Tuesday, March 20, 2012

'Tis the season

I was originally planning on doing the last of my four card show posts tonight, but my friends and I decided to play a little basketball outdoors tonight.

As a result, I'm just too beat to get up the energy for a huge post, as the card show one will be. But be on the lookout for it tomorrow night!

The weather has been freakishly warm here the past couple weeks (it's supposed to get up to 86 degrees tomorrow), perfect for games of basketball or just hanging out in general.

Speaking of that warm weather, my mom told me that she saw the first garage sale sign on one of the local street corners last afternoon.

I've spent many weekend afternoons going from garage sale to garage sale with my mom. Sometimes we'll go to some that advertise baseball cards in the local paper or online, or sometimes we'll just go to some random ones. Even if I don't find anything (which is most of the time), it's still a lot of fun.

One thing I've learned when it comes to garage sales and baseball cards: Don't get your hopes up.

It's probably all of our dreams to go to a garage sale and find that 1954 Topps Hank Aaron rookie for a dollar. Ninety-nine percent of the time, though, you'll end up finding a box filled with 1988 Topps cards, probably horribly overpriced as well.

Of all the garage sales I've been to since I got back into baseball card collecting, I've only come away with cards from one of them. Just one.

But it was one of the best moments of my collecting career.

I'm pretty sure we'd seen an baseball card-related ad in the local paper for this particular garage sale, so my mom and I decided to make it one of our stops for the day.

It started out as most do, with me seeing a gigantic box of 1990 Donruss, 1991 Fleer, etc. I moved on to the second of the pair of the 3200-count boxes. And I was shocked.

About half of the box was filled with cards from the 1989 Swell Baseball Greats set. For an old-timey HOF collector like myself, it was paradise. These were another example of cards that I could never find anywhere, and here I am stumbling upon a half-box full of them.

The best part?

They were only two cents a piece.

Jim Bouton for two pennies.

Virgil Trucks for two pennies.

Heck, even Ty Cobb for just two measly pennies.

I remember coming away with exactly 100 cards that afternoon, for a grand total of two dollars. Just two dollars.

Two dollars for an entire stack of baseball history. I'm not sure I've ever gotten a better deal in my card-collecting life. It might not have been a Hank Aaron rookie card, but I'm not sure I could have been any happier with my finds that day.

If any of you are like me and go to garage sale after garage sale in search for cards, I'd say keep doing it. Don't get discouraged.

You never know when someone else's trash will become your treasure.


Hackenbush said...

I got lucky last summer with a garage sale. Besides a bunch of over priced cards the guy had bunches of 20-25 card bags for 25 cents each. I think I ended up buying 20. I shared the highlights of 17 of them in separate posts. If you're interested here's a link to the first,http://canthavetoomanycards.blogspot.com/2011/08/garage-sale-packs-1.html

night owl said...

I've run several posts about a garage sale I went to every June -- the guy had an entire file cabinet filled with baseball cards. A lot were from the late '80s and early '90s, but I found a 1970 Lou Brock, several 1969 Topps and lots of early '80s goodies.

Then last June I found out he sold the file cabinet -- cards and all -- to someone. A sad day.

The Lost Collector said...

Back in the late '90s, I found an unopened box of 1993-94 Topps Basketball Series 1 for $5 at a garage sale. I bought it. Got a few Jordan base cards, so it was worth it.

Michael J Buchanan said...

My best find was last year. Went to a garage sale and this guy had about 4 monster boxes (3200 count) of 2003-present cards. I thumbed through them and picked out about 6-7 cards - I'm talking $1.00 type cards. He tells me 75 cents. I'm estatic. I tell him I wish I had more time to go through them all. He then BLOWS MY MIND by saying I can habve them all for $15 bucks. TEN THOUSAND newish cards for $15. SOLD! Still hold out hope that deals like that can still be found, but I think it was a pretty rare occurance.