Friday, February 28, 2014

Covering the Bases, Pt. 13: Top 10 from Scooter

Now that the whole card show extravaganza is over, I have some serious work to do on this blog.

In what has become a bit of a running theme around here, I'm once again way behind on my trade posts. I'll do my best to catch up on those in the coming weeks, as I've had a bunch of different people send over tons of awesome cardboard.

One particularly exciting trade package I received a while back came from Chris of the terrific blog "View from the Skybox". In an extreme act of generosity, he sent over a whopping ten unopened packs from the 1995 Phil Rizzuto's National Pastime brand.

Chris noted my fascination with these things in a past post and just happened to be sitting on some extras. I was more than happy to take them off his hands.

I'd seen these cards around the blogs for a while before finally having a few trickle in through trades. Though Finest was in its infancy at the time, chrome wasn't really a thing in the hobby in 1995. These "Scooter"-sponsored cards, however, are nothing but chrome.

Better yet, they chronicle much of the early days of baseball history. This is the type of set I've begged Topps to release for as long as I can remember.

So, because Chris was nice enough to send ten packs of these beauties my way, I've decided to recap my top ten favorite pulls from this fun-filled break.

#10 -- 1995 Phil Rizzuto's National Pastime #36 Coffee Cards

Despite what some of my friends might think, I don't know everything there is to know about baseball.

There's still a whole lot of history I haven't yet covered. That's the beauty of sets like these. You can really learn a lot from them.

I sure didn't know that cards were once inserted into coffee tins. As the back of this one notes, however, coffee companies began to do so after seeing the success of tobacco cards in the late 19th century.

Chalk that one up to the baseball trivia file.

#9 -- 1995 Phil Rizzuto's National Pastime #11 Spalding Trophy

I'm a big fan of artifacts from early baseball history.

From what this card says, the Spalding company offered these trophies through their mail order catalog in the '20s. Though they certainly looked nice, they were quite expensive, so not many people bought them.

However, some minor leagues gave these out as awards for their most outstanding players at the time.

It's like the 1920's version of the MVP trophy.

#8 -- 1995 Phil Rizzuto's National Pastime #27 Baltimore Blues

According to the back of this one, almost nothing is known about the Baltimore Blues franchise.

Supported by local businessmen, the squad was an all-black team in the days before the Negro Leagues. However, no stats or records exist of the Blues, leading to them being largely omitted from baseball history.

This was certainly the first I'd heard about them.

#7 -- 1995 Phil Rizzuto's National Pastime #6 Cleveland Stadium (refractor)

As if these cards couldn't get any better, some of them even come in refractor form.

I'm not sure they were called refractors at the time, but they're definitely the precursor to today's myriad of X-fractors, blue refractors, and super-duper refractors.

This beautiful depiction of Cleveland Stadium comes from around the 1950's. I've never been good with ballparks, so I didn't know that the Indians played there all the way until the opening of Jacobs (now Progressive) Field in 1994.

You learn something new every day.

#6 -- 1995 Phil Rizzuto's National Pastime #49 Slide, Kelly, Slide!

From what I know, Slide, Kelly, Slide! was a theater play based on the life of superstar King Kelly.

Before this card came along, however, I never realized it made its way onto the silver screen. This is an advertising poster for the 1927 film.

It flopped.

They can't all be Citizen Kane, I guess.

#5 -- 1995 Phil Rizzuto's National Pastime #76 Jake Beckley

Though most of this set revolves around physical artifacts from baseball history, a few of the cards do depict individual players.

The one you see above features Jake Beckley, a largely forgotten turn-of-the-century Hall of Famer who played in the bigs from 1888 all the way until 1907.

I'd only owned one other card of his before these packs came along.

#4 -- 1995 Phil Rizzuto's National Pastime #30 Goodwin Champions

Some of these things even depict baseball cards within a baseball card.

This beauty shows eight of the game's prime stars of the late 19th century in cardboard form. Cap Anson and King Kelly are just a few of the greats featured here.

Though reproduced as a fairly average retro set by Upper Deck in recent years, the Goodwin company was one of the first to include cards in packages of tobacco.

It's a pipe dream of mine to own a real one of these things someday.

#3 -- 1995 Phil Rizzuto's National Pastime #55 1933 All-Star Game Program

As someone who has lived around Chicago for all of my life, it gives me a great deal of pride to know that baseball's very first All-Star Game was held here in the Windy City.

All of the game's greats came together to play at Comiskey Park on July 6th, 1933. Fittingly, Babe Ruth hit the first homer in All-Star Game history.

This is an actual program from that historic contest.

Now that's a true piece of baseball americana.

#2 -- 1995 Phil Rizzuto's National Pastime #88 Baseball Action (refractor)

Though this card doesn't give any specifics as to the players or teams featured here, this is one spectacular action shot.

Even better, it's a coveted refractor.

I think the beauty of it speaks for itself.

#1 -- 1995 Phil Rizzuto's National Pastime #47 Japanese Poster

I wouldn't mind taking a trip to Japan one day.

If nothing else, I'd love to see a Japanese baseball game. From what I've seen on television, they seem like absolute bedlam. In a good way.

I've long been fascinated with Japanese baseball. I very nearly pulled the trigger on a real Sadaharu Oh card at Sunday's card show, but my budget didn't really allow for it at the time.

Though that may have never materialized, I can certainly live with this awesome piece of Japanese baseball history. According to the back, this 1950's poster advertised a contest between Nishitetsu and Mainichi of the Japanese League's Pacific Division.

I can't say I've pulled many cooler things from a pack of baseball cards.

Another huge thanks goes out to Chris for sending so many of these things my way.

They're perfect for a baseball history nut like myself.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Card show confessions, Pt. 4: Vintage surprises

As I've done with almost all my past card show posts, we'll be closing out my finds from Sunday with the vintage.

I'm a little ashamed to admit this, but there was a point in time where I didn't give vintage much of a second thought. I regularly used to go to shows and not pick up a single card from the '60s or '70s. Maybe one or two would sneak into my purchase pile, if I felt like it.

Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking.

These days, I can't imagine a card show without vintage. It's just a given that if I go to a show, I'm coming home with some oldies. Enough said.

With vintage, the surprises never end.

Take that Eddie Murray rookie you see above. I certainly never thought I'd own a copy of such an iconic piece of cardboard history. Almost all of the ones I'd seen in the past were way, way out of my price range.

Thanks to creasing, off-centeredness, and a little writing on the back, I finally found a copy that fit snugly into my budget. It came from my flea market guy's quarter box.

An Eddie Murray rookie card for a quarter.

Now that's a surprise if I've ever seen one.

Jeff and I were digging through some discount vintage when I came across the Fox.

Knowing he collected him, I offered the vintage beauty to Jeff. It was the right thing to do. If I'm being completely honest, though, I was hoping Jeff didn't need it. I wanted it for myself.

Thankfully, Jeff already had a copy, so into my pile it went. For just a quarter, I'm happy to give it a good home.

I'll give a spoiler now and say that I didn't make one huge vintage pickup at this show. I've been prone to do that in the past, but I didn't drop a great deal of cash on any one single card on Sunday.

At three bucks, the '61 Topps Billy Martin was actually my most expensive keeper find of the day. Though I know he wasn't the most pleasant guy in the world, I've become a fan of Martin through my dad.

The decision to drop three bucks on a copy of his '61 Topps issue was made a bit easier with the fact that the card lists him as a Milwaukee Brave. Martin played a grand total of six games with the franchise in 1961.

Talk about an unfamiliar uniform.

As it happens, however, I didn't buy a whole lot of standard Topps vintage at this show.

My heart was with the oddballs on Sunday.

If you've attended a card show before, I'm sure you've seen the vendors who put out huge binders of cardboard separated by set. I almost never dig through those things. They're more meant for set builders, which is something I don't usually do.

There was a vendor like that present on Sunday. I was almost ready to breeze past his table when I noticed that one of his binders was packed with '60s oddballs. That caught my attention.

My budget was starting to dwindle at the time, so I didn't buy too much from him. I did, however, decide to plop down a buck for the '62 Post Maury Wills you see above.

Wills famously didn't sign with Topps until later in his career. Thus, the only earlier cards you'll find of him come from Fleer and various other oddball sets.

Including, as I found, Post.

The guy's binder also had a few pages of 1961 Golden Press oddities available.

Most were bit too rich for my blood, unfortunately. At just fifty cents, though, the Vance fit nicely into my budget.

The Foxx came from the last table I stopped at on Sunday. With a lone ten-spot burning a hole in my pocket, I descended upon a dealer who had stacks and stacks of individually priced vintage on display.

After a little digging, I'd picked out twelve bucks' worth of cards, including the aforementioned '61 Topps Martin.

Though I don't usually haggle at card shows, I asked the guy if he'd take ten bucks for the lot. Thankfully, he obliged. Since the Foxx had a two-dollar price tag, I basically got it for free.

Coming from the '61 Fleer Greats of the Game checklist, it's one of the extreme few cards I've seen that features the Hall of Famer as a Chicago Cub.

Though sets like Post and Golden Press are great, the first thing that comes to mind when I think about vintage oddballs is Hostess.

Thanks to my dad's tales of collecting during the '70s, I was introduced to these sweet pieces at a very young age. They've been a vital part of my collection ever since.

The great thing about Hostess is that there are so many of them. The bad thing about Hostess is that there are so many of them.

I'm always finding new ones, but I know there's a ton of others to chase down. For now, though, I'll take what I can.

One of the dealers I found was just about ready to pack up for the day when I hit his table. Had I found him maybe five minutes after I did, chances were I would've never gotten to dig through his dollar box.

And I would've never found the amazing Hostess Jose Cardenal you see above.

The same goes for these two.

Though I've never made such a list, I can almost guarantee that both Manny Sanguillen and Al Oliver are among my top ten favorite players of the '70s.

The guy even had a few Kellogg's beauties in his dollar box.

I actually didn't find out about Kellogg's cards until much later in my collecting career, but I've come to appreciate them just about as much as Hostess these last couple years. These two continue my recent streak of finding Kellogg's singles at shows.

I know other people might favor one over the other, but I don't think I can pick between Kellogg's and Hostess.

I'm not sure I'll ever be able to do that.

The Murray rookie wasn't the only piece of vintage my flea market guy had on display.

I landed this great Kellogg's Carter from his quarter bin.

It's hard to not like the clash between those red Expos jerseys and this card's blue borders.

The Hostess brigade wasn't quite over yet, though.

These two greats also set me back just a quarter a piece.

By far the biggest storyline of the day, however, was the overwhelming selection of 1975 Topps Minis at this show.

Though I know me saying this will make at least one person jealous (and perhaps a little angry), I found minis almost everywhere I looked on Sunday.

My flea market guy even had a few waiting for me in his discount bins. This Rusty Staub has always been one of my favorite cards from the '75 checklist.

At just a quarter, picking up the mini version was a no-brainer.

These two also came courtesy of the flea market guy.

The Cardenal was a quarter, while the Jenkins was fifty cents.

This one, however, may have been the greatest mini find of them all.

I don't visit my local card shop much anymore. When I do, though, I always see this '75 Mini Ron Santo staring up at me from the owner's glass case. With a $5 price tag, his copy is way overpriced.

Due to how badly I wanted it, however, I came close to paying the inflated fee on a couple of different occasions. I held off, though, because I always believed I'd find a copy for way cheaper one day.

That day was Sunday. My flea market guy let Mr. Santo go for a buck.

Now, walking into my local card shop won't be as agonizing.

After we found the penny cards, Jeff and I went our separate ways for a little while.

He met back up with me about a half-hour later, just minutes after I found the table that would result in arguably my best purchases of the day.

Jeff seemed surprised at the goldmine I'd discovered. He even posted a picture of it on his blog.

Yes, it was almost a whole box of '75 minis.

And that wasn't even the best part.

They were just a quarter each!

At that price, I couldn't resist.

I went absolutely bonkers.

What you see here is the majority of the fifty '75 minis I bought on Sunday.


I'm not sure I even had that many in my collection before this show.

One of the extreme few downsides to these things is that they don't fit snugly into a standard nine-pocket page. I hear Ultra Pro is making some progress on that front, though. I might have to look into specially-made mini pages. If they ever hit the market, that is.

Until then, I'll have to live with housing '75 minis in my regular pages.

With the sheer beauty of these things, though, it's a minor roadblock for some of the greatest oddballs ever made.

It's hard to pick a favorite from such a large array of minis, but I think Mr. Wynn might well earn the honors.

Just days before this show, I was digging through one of my Dodgers binders and came across the standard version of this very card, one of the best from the '75 checklist. One thought instantly hit me.

Wouldn't it be cool to own the mini?

Thanks to this amazing quarter bin, that dream is now a reality.

Before I officially close up shop on these posts, I'd like to give a huge thank you to my mom. Her birthday gift to me provided the bulk of my budget for this card show.

And even though my dad may not have been able to make it on Sunday, I know he's been enjoying reading about my pickups on this blog.

One reason I love writing these card show posts so much is that it virtually allows me to relive the experience all over again. I hope I was able to convey just how much fun I had on Sunday through these posts.

After all, you just can't beat a card show.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Card show confessions, Pt. 3: Flea market in February

For those who are new to this blog, I should note that the local outdoor flea market is like my salvation during the summer months.

There's one vendor in particular who always has a fantastic array of cardboard on display every single week. Better yet, he cuts me amazing deals on the things I buy from him. I could link to a ton of different posts I've written about my flea market hauls, but here's one for now.

That said, the wind chill around here was about -11 when I left for school today. So why bring up all this flea market stuff now?

Because that awesome vendor was there on Sunday. He sets up at this show during the winter months. In many ways, it was like a flea market inside a card show. The best of both worlds.

Unfortunately, he didn't have his famous baseball dime boxes on display this time. (The only dime boxes present were basketball ones.)

He did, however, have a few different boxes full of quarter, fifty-cent, and dollar cards ripe for the picking. I landed the neat Gary Carter oddball you see above from one of his dollar bins.

After a little research, I found that it hails from the 1981 Perma Graphics checklist, which I'd never heard of before Sunday. It almost has the feel of a credit card. Or one of those old phone cards.

Speaking of which...

...I found one of those, too.

I have no idea how or why a card like this one ended up in a card show quarter box here in 2014, but I'm not complaining. This is a terrific oddball of "The Ryan Express", and one I can't imagine is too easy to find these days.

Apparently, the people at Sprint felt Mr. Ryan was only worth a single minute of talk time.


Oddballs were in full force on Sunday.

These two fantastic Andre Dawson oddities came from the flea market guy's quarter box.

I never collected "Hawk" much in the past, but his recent election to the Hall of Fame has really pushed me to pick up more of his cards lately.

I honestly don't think I've walked away a show without picking up at least a handful of Vlads.

These two neat '90s inserts also came from the quarter bins. The one on the right is especially psychedelic.

It's just not a card show without Vlad.

I've said this before, but what I like most about my flea market guy's selection is the fact that he pretty much has a little of everything.

While oddballs and '90s inserts are present, you'll find quite a bit from the more recent hobby developments as well.

If that Harper is any indication, Gypsy Queen certainly knows its way around an insert. Now, if only they could create a decent base design...

Though I'm not a huge Archives fan, I will say that the gold parallels are pretty nice. I'd never seen one in-person before Sunday.

At just a quarter, I'm all over those things.

Archives may be moving into GQ territory, in that the inserts from the brand are vastly better than the base cards.

Last year featured the introduction of the terrific "Tall Boys" series. Again thanks to this quarter bin, these are the first two I'll be adding to my binders.

I can't explain it, but there's something about the odd combination of magenta and Pirate gold that I really like.

We'll close out the flea market/card show combo finds with this stunner from the dollar box.

Limited to just 299 copies, this Hack Wilson is a magnificent "Gold Crystal Shard" parallel from last year's Panini Cooperstown release. As you might guess, it looks about a hundred times better in person.

Between all my quarter, fifty-cent, and dollar buys, my purchases should've come to about twenty bucks all together. Continuing his usual generous ways, my flea market guy charged me just half that for the lot.

I can't wait until summer comes.

In a strange coincidence, the Wilson wasn't the only Cooperstown "Gold Crystal Shard" parallel I picked up on Sunday.

Though they weren't priced, the guy who had that neat non-sports dime box I talked about yesterday had another bin full of newer inserts and parallels available. The lack of pricing scared me, but I dug in anyways and pulled out a few pieces that I really wanted.

Thankfully, I found that he was more than fair on the cards in that bin. I've experienced quite a few horror stories when it comes to unpriced cardboard, but this wasn't one of them.

Like the Wilson, this beautiful Cooperstown parallel of "The Peerless Leader" set me back a buck.

That's definitely a reasonable price if you ask me.

Although we're pretty far into 2014 already, Panini still isn't done surprising me with their 2013 efforts.

I wasn't huge on last year's Pinnacle revival, but that "Swinging for the Fences" insert is something else. While it might be tough to tell from the scan, that Ramirez is actually transparent. It's certainly in line with the "outside-the-box" way of thinking Pinnacle had during its heyday.

Though I'd known about the "Nicknames" series in Hometown Heroes, I didn't know "The Penguin" was a part of it. I found it odd that Panini labeled Cey as a Cub on that one, as he earned and became famous for the moniker as a Dodger.

Both of these were steals at just a quarter each.

Like a few of Sunday's dime box finds, I had a couple of these Three Stooges inserts lined up in that lost Just Commons order I placed a while ago.

At one per Golden Age box, I feared I'd never find another one at a reasonable price. The vendor let this one go for just a dollar.

I know the "Goofs and Saddles" short well. It's definitely a good one.

Then again, all Curlys are good ones.

Yes, I made a few 2014 Topps purchases on Sunday.

Though I'm set on the base cards, I'll still be picking up Flagship parallels throughout the year. The McCann set me back a quarter, while the numbered Buehrle was a fifty-center.

I think the different colors look nice on this year's design.

Card companies are doing some odd things these days.

I plucked these for a quarter each during one of my last stops on Sunday. I collect both Weaver and Strasburg, but the sheer craziness alone would've been worth the quarters to me.

How the heck do card companies land on these particular shapes?

I'm thinking they just gave a sheet of paper to a first grader and said, "Here, cut this."

And boom.

There's your design.

You'll be hearing a lot more about this particular vendor in my next (and final) card show post, but one guy had a few different discount boxes on display.

One of them was filled entirely of Detroit Tiger cards, which I found odd. I'd never before seen a bargain box revolve around a single team like that.

Though I didn't dig through the entire thing, I did manage to find a few stellar adds to my Tigers binder. These terrific oddballs set me back just a quarter a piece.

I sure never knew Domino's made baseball cards before Sunday.

I bet these taste better than their pizza.

[Rim shot.]

This was the only non-cardboard item I bought at this show.

Jeff was with me when I found this awesome patch of "The Bird" for a buck. As I told him at the time, I'll buy absolutely anything that relates to Mark Fidrych.

I honestly don't care what it is.


It'd be a tough call to pick an absolute favorite from Sunday's finds, but this would definitely be a strong candidate.

What you see above is another example of how great magazine covers look on baseball cards. Much less one that features Mark Fidrych. Apparently, "The Bird" was featured on the cover of an issue of Sports Collectors Digest back in the day.

At just a quarter, this was one of the better steals of my card collecting life. After a good bit of researching, I found that it hails from a Fleer oddball release that revolves around these Sports Collectors Digest covers.

It looks like a pretty cool set overall, but I can't imagine any of the others would come close to matching "The Bird".

Yes, this blog may be called "Dime Boxes". But even I'll admit that they're not the be-all, end-all of card shows.

If Sunday's finds are any clue, a little quarter, fifty-cent, and dollar box digging can go a long ways.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Card show confessions, Pt. 2: Dimes, bro

Like it or not, the presence of the "bro" seems to be a card show staple.

I've come to accept that I'll encounter at least a couple bros at every card show occasion. Or, should I say, bro-ccasion.

One bro I overheard was trying to peddle cards of some guy named Puig (it rhymed with "twig" the way he pronounced it) to other sellers, even though the guy was quoted as saying "I think baseball is [bleep]ing boring."

I doubt I'll ever understand the ways of the loud and often-obnoxious bro. I'm just a quiet, soft-spoken type of guy who likes to dig through dime boxes.

I did quite a bit of that on Sunday.

Unless the card has some sort of swatch or scribble on it, I seriously doubt bros even know what a mini-collection is. As for me, I've been collecting "pitchers at the plate/on the basepaths" since I was a young lad.

I'm pretty sure I acquired the chrome version of this spectacular Maddux at one of the first card shows I attended. I couldn't have been older than ten or eleven at the time. It's such a great card, in fact, that I ranked it as one of the "Top 100 Modern Cards" ever produced.

Now, over a decade later, I finally have the standard version of it in my collection.

I probably don't have to tell you how great of a feeling that is.

The Maddux was far from the only stellar mini-collection add I found, though.

The late Jerry Coleman was rewarded with a rather ferocious "double dip" shot in the 1994 UD All-Time Heroes checklist.

Mr. Ripken represents a nice All-Star hit to my "award show" mini-collection.

We'll delve further into it in a bit, but one of the vendors had a stack of 1992 Bowman in one of his dime boxes.

That's where I found that awesome "autograph" shot of Gary Carter. That card tells you all you need to know about the kind of person "The Kid" was.

I'm sure most of us would like to forget the 2002 Upper Deck MVP set all together, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.

Design aside, that's a nice throwback on Carlos Lee there.

One of my dreams is to find an unopened box of 1990's Stadium Club at a card show on the cheap.

I'm not much of a box buster, but an experience like that would be a ton of fun. Just look at this intense Brady Anderson "play at the plate" shot.

That's something only Stadium Club can offer.

We'll stray away from the mini-collections for now, but I'm not ready to stop gushing over Stadium Club just yet.

This one sure is a beauty. What made finding it for a dime on Sunday even sweeter was the fact that Mr. Baines was actually a part of that lost Just Commons order I discussed not too long ago.

As was this one.

Aside from team cards, I'm not sure I've ever seen so many players squeezed into one frame.

Collector's Choice brilliantly featured a mammoth twelve-player trade between the Astros and Padres in 1994.

For the record, the Astros received Derek Bell, Phil Plantier, Ricky Gutierrez, Craig Shipley, Doug Brocail, and Pedro A. Martinez. The Padres came away with Ken Caminiti, Andujar Cedeno, Roberto Petagine, Steve Finley, Brian Williams, and a player to be named later.

That's the type of quirky feat I love seeing documented on cardboard.

Dime boxes are always good for a few crazy designs from the 1990's.

I doubt Upper Deck's Ionix brand is all that well-remembered here in 2014.

As I mentioned earlier, one vendor had a big stack of 1992 Bowmans available for a dime each.

The set is best known for its stellar crop of rookies, one that included legend like Mike Piazza and Mariano Rivera. What might be forgotten, however, is the fact that it included a lot of flame-outs like Napoleon Robinson as well.

And, for whatever reason, the people in charge of Bowman made a lot of the bright-eyed rookies don horrendous outfits for their photo shoots.

These scream '90s!!!!!!!!!!!!!! more than just about any other card I've seen.

I'm sure Paul Byrd looks back on his rookie with a great deal of embarrassment.

Oddballs are almost an inevitable part of dime box digs.

If you look hard enough, you're bound to find at least a few.

I struck oddball gold with these two.

Sometimes, if you're lucky, you'll find a guy with a whole stack of oddballs ripe for the picking.

One vendor had an ample amount of '87 OPCs available at just a dime a piece. At that price, I'm definitely in the O-Pee-Chee market.

Perhaps the most interesting of this bunch is the Vida Blue in the bottom-center. After spending the '86 season with the Giants, Blue attempted to latch on with the A's the following season. His comeback fell short and he never pitched in another big league game after 1986.

His '87 OPC issue is the only card I've seen that acknowledges his short-lived second stint with the A's.

And now for something completely different, here's a page of non-sports oddities I picked up on Sunday.

One of the last vendors I visited had an entire dime box of non-sports singles on display. Most collectors would probably pass up something like that without a second thought, but not me. I dug in with a great deal of excitement.

I scored a few new Golden Age singles, including ones of Jan and Greg from The Brady Bunch. I also landed a couple dozen new additions to my presidents collection, courtesy of Panini Americana.

Also present were a couple huge stacks of the overlooked Topps 75th Anniversary series that was released late last year. The checklist features reprints from various trading card sets that Topps released during its history. Everything from Grease, Welcome Back, Kotter, and (most importantly) The Beatles made an appearance.

This guy even had a few Big Bang Theory cards in his dime box. If you think I'm crazy for picking those up, I'm not.

My mother had me tested.

Let's get back to baseball for now.

At just a dime each, I wasn't about to let these Japanese heroes go.

Does it get more '70s than this?

I don't think I've ever seen a photo of Dave Winfield in those awful mustard-yellow Padres uniforms from the early '70s.

They don't suit him.

One vendor had at mammoth array of least a dozen or so 5000-count dime boxes on display.

Though he had cards from past years, such as the 2001 UD Decade Tenace I just showed, the vast majority of his singles were from more recent releases.

It's vendors like these that save me a ton of money. Instead of dropping three bucks on a four-card pack of Topps Chrome, I picked up a total of 50 singles from the set for a whopping five bucks. I also unearthed a couple dozen 2013 Pinnacles I needed as well.

This guy also had some from the recent Panini Select brand as well. I'm not a big fan of the design, but I can't pass up a card of "The Beard" for a dime. Shiny beauties from sets like Topps Tribute World Baseball Classic and Bowman Platinum were fair game for a dime as well.

Jeff knows this vendor well from his past trips to this card show. When I met up with him, he said that he'd found a few short-prints from the guy's dime boxes before.

It was funny he mentioned that...

...because I was just about to tell Jeff about my short-print successes from the guy's bargain bins.

These photo-variation SPs are usually a bit too rich for my blood, but I've always had a feeling I'd find a few overlooked ones in a dime box one day.

As it turned out, that day was Sunday.

Whether it was due to a lack of knowledge or effort, this vendor dropped this sweet Justin Verlander short-print into his dime boxes, one that chronicles his two career no-hitters.

Just the one would've been more than enough.

As I found, though, there was a second short-print waiting for me as well.

And it just so happened to feature Ichiro, the man behind one of my most prominent player collections.

I'm partial to dugout-centric shots like this one. Ichiro seems to be sporting some mighty fine shades here as well.

I don't think there's any denying that this was my dime box find of the day.

Even the bros would be proud.