Friday, September 6, 2013
Flea market freedom, Pt. 3: Sure thing
For me, coming home with something from the flea market is a safe bet.
My regular vendor has been there on nearly a week-in, week-out basis. Plus, on the rare occasion he's not present, other cardboard vendors have been there to pick up the slack.
I've been attending the flea market on a regular basis for about four years now. And, best I can remember, I haven't come home empty-handed once.
Nevertheless, I do like to venture outside the sure bet of my regular vendor to see if I can find any other random cardboard lying in the weeds. The "mystery box" I showcased last week came from a non-regular vendor.
On top of that, I found another new trove of cards at last week's flea market gathering. This particular vendor had a few miscellaneous binders on display. (Along with nickel boxes that seemed to have every sport but baseball.)
One of his binders had cards of the dollar or 6/$5 variety. I wasn't planning on buying anything from it. That is, until I found the beautiful black-bordered Ichiro at the top of this post, a card I absolutely had to have.
From there, I figured I'd might as well pick out five more cards to get the most out of the deal.
While I don't usually peruse modern dollar boxes, these made me glad I did this time around.
There aren't many cards that feature a sans-mustache Mike Schmidt. Yet, that short-printed "Retro Star Rookies" piece from 2005 UD Classics is exactly that.
And, while it's not the most creative name for an insert set, I rather like Fleer Avant's "Hall of Frame" design. That one of Mr. Killebrew is numbered to just 249 copies.
A "killer" dollar buy, I'd say.
Also on display from this particular vendor was a quarter (or 5/$1) binder.
Most of it was filled with your standard recent base cards, ones I'd found in dime boxes many times before.
Nevertheless, this neat "bat barrel" Berkman was a pleasant surprise.
As were these.
I was absolutely shocked to find such awesome minis grouped amongst such a hoard of other base cards. Hall of Fame minis, at that.
I don't know about you, but I'll take these for a quarter all day long.
While it's fun to test the flea market waters sometimes, I always seem to find myself coming back to my regular vendor.
Once again, he had a little box of fifteen-cent vintage on display. And, while my finds weren't as plentiful as in weeks past, there were still some goodies to be had.
One of my more ambitious goals is to get a copy of every vintage Pilot card ever made. While I'm still aways away, every little bit counts.
Buzz Stephen here is my first Pilot find in a while. As it happens, though, he never played a single game in Seattle. (His big league career consisted of two starts with the Twins in 1968.)
What we have here is a Seattle Pilots "zero-year" card.
While I still land a few here and there, getting Senators cards isn't as big a deal as it once was for me.
Like the Pilots, though, there's still a small part of me that wants to get all the Senators ever made. I guess I'm just a defunct team nut.
I've never heard of Paul Casanova. Once I found that card in the dime box, though, putting it back just wasn't an option. At just a dime, such a great piece of vintage had to come home with me.
The Unser was a fifteen-center, one that I originally picked out because of the double bat barrel action. The more I look at it, the more I seem to like it.
Apparently, teams just used to pile their bats into spare shopping carts back in the day.
This, though, was easily my best vintage pickup.
Greater "double dip" shots have rarely been seen in this hobby. Dick Green here made for one of my better recent mini-collection finds.
Oh, by the way...
The mini-collection hits were flowing in full force last week, as usual.
It's not every day that I find a new error card for my binders. Because of that, I jumped at the chance to add this coveted "player swap" to my range of screw-ups.
In a strange twist of fate, Eric Byrnes doesn't even appear on his own Bowman rookie card. Pictured above is actually former A's outfielder and current Astros manager Bo Porter.
Nice going, Bowman.
More double dips.
More bat barrels.
These always seem to be in supply.
As are "autograph" and "pitcher at the plate" shots.
I seem to land at least one of these per dime box dig.
On the more rare side of things are "interview" and "award show" specimens.
I find these every once in a while, but not in great quantities. I've seen the Clark on a couple blogs before, so I'm glad to finally have a copy in my own collection.
Taking both the gold medal on his neck and the plaque in his hand, I guess you could technically consider the "Moose" a double-award card.
That's definitely a first.
However, I think this dime find has to take the cake.
I've gushed over the forgotten Bo Hart on this blog in the past. He is and forever will be one of my favorite players, despite that his big league tenure was fairly brief.
Here, though, he's shown in a flat-out awesome Cardinals throwback, one that I don't think I'd seen on any other cards prior.
The excitement I got from this spectacular Bo Hart/throwback combo is hard to put into words.
Cohesive words, anyways.
All in all, it was just another spectacular week at the local flea market. Even so, though, it's not something I take for granted, by any means.
In fact, never take anything for granted, kids.
Especially when it comes to baseball cards.