Friday, August 2, 2013

Prep work: National edition

Twenty-four hours from now, I should just be getting home from my day of cardboard glory at the National.

After grabbing a bit of breakfast, my dad and I should be entering the show's doors at around 10:30 or 11 in the morning. What time we'll be leaving, though, is anyone's guess. I don't have a set time limit for shows.

On that same note, I'm not even going to try and predict what kind of treasures the afternoon will bring. That's the beauty of card shows. You just never know what you'll find.

Of course, I'll be scavenging the awesome National dime boxes in search for stacks of random new gems for my collection.

And, hey, if you see someone with a Mike Fontenot jersey, that'll most likely be me. And, if you see a collector with a Fontenot jersey parked in front of a dime box, well, that'll definitely be me. Feel free to say hi if we happen to cross paths tomorrow.

Unlike a lot of other fellow collectors, I don't do a whole lot of prep work for card shows. I don't bring lists with me, and I don't try and narrow my day's goals in many ways. Wacky, out-of-the-blue cards like the cigar-toting Jack McKeon are more my wavelength.

Still, I'd be lying if I didn't say I had a few potential hopes in mind for tomorrow's show.

#1 -- 2013 bargains

I've largely ignored sets like Gypsy Queen and Bowman up to this point.

While there are a bunch of cards I need from each checklist, I don't see the worth in plopping down three bucks for a pack of a set I don't like all that much.

That's where these card shows can often result in my big payoff.

Since Bowman, Gypsy Queen, Archives, etc. are pretty much old hat to a lot of box-busting dealers by now, a lot of the base cards manage to find their way into dime boxes.

So, instead of a six-card, three-dollar pack of GQ at my local Target, I can hand-pick 30 cards from the same set from a card show dime box if the right dealer comes along.

I'll take that deal any day of the week.

#2 -- Find 2013 Panini Golden Age

While it kind of goes hand-in-hand with my first goal for the National, I'm making my quest for Panini Golden Age an entirely different conquest at tomorrow's show.

I found a couple big stacks of dime box singles from last year's Golden Age checklist at the show I attended in March.

I'm hoping the same thing happens this time around, only with 2013 Panini Golden Age.

Between the Bad News Bears, Harry Houdini, and Jim Thorpe, this year's checklist looks to be a real winner. Oh, and did I mention that the set has an entire insert series devoted to Three Stooges shorts?

It's pretty darn close to a perfect set for me.

#3 -- Frankensetting

Tomorrow will be the first time I'll be hunting down specific cards for frankenset purposes.

Which means that I'll be extending my usual hunt of "double dips", "bat barrels", and "pitchers at the plate" beyond my batch of binder inductees.

This time, absolutely everyone is fair game during my dime box digs.

That's one of the best parts about this whole frankenset business.

#4 -- Find a new Hoyt card!

You'd think this one would go without saying.

Still, whether it be vintage, oddball, or just a run-of-the-mill base card, I can't remember the last time I found a new Hoyt at a card show. They just don't come along too often.

I'm looking to change that at the National tomorrow.

A new Hoyt is long overdue at this point.

#5 -- Oddballs!

At shows, I'm always on the hunt for oddballs.

This time, though, I'll be making a special effort to dig up a new stack of oddities for both myself and other bloggers. I love finding new oddballs for other fellow collectors.

Of course, I'm sure I'll come home with a few new Hostess and Kellogg's cards. At the same time, though, I'd love to uncover a few more unfamiliar oddballs from products like Yoo-Hoo, Coca-Cola, and perhaps even Tombstone Pizza.

They sure make for fun dime box adventures.

#6 -- Add to my pre-1957 vintage collection

This is a goal I've achieved at almost every card show in the past.

I usually seem to pick up a few pieces from the "oversized" era of cardboard each time. To me, that's basically comprised of anything from 1952-56 Topps or '53 to '55 Bowman. (I'm still on the hunt for my first 1953 Bowman Color card.)

I'd be more than willing to pull the trigger on a few "undersized" vintage gems as well. Perhaps a new 1930's Goudey or Play Ball issue is in my midst.

Or, if I'm extremely lucky, maybe even a raggedy old T206 tobacco issue.

Outside of those fairly broad goals, I'll just let the dime box and discount vintage gods take me where they will.

The high admission price ($20 per person) only gives me the budget to attend one day of the show's weekend festivities.

Still, I got through the whole show fairly easily when the National was in Chicago a couple years ago. And I fully intend to again. There will be nary a dull moment at tomorrow's gathering.

I don't know about you, but I can't think of many better ways to spend an afternoon.

At the National, anything is possible.


Mike said...

And we'll have to get a new photo of you digging into a dime box,boy!...looking forward to another great day with you!

Ryan H said...

Since you are digging in the Panini Golden Age cards looking for 3 Stooges cards, I would love to have any extras you find of them (if they are on the cheap, of course).

petethan said...

Go get 'em, Nick. Can't wait to experience your haul vicariously. May the Hoyt be with you.

Ana Lu said...

Hope you have a great time and have fun with all those dime boxes.
Cannot wait to see what you're getting!