingly walked away from that box, we stumbled upon another box at the table. I don't remember exactly what the sign said, but it mentioned something about having reasonably priced vintage inside.
Naturally, I took a look.
The '64 Robin Roberts at the top of the post was one of the first cards I found, reasonably priced at just three bucks.
I dug deeper.
I found a couple Jim Bouton cards I didn't already have.
The total cost for the pair was just a single buck.
A little further...
I've been looking to add more of these Post cards to my collection.
Luckily, I found a couple in this discount box.
The "Zim" was a quarter, and the Haddix fifty cents.
I saw copies of the '62 Piersall at about three different tables over the course of yesterday's show. I nabbed this one for fifty cents.
I can only find record of three Tony LaRussa cards issued during his playing career ('64, '68, and this one). This 1972 Topps is my first real card of him as a player, and is also incidentally LaRussa's last card.
He played in just nine games for the '71 Braves, so it makes for a great unfamiliar uniform card as well.
A quarter was all it took to become the proud owner of that card.
These two cost just fifty cents a piece.
I don't have many Kansas City A's cards. To get a pair of my favorites from their respective KC days was awesome.
Besides, how could I pass up a "Marvelous Marv" card for a couple quarters?
These two set me back just $1.50 together.
I found a lot of '72 Topps cards at yesterday's show, including the Yaz. Next to '75 Topps, it's probably my favorite set of the 1970's.
The '61 Norm Cash was one of the $2 cards, but more on those in a bit.
The '64 Cash, however, cost just fifty cents. It might have something to do with that writing in the top-left corner.
It's in near-perfect shape otherwise.
I found it odd that Topps used a shot of Cash bunting for his '64 issue. He hit 26 homers the year before in '63.
That's a lot of yellow.
The Thomson was another spectacular $2 box find.
The '59 Milt Pappas is in great shape considering it's over fifty years old, mine for the price of $1.50.
These two '54 Bowman cards of Joe Nuxhall and Johnny Pesky cost just a dollar each.
It often gets overshadowed by the great sets that Topps churned out during the '50s, but Bowman had some pretty darn nice cards during that time as well. The colors are brought out extremely well on these cards.
Okay, now we're onto some serious business.
The two-dollar box.
My dad and I came back to the table near the end of the show, happily finding that the $2 vintage box was unoccupied and free for the taking.
I'm still having trouble grasping the fact that I actually found this 1959 Hank Aaron card inside.
A 1950's Hank Aaron card for $2.
I can say it as many times as I want, but I still won't believe it.
Reggie, Reggie, Reggie!
This is one of the best cards from the 1971 Topps set, in my opinion. I'm just glad I finally own a copy of it.
Larry Doby's 1959 Topps issue is his final card.
Except for the fact that it's off-center, it's in almost perfect shape.
Two dollars was a steal for this one in my eyes.
I have a hard time passing up anything of the Alou brothers.
Not to mention that the '65 set is probably my all-time favorite Topps issue.
Speaking of the Alou brothers...
...there's the other one. Matty Alou.
I've had my eye on his '71 Topps card for a while now, but I never thought I'd own a copy due to the fact that it's one of those ultra-high numbers (#720).
Once again, I was wrong.
I may have a new favorite Al Kaline card with that '71. A beauty.
Oh, but we're not done talking about the Alou family.
Thanks to that $2 box, I now own a '59 Topps rookie card of Felipe Alou, the eldest of the three brothers.
Rocky Colavito is one of my favorite players from the '60s. This '61 Topps issue is a great new piece to my growing collection of his.
You know you've got a good card when the answer to the trivia question on the back of the card is the very player featured, as is the case with Brooks Robinson's 1972 Topps issue. ("Who has the most DP's at third base?")
His 1973 card is even cooler. He's in ready position, just daring the hitter to bunt one down the third-base line.
These are both pretty beat-up, but that didn't even come close to stopping me from buying them.
For a short period of time, that '67 Gaylord Perry was my favorite card of his...but more on that in a later one of these posts.
I couldn't believe the fact that these were just two bucks a piece.
1954's of a couple relatively well-known names are hard to come by at that price.
They'll look great on display in my room.
I'm not lying.
This is a landmark card in my collection.
It's the first Bowman card I own back when their cards were still mini-sized. This Charlie Keller is from the 1951 set.
It's hard to believe that I bought a sixty-one year-old card for just two dollars.
That's part of what makes collecting baseball cards such a great hobby.
Well, that just ab...
...wait, I forgot one.
For this last card, let's go back to the first time I went to this table, digging though the "reasonably priced box".
I had to rub my eyes when I saw this card with a $5 price tag. I'd never seen this card for less than about twenty dollars or so.
Five dollars netted me the following piece of baseball history.
A real, actual card of my all-time favorite baseball player.
For just five dollars. My jaw is still dropped in amazement.
Seriously, does it get any better?
Oh, but this isn't even close to all of the vintage I found at yesterday's show. I've still got two more posts left.
Next to dime boxes, vintage is my favorite part of collecting. I just love rescuing those cardboard pieces of baseball history, bit by bit.
No other hobby can match it.