Friday, February 27, 2015

The birthday show, Pt. 3: Name your price

Aside from the nickel and dime cards I've already featured, the prices were all over the place at Sunday's show.

I've never set up a card show before, but I'd love to know how vendors sort their inventory. Okay, this one'll go in the quarter box. Toss that one in the 3/$1 bin. That one's fifty cents. That's dollar box material. Hmm...put it in the quart -- no, put it in the fifty cent bin. It all fascinates me.

The cards you'll see in this post had all kinds of different price tags on them. In terms of pricing, they were probably the most diverse bunch I've ever picked up at a show. And, hey, the cards themselves weren't half bad either, folks.

As I mentioned in Wednesday's post, the very first table I found on Sunday had a couple dime bins. One of them was an all-vintage dime box. I didn't find a whole lot (it was mostly common no-namers from the early-to-mid '70s), but I did land this sweet trio. I don't usually seek out League Leader cards, but I couldn't pass this one up.

I mean, it's criminal to pass on anything featuring Vida Blue for a dime.

Right next to the dime box was a little snap case that made my heart jump.

I didn't believe it at first, but when I leaned in closer, I read the words over and over again in my head.


DID YOU SAY O-PEE-CHEE?!?!?!?!?!?!

The snap case wasn't that big, but I ended up buying about a third of the cards in it. I was surprised to see a few stars. I sure never thought I'd unearth guys like Keith Hernandez or Fred Lynn in there for fifty cents a pop.

Once I get started on O-Pee-Chee...'s hard for me to stop.

This one actually came from a dollar box that the first vendor had on display. My dad actually dug through it on my behalf since I was busy with the dime bins. I don't think he knew it at the time, but Dad found a card I've wanted for a while with this Tony Perez.

Unlike most OPCs, this is a completely different shot than the one featured on Perez's standard 1977 Topps issue. OPC went and got a shot of the former first baseman in his brand new Expos duds to bring collectors up to date.

Kind of like a vintage Topps Update, if you will.

Here's a couple more from the dollar box.

Even in rough shape, finding any vintage Billy Williams for a buck is quite an accomplishment here in the Chicago area. Vendors (understandably) have a tendency to overprice the hometown heroes quite a bit.

The Hershberger brings me one step closer to my lofty goal of obtaining every vintage Topps Seattle Pilot card ever made. I'm down to mostly high numbers from the 1969/70 Topps checklists now.

Not bad for a project I never expected to come close to finishing in the first place.

Bob Gibson for a buck?

I couldn't give the guy my dollar fast enough.

Let's shift from that fantastic first table to the very last table I stopped at on Sunday.

My last purchase was a single-card buy, something that isn't too common for someone used to buying hundreds of cards in one sitting. Mr. Cash were was priced at six bucks in a half-off vintage bin. So, three dollars.

I actually saw him earlier in the show, but passed. As Jeff, Dad, and I were packing up to leave, however, I happened to drift by the table again. That's when I remembered Norm Cash, and figured what the heck. What else is three bucks going to get me?

You've got a good home now, Norm.

Not all my "money" purchases were vintage though.

I spent more than a dime on all four of the cards you see here. The two Archives Reserve singles and the Nestle Quisenberry were a quarter each. The Gossage box bottom was fifty cents.

Big spender, I know.

One of the tables I found had a big 3200-count box packed with recent inserts.

Trouble was, none of them were priced. Like most collectors, I'm skeptical of anything without a price tag at a card show. However, Jeff said he'd stopped at this table earlier and got a pretty good deal on some cool inserts, so I felt a little more at ease digging through the guy's inventory.

In the end, I spent nine buck on a stack of about 25 inserts. Not bad. Not bad at all.

This police badge (am I the only one who sees it?) Adam Jones Chrome insert will kickstart my new player collection of his.

I've been itching to get my hands on some more Stadium Club inserts.

The photography in the "Field Access" series is just as good as most of the base cards. Joe Mauer can attest to that.


A see-through Dickey!

I'm forever blessed (cursed?) with a twelve-year-old's sense of humor.

Seriously, though.

Most of what I bought from the guy's table came courtesy of Panini. I'm sure I'll be finding Topps inserts left and right throughout the course of the year, but Panini's have a tendency to fly under the radar.

The first five cards on this page are from the Classics brand, while the last four are from Golden Age. The Golden Ages are epic (as usual), but I'm not too keen on the Classics inserts. Still, as I've said over and over again with Panini, the player selection keeps me coming back.

It'll be centuries before Topps produces a Heinie Groh card.

These Golden Age inserts had my name all over them.

I'm a huge fan of newspaper-themed designs, and these two happen to cover a couple of my favorite historical events. The Black Sox scandal and Beatlemania.

I say "favorite" in terms of the 1919 White Sox not because I endorse what the players did, by any means. The whole saga is just so fascinating, as anyone who has ever read or seen Eight Men Out will tell you. That's the first card I've found that specifically commemorates the actual trial.

Maybe "commemorates" isn't the right word.

Hey, did you know there was a new card of Reggie the Oriole on the market?

Neither did I.

When I saw Reggie's name in the 2015 Topps "Baseball Highlights" checklist, I assumed it'd be another card of him as an A or Yankee. Nope...he's an Oriole.

A rare new card for what might be the greatest "Short Term Stop" ever.

I could go on a rant about buybacks, but I won't.

I'll just say that scrounging up old cards (of which thousands and thousands of copies exist), stamping them, and repackaging them as some kind of new, high-dollar insert doesn't seem right to me. But again, I won't rant.

Especially considering I actually bought one of them on Sunday. I came across this J.R. Richard in a  box of miscellany one vendor had on display. My feelings on stupid buybacks are clear...but I am a big Richard collector. Stupid...J.R. Richard. What to do?

In the end, I haggled and managed to secure it as a throw-in with what ended up being my most expensive purchase of the day.

Seeing as how this was my birthday show and all, I wanted to treat myself to something nice.

I just kind of assumed that the "something nice" would be vintage-related. After the dust settled, however, it was a modern card. A 2015 card, for that matter.

This, as you might know, is actually a photo variation from 2015 Topps. What we have here is Yu Darvish taking some hacks in the on-deck circle, which makes it a coveted American League "pitcher at the plate" shot.

I was hesitant at first, but (like the Norm Cash) I figured what the heck and handed over eight bucks for it. And, as I mentioned, I got the J.R. Richard buyback in the deal as well.

Sometimes you have to treat yourself.

While I didn't make a huge vintage purchase, there were some nice bargains to be had.

One of the vendors had a box on display that literally said BARGAIN BOX. Most of the other cards he had were woefully overpriced, but I managed to scrape up a few nice gems from the bargain bin. The McCarver, Marichal, and Kranepool were two dollars each, and the Garvey cloth sticker was a buck.

Bargains, indeed.

Most vendors were starting to pack up as I made my final rounds through the rest of the show.

One of the few remaining tables left had a bin full of 7/$5 cards. Jeff was actually the one who first found it.

My bag was heavy with awesome finds at that point, but I was still a little disappointed with the fact that, aside from the aforementioned Kranepool, I hadn't really found any Hostess or Kellogg's cards. Those are card show staples for me.

With that in mind, I started digging. At first, I didn't find much. Eventually, though, my luck started to change.

This neat "A's Stars" trio was well worth the 7/$5 price tag.

As were these two.

It's tough to tell from the scan, but the card on the left is a Michael Young rookie card. He never played for the Blue Jays, which makes it a much needed zero-year issue.

Matt Kemp, of course, did wind up suiting up for the Dodgers. Ten years after the release of his rookie card, however, he'll be playing for the Padres.

It'll take some getting used to, I'm sure.

It was right around here when I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Jeff was actually the one who discovered this Hostess Johnny Bench. Thankfully, he didn't need it. I was pretty much frothing at the mouth for oddballs at this point, so Mr. Bench immediately went into my purchase pile.

Sadly, it'd be the only Hostess card I'd find from the 7/$5 box.

But, hey...

...I can't complain too much.

Especially when the rest of the box was loaded with Kellogg's. These 3-D beauties were tucked away into the very back corner of one of the rows. It almost seemed like someone was trying to hide them from me. Nice try, but I'm no rookie.

Unlike most discounted Kellogg's cards I've found, these are all in fantastic shape. And, seeing as how they were in a 7/$5 box, I was astounded by the sheer amount of star power in this stack. Yaz, Seaver, Schmidt, Eck, Sutton...the list went on and on. It's safe to say that my oddball thirst was quenched by the time I finished digging.

Kellogg's made for the vast majority of the twenty-eight total cards I picked out from this guy's table, mine for a cool twenty bucks.

Okay, I guess I've gone on long enough by now. It's finally time to reveal The Greatest Find of the Day in this, the final installment of these card show posts. For this one, we have to go all the way back to those nickel boxes I talked about earlier in the week.

I don't know how I can possibly build up to something like this, so I'll just show it.

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you.

Yes, that is an actual 1967 Topps Bob Uecker. His sunset card. Only my second vintage Uecker. From the nickel box. Nickel, as in five pennies.

No, I'm not lying. You can ask Jeff if you don't believe me. He was there. Finding this elicited an audible WOW from both Jeff and the guy standing next to him.

It had to be some kind of mistake. I didn't find any other vintage cards in any of those nickel boxes. Uecker doesn't usually end up in dollar boxes, much less nickel boxes. I kind of felt like I was getting away with a crime or something.

Well, you know what the kids on the playground say. Finders keepers, losers weepers.

To tell you the truth, I'm still in shock. Bob Uecker for a nickel? That's not real. That couldn't possibly happen. But it did. It did happen.

Finding all these terrific cards did happen. Stumbling upon a treasure chest of Kellogg's did happen. And, most of all, spending a fun-filled afternoon with Jeff and my dad did happen.

As hard as it might be to believe, it happened.


Johnnys Trading Spot said...

Love them kelloggs! and that hostess aint too shabby either

majpasqua said...

Another great review Nick! Amazing finds. I need to get my hands on one of those Reggies, spectacular card!

Tony L. said...


Zippy Zappy said...

Panini's been really doing a great job with sets featuring players/baseball from over a century ago (the pre-Ruth era).
And nice Darvish SP.

Anonymous said...

Before I make my comment, please be assured that you should not take the following personally:

This post really pissed me off.

The shows *I* go to never have fifty cent 1977 OPC's. The shows *I* go to never have Hostess & Kellogg's stars for under 75 cents. Damn it, where are MY cheap 1970's cards???

Maybe I didn't get enough sleep last night. Great finds, Nick!

Mike said...

Great show and great to hang with you and Jeff,boy....

Mark Kaz said...

You did the right thing treating yourself to the Yu variation. You woulda hated yourself if you walked away form it!