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Better in my mind

For about 90 percent of the life of this blog, I've known around 2-3 card shows a year. Each of those shows were at least an hour away, so I've equated card shows for the past 15 years with excursions. Better make it a day, because it's going to be awhile!

Because of this the "monthly card show in town" sounded so nice. I wondered what that was like. I'd be envious of bloggers who "just got back from the monthly card show." -- the monthly card show, because it had been there for awhile, maybe it's always been there. Must be nice.
I remember what I'd think reading those posts about monthly shows. "If I had a monthly show, I'd be there every month, what a wonderful world."
So in the last year or so, my town has set up its own monthly card show. I've written about it. But 2008-22 night owl would be very disappointed. I haven't kept up with the schedule very well. And I actually skipped a show last month, something that I thought I would never do.
But "a monthly show" is one of those things that sounds better in my mind. Like "dessert after every dinner" when I was a kid. It sounds great. But in practice, it doesn't live up to the fantasy.
Don't get me wrong. I loved having a show to go to Saturday. I loved being able to roll out of bed, take a quick shower (there's a tip, show-goers), grab a bite and drive three miles down the road to the show. It's wild. Almost dream-like still.
And it's great to still be able to find cards at this show. The room is small (I think they're expanding next month) and I know, stepping in, there will be maybe four tables where I can find things suited to me. I'm used to larger shows where I can blow some cash. I bring much less to this show.
This time they had someone stationed at the front to take your admission fee. I mentioned the last time I went that there was no one there to take my money. Not coincidentally, I'm sure, the show reported one of their raffle-prize cards was stolen from the front table.

The best cards I found in the hour I was there were the first two purchases I made. I added these two very flat 1970 Kellogg's cards. I didn't realize it for awhile but these came from John of Sports Card Nation Podcast, where I made a guest appearance a couple years ago.

The second purchase, this semi-high number 1967 Topps Red Schoendienst and the most "expensive" buy of the day at 5 bucks. This came from the dealer next to John (their tables merged together so you didn't know where one ended and one started). I'd come back to this table at the end.

My next buys were at a table I went to the last time I was there. He has a modest line-up of discount boxes. Since I didn't get there until around 12:30, I'm sure a lot of it was picked over, it seemed like a bunch of football and basketball. But then I found some 2023 Stadium Club.

This is just how I want to buy Stadium Club this year. Since it's a delayed product, I have no patience for a rash of rookies, boring inserts and players in old uniforms just so I can find 3 or 4 cool photos per pack. Better to pick them up at 20-cents-per.

I would've liked the Devers studio shot to be the regular picture, but it wasn't there.

More randoms from the cheapy binz. By now I knew there would be nowhere else I'd find anything I could want/afford. It's really a small show, you guys, 20 tables at the most.

That's the entirety of the Dodgers that I added. (I'll take a neat-looking '74 Sutton for a buck any day, this must be my 5th or 6th one). I could have added several cheap Kershaw cards but all of them were unappealing Panini things and that's not what I want from a show -- at least Chris Taylor was colorful.

Along the lines of the Sutton, I'll add 1970s cards that I have already if they're in good shape and cheap. There was actually a lot of '70s cards for sale, I had just about every one. But if I wanted to go on an upgrade spree, I bet I could have done it there.

Near the end I began to realize there would be nothing else for me, but the cards in the one discount bin were kind of nice so I searched for a few cards for others, paid up and was out the door.

I drove home and had a good chunk of the day left for whatever I wanted to do, which is often not the case for the excursion card shows.

Still, the finds are very casual and I can definitely see skipping more of these in the future (but also going to some), based on my schedule. So now I know why people were saying "I skipped the last one." Familiarity will do that.

But, hopefully, I will be saying THE monthly card show for a good long time.


1984 Tigers said…
We used to have a monthly card show here in mid Michigan starting in the late 1980s. It was really strong in the early 90s. Even the 94 baseball strike didn't kill it. I did set up there one time with a lot of my brothers cards plus some of my own. I'm hoping we get one back. Ebay killed it in the late 90s but I think do like the personal touch.

The best parts of the local show:
1. Meet others who may have stuff to trade or sell. In some cases, some folks did buy from me some stuff I left at home.
2. Some good dealers find out what I need and go on the lookout for buys from other collectors. This is how I got the treasured 1972 topps fb high series in one swoop.
3. Never a dull moment. Love talking cards with people who love cards, love to talk about "old time" players like the 68 and 84 tigers world champs.

The only drawback is if you are looking for certain tough cards (read: 1973 baseball hi checklist 588) rarely will you come across it.

Nice buys for you and glad you had the discount box.
Nice pickups. I discovered a show near me in a mall a few weeks back. They travel to various other malls weekend by weekend. A lot of "sick hits" which I'm happy to ignore, but also a lot of vintage too.
Nick Vossbrink said…
Totally understand this. It's nice to dig through new boxes and not the same things over and over again. High time for me to fgo to a show again though. PResidents Day weekend is a good one to fill some flagship needs.
Nick said…
I have a monthly card show in my general area, but it's enough of a drive (about an hour) that I can't just up and go whenever (not to mention it's on Sundays, and I work Sundays). In the end, it's probably a good thing - I'd go broke if I had a card show to hit every month.

I bought a blaster of 2023 (24?) Stadium Club, and I agree with you - it's been a whole lot more fun buying singles online than maybe getting a couple I need in a pack. And Larkin might be my Card of the Year!
Bo said…
Those Bernie and Babe cards are fantastic! I'm going to add them to my TCDB want list.
Grant said…
I love that Barry Larkin card. I added it to my dog PC. My other favorite card in your lot is the Mike Schmidt Cap'n Crunch. I pulled some of those as a kid, but I don't recall ever seeing the Schmidt.
1984 Tigers said…
The Cap'n crunch cards are from 1989. Part of a 22 card set. The number on front was the players uniform number. Too bad I had given up cereal for breakfast by then as I was early in my career and grab and go at 7 11 was the way as I liked to get to work at 7 am at my production plant.

Funny how Topps printed those but airbrushed the logos on the hats and uniforms. Strange since they had other products with the full logos.
Old Cards said…
Great pick up on the 67 Red Schoendienst. Bought this card not long ago. Paid more than I wanted to, but had to have it. If I had a monthly card show near me, it would be nice, but doubt I would go every month.
Fuji said…
Sometime during the hobby boom, a monthly card show popped up at a local mall with around 20 to 25 dealers. The first time I went, I wasn't impressed... so I didn't go back until last November. Since then I've gone about every other month. The main attraction are some friends that set up... and the one dealer who specializes in Japanese cards. If they weren't there, I'd probably just skip it and go out to the flea market for some fresh air.

P.S. Congratulations on finding those flat 1970 Kellogg's. I wonder how the previous owner stored them to keep them so flat.
bryan was here said…
I've been on the fence about grabbing a Stadium Club blaster, but your pics sealed it for me. The Babe in a roadster? Bernie Williams with guitar? Yes, please. That Barry Larkin with his dogs reminds me of that old Milk Bone dog biscuits card set from the early 90s. Come to think of it, Larkin was in that set as well.