Saturday, September 29, 2012

What $10 Gets You at a Card Show...

As I mentioned in last night's post, I was able to attend a card show today for the first time in years.  It was about a 45 minute drive to the location, the VFW hall in Braintree, Massachusetts, just outside Boston.  The show was a bit of a disappointment I have to say, with roughly a dozen dealers in attendance and not a ton of selection.  I spent just $10 in total, which was probably about what I spent in gas getting to and from the show.  I don't mind though, I'll use the money I didn't spend elsewhere, which is better than leaving with a forced purchase that I'll feel guilty about later.  My $10 netted me 41 total cards, so these average out to just a hair under a quarter a piece.  You be the judge on how I did...

My first purchase came from the type of dealer I usually stay away from.  No prices marked on almost anything, and if you ask about a card it's straight to the Beckett guide ("I'll go at least 20% less than book" - gee, what a steal!).  Anyway he did have one binder out full of baseball at 50 cents per card or three for a dollar.  I saw this Nolan Ryan, a 2010 Topps Vintage Legends insert, and knew I didn't have it.  Of course, I had to find two cards to go with it for a buck.  I settled on two from the 2001 Topps Archives set...

Any time you find a Jackie Robinson in a bargain binder or box you have to buy it.  I'm pretty sure it's written in the official rules of baseball card collecting.  This is also probably the closest I'll ever get to owning a '52 Robinson.

Same rule applies to Roberto Clemente.  These two are actually my very first 2001 Archives cards, and I'm shocked at just how comprehensive the checklist is.  Over 400 cards in the set!  $1 was all that Captain Price Guide was getting from me, I took my 3 cards and moved on.

My next purchase came from another dealer who had a very similar 50 cents\three for a dollar binder out.  Somehow I still didn't have an '87 Fleer Ripken prior to today.  Although I don't collect Cal officially, he's definitely one of the players I accumulate so I was happy with this one even if I did overpay by a few cents.  This seller also had the infamous Billy Ripken Fleer variation card, which I asked about but ultimately decided that the $10 price tag was too steep.

To go along with Cal I picked up this 2001-02 Upper Deck Legends Wayne Gretzky card.  This is the 95th Gretzky card in my scanned and inventoried collection, just about to cross the 100 threshold...

Finally, from arguably the best hockey player ever to arguably the best basketball player ever.  I know this is a worthless junk wax card but I needed a third card to round out my purchase, and besides it's still Jordan. What a classic shot, I really like this card.  Nothing else really interested me here, so again it was three cards for a dollar and I was moving on.

My third purchase was another small one, this time from a dealer who had an 800-count box of all Boston Bruins cards at twelve for $1.  I picked out twelve including three 2001-02 Topps Archives cards.  Johnny Bucyk...

...Ed Johnston (check out that blocker!)...

...and Ed Westfall.  I already have most of this set, but for whatever reason I don't come across them very often so I grabbed all three unsure of whether I needed them.  Turns out I already had the Johnston and Westfall, so they're off to the trade box.  I needed the Bucyk though, which I was happy about because I didn't think I'd knock anything off my want list at a show this small.  Down to just 7 cards needed now for this set.

This Eddie Shore card is actually from the same Upper Deck Legends set as the Gretzky from above.  There were a couple of other Bruins from this set in the box that I sort of regret passing on now.

The next four cards are all from the 2003-04 Parkhurst Original Six Boston Bruins set, and they're the first of these I have picked up.

These sets are pretty great if you're lucky enough to be a fan of an Original Six team.

I always forget that Sawchuk played two seasons with Boston in the '50s.  This card is a great addition to my Bruins collection.

Finally we have Dit Clapper, from the Enshrined subset.  At just 100 cards, this set wouldn't be too tough to piece together, I may have to add this one to my list for 2013...

I grabbed two cards from the 1999-00 Upper Deck Century Legends set.  The first was my third Eddie Shore of the day...

...and the other was Dit Clapper.  These cards aren't worth much but I really like the design.  The first 50 cards in the set are the 50 players, in order, that Hockey News selected as the top 50 players of all-time in 1997.  As you can see, Eddie Shore came in 10th and Dit Clapper 44th.

This Sergei Samsonov is the first card I've seen from 2001-02 Upper Deck Ice.  I really like the design, it's an acetate card with the area behind Sergei completely see-through.

Finally we have this 2006-07 Parkhurst card.  There wasn't a single Milt Schmidt to be had in the box, but I was happy to land this O'Ree.  I've had the autographed version for some time now and it remains one of my most prized hockey cards.  At this point I'd purchased from 3 vendors for a grand total of $3.  The remaining $7 was spent with one seller.

This seller was one of only a couple at the show with any sort of dime or quarter box.  There wasn't anything fantastic to be had, but I did take a shot at 10 2012 Topps Archives base cards, even though I wasn't entirely sure I needed them all.  Turns out I did pretty well as I needed 9 of the 10 for my set.  Not bad for a buck. I won't show all 10 because there are some pretty bland cards to be honest.  Catfish Hunter here is my favorite of the bunch.

The final $6 was spent on 13 cards from the 50 cents monster box (yes I realize that should come to $6.50 but the seller rounded down to make an even number).  I had to go for this 1994-95 Finest John MacLean because it's a refractor.  These refractors fall just two per box, so they're relatively tough to come by, at least by mid-'90s standards.

This Jason Botterill refractor was in the box as well.  I wonder if these were the seller's two hits in his wax box?  Pretty sad box if so.

Switching back to baseball we have a 1996 Fleer Smoke 'n Heat insert of Pedro Martinez.  This brought back memories of these inserts from back in the day, and as a Red Sox fan I'm of course a Pedro fan as well.

It took me a few minutes to identify what this card is, but I believe it's a T205 insert from the 2010 Topps Heritage set.  Can anyone confirm?

I couldn't pass on this 1995 Fleer Ultra Ken Griffey, Jr. Hitting Machine insert.  I still say Ultra had some of the best inserts of anyone in the early to mid-'90s, for both baseball and hockey.


This is a Hall of Fame Heroes Reprint insert from the 2003 Diamond Kings set.  I noticed that there was a $12 sticker on the back, but figured this was just an old, re-used toploader.  Sure enough though, I checked when I got home and this card does indeed book for $12.

Apparently these fall at 1:43 hobby packs, 1:67 retail.  At 50 cents this might be the score of the day.

Here's the lone football card to come out of today's show.  It's an Action Packed card and it's Barry Sanders.  Need I say more?

Ted Williams wasn't the only Sox legend that I ended up with a Diamond Kings card of.  This Yaz comes from the 2004 Diamond Kings set.  It's a rarer, high-numbered card, and on top of that it's a sepia parallel.  Definitely one of the nicer looking modern Yastrzemski cards in my collection.


This Joe Sakic card is from the 2010-11 Playoff Contenders set.  I never opened any of this stuff when it came out, but this card is impressive looking in person.  It was the Nordiques logo that drew me to it though.


Speaking of which, here's a Throwback Threads insert of Guy Lafleur.  Great looking card, I like this one even more than the Sakic.  This one's serial numbered to 500 as well...


The final three cards from the 50 cent box were all huge wins for my Red Sox collection.  First, a 1962 Topps Pumpsie Green in "this should cost way more than 50 cents" condition.  This card has good corners and great visual appeal.  My jaw dropped when I stumbled across it where I did.


Yes, I purchased a 1952 Bowman Randy Gumpert for 50 cents.  If you look at the back you can see that it's creased but I think you'll agree that the front has good visual appeal nonetheless.  Besides, this card is 60 years old and I exchanged two quarters for it, I'm not going to complain.


Last but not least, the oldest card I purchased today, a not-so-gently-loved 1950 Bowman Joe Dobson.  I know this has taken a beating over the years, but it's certainly a more than suitable placeholder card for the time being.  I was pretty much in shock over these last two cards, this is definitely the least I've ever paid for cards from the early '50s.  I think it was worth the ride to the show for these two deals alone.

So there you have it.  The show may not have been much, but I'm very happy with how far I stretched a $10 bill.  What seemed like it may have been a wasted trip when I first walked into the sparsely populated hall actually ended up being pretty successful.  All in all the 41 cards I came home with total just shy of $100 in Beckett book value.

There's another card show tomorrow, slightly further away than this one was, but a bit larger as well.  I may have to go check it out...

5 comments:

Captain Canuck said...

nnice little haul there... those are the best.

but that Lafleur card... Oh the pain! The Pain!

Dhoff said...

Best deals I've ever seen on vintage Bowman. Nice work.

Fuji said...

Wow... nice finds. You scored big with the 1950 & 1952 Bowman cards. I also love the 94/95 Finest refractors.

Congratulations!

Brad said...

Whoa what a haul for just $10 - I went to a flea market today and spent $5 on 6 cards and they weren't even that great!

Michael Chase said...

I believe in that rule about purchasing Jackie Robinson's as well.

I really like that Jordan card too. I have always appreciated it even though like you said, it's from the junk wax era. There's just something about that photo.

I also agree about Ultra having the best inserts of the mid-90's. Those are what really got me craving my next pack, back in the day.

Great post!

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