Every once in awhile, I think about collecting a nonsports set. Not any science fiction thing, I don't get into that. But a set about a TV show or a movie sounds interesting.
Unfortunately, I can't do that. I already collect too much ... uh ... stuff.
That realization hit me like 2,000 junk wax commons in the middle of yesterday's card show. I was bouncing between 1970s cereal issues and 1950s Topps and '60s cards in the discount bin when I saw him.
There was this man, roaming from table to table, searching for one card. It was a card of Eddie Waitkus, the player shot by a young, obsessed, female fan that then led to the book and the movie, "The Natural." Apparently the card makes mention of the incident on the back and this man wanted that card.
After thinking, "what a cool card," I kept thinking, "is that all he's here for?"
Shortly after that, I talked to a man who was looking for a graded copy of a late 1950s Brooks Robinson, 1958 I think. That was it. One card. And I thought, "I wonder if I would have driven over an hour to obtain one card?"
I also started to wonder if I was accumulating too much and not focusing enough. Maybe I should be searching for a single card and chatting up the dealers like I see so many collectors do at these shows. I don't think they even leave with any cards.
Don't worry, this doesn't mean I'm changing anything about my collecting habits. I like what I like and I like a lot of it. I've been this way since I was little. I won't apologize for it as long as the budget's right. I just needed that moment to ponder what other folks do and picture myself doing the same. I couldn't picture it, so I went back to pulling card after card as I hummed a happy tune to myself.
There is possibly a day coming when I go to a card show in pursuit of a single card. But by then I will have definitely accumulated A LOT.
But let's put aside that collecting philosophical stuff and see my most recent accumulations! I'll break it down in bite-size chunks so you don't get light-headed.
NEWEST CARDS ACQUIRED: Fifteen cents per ugly card? Let me at 'em. I wish I could have found all the Dodgers from this set and be done with 2013 GQ forever, but there are still five or six agonizing cards to go.
This one was more than 15 cents. But it shouldn't be. Koufax shows up in sets as often as Yadier Molina.
OLDEST CARDS ACQUIRED: The most disappointing part of the show was my inability to find the two '56 Topps Dodgers that I knew I'd be able to manage in my budget -- Walt Alston and Pee Wee Reese. Both were nowhere to be found, even though I've seen them repeatedly at this show.
So I grabbed two random cheapies in my half-hearted bid to complete this set. I keep hearing on the blogs about how Virgil Trucks was a good guy. So now I have his card. Jim Hegan? Unfortunately, nobody on the blogs talks about him.
HIGHEST CARDS ACQUIRED: As in high numbers! Yup, I actually made a concerted effort to find some '72s after rudely ignoring them for so many shows. Some of these came from the discount bins (no, there were no dime boxes or quarter boxes). Some were slightly more money. All no lower than card No. 524.
The Ollie Brown In Action card is one of those ones with a puzzle piece on the back. Here is the puzzle portion for Ollie's reverse side:
I could take this card around and haunt a few people with half of Joe Torre's head.
LOWEST CARD ACQUIRED: Well, if Topps still used numbers for their inserts instead of ass-confusing "TN-KK," this would be numbered TN-7, which would be around the lowest numbered card I picked up (sorry I didn't find anything serial-numbered).
The 2013 Heritage binder I looked through was frustrating and completely picked over. And then I totally screwed up Ted Lilly's card number and he was probably sitting in the binder for a mere 10 cents. Ted's already up on the Nebulous 9.
ODDEST CARDS ACQUIRED: It doesn't get more oddball than Kelloggs cards from the 1970s. I wanted to find some cards from earlier in the '70s -- those "oh, wow, I remember those cards from around 1975-78. But these were cheaper, and I'm a slave to cheaper. I also love the '79 Kelloggs set.
I also grabbed a couple of 1980 Kelloggs cards. That was the last set my brothers and I ordered through the mail-order address on the side of the Frosted Flakes box. Four years straight of doing that.
I LIED, THESE ARE THE ODDEST CARDS ACQUIRED: Endlessly amusing are the cards of trophies that are part of the high-numbered series in 1972 Topps. The Rookie of the Year one is pretty cool on this day as it's actually the "Jackie Robinson Award." But I can't imagine any kid being happy with these cards. I can picture them pulling them out of their wax packs and scratching their head.
MOST EXPENSIVE CARD ACQUIRED: I didn't expect the 1963 Dodgers team card to be so much money. But I suppose Koufax, Drysdale, Willie and Tommy Davis and Frank Howard are in there somewhere. And the card appeared in the set mere months before L.A. swept the Yankees in the Series. ...OK, so it was worth 20 bucks.
Besides, there is this bit of fantastic:
Look, there's one of the singing stars now.
Roseboro apparently didn't have the voice.
I am getting pretty close to completing the 1963 Dodgers team set (except for that stupid Ken McMullen rookie card). Guess I have to start thinking about obtaining Koufax.
YELLOWEST CARDS ACQUIRED: People really loved their blazing yellow in the late 1950s, didn't they?
I didn't have much luck finding 1960s Dodger needs -- more frustration with picked-over binders -- so I went straight to the '50s, which is something I haven't done much of except for 1956.
These are all cards I've seen so often that I thought I had them already. Now I really do.
PLAYERS YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE BROOKLYN DODGERS CARDS ACQUIRED: Yes, I'm one of those people who grabs the cheap cards while 1957 Roy Campanella hangs over my head card show after card show.
I don't care. Grabbing '57 cards is fun no matter who it is.
See? Fun. And Craig managed the Giants.
MOST SPECTACULAR SCENE ON A CARD ACQUIRED: Charley Neal's card is not the only example of the Schaefer scoreboard in Ebbets Field appearing in the 1957 set. But each time I see it, I think I have obtained the greatest-looking card ever made.
BIGGEST BREAKTHROUGH CARD ACQUIRED: Wait. I should show it appropriately.
It's a Nolan Ryan '75 miiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!!!!
I never expect to see '75 minis at this card show. And I never do. But I was walking by a table and the "for sale sign" on the card jumped out at me. "Is that a '75 MINI of NOLAN RYAN?" I snagged it for a decent price (marked down off the sale price). And then I asked:
Do you have any other '75 minis?
The dealer told me "no" in a slightly dismissive tone, like "such a question, nobody collects those things."
Then he said, "I think I have a bunch in the garage somewhere."
I then gave him a "WELL GO AND GET THEM" look. But apparently he doesn't speak '75 mini.
It always amazes me when a card dealer doesn't appreciate the greatness of what they have in front of them.
Anyway, I thought the Ryan would be another one of those cards in the mini set that it would take forever to grab, but fortunately I was wrong again. And I found a '75 mini at the card show. That's a breakthrough.
Outside of that I grabbed a few small items for random bloggers. Really not as much as I figured. The show didn't seem as busy as it usually is and I was momentarily concerned when I entered the show and an older man and his wife exited. He said to her: "it used to be a lot better."
But as you can see that didn't faze me.
I like everything.