In case you haven't picked up on the hints I've been dropping this week, I'm going to be attending a card show tomorrow.
It's basically a tri-annual gathering. The last show I attended in this particular convention hall was back in August, at a little thing called the National.
As is always the case with this thing, I'm counting down the hours. More than anything else, card shows make me feel like a kid again.
Just like always, my dad will be coming along for the ride. We fully plan on having a great time at the ol' card show.
Having a blog has definitely added an extra-special layer to my show experience, in that I get to show off all the day's finds to my loyal readers. Although I assure you that I do so with a much bigger smile than Pete Falcone on his '82 Fleer issue.
Another card show tradition that has emerged on this blog have been these little "prep work" posts, which I usually compose the night before. It gives my readers a little insight in terms of what I look for in my card show experience. Plus, it keeps me organized.
With any luck, I'll be able to fulfill these personal goals at tomorrow's show.
#1 -- Raid the 2013 dime boxes!
If you're a set builder and/or player collector and have a local card show near you, I'd advise you to wait on picking up newer singles right away.
A little patience can take you a long way. As I've found, most of them will eventually wind up in dime boxes anyways.
There's a reason I've barely picked up any Allen and Ginter this year. Instead of buying more and more packs of the stuff, I've been waiting for this very card show to come around. A lot of box-busting dealers simply throw those useless base cards into their dime boxes.
And that's where people like me swoop in and save the day. I'm hoping to find a gluttony of recent 2013 issues in the dime boxes tomorrow. Sure, A&G is probably the main focus. But I'm also hoping to see sets like Panini Cooperstown and Hometown Heroes make an appearance as well.
I'll just have to cross my fingers.
#2 -- Frankensetting
In years past, I would almost never buy cards of any of my non-binder guys.
These days, I'm singing a whole different tune. My recent frankenset quest is exclusive to those non-binder guys, in fact.
That's why I'm hoping to find a whole bunch of new potential frankenset nominees at tomorrow's show.
Whether it be via autograph shots, double dips, or simply miscellaneous cool cardboard, I'm hoping the dime boxes have some treasures in store.
#3 -- Pages, pages, pages
I might do something at tomorrow's show that I've never done before.
I may actually buy some supplies.
There always seems to be a few people selling pages, sleeves, and other knick-knacks, but I've blown right by them at every previous show without a second thought.
As of right now, though, I'm fresh out of pages. And, in order to properly file my card show finds, I need more pages. If I can find them for a reasonable price, I might actually invest in a few nine-pocket pages tomorrow.
That is, unless any kind-hearted bloggers have some extra ones they could donate to a worthy cause.
#4 -- Narrowing the focus
I've never been one to hunt for specific cards at a show.
Almost every other blogger I've seen usually goes into these things with at least a couple hopeful finds in mind. But not me. I've always let the card show aisles take me where they may.
Although I'm still planning on taking home a barrage of random finds, I am actually going to hunt for a few specific cards this time around, something I've never really done in the past.
I have a couple possibilities in mind. The fact that I don't yet own a '71 Topps Denny McLain has long nagged at me.
Now, I do feel lucky to own McLain's 1972 Topps issue. I actually found it in a dime box a few years ago. It features the hurler as a Ranger (in an airbrushed Senators cap), though he never actually played a game for Texas. It's basically a semi-"zero-year" card.
That said, I've always felt his '71 issue would be a slightly better card to have. It's one of the cards I've long wanted for my defunct teams collection. Plus, McLain only pitched with the Senators for a single season.
The card certainly won't come easy, though. Being a short-print and a high-number in the '71 checklist (#750), it has the dreaded vintage "double whammy". But if I can find a copy on the cheap somewhere in that convention hall, I'm going to pounce on it.
On top of that, I can say with almost 100 percent certainty that at least one copy of Hank Aaron's 1975 Topps issue will reside somewhere at tomorrow's show. I've always thought it to be a must-have piece for my "Hammerin' Hank" and Hall of Fame collections.
It's up to me to find one.
#5 -- One big splash
Thankfully, I should have a slightly bigger budget to work with at tomorrow's show.
Having a job has played a role in that, I'd say. It might just allow me to make a huge splash at some point tomorrow.
Tied with a '59 Topps Sparky Anderson rookie, my most expensive purchase at the National was this trimmed '68 Roberto Clemente, which set me back eight bucks.
In that very same discount vintage box, though, I saw a beat-up '56 Clemente with an extremely reasonable $40 price tag. Had I had the available funds at the time, I would've jumped all over it. But, alas, back into the box it went.
If I see something like that this time around, I might just have to pull the trigger.
I'd like to make one big splash.
#6 -- Dime boxes galore!
As usual, I'm planning to do a whole lot of dime box damage tomorrow.
That's pretty much where the dime box planning stops for me. I don't know what exactly I'll take home. I'll just be looking for cool cards that strike my fancy, much like this former Johan Santana dime bin find.
All I can do is sit back and let the dime boxes work their magic.
I'll be back soon to start reporting on all my card show finds.
I can't wait until tomorrow. That's all I can say for now.
Wish me luck.