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.