Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Opening week at the flea market, Pt. 2: It's good to be behind

Things are getting a bit tense here in Dime Boxedonia.

For one thing, I've basically run out of spare pages for my binders in the last few days. With my organizational system, I usually need a constant influx of them to keep things moving.

Since I'm too cheap to buy them at the moment, I thought I'd put a warrant out there on any spare nine-pocket pages my fellow bloggers have lying around. If you have any you'd like to unload, I'll gladly make it worth your while in cardboard.

Perhaps even more worrisome than the pages is the fact that I'm way behind on my organizing. I mean way, way behind. I'm still filing away cards I landed at the local card show, which was over a month ago.

Between those card show finds and the massive amount of trade goodies I've received lately, I'm probably more swamped with un-filed cards now than I ever have before.

Still, that's a testament to just how much awesome cardboard I've picked up during the past few weeks. Because of that, I guess being behind in organizing isn't all bad.

Of course, the 200-plus cards I brought home from the local flea market this past Sunday didn't help things much, at least in terms of my sorting upkeep.

Still, it was totally worth the hassle.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that I picked up a few individually-priced goodies from the vendor with the legendary dime box.

Although I didn't have the time to dig too deeply into them, this particular vendor had a couple large quarter and fifty-cent boxes on display. I'll probably pick through the bins a little more as the flea market season wears on.

The jaw-dropping Mathews at the top of this post came from the quarter box.

This equally awesome card of "The Georgia Peach" was of the fifty-cent variety.

I was a little shocked to see the quarter price tag on the Chavez.

I've had a tough time finding any 2013 Topps golds this year. I snagged Kevin Milwood's 2013 Topps gold card from the quarter bin for good measure as well.

The Lawrie was a fifty-center. In case you missed it, he's my newest "binder guy".

And, yes, as is the case with any new inductee, I'm now taking donations for the "Lawrie Fund".

For just fifty cents, I scored the emerald parallel of one of 2013's best cards thus far.

I did manage to pluck a few more pieces from this vendor's individually-priced cardboard, but you'll have to wait until my last post to see those.

If you've paid attention to my past card show/flea market posts, you probably already know what I'm saving for last.

Still, I won't spoil it for those who don't.

Apparently, one of the other regular vendors at the local flea market added a couple of new boxes to his table this year.

The boxes in question held a couple large stacks of singles from a few of Topps's latest and greatest sets. Since I don't often have the cash to bust pack after pack of new product, I usually rely on trading to fill my needs from recent checklists.

And, while I love trading for newer cards, digging through boxes like these are an absolute treat.

The box on the left was about half-filled with 2013 Topps Opening Day singles for just a dime a piece.

From there, I managed to land this terrific "Ballpark Fun" insert (and treasured "interview" piece) of Johan Santana...

...along with a hearty stack of base cards.

The box on the right, meanwhile, was another of the "latest and greatest" variety.

This time, it featured stacks of 2013 Heritage singles, priced at a quarter each.

Thanks to this box, I basically managed to cut my remaining base wants from the set in half. I even scored a couple of my most wanted Heritage pieces with the Morneau and cranium-themed Youkilis.

All in all, the vendor charged me just six bucks for the 24 Heritage and 15 Opening Day singles I'd picked out.

Certainly a lot better value than I'd find at my local Target, that's for sure.

After that "latest and greatest" spree, I moved on to the last of the three regular vendors.

He usually has mounds and mounds of cards to dig through. Trouble is, I've already bought most of the ones I've needed from him in the past. And he doesn't get much new "stock" in on a week-to-week basis.

But, since he's always been accommodating to me in the past, I always try to buy at least a few bucks' worth of cardboard from his table during my flea market trips. He always knocks a couple dollars of the final price, anyways.

Tommy Leach isn't a "binder guy", but the fantastic photo alone is what convinced me to take this piece home.

I will always be a sucker for Conlon Collection.

Is it just me, or do these seem to turn up in every dime box?

Everywhere I go, there these are. I can't seem to run away from Pacific's Nolan Ryan-exclusive checklist.

Still, while largely forgettable these days, the set did manage to provide at least a few bright spots.

As far as this checklist goes, these are definitely a couple of its high water marks.

Much like Conlon Collection, I'll never get sick of these '94 UD All-Time Heroes cards.

I don't think they've ever received full recognition for their greatness in this hobby.

True to my dime box ways, I'd probably rate this as my best find from these boxes.

A standard Upper Deck base card of a fairly obscure relief pitcher.

Fellow card enthusiast Pat Neshek is one of the newer additions to my binders. While this is just my fourth card of his, I'm hopeful that my future dime box quests will churn out a few more.

For just three bucks, I managed to take home a nice stack of about 35 new cards.

Before I got to the cluster of regular vendors, I stumbled upon a different flea market vendor who also had cards on display.

Trouble was, there wasn't a price in sight. While I've had negative experiences with the dreaded "unpriced box" in the past, I still started digging.

At one point, the vendor offered me the three huge boxes he had for twenty bucks, two of which contained baseball cards. As has become ritual when a vendor offers me such a deal, I say...

"Thanks, but I don't really have room for this many cards."

Which is pretty much true. And, if the vendor insists (which most have), I go to Plan B...

"Thanks, but I don't have that much cash with me today."

Which was a lie, but I really didn't want to blow my entire budget on one table of mysterious boxes. I'd rather take the much funner route of picking for individual gems. (Although I might've pulled the trigger at about ten bucks.)

Happily, my dig resulted in quite a few gems, as evidenced by the above Bobby Grich.

While I still wasn't sure how much he'd charge me, the twenty-dollar offer convinced me that he wouldn't ask for an outrageous amount.

One of the boxes was mostly overproduction-era material.

Most probably wouldn't bother with such a thing, but I jump at the chance to dig through all those gems.

I love when card companies feature pitchers in non-pitching situations. Obviously, the "pitcher at the plate" Bechler is the more well-known example of that.

At the same time, though, I've always been fascinated with shots that feature pitchers in fielding mode.

The Finley might be my new favorite in that department.

The other of this vendor's baseball boxes was entirely comprised of 1985 Fleer, sorted by team.

That certainly excited me. I've had a tough time finding anything from this set around these parks.

About half of the 44 total cards I scored from this table were of the '85 Fleer variety.

Still, I think this was the best card the table had to offer.

A major-leaguer with...braces?!

I had to do a double-take at first.

If I were a betting man, I'd gamble on seeing Mr. Hall here in a future "Gems of Junk Wax" post.

Finally, the moment of truth.

I had my 44 total cards at the ready. All there was left to do was knock out a total price. Still, what the vendor said to me wasn't what I'd expected.

"What do you want to pay me for them?"

I always get a little worried when a vendor asks me that. From past experience, I know what they're worth, for the most part. All of the cards I'd picked out were standard, dime box-like material.

But I'm always nervous that I'll offend the guy or something. I don't know why. So, a bit cautiously, I said...

"Four bucks?"

After a moment of consideration, the seller agreed to my offer. So, in the end, this was basically a dime box.

But I had to sweat it out for a bit there.

Of course, the 200-plus cards I found at the local flea market put me even further behind in organizational debt. And, crazily enough, I'm actually planning on going back again this weekend.

But, hey, with all the great cardboard I find from this place, I make the trek as much as I can.

I'll take the organizational trade-off any day of the week.


Mike said...

Love the Tommy Leach card....and ready to see what else you got!....

Dennis said...

Nick, I might be able to help you with pages since I don't really use binders anymore. Do you have an idea of roughly what would help? I started flipping through your trade lists and already see a few things that would make it worth my while. Also, I don't know if it matters to you that some of these are different brands, which makes it harder to insert a bunch at once. Feel free to shoot me an email at CalJr3000 at gmail.

Michael Chase said...

I've definitely never seen that Santana before! Very awesome : )

Bo said...

I can send you some pages too - will figure out a way to pack them with your trade.

gcrl said...

I had that drew hall in the stack of cards I was going to send you soon!