Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Not a morning person (except at the flea market)

I don't know about you, but I am not a morning person.

Give me closing shifts, give me sleeping in, give me reading in bed at 1 AM. I just don't feel like myself when I'm up at early dawn, and I find it hard to gather the energy to do much of anything at all the rest of the day. It's a personality trait I've long since accepted. Jobs and other necessities aside, it takes a lot to get me out of bed on a morning where there's nothing forcing me into the real world.

It takes something like the flea market, for example - I woke up way before my usual weekend rising hour to see what cards awaited me there a few Sundays ago.

My flea market actually opens at 6 AM(!), and while I've never gone anywhere near that insane hour, I do like to get there earlier rather than later because a lot of vendors (understandably) start packing up around noon or 1.

I actually arrived a little earlier than usual this time (9 AM or so) because I wanted to give myself plenty of time in case the dude with the dime boxes was back. Bad news: he wasn't. Good news: all my other card guys were, including the vendor with those weirdly fantastic 50-cent binders I've mentioned in past posts.

I still haven't seen the brand new binders this guy keeps threatening to bring every time I talk to him - but for now he did fill some of the binder gaps I left with my last purchases with a few more choice legend SPs (including an excellent old automobile sighting on that Killebrew!).

Throwback Thursdays!

I will, of course, take any and all of these I can find, but I like 'em a lot more when they use non-baseball designs - I admittedly know very little about cards from other sports, but apparently the Bench and Seaver are replicas of an old Topps football design.

Topps Tribute brings a rare breath of fanciness to my card collection built on discount bin and dusty treasures.

Legend-centric SPs are a necessary plague among HOF enthusiasts like myself, but it feels so, so good to track them down when I can.

A few other miscellaneous gems from the 50-cent binders - the Brooks Robinson actually folds out into a full faux-ticket stub, and I can't decide whether that's actually cool or kinda gimmicky (both?).

One of my other card guys usually has a small glass case of various vintage - lots of good stuff, the only real tragedy being that I seem to have almost everything he puts in there from week to week.

This time around, however, I did manage to snag this nifty Walter Alston from the glass case for $5 - not a bad price at all for a dreaded '72 high-number (in darn good shape, too!).

As I've mentioned many times before, this guy also has a 4/$1 box that consistently seems to yield cool stuff.

These won't go in my standard nine-pocket pages - the Allen is too small and the sight of circular cards in a page drives me nuts for some reason - but they were still easy buys at a quarter a pop.

More quarter goodies, from TCMA oddballs to chromed-up inserts - and that Bagwell officially wins the dubious Most Information Crammed into the Front of a Baseball Card award.

My other regular card vendor usually sets up in one of the last aisles, and provides a nice final wake-up call for my typical sleepy-eyed mornings at the flea market.

I found these in a small dollar bin he had on display - the Hilton brings me one step closer to my sometimes-jokey, sometimes-serious quest to get all those '74 Topps "Washington" cards.

I don't usually crave conversation with card vendors, but I've gotten to know this guy a bit over the years, and he always greets me by name and is always up for a good chat about baseball cards or otherwise.

That and finding stars in his dime box makes for a great way to spend a half-hour on a Sunday morning.

He also provided me with what was unquestionably my biggest get from this particular flea market run - a whole Ziploc bag of uncut Baseball Card Magazine panels!

I scooped these up for $10 within seconds of walking up to this guy's table - it's actually the second time I've unearthed a substantial trove of such panels, after a similar find at a card show a couple years ago (which also cost me $10, coincidentally).

I can't really explain why, but I have an extra-special affinity for hand-cut specimens from the wide world of oddballs, and the only thing I like more are hand-cut oddballs that I actually get to cut out!

There was a time in my hobby life that I may have kept these intact as complete panels, but I've come to realize that I get way more pleasure out of the individual cards on these than the uncut sheets (plus uncut stuff is a pain to store). I'm particularly fond of these Baseball Card Magazine inserts because, as far as I can tell, they were some of the first cards to come up with the then-radical concept of placing current players on vintage designs. 

Seems commonplace now (and way overdone), but at the time it must've been an eye-catching novelty.

Though I scanned these as panels for the blog, I spent a good hour of arts & crafts time later on that afternoon with the Cubs game on the television, doing my best to cut the cards out along the little black lines - and I had a whole lot of fun doing it.

And at the end of it all, even in the morning person in me has to admit the stack of cards I brought home from the flea market this particular Sunday were well worth the sacrifice of a few extra hours of sleep.


Mike said...

Those panels are so great!.. as Mitch Hedberg would say "Fxxk it,cut 'em up!" Haha!!

cardcollector65jw said...

Those are some nice cards that you got!

Swing And A Pop-up said...

6am? That's a late start. There's one down my way that opens up at 4am.

Mark Hoyle said...

Some great cards Nick. I’m usually up every morning by 4am at the latest sometimes earlier. No alarm clock either.

Johnnys Trading Spot said...

Not a lot of sleep for me either. I stay up late (early morning), and always get up the latest with the sun rise. Great grabs as always.

night owl said...

It's probably a good thing there aren't any flea markets selling cards around me, because I just can't get up any earlier than 10 without hating everything that I'm doing while I'm awake.

Jeff B - Wax Pack Wonders said...

I agree with you on those panels. Cut them up!

SumoMenkoMan said...

It's funny how that works. I have a hard time waking up for work, but will be up at 4am on Saturday to go enjoy some outdoor hobbies! Nice cards you got.

Brett Alan said...

I used to be totally not a morning person, but my wife had kind of made me one. Not totally--6AM is still a pretty hard ask--but much more so.

I had a pretty good dime box run (and even a nickel box) at the card show Sunday, including a 2020 Felix Hernandez zero-year card that turned out to be the advanced stats parallel out of /300! But that Seaver throwback card--that was 50 cents? Awesome find.

P-town Tom said...

Shoot, I'm usually up well ahead of 6am. Even during the summer when I can sleep in my internal clock has me up and going.
Those magazine panels are an awesome find!

Matt said...

I used to love the Baseball Card Magazine insert cards...I wish I knew what happened to my stack...

Fuji said...

I'm a morning person... who has been too lazy to get out and walk around the flea market. But if I knew there were guys with magazine cards... I'd force myself to go.

gcrl said...

there's a flea market near me. i might have to check it out and see if there are any cards to be found. great stuff!