Last week, I woke up from a nap to a text from my dad, a text which had me convinced I was still sleeping, still dreaming.
The text in question went something like this: I just found a box of '50s-'80s vintage from an antique store for $5, need any of these?
-- and there was a picture attached with a couple cards he'd purchased (more on the cards in that photo a bit later).
I knew from the text alone that my dad had stumbled across something substantial, but it wasn't until I dug through the entire thing that I realized just how much of a goldmine he'd found.
I was blown away for a couple reasons. One: antique stores are, by most accounts, places that either a) don't have baseball cards, or b) horribly overprice the ones they do have. Apparently the shop my dad found was going out of business, and the guy in charge just wanted everything gone. My dad, as usual, simply seemed to be in the right place at the right time.
There's also the sheer fact that I've never actually owned a whole box of musty, glorious vintage until now, which is pretty exciting in and of itself.
For beginners, I have no idea how a Harold Baines autograph ended up with a box of antique-store vintage -- the only post-1970's card in the lot -- but I'm not here to ask questions.
This comes from that weird Walmart-exclusive 65th Anniversary reprint set from a couple years ago, and I'm thrilled to have it in my collection since Baines is a hometown hero (plus I can't imagine he has a ton of certifieds out there).
But the vintage...
Before I start posting all the keepers, I should say that if anyone's interested in some (mostly) lower-grade '50s-'70s stuff, let me know -- this is really the first time in my life I've had a considerable amount of vintage up for trade (I've already thrown a good portion into the trade stacks for a few fellow bloggers).
I will, however, be keeping the nice stack of singles I needed for my tongue-in-cheek quest to get every card ever made of the defunct teams of the '60s and '70s, like these Senators and Colt 45s.
Some fine frankensetters and just generally cool gets from Dad's Antique Box here.
I'm never one to turn down anything of the Wally Moon (aka The Mighty Unibrow), and that's my first card of Sterling Slaughter, a man blessed with perhaps the most awesome name in the history of humankind.
I don't generally make it a point to chase vintage team cards, but I'll certainly keep any that fall into my lap.
Besides, they sure look pretty in a nine-pocket page like that.
Okay -- now
we're starting to get into some serious business.
Finding vintage of defunct franchises and team cards is fine and good, but not exactly rare. Finding not one but two
early '50s Bowman Andy Pafkos, on the other hand...well, that simply never
happens. That's the stuff dreams are made of. (Plus now I can say I own a '52 Pafko and not be lying about it -- as long as I don't elaborate.)
But this box was so great that even vintage Bowman almost became afterthoughts to the dream...
...because the big guns just kept on coming with every stack I grabbed.
One moment I was finding new cards for my Perry Bros. collection...the next, bigtime HOFer combos...
...then came the rookies.
Some of you may have noticed a certain '72 at the front of the stack in the picture at the top of this post, and no, your eyes weren't deceiving you: that was
a Carlton Fisk (and Cecil Cooper) rookie.
Also of note was a 1970 Topps rookie of a sans-fro Oscar Gamble, a card I've long wanted but had a tough time finding given its vintage highnumberness (#654).
But even those
were small potatoes compared to the heaviest hitters of Dad's find.
For starters, here's a card I'd never even seen before: a '59 Topps combo featuring Bob Skinner, Bill Virdon, and yes, ROBERTO CLEMENTE.
(Also a high-number at #543 in the set!)
What could be better than a vintage Clemente?
Oh, I don't know...maybe a '69 Nolan Ryan?!
This was one of the cards (along with the Baines auto) that my dad showed me in his initial text. The Ryan alone was enough to send me reeling -- even low-grade copies go for big chunks of change since it's his first solo Topps card and
yet another high-number (#533). Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd one day own it...and I certainly
never thought it'd come by way of an antique store.
But while I'm not sure my dad knew it at the time, there was one other card in this box that I wanted just as much as a '69 Ryan, if not more so...
...and that was a gosh-darn '57 Topps Roy Campanella,
aka a card that'd been sitting on my "Keep Dreaming" want list for most of 2018.
I had a chance to buy a relatively cheap '57 Campy during COMC's Black Friday sale last year (right around $8, I think). But for some insane reason, I passed, and by the time I came to my senses, the card was gone. I haven't seen another copy under $20-$25, and it's been a kick to the crotch ever since.
But no longer. Campy is mine. And as I've said time and time again on this blog, it's all thanks to my dad. Most people, including myself, would've walked by that antique store without a second thought. But not my dad. Maybe it's more luck than anything, but there's something to be said about digging through the dusty attics and unkempt corners of the collecting world. You never know when you'll find a '57 Campy.
In the meantime, I'll just be over here googling antique stores.