Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Flea market in a box, Pt. 4: A vintage victory

Most of my regular readers probably know the drill by now.

Anytime I post about flea market, card show, or any other finds, I usually save vintage for last. It's a trend I started earlier in this blog's history, and I've found myself keeping with it ever since.

So, in this fourth and final flea market post, you'll be getting a glimpse into my stack of vintage scores for the day. Get ready to see some old-time cardboard.

As per usual, I started the venture through my regular vendor's table with the brimming box of discounted vintage he usually has on display. It always manages to product its fair share of gems.

One of the first cards I stumbled upon this time around was the above '78 Topps Gary Carter. 

At first, I wasn't sure if I needed it or not. While I usually have a pretty good memory when it comes to my cardboard, I just couldn't recall whether I had a copy of this one or not.

But, since the card was priced at just a quarter, I figured it wouldn't hurt either way. So "The Kid" came home with me.

As I returned home that afternoon, I happily found that I'd owned a reprint of it, the actual '78 Carter had not yet found its way into my binders. It's a really good thing I bought it.

Had I not, I would've been kicking myself the whole day after that.

A quarter was all it took to land this beauty as well.

While Mr. Perez here does have a fairly substantial crease running through his center, I wasn't about to let a '69 Topps piece of a HOFer slip through my grasp.

The condition is second nature to me.

Another twenty-five cents allowed me to score this masterpiece.

While Tommie Agee isn't (yet) a "binder guy", his outstanding '71 Topps card will make for a fantastic addition to my frankenset.

From the looks of it, I'd guess that the catcher made an errant throw to second on an Agee stolen base attempt. And I believe we have a Joe Morgan cameo on the very right of this piece.

Shots like these are one of the many reasons I've come to love 1971 Topps so much over the years.

During my last flea market trip, I purchased my very first 1974 Topps "Washington -- Nat'l Lea." Padres card.

That Johnny Grubb card must've kindled a little fire in me. I wanted more!

As a result, I found myself plucking this well-loved Dave Roberts from the quarter bin as well. My second "Washington" card in as many flea market trips!

Trouble is, I still wasn't satisfied.

So I pulled the trigger on the two "Washington" pieces from my vendor's fifty-cent bin as well.

Much like the Grubb I purchased during my last flea market binge, these had their bottom-right edges lopped off at some point in the past. Why anyone would do that, I'll never know.

But, again, if you've learned anything about my collecting ways, you probably know that I could honestly care less.

I'll be welcoming these into my binders with open arms, flaws and all.

One of the new aspects of my regular vendor's table last weekend was a little box of 15-cent vintage.

It was absolutely packed with late '60s and early-to-mid '70s cardboard. I'm sure most of my fellow bloggers would've had a field day with such an assortment.

As it turns out, the box provided ten new 15-cent treasures for my collection. At that price, you really can't go wrong.

Much like Tommie Agee, Lowell Palmer (a.k.a. "The Shaded One") isn't a binder guy just yet. But, after seeing a few of his cards on various blogs, I had to have at least one of his epic cards as a keepsake.

Thankfully, I found one in this box. Surprisingly, though, this utterly epic card didn't make my frankenset. It got beat out by one of my personal favorite non-binder cards, which you'll see in a later post on the matter.

Still, that's taking nothing away from Mr. Palmer here.

I'm ecstatic to finally have this piece in my collection.

While I don't usually dig for upgrades too often, I figured a couple wouldn't hurt during this vintage dig.

Especially given their 15-cent price tag.

On the left, we have my original copy of Jose Cruz's 1972 Topps rookie. On the right, we have my new-and-improved 15-cent upgrade.

I think I made the right choice.

Mr. Fingers here was the subject of yet another pristine upgrade opportunity.

I'd long had his wildly-miscut '74 Topps issue sitting in my binders. And, while I love miscut cardboard, I never quite ruled out the possibility of an upgrade.

Thankfully, this 15-cent bin once again came to the rescue. While it has a few faint creases, I'm happy to finally own a well-centered copy of Rollie Fingers' 1974 Topps card.

I'll still probably hang onto my miscut one, though.

No matter how you slice it, it's quite the interesting piece.

To me, these were the two big victories from the 15-cent vintage bin.

Believe it or not, that "Campy" was actually the better-conditioned of the two '69 Topps copies of him I found in the box. The one I left behind had about 784 creases on it.

Now, his '67 Topps issue is all I need for the complete Bert Campaneris "Topps set".

My acquisition of Bud Harrelson's 1969 Topps card also leaves me one piece short of his "Topps set" as well. Up to this point, his '68 Topps piece has eluded me.

Once again, the vintage selection from my regular vendor at the flea market was nothing short of legendary. As you can probably see, it provided a whole bunch of new old-time pieces for my collection.

Little did I know, however, that they wouldn't be my last vintage finds of the day.

A few aisles down, I spotted another vendor with cardboard on display.

My eyes instantly shot to a binder which read "All Cards: 50¢ Each". As I opened it, I found I was in for yet another vintage foray.

As I made my way through it, however, not a lot piqued my interest. I only came away with two cards for my troubles.

But, boy, what a couple cards they were.

Up to that point, I'd owned every single Willie Stargell Topps issue from 1971 to his "sunset" '82 piece. Yet, for whatever reason, his '78 piece eluded me. Needless to say, it filled a huge gap in my collection.

Amazingly, the Troedson marked my fourth '74 Topps "Washington" score of the day. So, in the matter of a few weeks, I went from owning zero to five different "Washington" Padre issues.

I'm seriously thinking of chasing the team set now.

Yet, as great as everything I've shown up to this point, nothing could top my big coup of the afternoon.

This is a card I'd long dreamed of owning.

For the longest time, though, I'd figured it'd have to stay a dream.

For one thing, this is a semi-high number from '71 Topps. And I'm sure we all know how crazy the prices on those can get sometimes.

On top of that, it's a "sunset" piece of a Hall of Famer. When you're talking early '70s cardboard, those almost never come cheap.

And, as if all that weren't enough, prices on hometown stars are usually jacked up here in the Chicagoland area. It's a phenomenon I've discussed before.

You can see why my hopes of owning this card were never that high.

Off to the side of the binder that netted me the Troedson-Stargell combo, however, was a little box of more expensive vintage cardboard. I'd already had most of the cards I found in there.

Then, I found it. The card I'd wanted for so, so long. The final Topps card of "Mr. Cub" himself, Ernie Banks! I never dreamed I'd find it in an innocent little flea market bargain bin.

However, the $8 price tag made me hesitate a bit. As I've mentioned in past posts, I didn't want to spend too much during last weekend's flea market binge.

While eight bucks was a far more reasonable price than I'd seen for this masterpiece on past occasions, I still wasn't sure I wanted to pull the trigger. But, then, I asked myself a question.

How often do you see this great of a card for such an awesome price?

End of discussion.

I bought it.

And, as if things couldn't get any better, the vendor only charged me a mere six bucks for the Banks and the two fifty-cent binder finds I just mentioned.

A lifetime dream fulfilled.

As you might guess, I'm absolutely honored to have such a terrific flea market around these parks. No doubt about it.

My collection just wouldn't be the same without it.


JediJeff said...

You will send me that miscut Rollie!

Sorry - I was just practicing my Force powers.

Fuji said...

Vintage rules... especially that 74T Rollie.

Backstop Cards said...

MAN! FIVE Washington Nat'l Leaguers? I think I may need to move, no shows like that around these parts. So jealous.

That Banks card is sweet as well.