Sunday, August 2, 2015

The poor man's National

I missed the National Sports Card Convention again this year. Honestly, the show isn't exactly convenient for those with families, unless it's in your backyard, and, of course, Chicago is nowhere near me.

One day I will make it a priority, schedule a budget (I have a difficult time with "spending a lot of money to spend a lot of money"), and hit the road. Atlantic City is unlikely next year, but Cleveland looks real good in 2018.

So what did I do while a bunch of collectors were at the National? Well, I windowshopped from afar, as usual. I really enjoy the videos that people put together while either out on the floor or back in the hotel as they show off their wares.

And I also settled down with the giant box of Dodger dupes that you see there and started organizing.

I know, it sounds pretty pathetic when you know that there are people a thousand miles away marveling at 36 graded Michael Jordan rookie cards all in one place or unearthing that card from 1923 that they've been in search of for 12 years. But that's what a poor collector does when he has time but no money.

That giant dupes box was my National.

I've shown this box before. I've had it since I moved out of my parents' house. You can see scrawlings of what it once held -- old school stuff that I don't even know where it is anymore (I hope nobody suddenly asks to see my high school diploma). It's large, sturdy, and can pack rows and rows of duplicates. And that's what's in it. Rows and rows of Dodgers and rows and rows on top of the rows.

It's such a pain to go through that it's been years since I last sorted it. And there have been large stacks piled on top of the box for years. Even a couple of mass mailings of Dodgers out to people hasn't done much to reduce the stacks.

So, in the last week, I organized all the stacks. They're sitting on my desk now, waiting to go in the box (that's another big process). But meanwhile, I was able to find some cards among all those doubles that I NEEDED. Yay! Free cards. That I didn't even have to go to Chicago for!

Let's see what I found:

This is one of those Cards Your Mom So Callously Threw Out cards from 2010. Obviously, I tossed this into the dupes box because I thought I had it.

But everyone was drunk on back variations in 2010. This is the original back version, which I knew all about, but forgot to check!

New card No. 1 discovered!

The next card I found came from last year's Stadium Club.

I swear these things are too easy to miss. This is the black parallel version and I had tossed it into the stacks of doubles at some point.

 As you can see, they are clearly different!

New card No. 2 discovered.

The reverse happened with another card from Stadium Club:

This is the base card of Alex Guerrero.

But I had forgotten that when I entered a group break of Stadium Club, the only Guerrero selected for me was the black parallel version. So, when this base card Guerrero arrived, I dismissed it as a double.

Even in this modern card parallel world that has been operating for decades, I'm still acting like it's 1980.

New card No. 3 saved from the giant dupes box!

The final card isn't really a new card, but I thought it was interesting enough that I'll probably add it to the Dodgers binder:

This 2012 Topps card of former Dodger hopeful/current Cleveland Indian Jerry Sands is lacking its foil.

The imprint of his name is actually there, but there's no foil on it, so it looks like his name is completely missing.

Good enough to be New Card No. 4!

It never fails that I find cards that I need when sorting that box.

And when I can't find goodies at the National, it's the best time to drag it out of its hiding place.

Still, if I don't want to be retelling this sad story year after year, I better start saving up. Then you can make fun of me in person in 2018.


  1. Free is great. I think I'll aim for 2018 in Cleveland as well. I've never been to that city, and I want to go to Rock N Roll Hall of Fame anyway. So, I'll see you there, N.O.!

    (note: schedule subject to change....)

    1. Tony. You read my mind. I also want to hit the rock n roll hall of fame. Cleveland might be the place..

    2. That is only about 5 hours from me. Blogger convention!

    3. I'll be there in 2018 considering it's only a 20 minute drive for me :)

  2. Planning for Cleveland in 2018 as well. Only a four hour drive from where I am right in between Cincy and Dayton. The Rock Hall is awesome by the way, right on Lake Erie. West Side Market is a neat place as well.

  3. Even though I am obsessive about record keeping, I still found about a dozen "new" cards mixed in with my duplicate stash last time I went through them in November of 2014. Most of them were variations that I didn't know existed; my records show which cards I have by card number, and if I have that number, then I have the card. But, I didn't take into account the early 1990s variations that resulted from multiple runs where errors were corrected.

    I do plan to hit Atlantic City next year. Planned to go to Cleveland last year but health issues prevented it. I didn't know it was going back in 2018, so perhaps I can plan for that too,

  4. 2018? Wow. I never plan past the next Thursday.

  5. Did you actually cross reference your want lists, or were these discovered through hunches. I really hope it's the latter.

    I'm not going to Atlantic City next year (same problem of paying a lot to pay a lot), but hope I can go to Chicago in '17 if I still live here, and Cleveland should be an easy road trip.