While the title of my blog suggests otherwise, good cards do come out of non-dime boxes.
Quarter, three-for-a-dollar, and fifty-cent bins have netted a ton of great pieces for my collection in the past. And many of them weren't cards I'd be likely to find in a dime box.
Yes, even dollar boxes have their fair share of gems as well. Of course, as many other collectors will tell you, a vintage dollar bin is always a ton of fun.
And, while I don't bother to dig through many modern-based dollar boxes, I decided to take a quick peek through the one my regular vendor had at the local flea market last Sunday.
The lone dollar card I bought, however, easily took its place one of the better oddballs in my collection.
What you see above is a promotional piece that was given away to those who attended "Opening Day" of Boston's Ted Williams Bridge on December 15th, 1995. I'm not sure how many were at the event, but I can't imagine many of these exist.
Although I'm not big on '96 Topps, "The Splendid Splinter" manages to spice up even the worst of designs.
Plus, despite the fact that this was basically a one-card set, it's labeled as card #9 in the faux-checklist, an homage to the number "Teddy Ballgame" wore during his legendary career.
A fitting tribute, no doubt.
The quarter boxes were nothing to sneeze at, either.
I nabbed a small handful of numbered blue parallels from last year's Opening Day release, including this Jay Bruce.
It's still one of the better cards of 2012, if you ask me.
Also coming from 2012 is the neat Panini Triple Play issue of "Mr. October" there.
Airbrushed or not, it's still a cool card. And, for just a quarter, I certainly wasn't going to pass up something like that.
I've begun avidly collecting Mike Schmidt lately, so I would've bought his '89 Classic card regardless.
However, that odd green uniform makes it an instant classic.
Speaking of which...
Here's another interesting card of his.
At first, I simply dropped a quarter on this one because, well...I collect Mike Schmidt, of course. Nothing struck me as odd the second time I looked at it. Or the third.
On the fourth go-around, though, something just didn't look right. That Phillies jersey just looks off. Correct me if I'm wrong, but is Mike Schmidt wearing #37 in that shot?
Where's his famous #20? The one that held down the hot corner for the Phillies in the '70s and '80s?
The swapped jersey makes me think of Tony Gwynn's 1993 SP issue, one that I also coincidentally found at the flea market earlier this year.
But the craziness doesn't end there.
I went back and checked to see if I could find a Phillie who wore #37 in the early '80s. The only one I could find was...
"Ryno" played six games for the Phils in 1981 before being dealt to the Cubs, wearing the #37 during his brief tenure in Philadelphia. And, yes, that does look to be a "G" at the end of the name on that jersey.
So, amazingly, there's a good chance that Mike Schmidt was wearing the jersey of another future Hall of Famer in that shot.
One that was merely an unknown rookie at the time.
For now, though, let's get back to the time boxes.
Considering the 400-plus cards I bought, there's still a lot left to cover.
Although I never planned on owning a copy of Kate Upton's issue in last year's A&G, I had to pull the trigger on it for a dime.
I probably would've lost my man card if I didn't.
I'm all for eye-popping cardboard artwork.
Especially for a dime.
Here's a neat little "combo" I picked up.
Both of these Murrays feature him on the 1985 Topps design. The one on the left is a card from the actual '85 checklist, while his 2012 Archives variation is on the right.
In this matchup, it's safe to say that the real thing blows Archives away.
It's probably my new favorite Eddie Murray card, in fact.
While it's not a mini-collection of mine or anything, I enjoy picking up cards of sluggers laying one down.
Yes, while I know Tony Gywnn was never a big home run hitter, it's still odd to see him in such a pose.
He's not exactly a guy that legged out many drag bunts, I'd imagine.
My collection of Italy native Alex Liddi is progressing nicely.
I found about three or four new cards of his from the flea market dime boxes, including the two you see above.
Although if anyone has a spare copy of his "Dime Box Dozen" card on my sidebar, I'd really appreciate having one in my collection.
Both of these guys are also new additions to my cavalcade of player collections.
Oh, yeah. I should've probably mentioned this earlier.
I collect Hideo Nomo now.
Given my fascination with MLB's "imports" over the years, I figured it was the right move. Nomo was right at the forefront of the Japanese brigade of stars, after all.
Plus, the guy taught me what a great place the blogosphere is.
That certainly counts for something.
Surprisingly, I haven't found many Triple Play cards in the dime box depths just yet.
I don't think I saw a single one at the National.
For that reason, these were a welcome flea market surprise.
We've officially made our way to the oddball portion of this post.
The '87 Donruss Dale Murphy is actually a box bottom, which explains its miscut edges. While they're not all that easy to find, I think box bottoms make for some of the best oddballs.
In hindsight, I guess it makes sense that Foot Locker would make promotional cards for their "kicks". But I'd sure never seen any before that DeShields came along.
Maybe I'm crazy, but it's a weirdly awesome piece of cardboard.
I don't collect Kyle Sleeth.
In fact, I'd never even heard of him prior to last Sunday.
Yet, against all odds, he'll be closing out today's flea market post.
Well, although it's a little tough to see in the scan, check out the bottom of this card. Specifically, the portion right near the base of the photo frame.
That's an autograph.
Now, I rarely (if ever) voluntarily add autographs to my collection these days, but this is a staggering dime box find. An autograph?
While it's not the first time such a thing has happened, finding something like this for a dime is an extremely rare occurrence.
And, if anyone wants it, I'll be more than happy to PWE Mr. Sleeth to someone. I just had to document the fact that autographed cards can actually be found in dime boxes.
It's just like I always say.
The dime box gods never cease to surprise me.