My daughter had her delayed college graduation ceremony this weekend.
She graduated in December and the diploma has been in hand for five months, and she's been working a full-time job in her field for just as long. But it was nice to go through the literal pomp-and-circumstance Friday even if there was still the social distancing and streaming and all those other thing that accompany crowds these days.
It was nice to see her in the cap-and-gown, with her friends who also graduated, and to go to dinner, and to take an ungodly amount of pictures, all that stuff you do as parents of graduates.
Since she has her own life now and there were things to do with The Boyfriend, etc., my wife and I had some time on our own in the ol' college town.
We're pretty familiar with it now and even though the town was packed and traffic was a hassle, we went to our favorite places to snoop around. One of them is a two-story antique shop in a walk-through market, just down the road from the college. I always like roaming through that, even though I've never found sports cards that I wanted to buy.
This time I walked through expecting that I wouldn't come across a single one, in this new sports card-crazed atmosphere. Instead I casually walked through and sifted through old record albums whenever I found some. I've been getting a bit more interested in early '70s pop musicians, stuff from just before I started listening to the radio. And I very nearly bought a couple albums from Bad Company and Carly Simon.
I probably would have, too ... if I didn't find some baseball cards.
I actually walked out of that antique shop without a single card, although I did spot individual baggies with a 1989 Topps card in each with a $2 price tag on each one.
We walked a few shops away and my wife stepped into another antique shop that I hadn't seen the last time we were there. Barely two stations into the store, I spotted a glass display cabinet of cards, mostly all Yankees and Mets, not out of my price range for the most part, but teams I don't leap to grab, obviously.
I've seen this cabinet before -- in the other antique shop -- so maybe the main shop had expanded? It had also expanded its card selection a bit. Because next to the cabinet was a table. My wife pointed to a couple of nine-pocket pages filled with 1984 Topps cards. OK, nice. But nothing I need. Then I saw the bowl.
It was like a cereal bowl. And there were cards in it. Cards inside top loaders. With prices attached. Old cards.
I decided to grab the above cards. There were others, maybe 10-or-so more, but I didn't take those. I don't know why. Sometimes when I see cards in the wild, it throws me and I get into this weird mind-set where I'm trying to save money, even at a dollar per card. So, since the other cards were from sets that don't interest me, like '55 Topps and Bowman, I left them for someone else.
But as you can see, the prices and conditions were quite nice. The card that was the most ($3) was the 1970 Don Sutton, which I grabbed for my 1970 Topps set, as I already have it in the Dodgers collection.
Here are the other cards out of their top-loader cages.
Yeah, I know I've completed the '56 Topps set already, but I added them on the chance they were upgrades. Neither of them likely are, so trade bait it is!!
All I know is after that find, I was smiling inside just about the whole weekend.
It's great enough to see your kid graduate and know she's made something of herself and to see how well she's grown into being a young adult. But to find vintage baseball cards for sale on top of that??
Cards make everything better. Even the best things.