Friday, November 16, 2012

Prep work

In my world, tomorrow a national holiday.

Card show day.

Although I don't make a habit out of it too often, I drop everything in favor of baseball cards on "holidays" like these. Homework can take a back seat a couple times a year, right? (Besides, that's what Sundays are for.)

Tomorrow will mark the fourth and likely the last card show I'll be attending this year. After this, the next one probably won't be until February or March.

I'll definitely make this one count.

Then again, though, that's true with any card show.

For a lot of people, I'm sure the eve of "card show day" involves a lot of work. Throwing lists together. Set needs. Player needs. The whole shebang.

It's one of the ways I'm different from a lot of other collectors.

I've never brought any type of list to a show.

Although I understand why others do it, I've never had the urge to build sets. On top of that, I have a fairly good photographic memory, so I don't feel that I need any help on the "player collections" front.

I simply let the card show take me wherever it may.

That's not to say that I'll be completely in the dark on what I'll be looking for tomorrow. I've established a few general guidelines for myself.

The one that instantly pops out at me concerns some of the more recent releases.

I've previously mentioned how my "patience" has improved as of late. Tomorrow figures to be the big payoff in that department.

Most of these bigger shows I've attended have dime boxes full of recent base cards. That's because they're basically an afterthought to all the big-time vendors. Into the dime box they go, merely a way to make a quick couple of bucks to help pay for the rental space.

Why spend three bucks on a four-card pack of Topps Chrome when I can find everything I need for some loose change?

I wish I'd realized that before this year.

I'm not guaranteeing that I'll find a big box full of Chrome, but it's probably a good bet.

Perhaps I'll find some of those Panini Cooperstown cards that I've been seeing around the blogosphere lately.

That would just be icing on the card show cake.

Normally, I'm not on the hunt for any specific players at shows.

I always seen to find stacks of new Vlad Guerreros and Mark Graces for my collection, but that's pure coincidence. They just seem to find their way into every single dime box I dig through.

With my recent cluster of new binder additions, however, I might have to change that.

I know I'll be on the hunt for cards of this year's NL Cy Young Award winner, Mr. R.A. Dickey. Specifically, I'll be looking for some of his earlier issues.

This 2005 Topps one is the only pre-2012 Dickey card I own.

Given the recent buzz about his Cy Young campaign, I'm sure I'll see at least a couple of his rookie cards at tomorrow's show.

Although I certainly want one, I don't know if I'd be willing to plunk down a few bucks for a copy just yet.

But, hey, you never know.

That's the beauty of card shows.

You just never know.

My next objective has become a regular one at the last few shows.

Hit the discount vintage bins!

Up until a couple years ago, I wouldn't come home from shows with a whole lot of vintage.

That's because I didn't really like to spend more than a buck or two on any single cards. I basically took "low-end" collecting to the extreme.

A couple factors have changed my thoughts on that topic.

For one thing, I realize now that "treating" myself to a couple nice pieces of vintage is something I should do at all shows. I love dime boxes, but sometimes it's worth it to plunk down five or ten bucks for a card I really want.

My most expensive purchases at the last show were a pair of cards with $9.50 price tags. Nineteen bucks for two cards?

That would've been blasphemy a few years ago.

Now, it's an especially sweet "treat" for my collection.

More importantly, though, I have to thank my dad for the amount of awesome vintage I've come home with from the last few shows.

I couldn't have done it without his generous "grants" towards my card show fund.

I've saved up a good amount of dough for tomorrow's show, but my dad has already notified me that he'll be making another nice "donation" this time around as well.

Without his help, I wouldn't be able to hit those discount vintage bins with as much fury as I do nowadays.

I probably wouldn't have been able to purchase this '58 Luis Aparicio from the two-dollar bin. By the time we get to that table, my budget is already dwindling.

Thanks to my dad's generous "grants", we're able to ransack those vintage bins and come away with quite a few treasures.

I'm sure that vendor with the two-dollar bin will be back for tomorrow's show.

I know my dad and I will spend quite a bit of time digging through all that glorious vintage.

Few things can beat it.

As usual, my fellow bloggers will be in my thoughts at tomorrow's show.

I'll be browsing the dime and quarter boxes for some of my regular trade partners. Probably even the vintage bins as well.

As the blogosphere has shown me, I get a tremendous kick out of finding a card that I know another blogger will enjoy. There's no shortage of them, either.

I've got to look for some Dodgers and Orioles. And don't forget Giants and Indians. Blue Jays, too. That's right, I should probably pick up some Padres and Red Sox as well. Rockies cards wouldn't hurt, either...

The list just goes on and on.

It's a pleasure to know that I'll be finding some good home for cards off the so-called "scrap heap".

That's about it.

I'll let the seemingly endless card show aisles take it from there.

About 95 percent of my finds are simply "random". I never know exactly what I'll be bringing home.

It usually ranges from Lew Ford to Jose Bautista to Babe Ruth. There really isn't any rhyme or reason to it.

Actually, there is one more thing.

I'll have to get my dad to snap an "in-action" photo of me scavenging the dime boxes. That way everyone can see the so-called "low-end collector" at work. It'll be the blogging equivalent of a terrific action shot.

Hopefully, I'll be broadcasting the first round of "results" from the show on Sunday night, so look out for it.

I came home with a whopping 773 cards at the last "big" show I attended. Believe it or not, I'm taking the "over" on that number this time.

It's just a gut feeling I have.

As many of us know, taking that first step into the card show is a feeling like no other. It's almost impossible to put into words.

One thing is for sure, though.

It'll never get old.


JediJeff said...

He better get that action shot early, cuz if he waits too long we won't be able to see you behind the stacks of card pulls you have laying around you.

Mike said...

Over/under on the number of hot dogs I will eat - 2
Over/under on the number of unacompanied girls - 10
Over/under on the number of times I say "man,I gotta go sit down for a minute!" - 3
Chanes will have our usual great time - 100%!