Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The flea market saga, Pt. 1: Dimeaholics anonymous

As I keep mentioning over and over again, the National is slowly starting to creep up on me.

I've already put away a good hunk of change for the big show, one that'll be taking place in a little over three weeks. I'm still saving every last cent I can before that fateful day.

As a result, money is pretty tight around here. Even tighter than usual for a jobless college student such as myself.

Somewhere along the line, though, I managed to carve out a bit of extra cash to make a special trip to the local flea market. Unless I suddenly come into some extra money, it's likely to be the last flea market trek I make before the National.

As you might guess, I really wanted to make it count.

Personally, I think I did. Although I went a tad over budget, I walked away proud of my Sunday afternoon purchases.

Most of my regular readers probably know the drill with these flea market posts by now. I have a regular vendor who sets up shop almost every week, which is where these write-ups kick off.

As expected, the two gigantic dime boxes he had on display managed to pack quite a wallop once again. His dime bins are, for lack of a better term, addicting. I make a beeline for his table the moment I walk into the place.

And, as long as he keeps putting cardboard treasures like this one of the "No-Hit King" out on display, that's the way it's going to be for the foreseeable future.

This Ryan was literally next card in line for my "Dime Box Dozen" list.

Much like my last batch of flea market pickups, I came away with yet another psychedelic piece from the 2000 Pacific Revolution this time around.

And, yes, similar to the last dig, this is also some sort of parallel (numbered to 99 copies) of longtime "binder guy" Ronnie Belliard.

I guess it's fitting I found it over the July 4th holiday weekend.

I've found myself buying a lot more dime box rookie cards lately.

I'm not quite sure why. Even if I don't necessarily collect the players in question, I'm having a hard time passing up quality rookies at rock-bottom prices.

This beauty was one of five different dime box Rickie Weeks rookies I found on Sunday.

I wouldn't say I aggressively collect either Jeff Bagwell or Willie McGee.

Still, for just a dime a piece, I absolutely had to pull the trigger on these rookies.

Wouldn't you?

Minor league issues are quickly moving up the food chain in my collection as well.

During my archaic pre-blog times, I used to almost always toss them to the side without much of a second thought. For the most part, I never saw them as anything special.

These days, though, I've completely changed my tune on that topic. Minor league cards should be cherished, not forgotten.

After all, where else could I have found a card of Andre Ethier playing for the local Kane County Cougars?

Without minor league issues, such a thing wouldn't have been possible. In fact, there's a good chance I saw Ethier in Kane County, as my family took in games up there quite a bit during my youth.

And, aside from an autographed rookie issue (which commanded mind-boggling bucks back in the day), I don't think an official "zero-year card" of Scott Kazmir as a Met was ever released.

So, although he's in street clothes and holding a radar gun, that Just Minors issue will be first (and perhaps only) card of Mr. Kazmir in my Mets binder.

It's just one of the many things minor league issues bring to the table.

Oddballs were no stranger to this dime box crusade, either.

Although a fellow blogger sent me a couple uncut panels of these 1987 M&M issues, I just couldn't bring myself to split them up.

Thanks to my acquisition of Mr. Brett here, though, I'll finally be able to display one in my binders.

If you ask me, these are at the extreme end of the oddball spectrum.

The Grieve is the very first phone card I've had the pleasure of adding to my collection. Remember those things?

From way back in the day when not everyone and their grandkids had smartphones?

The Rodriguez is, in some ways, an oddball within an oddball. Those particular cards were initially issued with Sports Cards Magazine copies back in 1992.

However, somewhere along the line, a collector decided to slice off the card's original gold border. As a result, "Pudge" is now borderless and slightly mini-fied.

The customization, dare I say, make the card look quite a bit better if you ask me.

I think Carlos Delgado's reaction to such an ugly jacket is quite appropriate.

The "Dream Team" Glavine was so bad, though, that I absolutely had to have it.

Into the purchase pile he went.

Thankfully, I managed to add a few cards to a couple of my newest player collections with this pair.

Given that he may well start the All-Star Game next week, I doubt I'll be finding many more Matt Harvey dime bin rookies in the future.

But, hey. You never know.

That's the beauty of dime boxes.

Shockingly, I hadn't owned a single card of the late Nick Adenhart before Sunday came along.

I put an end to that by picking up this minor league issue of his. It's not much, but putting him in my binders is my little way of honoring the fallen hero.

And, thankfully, this wouldn't be my last Adenhart pickup of the day.

Like many of my past flea market posts, my dime box travels eventually culminated with quite a few hits to my mini-collections.

I'm convinced that my regular vendor was a big Astros fan at one point. Either that, or he bought a collection off of a Houston fanatic in the past.

Every single one of his dime bins seems to produce continuous streams of Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio cards. And, although I don't heavily collect either of them, the pair of "Killer B's" had quite a bit of awesome cardboard released during their careers.

This Collector's Choice Biggio is certainly a "double dip" masterpiece.

Take a gander at a couple future HOFers taking their hacks at the plate.

The Smoltz features an equally awesome shot on the back as well, I might add.

These are absolutely astounding additions to both my "throwback" and "award show" mini-collections.

From the glove, the ball, and, of course, the Giants uniform of yesteryear, everything about the Williams just screams "old-school".

Although I didn't recognize the particular award right away, the back of Matt Holliday's 2008 UD "Season Highlights" issue tells me that he's most likely holding up his NLCS MVP trophy in that shot.

It's a treasured piece to my newest mini-collection.

This, however, was easily my favorite of this week's flea market finds.

Before Sunday, Mr. Puckett had been one of my "Dime Box Dozen" needs. Given the bottomless pit that mid-'90s cardboard can be, though, I thought I might have to make do with simply buying it off Sportlots at some point down the road.

Thankfully, I didn't have to wait that long. After only a week or two, it's officially off of my "Dime Box Dozen" list.

Kirby Puckett actually received two different cards in Upper Deck's spectacular 1997 checklist. Considering he didn't play in a single game during the '96 season, the feat is even more remarkable.

Puckett appears to be in some sort of motorized vehicle in this shot, saying his final goodbyes to the Twins faithful.

So, in a way, he's literally riding off into the sunset on this card.

As a result, it's one of the more fitting "sunset" issues you'll find.

Just like Puckett on this card, I couldn't help but give my regular vendor a tip of the cap after walking away from yet another awesome dime box dig at the local flea market.

I feel honored to have such a plentiful cardboard reservoir at my fingertips.

1 comment:

Ana Lu said...

Willie McGee seems like just saw an elephant coming his way!
I love that set.