Monday, April 1, 2013

The day before Vegas, Pt. 3: Dig the discount vintage


It feels good to be posting again with a ballgame in the background.

While I missed a considerable amount of both contests due to my dreaded math class, I was glad to see that both the Cubs and White Sox managed to come away with Opening Day victories this afternoon.

It's certainly a great way to ring in a new year of the National Pastime.

As far as this blog goes, I can't think of a better way to celebrate Opening Day than to show off a few of my discount vintage finds from last week's card show.

Although I did end up purchasing quite a few dollar-plus pieces (which you'll see tomorrow), none of the cards in this post set me back more than a buck.

There were certainly some deals to be had in the discount vintage department this time around.

Take that candy-stained Jim Rice Hostess card at the top of this post, for instance. It fell out of that 12/$1 bin I posted about on Friday.

Rice is starting to waffle on "player collection" status in my binders. I haven't fully decided to collect him yet, but I've almost involuntarily come home with more and more Rice cards from the last couple shows I've attended.

Plus, for about eight cents, I couldn't bring myself to pass on his '77 Hostess piece.

The deal was simply too sweet to ignore.

Mr. Rice was far from the only Hostess find of the day, though.

One of the first tables I searched had a big, scattered bin of discount vintage, complete with a common "90% Off Marked Price!!" sign.

Obviously, the marked price is usually the book value of the card. Still, that "deal" managed to provide for a few discount gems.

This Bucky Dent set me back a mere 50 cents.

I know what you're thinking.

"Nick, you've finally lost it. Buying cards that were ripped in half? What are you, crazy?!"

It's true. For just forty cents combined, I did voluntarily welcome these taped-up Hostess pieces into my collection at Saturday's show. For what it's worth, both Blue and Garner are short-prints from the '79 Hostess checklist.

In the end, the sheer amount of questions they pose is what first endeared me to this pair.

Why were they ripped in half at one point?

Who taped them together, and why?

And, perhaps most importantly, how did they eventually find their way into a card show discount vintage bin?

Listen, if I happen to find "upgrades" for these in the future, I'll pull the trigger. These are basically placeholders for now.

But, boy, do they have some type of story behind them.

Here's a couple more "normal" finds from the same discount bin.

Two dollars was all it took to acquire this pair of cardboard history. Plus, both Podres and Wertz are semi-high numbers in the '59 set.

And, with card #500 in the checklist, Mr. Wertz received the hallowed "hero treatment" from Topps that year. 

Given that he'd only played in 25 games the year before, I'm still not sure why.

These two were responsible for one of the more humorous points of last week's show.

I always seem to find a few vendors that have an absolute museum of cardboard history at every card show. Graded Goudey Babe Ruths, Joe DiMaggio rookies, dozens of tobacco cards, you name it.

One of those tables featured three different authentic T206 Ty Cobb cards. After I finished slobbering over those, I was surprised to find that this particular vendor actually had a small discount bin off to the side.

Although it wasn't spectacular or anything, I did manage to find a few diamonds in the rough. The Oliva was a buck, and that '67 "sunset" card of Dick Groat was one of four quarter cards I plucked from the bin.

When I went to pay for my finds, I couldn't help but chuckle a bit. There I was handing over two singles to a vendor who had vintage Ty Cobbs and Babe Ruths as far as the eye could see.

As nice as it'd be to own those, I felt supremely proud to be a low-end collector in that moment.

Given my slight dip in budget for this show, I was fully prepared to come home with a little less vintage goodness than usual.

I guess the cardboard gods had other things in mind.

Due to all the great discount bins in the convention hall, I probably came away with a bit more vintage this time around.

About halfway through, I stumbled upon an awesome 3/$1 box. One that was comprised of, you guessed it, glorious vintage.

I've adored this '72 Graig Nettles from afar ever since I saw a beat-up copy on Night Owl's blog a few months ago. Given its high-number status, though, I thought it'd be a while before one ever fell into my hands.

Again, the cardboard gods thought otherwise. Thanks to a little writing on the back, I was able to snag this one for about 33 cents.

Thanks, cardboard gods.

Here's a couple more gems from the 3/$1 bin.

I've been planning to write a post on old checklist cards for a while now.

Trouble is, I can never come up with exactly what to write about. I know there's something post-worthy there, though.

I'm just not sure what it is.

The entire front and back of that Denny McLain checklist is marked off. Whoever owned that card in the past must've been quite an avid collector.

In a way, I guess these checklist cards have perhaps the biggest "stories" behind them.

Hey, maybe that's the post idea I've wanted for so long.

On the left, we have a "boyhood" photo of future Hall of Famer Willie Stargell.

Now, if you'll notice, Stargell is in the background of the World Series-clinching '72 Topps card on the right.

Little did he know.

Mr. Grich here is one of my newest "binder inductees".

While my desperate search for his '74 Topps issue came up short, last week's show still managed to provide a slew of great additions to my still-budding collection of his. (That '74 Grich is now a "Dime Box Dozen" need, by the way.)

Although this isn't the last you'll see of him in this post, this pair of 3/$1 bin finds were among my favorites from the land of discount vintage.

While I didn't dig through it with too much conviction, this particular vendor featured a dollar vintage box as well.

A quick dig revealed this pair of beauties. While I love the dime and quarter vintage game, I never thought twice about shelling out a dollar a piece for these.

I'm hovering on the edges of a complete Ed Kranepool "Topps set". With the addition of that '67, I'm down to needing just his 1969, '70, and '71 Topps cards for completion.

Hopefully, the cardboard gods can help out with those at future shows.

For just seven bucks, I managed to take home 15 three-for-a-dollar vintage pieces, as well as the two dollar gems you see above.

Not a bad deal, I'd say.

I think I've teased this particular vintage bin enough over my past few posts.

The vendor that puts out those 12/$1 boxes I mentioned in Friday's post has established himself as a "regular" at these shows.

Interestingly enough, I've found that the 12/$1 bin isn't even the best part of his selection.

That honor has to go to his pair of 12/$5 vintage boxes.

This guy has been at the last couple local gatherings with these great vintage pieces, but he always seems to have a new batch handy with each passing show.

I couldn't help but give out an audible "Wow!" when this '71 Grich fell out of the discount bin. Given my newfound interest in his cardboard, I quickly recognized this as Grich's rookie card.

In a 12/$5 bin.

The "wows" are still running through my head.

As I mentioned in my "Interlude" post, this discount bin landed me an awesome '66 Topps Curt Flood.

Still, I couldn't quite squeeze that one into my "official" card show vintage post.


Because I had an even better one waiting in the wings. That '64 Flood was easily one of the better finds of the day in my eyes.

Plus, I've never been one to pass up anything featuring Boog Powell.

Especially at that price.

For whatever reason, I get an immense amount of joy from collecting the Alou brothers.

Thankfully, I've had the good fortune to find quite a few pieces of theirs from discount bins over the years.

As evidenced by this pair, my luck continued at last week's show.

Here, we have my two oldest finds from the 12/$5 depths.

Although it looks like a curious kid took a pair of scissors to these at one point, I still desperately wanted them for my collection.

Oddly enough, this wasn't the first time I'd found a Hank Sauer card from this vendor. I scored his '59 Topps issue from the very same 12/$5 bin back in November.

Needless to say, I hope this vendor is back when the National comes to town in the summer.

I know I'm in for a treat whenever I see his discount bins on display.

The last table I'll be recounting in this post had quite the eclectic mix of vintage.

What first sucked me into its grasp was the big "12/$1" sign that hung over one of its boxes. It didn't take long to find out what was inside this particular bin.


Real, actual 12/$1 vintage!

Isn't that awesome?

If you needed more awesome, I'll have you know that this box actually included a couple '75 minis. I grabbed the pair I found in hopes that Night Owl would need them.

Alas, a quick search through his wants found that he needed neither the Brewers nor Twins mini team cards I found during this dig. Still, I'm more than happy to add them to my own collection.

Man...'75 minis in a 12/$1 box.

That's a new one.

Digging through the contents of this particular box was like taking a trip through the 1970's.

Literally every year from 1970 to '79 was represented. I'd have to go back and check, but I think I ended up buying at least one card from every '70s checklist.

Still, what made this 12/$1 especially awesome...

...was its inclusion of a few large stacks of 1972 Topps singles.

I like the '75 set a tad more than these, but I've discovered most of the goodies within that checklist over the years. There's still so much from '72 that I haven't yet unearthed.

Neither Billy Cowan nor Stan Williams are "binder guys", but I instantly recognized both as "must-haves" for my collection. Both have been prominently featured across the blogosphere in the past.

The Cowan has gained notoriety for the perfect placement of the Angel "halo" from the stadium scoreboard, while the Williams is recognized as one of the earlier night cards in hobby history.

I'm telling you, the '72 set just keeps on giving.

Going into my 12/$1 dig, I wasn't expecting to find anything too terrific.

Perhaps a few late '70s cards for my collection, and maybe a couple beat-up '72s I needed.

Imagine my surprise when this one fell out.

Yes, this magnificent '72 Topps Charlie Hough rookie card became mine for about eight cents. And it's not even in that bad of shape.

While I managed to find about three or four dollars' worth of 12/$1 vintage, none proved better than Mr. Hough here.

The benefits of this particular table proved to be two-fold.

Much to my pleasure, I found a few large stacks of 3/$1 vintage sprawled alongside the 12/$1 boxes.

While wildly miscut, I absolutely had to have this '61 Post Jim Perry card for my collection of his. The jutting edges are merely a minor defect in my eyes.

Besides, how often do you see the term "bang-up job" on a piece of cardboard? 

Jackie Jensen has cemented himself as a prime "discount vintage MVP".

Although he was a star during the 1950's, Jensen isn't widely remembered these days. He's been a "binder guy" for as long as I can remember, though.

At 33 cents, that '59 All-Star card proved to be one of the bigger steals of the day.

As did that '66 Topps Harvey Kuenn. I've had the '01 Topps Archives reprint of his "sunset" card in my Cubs binder for quite a while.

After years of waiting, I finally managed to stumble upon an actual copy of it.

A happy day for this low-end collector, no doubt.

Cards of Marv Throneberry don't seem to pop up much at card shows.

Granted, his big league career wasn't all that long, but I've had a tough time landing anything of his from the discount bins.

My past failures with "Marvelous Marv" made finding this 3/$1 piece even sweeter.

Finally, we have what proved to be one of the more interesting finds of the day.

Yes, dear reader, this did come from the various stacks of 3/$1 vintage.

Of course, you can probably see why.

While I seem to have a knack for finding neat Johnny Podres cards, I never thought I'd find his '55 Topps issue at an affordable price.

Even though it might well be another add to my "washer-used" collection, the 33 cents I spent on this one was easily among the best cash I spent that day.

An upgrade certainly isn't out of the question, if I can find another copy within my price range.

For now, though, I'm ecstatic to have an actual 1955 Topps Johnny Podres in my collection.

No matter how ragged it might be.

Tomorrow, we'll dive into some of my pricier finds from last week's show.

While there were certainly some good ones, the selection of discount vintage simply blew me away. I still can't believe I managed to squeeze this much vintage into my fairly modest budget.

Therein lies the power of the discount vintage bins.

Few things can top them in this hobby.


P-town Tom said...

Man, you always find the best bargain boxes!

Mark said...

Nice pickups! Fun fact on Groat: he's the only person in both the college baseball and basketball HOF's.

Mariner1 said...

If you ever decide to let that Stargell boyhood card go, keep me in mind. It is one that I need for the Pops PC.

AdamE said...

If you decide Rice isn't a binder guy I have a spot for that Hostess card.

cynicalbuddha said...

Great pick ups. I think that Rice might be a Twinkee card. They are all grease stained. And I consider that 75 Mini Brewers team card one of Robin Yount's rookie cards as he is featured prominently right in the center.