Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I actually found a decent LCS

It wasn't long ago that I went on a rant about my local card shop.

Now, in all honesty, I wrote that post knowing that there was another LCS in town. But, as all neighborhoods seem to have, it's the kind of store that seems to be closed every time I pass by it. I went in there once years ago, and I don't recall finding anything that special.

That closed the book on that shop, or so I thought. A fellow reader named Brian who I traded with recently encouraged me to give that LCS another shot. He frequents the place quite a bit and offered to meet there in-person. Since the store isn't far from where I go to school, I decided to stop in and check in with him last week.

Brian (and his son) were already there when I arrived. The two of us exchanged some cards, his being a gem-filled batch which I'll show in a future post.

Being an LCS skeptic and all, I wasn't expecting to come away with much from what the shop had on display that afternoon.

One of the first things that caught my eye was a couple bulky quarter binders of Cubs and White Sox.

I figured I'd give them a look, even though I expected it to be nothing but overproduction-era cardboard. Again, that's the skeptic in me talking.

Were there a decent chunk of late '80s/early '90s cards in there? Yup. But there were quite a few pleasant surprises to be found as well, the first being that '82 Fleer Lee Smith rookie at the top of this post.

I'd been searching for a Smith rookie for years, and, with the card show from a couple weeks ago, I found two in the span of four days, paying a grand total of 35 cents for the pair. These two Cubs, on the other hand, are fairly easy-to-find base cards that I somehow didn't already own.

Discount binders can be good for that sort of thing, too.

All things considered, the Sox binder was the bigger and better of the two.

A decent amount of the Cubs stock were cards that you couldn't pay me a quarter to take. Yes, the Sox binder had its fair share of 1991 Donruss and 1992 Fleer, but there was a lot more diversity.

I'll hand over a shiny Washington for A&G minis all day long.

The Ziploc Nellie Fox was a nice little oddball surprise.

The Thome comes from the Ultimate Collection checklist, a relatively forgotten high-end brand from a years back.

So high-end, in fact, that even the base cards were numbered.

The quarter binders were even good for a couple mini-collection hits.

Dig Paulie in the throwback duds.

Now we're coming to the biggest finds from this binder.

Though there were a few inserts and such mixed in, most of the quarter cards the guy had were commons. I didn't expect to go through a bout of parallel-mania.

But imagine my surprise when I found not one, not two...

...but three Chris Sale parallels within a few pages of one another.

This isn't some random schlub we're talking about here. This is the current and future ace of the White Sox rotation. A perennial Cy Young contender. Chris Sale.

So why is this stuff winding up in the same binder as piles of 1992 Score?

Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe the LCS owner has some kind of personal vendetta against Mr. Sale. Maybe he didn't recognize they were parallels.

I can't explain it, but I'll certainly take them for a quarter a pop.

The guy also had a few dollar binders on display.

With the exception of vintage bins, I don't much dabble into dollar cards. There frankly aren't a lot of modern cards I'd pay a dollar for. But, as I was standing there, I figured what the heck and picked out a few. It's the least I could do to support what might become my new regular LCS.

This was well worth a wrinkled Washington. My Vlad collection doesn't have a ton of oddballs, so it's one of a select class. What you see there is actually a little CD that slides out of the laminated sleeve. I'm not sure what's actually on the disc, though.

And that's the first time I've thought about CDs in a long, long while.

These aren't necessarily worth a dollar each, but I knew I couldn't let them go once I made eye contact.

For whatever reason, I virtually ignored the "Unique Unis" insert set from 2009 Topps Unique when they originally hit the shelves. Sure, the brand itself wasn't spectacular (see: it sucked), but these are fantastic.

They're a bit difficult to find, however, which is why I didn't mind forking over a dollar for each of these two.

Because I always love me some throwbacks.

Shiny Tribute Ty Cobb for a dollar.

I'll take that deal every time.

This beautiful insert of the Splendid Splinter closed out my dollar dig.

There were a few other dollar cards I was considering buying, but I didn't have a ton of cash to spend. I left them behind for the next time I hit this place.

What left the biggest impression with me was the fact that the LCS owner said Ah, just give me ten bucks for what was supposed to be around twelve or thirteen dollars' worth of cardboard. Most of the other shops I've frequented calculate that final purchase price down to the penny.

All in all, it was a fine afternoon's work. I got to peruse some cardboard and put a name with the face of a fellow reader of this blog. Brian, if you're reading this, it was great to meet you and I hope we can do it again soon.

I'm not sure this shop will become a regular stop for me or anything like that, but it's good to know that it's there just in case I get the itch to dig through some cards one afternoon.

At the very least, it does my heart good to know that there's a decent LCS around here.


Laurens said...

You play that Vlad card on the computer and it has video highlights and information about his career up to when card was released.

Salgado said...

Happy to hear you like the trade and the LCS, Nick! I'm still drooling over that Castro patch!

Tony L. said...

Wow, an LCS where the folks behind the counter actually act like collectors? Be still my beating heart!

Zippy Zappy said...

Future Yankee Chris Sale.

acrackedbat said...

Ziploc Nellie? Friendly owner? I'm with Tony - I'd say there is potential for an LCS romance.

Mark said...

Glad you finally found a decent local spot, Nick. Nice pickups, and I always enjoy a place that takes the time to sort out the local teams without completely overpricing them.

Once a Cub said...

That Lee Smith rookie has an error variation. The Cubs logo on the back is inverted.

Jeff said...

I was just about to ask if the two Lee Smiths are the same variation. but that Splinter is awesome. Can't get enough of The Kid.

Fuji said...

Man. Not sure why... but I've got a hankering for some UD Power Deck. Excellent Vlad.

Mike said...

Glad you had a good time,boy....we'll have to go there together soon....

BobWalkthePlank said...

I would kill for a nice LCS in my town. Glad the second try was worthwhile

The Junior Junkie said...

What a cool Ted Williams.