Friday, July 12, 2013

The flea market saga, Pt. 3: The big score

Amazingly, I spent about an hour-and-a-half in just a single aisle of the local flea market last Sunday.

As it turned out, that'd end up being as far as I'd travel for the day. By the time I got done with all my digs in the "card aisle" (as I like to call it), I'd already gone over budget.

And, since I didn't want to be tempted to spend any more of my National savings, I simply called it a day right then and there.

After all was said and done, I took home around 250 cards last weekend. The haul did indeed include one big score, as you'll see later in this post.

With the relative lack of readership that my first two flea market posts received, I'm hoping it's all just a build-up to what was one of my better scores of the year.

First, though, let's get back to the dime box-tastic parts of the day.

Happily, I found that a couple of the previously MIA card vendors made a grand return last weekend. One always seems to have quite a few dime boxes on display.

Trouble is, he doesn't seem to get much new stock in all that often, so I've picked through most of his material before. Still, I always seem to find a few new cards that I'd previously missed.

How this beautiful throwback shot of "Sheff" managed to slip through my hands all this time, I'll never know.

I ended up purchasing about 20 dime cards from this vendor after the day was through.

Most went towards my new frankenset quest, but this pair will happily reside in my regular team binders. I have a hard time passing up 3-D issues for mere dimes.

The purchase that made me go over budget actually came from this particular table. I had to think about it at first, but, in the end, I think I made the right decision in pulling the trigger.

We'll get to that buy in an upcoming post, though.

The other regular vendor making his grand return also had a nice selection of discount cardboard on display, as usual.

I spent about twenty minutes digging through his collection of 5/$1 deals, one that resulted in quite a few new gems for my binders.

It's been a long time since I've referred to a Barry Bonds card as a "gem". But, despite the appearance of probably my least favorite player in baseball history, I absolutely had to have this one.

How often do you see a card that features cameos from Dusty Baker, Gary Carter, Jim Edmonds, and Albert Pujols, all rolled into one?

At just twenty cents a piece, I couldn't pass these up.

In just one trip to the flea market, my Nick Adenhart collection went from zero cards to three.

A lot of action happens at second base during the course of a ballgame.

The Ripken, of course, is an outstanding new add to my "double dip" mini-collection. Just another outstanding work of art by the people at Leaf.

I'm guessing the Garner features the aftermath of a stolen base attempt. Judging by the umpire in the foreground, it doesn't look as though he got the tag down in time.

The '83 Garner was actually going to be an upcoming "Dime Box Dozen" nominee.

It'll be nice to cross another one off the list.

After I got done digging through his 5/$1 box, I noticed a few individually-priced Cubs cards off to the side.

While I only halfheartedly dug through them, I did manage to come away with this Bowman rookie of injured Cubs "import" Kyuji Fujikawa for just 50 cents.

It's the first 2013 Bowman card I've added to my binders, in fact.

Like many of the flea market vendors I've come across, this one cut me a pretty nice deal on these. He only charged me two bucks for the 20-ish 5/$1 cards and the 50-cent Fujikawa I'd pulled.

Not a bad deal, I'd say.

To close things out, though, let's get back to the main vendor I always seem to rave about.

After I finished digging through all his discounted cardboard, I noticed a little bin off to the side, one that contained a few smaller boxed sets.

Given the success I'd had with the batch of '86 Donruss Highlights I'd acquired the last time around, I was eager to pull the trigger on another little set.

For just a buck, I landed the 12-card 1987 Fleer World Series checklist. I'd never seen any of these before last Sunday.

The "play at the plate" shot (top-left) was what sold me on the set, as it was visible through the little snap case in which it came.

After digging through the rest of the 12-card series, though, I knew I'd made a terrific buy.

I'm especially fond of the Tommy Herr "argument" shot in the top-right corner.

I ended up plucking around eight cards from the vendor's quarter bins.

About half of them were blue parallels from the newly-released Topps Series 2 checklist. While I'm happy with each and every one I bought, this one of the "No-Hit Machine" was the runaway favorite.

As it happens, I still need the base version, though.

The fifty-cent box also had its fair share of treasures.

Normally, I wouldn't plop down two quarters for cards of Clayton Kershaw or Matt Moore. But these were simply too beautiful to pass up.

A buck well spent.

Compared to past flea market trips, I didn't land all that much vintage last weekend.

I still managed to add a few neat pieces of old-time cardboard to my collection, though.

Cast off into the fifty-cent bin, this off-center Brett was one of my better finds of the day.

Never one to pass up a deal, I couldn't help but dig through a little box of 15-cent vintage on display.

Most of the box consisted of beat-up no-namers, which is about what you'd expect from such an offering.

Still, I jumped at the chance at getting a few new pieces for my '69 Topps Pilots team set. At just 15 cents each, you can't go wrong.

I'll have to check and see how close I'm getting to completing this little pet project of mine.

At such a heavily discounted price, finding this gem was certainly a surprise.

It's a bit hard to believe, but I landed a JR Richard rookie card for just 15 cents. 


Well, I guess it's time to reveal my "big score" of the day.

When I went to pay for my 200 dime cards, eight quarter cards, and other miscellaneously-priced pieces, I spotted a card in the vendor's glass case that stopped me in my tracks. Priced at ten bucks, I almost bought it right then and there.

After a moment, though, I stopped myself. Since I didn't want to blow too much of my budget for the day, I figured I'd wait and see how much the vendor wanted for the cards I'd already pulled.

"Ten bucks", he said.

In other words, less than half of what my finds should have cost. Such a discount freed up enough cash for me to buy the card I'd had my eye on landing.

And, to make things even better, he only charged me five bucks for it, half off the marked price.

It was by far my biggest score of the day.

For just five bucks, I managed to add a 1962 Topps Ken Hubbs rookie card to my collection.

To make things even sweeter, the condition on it is better than about 95 percent of the vintage I own.

For those who don't know, Ken Hubbs was a highly-touted second baseman for the Cubs in the early '60s. In 1962, he captured both NL Rookie of the Year honors and a Gold Glove award at 2nd base.

Tragically, though, Hubbs perished in a plane crash on February 15, 1964, way before his career could hit its pinnacle. He was just 22.

With his rookie, I now own all three Topps cards he had issued during his short career. I tracked down his hard-to-find '64 Topps "In Memoriam" card at a show last year.

Truthfully, I never thought I'd own a Ken Hubbs rookie card.

But, then again, that's the beauty of flea markets.

You never know what you'll find.


petethan said...

More friggin' sweet finds, Nick. Thanks for sharing the fun. You know that Kershaw has me drooling. And that Sheff is cool, too. I'm rapidly becoming a fan of '03 Donruss.

Backstop Cards said...

I always read "big score" with some skepticism, because what I think is cool is usually different from other bloggers. This is not one of those cases. Sweet Hubbs card, great pickup!

That Fujikawa card where he's throwing the invisible baseball is pretty slick as well.

Fuji said...

15 cents for a J.R. Richard rookie? Greatest find ever. That guy was insanely talented back in the day.

Mark Kaz said...

I agree with Fuji, the Richard rook is a brilliant find!

Sounds like this vendor did right by you. Very cool!