Monday, April 19, 2010

The authoritative card show report


Since the majority of you would like to see the cards that I bought at last weekend's card show in one monster post, then that is what I will do.

You've been warned.

The intent is to display them all on this one post and in chronological order according to how I obtained them. It's going to be long. Grueling, even, if  you don't like reliving people's card show experiences. But I'm betting on a few people enjoying it.

Now, I've got a work day ahead of me, so who knows if I'll even get to everything. If this post ends in mid-sentence, then you know why. I'll pick up the rest of the report in the next post.

This show is one of three each year that operates at the state fairgrounds site. There are a number of buildings on site and while the card collectors' show is going on, there are always other events, too -- horse shows, craft shows, gun shows (I can't get past how disturbing "gun show" sounds). The collectors' show has moved from its customary spot to a building across the way. I'm not crazy about the new building. Some dealers aren't either. But the last five or so shows have been in there, so we have to live with it.

The first thing I do when I enter the building is look for the one dealer that gets 75 percent of my business. He deals exclusively in vintage. We share similar interests. He is quite fair. His cards are displayed in binders by year so you can leaf through them for hours if you like. His table is heaven.

My intent was to nab the few 1975 Topps Dodgers that I needed for the team binder, then settle over the 1976 and 1971 binders and do some damage.

That didn't happen.

I walked to his customary spot. He wasn't there. I examined the table to make sure his helper guy wasn't operating the table for him. But the table didn't feature anything that he would sell.

In a near panic I walked the hall -- which is quite large -- searching for the guy and his great vintage binders. But he wasn't around the corner. Or on the opposite side around the corner. Or down by the doors. Or leading up to the concession stand. He wasn't there at all. A no-show. I've been going to these shows for five years and he's been at every one. But not this one.

Now I was really panicked. No tears. But panic.

I whipped my head around for familiar faces behind the tables. Fortunately, I saw a few. One dealer I hadn't seen for the last three shows. I practically ran to him.

This guy doesn't have a lot of cards, but he has some vintage and it's nicely priced. He usually has a bargain bin, too, although I didn't see that. I probably know more about cards than he does, as you'll see in a moment. But he's a friendly guy.

Since my vintage guy wasn't around, I went immediately to the few 1971 cards that he had. I found three cards that I needed:


Ron Klimkowski is No. 28 in the set. I have bypassed this card countless times. He's a Yankee. He's no one I've heard of. It's a boring pose. But I brought the guy home this time.


So many players in this set that I never knew existed.


A high-numbered card. Very nice. Every time I choose a high-numbered card with this dealer, he has to tell me it's a high-numbered card and that they cost more. I appreciate his concern, but he knows me by now. He doesn't have to tell me every time.

That was it for the 1971s for this show. Kind of disappointing. But three more cards means I have officially passed the 90 percent complete mark! I have 90.15% of the set. Every card counts.

After that I looked for Dodgers from the 1960s. I found three I didn't have:


The first Phil Regan Dodger card, from 1966. There are a few light creases on his face.


Two Dodgers stars from the early 1960s. I really need more Frank Howard Dodger cards.


And I nabbed one '50s Dodger for my renewed interest in the 1959 set. I love that green color.

While leafing through the 50-year-old cards I happened to glance to my right and actually saw a column of 1981 Topps. That's very surprising. At most shows I either see vintage that stops at 1978 or modern cards from the 1990s and the last decade. I see very few single '80s cards. And that means I didn't bring my list of my few 1981 Topps wants. ARRRRGHHH!

Every card that I needed could have been in there, but instead I grabbed two that I knew I was missing:


I had requested each of these in a trade on the Million Card Giveaway site. I had to quickly cancel the trade offers after obtaining these cards. Not that anyone is paying attention to my trade offers.

While the dealer was totaling up the cards I saw a bin of 2010 inserts and parallels. 50 cents each. I grabbed a few to look at and this card fell out:


It's one of the short-prints from this year's set. This is a BIN $10 card on ebay. Got it for 50 cents.

So, relieved to find some cards and the nice Jackson SP, I happily said goodbye.

Next to him was a dude with nothing but relics/autos. I usually steer clear of these tables, But I was looking for something for the 100,000 hits prize winner. I found something key immediately. The dude offered me a graded copy. I told him I didn't do graded and bought the other, just as nifty, prize item.

Then I turned to another dealer that I go to regularly. He is usually my last stop of the show and he gets the few scraps of cash that I have left to spend.

The guy features mostly current cards from the last couple of years. He has the sets in binders, which I love, and you can leaf through the Topps base set from this year or last. The Heritage set, the Bowman set, the Goudey set, whatever. I usually end up picking out the Dodgers.

So I grabbed the 2010 Heritage binder and before I fell asleep standing up from the boredom of looking at the thing, I pulled any Dodger I didn't have already:


These are a little more interesting than your average 2010 Heritage card. I like the Loney card quite a bit.

With these additions, I only need Kemp, the team card, and the Jackie Robinson card to say farewell to 2010 Heritage.

The dealer has a bunch of current cards under glass and I asked him if he had any Kershaws. He pointed immediately to a card I've seen him display before. It's a Tri-Star patch card. I'm not a patch guy. And the card is ugly as hell. It's also too much money. I suppose one day I'll talk myself into getting it, but not this time.

He showed me another binder of autos and relics and said a Kershaw might be in there. As I turned the pages, I found this:

And this:


And, on the second-to-last page, this:

What a great-looking card. Even though the back doesn't guarantee that the jersey bit comes from anything resembling a major league baseball uniform and practically hints that it came from some Topps flunkie's old, discarded underwear, the dealer stopped to admire the card when I handed my stack of cards to him. "I forgot that was in there," he said. "That's a nice one."

By the way, why do I have so much trouble finding relics at card shows of Orel Hershiser? I see relics of star players of his era -- Andre Dawson, Robin Yount, etc. -- all over the place, but not Hershiser. Granted, Hershiser isn't a Hall of Famer like those guys are. But why do I have no trouble finding relics of Mark Grace, Will Clark or Jose Canseco? Was Hershiser not obnoxious enough?

Tangent over. Before I left, I saw he had a playing card case filled with Yo Momma cards. The 1953 Jackie card was on top. So it's mine now.


It would not be my last Jackie card of the day.

Done with stop No. 3, I turned around and immediately saw another dealer that I knew. This was a local guy and usually works the card show I go to near my home in July. It was the first time I had seen him at this particular show.

This guy has two things: hit/inserts from the last few years and cool '50s and '60s stuff, most of which I can't afford.

I looked through the hits/inserts that he said he'd give me for much less than what was marked on the box. I found some stuff for a couple of bloggers and this card:


The Turkey Red auto cards look very nice. Thank goodness they're not that ugly gray color. I hope Elbert gets his act together soon. He's got too much potential to keep being sent down.

After that I half entertained nabbing a 1954 Gil Hodges card. I probably should have, but even though I saved a bunch of cash, I have a major mental block when it comes to laying down a lot of cash on one card. I'm going to have to get over that if I ever want a Jackie from the '50s, or something similar, but I just couldn't do it this time.

Instead I humored my unrealistic goal of one day completing the 1956 Topps set with two cheaper cards.


Great card. I don't know what's going on in that action photo but it's quite cool.

I forgot to scan the other card, which is of Bill Virdon featuring some stellar '50s glasses. On the back there's even a cartoon that mentions how Virdon became a better hitter when he started wearing glasses. It shows a batter swinging and a pitcher saying, "Who says fellows with glasses are sissies?"

After leaving there, I decided to see if I could find some supplies. I was looking for some pages to house my growing Allen & Ginter/Goodwin/Topps 206 minis. But the Ultra Pro lady had just about every page imaginable except for that kind.

I wandered the hall for a little while after that, then finally saw another vintage guy that I've dealt with periodically. He sold me the last card I needed to complete the 1974 Topps set, Sparky Lyle.

I thought I'd try to get as close as I could to finishing off the 1976 set. He has his star cards in binders, but when he found out I was trying to complete the set -- after doing a double-take -- he told me he had a box of commons from the set.

In it I found the last three Traded cards I needed:


And a bunch of very necessary upgrades:


I was so pleased with finding these that I decided to knock off as many of the star cards as my wallet would allow. So I landed:

The Kid ...

The Hammer ..

Michael Jack ...

David Mark ...


And a much-maligned Mets manager with three other young dudes from the 1970s.

With those cards I am now exactly five cards away from completing the 1976 set. I have seven cards on my want list because of a couple of upgrade needs. But the final five include one pricey item (Robin Yount) and four commons (Mike Cosgrove, N.L. Batting Leaders, Rod Gilbreath and Doug Griffin).

I am very pleased about that.

At that point I re-calculated how much money I had available. I was surprised I still had some left (I really did a great job of saving this time). So I stopped at a table that I had never seen before. There was a super hot gal there looking through hockey cards. I swear that wasn't why I stopped. Really. I swear.

The table also had a bunch of insert cards for 25-40 cents. I found a few items for bloggers, but it was strangely devoid of Dodgers.

Just when I was about to leave, I spotted a card that I needed for a super cheap price. It was so cheap that I had to examine it closely to make sure it wasn't a reprint.


There's a crease in it, but that doesn't matter. I really like this card a lot. It's from 1959 Topps and the write-up on the back is almost as great as the front.

With a little more cash to spend, I returned to the guy who found me the Kershaw relic.

There was a binder there that I didn't see the first time that contained current cards of Hall of Famers.

I found the Don Sutton card at the top of the post, as well as a Lasorda variation card from '03 Topps Gallery:

I also found a Rickey ...

A Maury ...

A Campy ...


Two Pee Wees ...


And a bunch more Jackies! ...

I wish I had that last one for Jackie Robinson Day.

That officially ended the card show for me. And even after all that I had enough left over for gas money and a Coke.

I left, went to pick up the rest of the family at the mall, and headed to dinner.

I didn't end up getting exactly what I intended to get, but I DID get everything that I wanted to get. Even without my favorite dealer (who I hope is all right).

And that is all I can ask.

OK, blogger is about to have a stink fit over all these uploaded scans, so I'm going to end it now.

I hope you enjoyed the authoritative card post. Sorry I didn't break it up into two posts. I just hate leaving people in suspense.

8 comments:

  1. Since I've got no card shops (nor shows) near me to speak of, I'll live vicariously through your travels! Thanks for the post - nice cards all the way around!

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  2. I think that Phil Regan has the tallest face in baseball.

    Even though you warned us, I didn't realize how long your post was until I finished it and scrolled back through it.

    Greg, your posts are a joy to read and it didn't seem long at all.

    I've wondered about the Hershiser relics as well. I've got a few of them, but they're few and far between at card shows and shops.

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  3. I never heard of Phil Regan but he looks like the kind of guy who might have a few creases in his face for real.

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  4. Great post. You really found some nice cards too!I need to have a mission at shows. I just go and wander and pick up whatever catches my eye.

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  5. Now THAT'S how ya do a card show report! Unlike the 8000 posts spread over two months like I usually do...

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  6. I'm glad I put off my post office trip until tomorrow.... The '76 Brohamer, Melton, and Freehan I emailed you to say I was sending, will now stay here with me...... until someone else needs them.

    looks like you had fun! I would kill for a card show like that around here.

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  7. I swear the Cardinals must be the only team Rickey never played for.

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