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There's a lot I don't like and thank goodness for that

I often think that I like too many card things and I need to rein it in. But here's a list of items often sold at card shows that will make me ignore your table:

-- Unopened, sealed product
-- Pokemon, Magic the Gathering or any fantasy or modern movie cards
-- Basketball cards
-- Non-vintage football or hockey cards
-- Anything slabbed, especially rows and rows and rows of slabbed cards
-- Big displays of relic cards or autographed cards or patch cards
-- Discount boxes that contain mostly cards from the '90s
-- Bowman anything
-- Card supplies (unless I am specifically in the need for something)
Presented that way there are actually many more card things that I don't like.
What I just listed was probably 80-90 percent of inventory at the monthly card show that I attended yesterday. It's getting to be a pattern and I've mentioned it a few times in past posts. And it's not just this show, this show is a microcosm of the current hobby and card show scene.
This could make me sad and there are lot of times I feel sad about it, especially when looking around a show for stuff that interests me.
But there's another way to look at it and that is: I am so glad they are all selling a bunch of crap I don't like because I'd be broke if I liked everything every month.
That's the thing about monthly shows, which is something I never experienced until about a year ago: they will suck your money up quick. When there's a show two or three times a year, which is they way it's been for me for a long time, there's an opportunity to save your money.
So, good, I'm glad there is, at most, three tables that interested me at this show. Food and lodging ain't free.
For yesterday's show, I took a small amount of cash and then bought cards at exactly one table. It's the same table I bought cards from the last time.

This dealer has a healthy amount of non-encased, non-under glass, slightly off-condition vintage. In other words, cards that are perfect for me. It's bizarre how uncommon this kind of offering is at this show. Card shows used to be nothing but stuff like this.
There weren't a lot of cards at the table that I needed but this Leo Durocher 1967 Topps card was one of them. I also saw a whole bunch of 1976 Topps football stars and I was really tempted to buy them, but I decided against it.
No, the only other card I bought was a football card and a notable one.

It's Earl Campbell's rookie card. I believe it was the priciest card left for me to chase down in the 1979 Topps football set (I'm not 100 percent sure). I'm super-glad I found a very nice copy with still about 70 cards to go to finish the set. There's nothing more annoying than getting down to the final five cards and all of them containing sky-high price tags.

It's the type of card purchase that makes a show an instant success. I'm usually about quantity at shows but if a card has the power to make you happy all by itself, then, yeah, I'll exit with just a couple cards without a care ... and money to spare.

Since I'm on the topic of 1979 football, here are a few cards from the set that I recently received from reader Paul (you'll see other cards from him some other time):

The bottom two cards also arrived in a recent TCDB trade. Funny how that works. I go months without adding any '79 Topps football and almost as long without a TCDB trade and then someone makes an offer of cards at the exact same time those same cards are en route to my home. The card gods need to space that stuff out better.

Here are four cards that were all still needs. The Giants were one of the teams absent from the binder of 1979 football that I bought at a card show a little over a year ago. The Rob Mikolajczyk card I owned in 1979. I have no idea what I did with those old '79 football cards but it annoys me a little that I'm reacquiring them.
I have enough card projects to last me to the end of my days. But every time I walk into that card show and turn to see a slabbed card that's going for $200 when I know I could buy that same card ungraded for less than $20, I'm glad I'm so discriminating.


Old Cards said…
Nice looking Durocher. Always good to find a 67 you need. Yes, it is very irritating trying to find those non-encased, slightly off-condition vintage cards. I desire them as well. I guess all those new participants in our hobby that jumped on the band wagon 3-4 years ago have diluted the supply.
Matt said…
Those are things that would draw me to a table lol
dayf said…
looked at your list of table avoider criteria and had this reaction:
oh hell naw
double yep
triple yep
also glad this reminded me i had some 79 feetsball for you, good timing
Bo said…
With '79 Topps football you have the cream backs and the gray backs. Personally I don't differentiate for my own set so it's one of those things that makes surprisingly useful trade bait, like Donruss dot variations.
night owl said…
You know I've always known about the '79 football back differences but never made the connection about TCDB's odd obsessions and I have a bunch of dupes. Will I get myself to enter all that as trade bait though?
Jon said…
I guess if there's one positive (aside from the cards that you were able to find), it's that you don't have to drive very far to be disappointed.
1984 Tigers said…
Love the bench/sideline football shots from those days, especially since Topps wasn't paying for the logos and had to paint the helmets.

It took me a while to find a nice Durocher from 67. It is a tough semi high number and his 1st card as a Cub.

Glad you enjoyed those 79s!

Doc Samson said…
Nice post, Mr. Owl. I remember collecting 79 Topps football when it came out. Loved that the football was rainbow-colored for any player that was an All-Pro.
John Collins said…
Similar. My list of "keep walking" sparks at shows includes tables that are mostly non-baseball or non-sport, shiny slabbed-up ultramodern relics or autos, what I call "museum cases" - those with higher grade vintage sans price tags, (not usually worth even asking about...) or also museum cases with price tags where it quickly becomes obvious the guy is on Mars with his pricing. Low grade early 60's Mantles for 2-3x comps. Yeah, no thanks. I also avoid what I call "junk cases" - where there might actually be some good stuff or good deals in them somewhere - but the guy's tables / displays are so randomly put together and disorganized - cards in toploaders or slabs just thrown in to a case and not arranged, or on top of each other is a good example.
1984 Tigers said…
Earl was one of the stars who eventually stopped allowing Topps to license his image. The 1979 set is the only year you could get his card. Lynn Swann's last card was his 77 Topps. Namaths last Topps was 73. He was likely to be included in the 74 set as number 100 but things fell through and we got Jet Delles Howell (never heard of him) as 100.
Nick said…
I will say that vendors who have glass case after glass case of sealed boxes, slabs, etc. make it *really* easy for me to pass up their table without a second thought. Gives me more time to spend with the sellers that actually have cards I want.

I'm going to a local show for the first time in three years this coming weekend & I'm interested to see if it's similar to your experience with more and more people having mega-expensive stuff that's of no interest to me. It's a trend that sadly seems to be getting worse.
Fuji said…
A. The only tables I completely ignore are ones with gaming cards and/or graded cards. Everything else at the very least I'll stroll by and take a peek. The one thing I do enjoy that made your "ignore" list are discount boxes with 90's cards. I'm a sucker for 90's inserts and parallels... especially discounted ones.

B. You found a really clean copy of Campbell's rookie card.