You know you have a lot of cards when you got a card show and you start looking at the 5,000-count row boxes with the same kind of longing as you do the cards.
I reached that point Sunday. That's because on top of going to the show, I was gifted with a number of great cards (and other things) from two different collectors during my stay.
I first met Angus, as usual in the Wild Wings parking lot. He handed me a box of cards that dwarfed my meager offering. But I did do the driving! And threw down the gift cards for dinner afterward!
The top card on the box was one I knew I'd get:
Canadian skip Rachel Homan fills the curling hole in my female sports collection, featured in a recent post (it's not really a collection, it was just a blog exercise. But it's good to know I have a female version for all those sports. Too many dudes).
Angus tried to get this A&G mini of Heidi Watney into my frankenset mini binder. Sadly, she can't beat out another female athlete, Allyson Felix, in spot No. 213. As I've built up my frankenset binder I've realized that Topps tends to place similar people on the same numbers (for example, a certain number always gets a non-sport athlete). I wish it would stop doing that.
Ah, no such angst with a Marisa Miller card. They all fit into my collection! This is the Optic version of a card I have in gold parallel form.
Angus also provided some needed Dodgers. I haven't done much work with my Dodgers lately but this show really gave the collection a boost.
Two Heritage High Number needs from last year. I added the Austin Barnes from the nickel box and the set was complete (save for inserts that I am half-ignoring).
Two Big League parallels of your current NL Player of the Week. Bellinger's output would have come in handy the postseason but I am not going to quibble! Onward and upward!
The majority of what was in the box, though, was a set that goes straight to my current collecting heart. Feast your eyes on some beautiful '70s vintage:
OK, I didn't really line those up straight. But that doesn't make them any less great. The 1977 Topps football quest took a huge jump forward with this card show.
Check out that unmarked checklist. Check out the the bowling ball on Bill Bergey's head. Check out the 62-year-old punter!
More unchecked greatness. Plus Harold Carmichael. And Blaine Nye ready to rip your lungs out. Angus said these cards are from a friend who lost the collecting itch. My bonus. I pulled out a few excellent, extra special ones to show.
Jack Youngblood. This was possibly the coolest card in the entire set for me. I really liked those late '70s Rams.
Ken Anderson. Angus pointed out that with the logos scrubbed this is a Browns card. I'm sure Bengals fans did not like this.
Conrad Dobler and Dan Dierdorf. I put them side-by-side because as a kid, I was getting them confused all the time.
Just the other day I mentioned that among the many reasons I don't like the Patriots is because they ditched their beautiful red-themed jerseys and the patriot-hiking-the-football logo for the cold, metallic, robotic uniforms and helmets they've worn for too many years. The card above is wonderful. Tom Brady could never pull that off.
Who here remembers Mike Adamle for American Gladiators before anything else? *Raises hand* Adamle is enduring the same sad demise as many of his football peers.
Another Ram, another cardboard favorite when I was a kid. You could not beat those 1,000-yarder "stickers".
A select few had both the 1,000-yarder logo and the All-Star logo. Too cool! Maybe not 1977 Fidrych cool, but in the same venue.
The most legendary football card in the lot, though, was Mean Joe Greene. That Coke commercial.
Two cards that Angus gave me didn't fit in the box as they were in their own "we're special" top loaders.
There's a relic card of Big D. Those wool jersey pieces are always fun. I think it's just my second relic card of Drysdale.
The other card is a first:
No, it's not my first printing plate (I have one of Wilson Betemit!). It is my first printing plate of Clayton Kershaw!! Woo, look at thing. OK, it's not much to look at (this is why those negative parallels are dumb. At least with these "cards," it's the only one of its kind.
This is from 2013 Topps and it's quite the rare item. It's not easy to find Kershaw plates, especially if it's Topps. I really appreciate this. I will never consider myself a player collector, except for maybe Ron Cey and Kershaw. It's a milestone of sorts for a player collector to land a printing plate of that player.
So I opened all that in the parking lot of the Syracuse fairgrounds before heading into the show building, mostly so I wouldn't duplicate any of the '77 football cards once I got in there (I didn't exactly succeed there).
When we got into the show, we decided to tour the tables to get an idea of what we might want. There are lots and lots of tables and it's easy to forget. We made it maybe a quarter of the way in when Alan tracked us down. It's handy that Angus is a tall Cleveland Browns fan who proudly wears his team's colors. There aren't many of those around here, which makes describing him (and me) easier. (Cleveland Browns orange is somewhat similar to Syracuse Orange orange, but not quite, in case you were wondering).
Alan had told me he had another box for me. Although it wasn't as large as that monster thing he sent earlier, it was still heavy and, he said, not something you'd want to lug around with you at a show. So we all headed outside to get the box from Alan's car and transfer it to my car.
Of course, I had to open it before closing the car.
It looked something like this:
That is whole bunch of 1980s goodness, plus several other things. There were 18 box sets in the box, from Fleer, Kaybee, Kmart, Drake's, etc.
That is glorious.
I am particularly excited about the Drake's boxes, because I loved those in the early '80s. I never saw much of the 1983 or 1984 Drake's sets so I'll enjoy opening those. Many of the others I've seen here and there, sometimes in repacks, but never as a set together. A couple, you may have noticed, are duplicates, and I'll probably have a small giveaway of the ones I have multiples for, hopefully soon.
The photo at the very top of the post also displayed a complete set of Quaker Oates Chewy Granola Bars cards (man, the '80s were great) and there's also a Ralston Purina complete set from 1984 in there. This is going to be a whole bunch of fun to go through.
There were a few more cards in there that Alan plucked off my want lists.
A few '82 and '83 Fleer needs.
Some high-numbered 1973 Topps rookie needs.
A 1981 Dodgers Police Set need. Down to just Ken Landreaux to complete that set of the World Champions.
And how about this? This has been on my want list for a long, long time. It is a high-numbered card in the 1971 Topps set, featuring two future stars in Dusty Baker and Don Baylor. It sits in my complete 1971 Topps set. But of course I needed a second one for the Tom Paciorek card. It is finally here! Very snazzy, too.
Alan didn't have to do this (or any of it really), but this was in the box, too:
A graded rookie O-Pee-Chee Steve Garvey. Hokey Smokes.
So while we're in that rarified air, how about we take a look at the rest of the box? Included were a number of other Dodger photos that didn't make the first box.
There were lots and lots of Maury Wills. Many of them. If you are a Dodger fan and are interested in some of these photos, let me know. I have a fair amount of extras.
The Wills were in such abundant supply that I almost didn't notice when I pulled a couple of these photos of him:
I stared closely. "Are those autographs or just facsimiles?" I asked myself.
Then I pulled out these:
OK, now, definitely signed by Wills! So cool!
The one on the left is from 1963 and the other is from 1968. Also, I turned over the photo of Wills batting that I wasn't sure was an autograph and -- yup! -- it is.
Here is another autographed photo from another 1960s Dodgers star, Tommy Davis. I was pretty excited about this one.
Many of the other photos went back farther than the '60s, into that territory that I showed on one of the earlier photo posts -- Brooklyn Dodgers territory.
These are Boys of Summer guys now.
Let's just pause here for a moment and take in the picture.
Did I mention that Alan told me this photo is from 1949?
I think I need to pause again.
It seems a little silly to show any more photos (or anything else really), but there are just a few 1940s pictures I want to display.
John Jorgensen, better known as "Spider".
Pete Reiser, a 1941 batting champion for the Dodgers whose bright future faded when he crashed into an outfield wall. I've always wanted more Reiser cards. But I have his 1940s photo.
Just look at that background.
These interested me, just because they look like photographer's proofs (and there's photographer info on the reverse). Both players are career minor leaguers. Mal Mallette pitched in two games for the Dodgers in 1950. Earl Mossor pitched in three games for the Dodgers in 1951.
One last thing from the box and then I'll get to what I got at the show.
This is a 1973 Johnny Pro Baltimore Orioles stand-up item, about the height of two baseball cards. I've seen these advertised in periodicals and such for many years and always admired them afar because they are so, so pretty. But they're Orioles, so why would I need something like this?
The answer is: because they're so, so 1970s and so, so pretty.
So, after that box of amazing was safely in the vehicle, Alan joined Angus and I for some card shopping. Alan is just getting back into collecting and hasn't found a real focus as yet, but he did find a few key cards to buy.
I finally decided to start my purchases at one table where I get any modern-card needs.
First move: the 2019 binder. Of these two cards, I would later find Puig in the nickel box and briefly scold myself for paying whatever it was for this card (probably around 25 cents). But the team set is complete so no matter.
Wiped out all my non-SP 2019 Heritage needs at the next binder.
That includes the greatest moment of the 2018 season.
I did take a quick glance at the back of the binder for any SPs, but of course there were almost none. This wouldn't be a big deal normally except there ARE FIVE DODGERS SPs IN THIS YEAR'S HERITAGE THANKS FOR NOTHING, TOPPS.
They will probably rot on my want list until 2021.
Next up were any Dodger inserts. If you can find what you want, this guy offers current inserts for nicely cheap prices. I found three:
The middle card is the cloth parallel for Heritage. The Piazza card is from this year's flagship set and totally unnecessary but it did let Angus and I banter about whether that was Piazza's proper jersey.
One more Jackie Robinson from the quarter boxes and I was ready to pay up and be on my way.
Angus and Alan and I went our separate ways here and I camped out at one of the popular vintage tables to see what I could grab from the 1973 Topps set. Almost all of what I need are stars and checklists and high numbers, but I was determined to do as much damage as a I could.
These are all high numbers. The Twins checklist is miscut but it's the only one I saw and I was starting to get discouraged with checking my want list, then coming up empty in the binder, over and over and over again. Hell, the Twins card is going in my stack!
A couple of notables that I decided should get their own scan.
Still, I wasn't satisfied with my '73 stash so I asked the dealer for the '73s he had under glass. And I bought three of them (probably would have bought more but the dealer said someone had beaten me to the stack).
Card #67, strikeout leaders
Card #130, Pete Rose
Card #174, Rich Gossage rookie. I should have bought this card 12 years ago when he wasn't in the Hall of Fame and I found it at a yard sale. The cost has soared since then. Oh, well, mine now.
However, I was still not happy. I went to another vintage table (the one I'm at all the time, usually) and asked for his '73 binder.
This is what I was looking for -- this pesky subset. Still looking for Ruth and somebody else I don't recall right now, but it feels good to land these.
One more high-number was all he had (I checked under the glass for '73s with him, too). I had to be happy with this particular haul.
I'm down to needing 20 more cards from the '73 set, plus four checklists (if I want a second Cey-Schmidt-Hilton card, it's 25 total). I'm hoping I can get that done this year, although one of the dealers told me a scary tale about one of the cards in the set:
Card #588 -- a checklist -- is a bitch to find. Apparently, he said, somebody is buying up all the checklists, much like a couple of collectors have done with a couple of high-numbered 1960s cards. "Look online," he said. So I did. Cheapest #588 on ebay is around 50 bucks. Same thing with COMC.
Yay. Looks like a marked #588 for my set!
Armed with that bit of info, I darted right for the 1977 Topps football binder we had spotted earlier at the next table and just started pulling.
A lot of fun players and fun names in that group and all underneath one of the greatest football designs ever made.
Even after all that, I still have a ways to go to complete the '77 football set. I left a Steve Largent rookie card on another table at the show because I just didn't have enough time to go back and get it (stupid nickel boxes).
I did duplicate a few of the cards that Angus gave me but not that much and I'm already involved with a trade with some of the extras!
It was at that point that I joined Angus for the nickel box digging. But you know that part already.
It was also just after that that I started looking at one of the dealers card storage boxes longingly. Where am I going to fit all of these cards, I don't already have enough room!!!
Today, it occurred to me what I can do.
Someone already sent me a giant box, remember?