Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dime Box Heroes: A tale of the impossible

1975 Topps Mini #625 Boog Powell

I'm a little surprised that I've written thirty-three "Dime Box Heroes" posts before recounting the incredible tale behind this Boog Powell card.

It found its way into my collection under the unlikeliest of circumstances. If I hadn't witnessed it myself, I would've said it was impossible.

Boog Powell has one of the best cards from 1975 Topps. Given how much I love the iconic set, that's quite the compliment. (I self-professed my "geekdom" through the full-size version of this card.)

In that regard, I guess it's fitting that this was one of the first '75 minis I ever owned. 

The Powell mini was an "indirect" dime box addition, if you will. I traded one of my dime finds in a deal that netted me the greatest Boog Powell card ever produced.

That dime card that landed me this Powell is the real story, though. 

In terms of sheer shock value, it was my all-time greatest dime box find.

I've already recounted how I was a big jersey, autograph, etc. collector early on in my hobby "career". If I could point to one moment in time that brought me to the huge dime box fan I currently am, it would be the moment that I'm about to describe in this post.

Ironically, it involved one of those memorabilia pieces, cards which I've grown apathetic towards in recent years.

The local flea market as a whole is where the roots of my low-end collecting preferences lie. The dime boxes I found there made me come to my senses. It was there that I realized how well they fit into my modest budget, and just how much fun a "dime box dig" could be.

The flea market also taught me that dime boxes can hold almost anything. 

One summer weekend in particular stands out in my mind.

It all started innocently enough. There I was, perusing yet another terrific dime box on a typical sunny summer afternoon.

Dime card after dime card. Story after story.

Then, I saw something that made me stop in my tracks. I stared at it for a few seconds, looked over the front of the card, then flipped it over. 

Surely this had to be some sort of mistake.

Being the honest guy I am, I walked up to the vendor and told him of this card that he'd mistakenly placed in that dime box. (It's the same vendor I've gotten to know over the last couple years, and the same guy who always cuts me some great deals, fittingly enough.)

He looked it over for a second and said something along the lines of, "It's still a dime."

My jaw dropped. 

That's the story of how this card became mine for a single dime.

Yes, that is a genuine signature of a major league baseball player.

The fact that I'd never heard the name Dave Burba before is beside the point. This is a real, actual autograph card that I found in a dime box!

Ever since that moment, the name "Dave Burba" has always had a special meaning to me.

The Burba found a good home, as I contacted someone a couple days later on one of my trading forums who wanted it. He sent me a great array of cardboard, including one of my all-time favorite cards...

...and that's the story of how I added a 1975 Topps Boog Powell mini to my collection.

To this day, that remains the only memorabilia card I've ever found inside a dime box. I would say that it's probably a "once in a lifetime" thing, but that's the great thing about dime boxes.

You just never know.

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