Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The summer show, Pt. 4: Out with the new, in with the old

Well, the time has come to showcase the last of my card show "loot".

The vintage.

While the older stuff wasn't as plentiful as the last time I attended this show, there were still some spectacular gems to be had.

It all started with this 1960 Leaf Felipe Alou, which I saw beneath a glass case in the first aisle of the show.

As surprised as I am to say it, I did actually buy one of those "glass case" cards I often mention.

The sign saying "80% off" dragged me into its grasp.

However, the price tag on this one was far, far less than most "glass case" cards you'll see. The price for all the cards inside was 80 percent off whatever it's "book value" was. (And speaking of "book value", keep an eye out on a post on that topic once we return to regularly scheduled programming on this blog in the coming days.)

According to the almighty Beckett, the value on the Alou was eight bucks. At eighty percent off, I added it to my collection for the extremely reasonable price of $1.60.

So far, it's the first card I've shown in my card show posts that cost more than a quarter. (A lot more to come, though.)

This was a great buy for two reasons:

1) I have a weakness for anything featuring the three Alou brothers. It doesn't matter whether it's Matty, Jesus, or Felipe, I want it no matter what. (One of them currently resides in the "Dime Box Nine" list.)

2) This is my first card from the '60 Leaf set. I've certainly seen them plenty of times around the Internet, but I could never find one I wanted within my price range.

That was just the start of what the vintage gods had in store for me, though.

As I moved onto the next aisle, I came across one of my favorite card show sights.

The vintage bin.

A literal "bin", with cards scattered all over the place, all individually priced. Nothing else to do but grab a handful, pick out any you need, and try again.

It's madness. Pure madness.

Some of them might carry hefty price tags, but some could fit within anyone's budget. There really wasn't any rhyme or reason to it.

My dad and I had a blast digging through all that vintage.

Although it looks like this one was a participant in a folding contest at some point, this 1940 Play Ball Jim Tabor was one of the better bin finds. Like the Leaf cards, I'd always wanted one, but could never find any cheap enough for me.

I'd always assumed I'd have to shell out at least ten bucks for one of these, no matter what condition it was in or who the player was.

Wrong again.

Three bucks was all it took to become the proud, new owner of this card.

Yet there was a whole lot more of the bin to go.

Much like the Alou brothers, I'm a sucker for anything of Harvey Haddix.

I don't know that we'll ever see another 12-inning perfect game. Heck, with the pitch counts these days, the manager would probably pull him after the ninth.

Except for the fact that this one is off-center, it's in almost perfect shape. And it only cost me a buck.

I still can't tell if the front of this card is a photo or an extremely detailed painting.

It's one neat card either way.

I was able to add about six or seven new Post cards to my collection at Saturday's show, but none were better than this Billy Martin "bin" find.

Some of the Post cards I own are almost perfectly cut, while others look like something out of a horror movie.

I'd place this one at the middle of the spectrum. Not quite perfect, but far from terrible.

My dad says these Post cards are overrated. Although I like the 1970's Hostess cards better, these are still great pieces of baseball history. Although none of them could top my new Hoyt Wilhelm issue.

Still, not a bad pickup for two bucks, I'd say.

This was definitely one of my top ten finds of the day.

Dick Allen was one of my dad's favorite players growing up. As a result, he's one of mine as well.

At four bucks, this one was an absolute steal for me. The only reason it was that cheap was because of the little bit of faint writing at the top of the card.

No matter to me.

Aside from his '64 Topps rookie, I now own every single Topps issue of Dick Allen from his playing days. Everything from 1965 to 1976.

It's a toss-up between this '65 card or his '71 Topps high-number SP for my favorite card of his.

While sets like 1957, 1972, and 1975 Topps are among my all-time favorites, none of them could ever top 1965 in my book.

When someone says "baseball card", this is the design that pops into my head. The pennant, the blue and white border, the gigantic rookie cup.

Everything about it just screams "baseball".

These few cards pretty much capped off my first trip to that vintage bin. Again, I didn't want to spend too much of my budget too early.

But I knew that if I had any extra money at the end of the show, I'd make a trip back to that table...

In yesterday's card show post, I mentioned that the vendor with the 12/$1 boxes also had a fifty-cent vintage bin off to the side.

A lot of it was pretty much what you'd expect from fifty-cent vintage. A lot of beat-up no-namers.

But like most discount boxes, there were still gems to be found.

Since the cards were sorted by year, I immediately went for the older ones first. Once I got to the section labeled "1961", I was surprised to find a big stack of these Fleer cards waiting to be flipped through.

I've had a tough time finding these anywhere, and before I knew it, I was looking at a few dozen of them.

Since Topps owned exclusive contracts with most big-leaguers back in the day, Fleer couldn't put much of a checklist together once they entered the card market.

As a result, they decided to release a set that was entirely comprised of past greats.

Simply put, it bombed.

Kids at that time just didn't know or didn't care about guys from the past like Chuck Klein. They wanted that big Mickey Mantle or Roger Maris card.

Although I can't say I blame them, there's still something to be said for these Fleer cards.

The couple horizontal ones I found are awesome, like the above Chuck Klein. (A triple crown winner, by the way.)

That wasn't all.

Although I could've bought a lot more, I settled on the best nine or ten of these Fleer Greats cards I could find.

I love anything of anyone even remotely related to the 1919 Black Sox scandal. Ray Schalk was one of the "clean Sox", the catcher who attacked pitcher "Lefty" Williams after he repeatedly crossed him up.

A note of trivia as well: Schalk owns the lowest career batting average of any position player in the Hall of Fame, at .253.

Although all three of the members of the famous "Tinker to Evers to Chance" trio are in the Hall of Fame, Frank Chance is the only one who really should be in, at least stat-wise.

Chance was once hit four times in a doubleheader, and was also the first player ever ejected from a World Series game in 1910.

That's a lot of baseball history for just fifty cents each.

Except for the biggies like Mantle, Musial, and Williams, I own at least one Topps issue of every player I collect.

At least I thought I did going into Saturday.

I didn't realize it until I got home the next day, but this is my first Topps card of Hank Bauer. (I also added a Post card of his at the show for good measure.)

Sometimes the biggest things can slip through the cracks.

This was the best and most unexpected find from that fifty-cent bin.

Although there was a small stack of '54 Bowmans inside, I didn't really expect to find much from those, even with the condition most of them were in.

You can imagine how surprised I was to find a "Preacher" Roe card, the second I'd found of his in as many shows.

It's certainly seen it's better days, I know. But it's cheap and it's old.

And it's cheap.

All in all, I walked away with about thirty cards from that table for a grand total of fifteen bucks.

I'd say I got a good deal.

After that, I came across a familiar sight.

The table with the bargain vintage and famous two-dollar boxes was back.

Remember those?

While I didn't find as much vintage goodness this time around, I still got more than my vintage fill.

Both the bargain and the two-dollar box were ripe for the picking, and one of the first ones I "plucked" was this Sal Maglie Bowman issue. (From the two-dollar box.)

I'm always on the hunt of new cards featuring "The Barber".

Nothing like a couple two-dollar cards of the "Say Hey Kid".

While I admit that the crease on the '72 Topps In-Action Mays is a bit unsightly, you're not going to find a card of his for much cheaper that that.

Plus, it's now my new oldest Willie Mays card, edging out his '73 Topps issue.

Unfamiliar uniforms don't get much more odd than Mays in a New York Mets jersey. That particular card comes from the 1975 SSPC set, during which Mays was a coach for the Mets.

Shea Stadium does make for a nice background on any baseball card.

I'll always buy any reasonably-priced Ron Santo cards.

Trouble is, people tend to overprice them a lot of the time in the city of Chicago. These two were more than fair, though.

The '66 was two bucks, while the '69 was just a buck-fifty.

Not bad for quite possibly the most iconic player in Cubs history.

Speaking of Cubs greats, here's a couple from one of my all-time favorite sets.

One thing I like about this vendor is that the Cubs cards aren't priced at a premium like a lot of other tables.

The Jenkins was just a buck, and the Williams was $1.25.

I'm sure they've traded hands for a lot more than that at other Chicagoland card shows.

Like with many other things, I have a weakness for the '69 Deckle Edge set.

What makes these great is that they're not all that expensive most of the time. Marichal is a Hall of Famer, yet his card was only a buck.

There's Felipe Alou again, this time as an Atlanta Brave. Since that one is a bit off-center, I got it at even more of a discounted price than usual.

A quarter.

The cheapest of any card in this post.

This was the only oversized Topps card I bought all day.

For two bucks, I'll take any card of a guy who has a foul pole named after him.

I seem to become a bigger fan of '72 Topps after every card show.

Except for '75, I don't think any Topps set better exemplifies the decade than these. The "In-Action" subset is probably my favorite part of it.

The Perry was fifty cents, while the Bench came out of the two-dollar box.

Few things can beat vintage Hall of Famers.

Here's a couple more two-dollar Hall of Famers.

I think "iconic" is the best word to describe these two cards. I've wanted to add both of these to my collection for a long time now, especially the McCovey. (On which Johnny Bench makes a guest appearance.)

From the Internet to other card shows to wherever, I've seen these cards a couple dozen times each, at least.

After all that, it feels good to finally own a copy of both.

I actually saw this one the last time I attended this show in March.

Although I would've loved to have it, I passed on acquiring this card at the time. It just didn't fit within my budget.

Surely, I thought someone else would come along and snatch it up at some point.


I was surprised to see that this weathered copy of Ozzie Smith's '79 Topps rookie was right where I last saw it, in the two-dollar box.

This time, however, I bought it.

It's not a card I've ever specifically sought out to get. I like Ozzie Smith, but the "book value" on this one was fifty bucks the last time I checked.

Not exactly a "low-end" piece of cardboard.

Nevertheless, I'm extremely happy to own a rookie card of arguably the greatest shortstop to ever play the game, no matter the condition.

While the '59 Fleer "All Ted, All the Time" set was a bomb, that doesn't mean there aren't any good cards in the set. (Although some of them are just plain awful.)

I traded for a card from this set right when I started to get back into the hobby six or seven years ago. I've always wanted to get another one ever since.

In that case, the two-dollar box was just what the doctor ordered.

I had my choice of about three different cards from this set, one of which was one of those bad out-of-uniform shots.

This was easily the best of the three.

A nice landscape painting of the "Splendid Splinter" in action.

That wasn't the biggest find of the discount vintage boxes, though...

This was.

Richie Ashburn has always been one of my favorites. And although I've said it before, it bears mentioning again.

He might well have the best "baseball name" in history.

While Bowman had some nice sets in the '50s, it doesn't get any better than 1955 in my book. They're even better than that year's Topps release.

At five bucks, this was one of my more expensive purchases of the day. But it was easily worth every penny.

Needless to say, I walked away from that table a happy camper.

As I finished up with the last aisles of the convention hall, I still had about thirty bucks left from my dad's generous donation to my card show fund.

So back we went to that vintage bin I mentioned earlier...

The four cards I bought from the bin this time around turned out to be four of my most expensive buys of the day.

But they were also four of my best.

Minnie Minoso is a legend in the annals of White Sox history. And although I'm not exactly sure what he's doing on this card, I knew I had to have it from the moment I first saw it.

Four bucks was a more than fair price for this one.

At $5.50, this comes in as my third most expensive buy of the day.

Because it's a 1960's high number, I never, ever thought I'd own this card. They're just too rich for my blood most of the time.

This is just the second Topps "In Memoriam" card that I'm aware of. (The '06 Topps Update Cory Lidle is the other.)

Sadly, 1962 NL Rookie of the Year Ken Hubbs perished in a plane crash in February of 1964. He was just 22.

It's certainly a touching card, and I am grateful that it now resides in my collection.

Now, it's time for my two final purchases from Saturday's card show. Like the Hubbs, both were cards I never thought I'd own.

Especially this one, given that it's a 1960's high-number and a short-print...

I am a big Jimmy Piersall fan.

He doesn't have a whole lot of cards out there, so any I happen to come across strike up a bit of excitement for me.

Especially this one.

As I mentioned, it's an extremely rare card. A lot of vintage cards are hard enough to find, much less one that's a high-number and a SP.

Although I'm not sure why Topps used a "profile" shot for Piersall's 1966 issue, I still love it. I actually saw it the first time I dug through the bin, but I figured I'd wait to see what kind of money I had at the end of the show.

I knew I'd be coming back for it at some point, though.

At $9.50, it was one of my pricier buys, which should tell you just how much I wanted this card.

But I think the undisputed "find of the day" has to go to...

My brand-new 1955 Bowman Bob Feller!

At $9.50, it carried the same price tag as the Piersall. Although both cards are exceptionally fantastic, this one takes the cake.

For one thing, it's another one of those beautiful '55 Bowmans. I'll never get sick of the "Color TV" design.

But even more than that, it's my first real card of Bob Feller.

His couple Topps issues are way out of my price range, so my only hope was to find a Bowman issue of his.

As my readers know, condition doesn't matter to me, but it really doesn't matter when it comes to a landmark card such as this one.

Thankfully, it fell into my lap with an extremely reasonable price tag.

I have all my oversized early Bowman/Topps cards on a bookshelf in my room. The shelf at eye-level contains the "best of the best" in that category.

The Feller takes its place on that glorious shelf, right smack dab in the middle of all that cardboard greatness.

Well, that about wraps up my card show recap. I hope you enjoyed that parade of vintage.

I know I did.

I'd like to thank everyone who has read and/or commented on the series of posts so far. Hopefully I provided a view into what my card show experience is really like.

I'll be back to my regular posting tomorrow.

Most of all, I'd like to thank my dad. As I said, he made a generous donation to my "fund" at this show. I don't know that any of the vintage you saw in this post would have been possible without his help.

I've read stories about parents who don't support their kid's baseball card hobby in the least, even going so far as to condescend towards it. That's really a shame.

Baseball cards are among the greatest things a father and son can share.


AdamE said...

Preacher is pne of my favorite old time players. Check my blog and do a search of Preacher to find out why.

I want that Ted and Tabor! I have something you may Really like Ill trade you for them. Email me if your curious what it may be...

Mike said...

Ha!....complaining you didn't mention me enough in the other card show posts on the phone today pays off! always,a great time was had and you always know.....if I got,you got,pal!......

Nice finds!

musicfan87 said...

There's another memoriam, the Roy Campanella 1960 Topps.

Zayden said...

Wow, after reading all 4 parts I am truly awe-inspired. So inspired that I decided to start a blog myself. Check it out if you want, theres only one post so far but I gotta start somewhere. Keep up the awesome work. This stuff is truly priceless.

Zayden said...

Sorry I forgot to post the url, here it is :