Saturday, June 9, 2012
A dollar well spent
I always enjoy getting new cards.
Most of the time, my "card fix" comes from trading, Target, and the occasional card show. But sometimes, new cardboard can come from the unlikeliest of sources.
Last night, my mom mentioned that she was going to a little flea market at a local church today. I've been to enough of those types of gatherings to know that there's usually not much in the way of cardboard. (However, I've always thought someone going from garage sale to garage sale or flea market to flea market in search of some Americana "finds" would make for a good TV show.)
I told my mom that if she happened to see any cheap cards this afternoon, it might not hurt to pick them up. I figured it was a longshot.
Much to my surprise, my mom came home with a little box of baseball cards for me.
Even if the entire box was filled with '88 Donruss, the box was cool enough for me. It's a new "piece" to my collection in itself.
The entire box cost just a single dollar.
With a couple hundred cards inside, that easily came to less than a penny per card. Not bad at all.
I was a little weary at first, because the initial dozen cards I pulled from the box were basketball and football cards. But it was all baseball after that.
Most of the box was comprised of '93 Topps. While that may be a disappointment to a lot of other collectors, it wasn't to me. For some reason, my collection is a bit lacking in later overproduction era cards (1993-94), and most of the "gems" seem to come from those few years.
Even if I didn't find anything inside, it would've been worth a buck just digging through all those cards. I've always had fun opening those repack things they sell at Target, and this was basically a larger version of those.
But there did turn out to be a few decent cards inside...
Apparently, my scanner does not agree with '92 Upper Deck, so please excuse the fact that they're cut off.
There was a small stack of early '90s Upper Deck cards towards the back of the box. While it didn't net much, I did manage to find a few neat ones.
That Dave Stewart would have to rank pretty high among the scariest cards in my collection. I can see why he was one of the most feared hurlers of his time.
For some reason, I collect cards of Eric Davis as a Dodger, so his '92 UD issue was a nice find. Plus, I always love cards of guys laughing.
But as I mentioned earlier, a good ninety percent of the cards in the box were from 1993 Topps, one of their better offerings during the overproduction era.
I know for a fact that a few of the first packs I ever opened were '93 Topps. I distinctly remember pulling a Griffey base card out of a pack. It was one of my first "scores".
It also gave the collector some of the first looks at the expansion Rockies and Marlins clubs.
Since they hadn't been around the year before, most of the Rockies/Marlins cards were poses, some of which turned out rather nice.
Is it just me, or are the cacti in the background shaped like a gigantic baseball mitt? I see four "fingers", and possibly a "thumb" off to the left.
But some posed shots just end up looking awkward.
I'm not sure what Topps was going for on McAndrew's card. Besides, it looks like they took that shot at some sort of country club.
Could Calvin Jones look any less happy to be in a Rockies uniform?
Both of these are zero-year cards, as I just found out. Jones would never make it back to the big leagues after his '92 season with the Mariners, and McAndrew didn't make it to the bigs until '95 with the Brewers.
Here's some familiar names.
David Cone had two stints in Toronto, the first coming in 1992 when the Jays picked him up for their World Series run that year. It turned out to be a nice trade for both sides, as the Mets received future All-Star second baseman Jeff Kent in return.
I can't tell whether the Cone is a night card, or if the shot was just taken in a dome. It was one of the best in the box either way.
I have a soft spot for any card that features the Wrigley Field ivy, so that should tell you how much I enjoy that Willie McGee card.
It looks like the photographer caught Harold Reynolds a bit off-guard there.
Still, it's a great shot of the now-extinct Kingdome. Plus, I'm a fan of those '90s Mariners batting helmets for some reason. I wish they'd bring those back.
We have our second Eric Davis sighting with his '93 Topps issue. Definitely one of the better photos I've seen from the set.
This was the most surprising find from the box.
It's definitely odd seeing a pimple-faced Trevor Hoffman. I've gotten so used to him as the dominant Padres closer of the late '90s and 2000's that I sometimes forget that he broke in with the expansion Marlins in '93. (His '92 Bowman rookie features him as a Red, a card which is currently on my "Dime Box Nine" list.)
I've wanted this card for a while. I managed to track down the gold parallel a while ago, but the base card never turned up for whatever reason. (I hate it when that happens.)
It just goes to show that you never know what you'll find from these types of deals. I almost never see any overproduction era cards at card shows. While that's mostly a good thing, it does eliminate the chances of me finding the few I still need.
That's why I always enjoy going through little "finds" like these. You did good, Mom.
It was easily worth a buck just to go through all those cards. Finding any I needed was purely a bonus. That's one of the great things about this hobby.
Sometimes gems can come from the unlikeliest of sources.