Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Antique Store Haul - Part I

I've teased it a couple of times now, it's time I finally got around to posting about the awesome batch of cards I picked up at an antiques store here in Rhode Island last month.

It was my last day of a week's vacation from work where I didn't really travel, more of a mental break.  I decided to take a run over to this particular antiques shop because I recalled seeing some boxes of cards there a year or more earlier, but didn't have time to browse through them on that occasion.  I figured that anything decent had probably been picked through in the many months since I had seen those boxes, but it was a nice day out and it gave me an excuse to take a ride either way.

I left the store well over an hour later very satisfied that I'd decided to make the drive.  I found the boxes right where I had remembered seeing them, just two or three multi-row monster boxes full of cards in top-loaders.  As I started searching through the stacks, I quickly realized this was no ordinary box of overpriced '80s junk, there were some really nice cards here.

This '52 Topps Stan Rojek caught my eye, because I'm a fan of defunct franchises like the St. Louis Browns, and because it was in much better shape than most 1952 Topps cards I've run across.  If you look closely at the scan the corners have some dings and wear, but tell me that's not a beautiful card?  Anyway, when I saw the price tag of $20 I was a little discouraged.  I prepared to put Stan, and the handful of other cards I already had set aside, back into the box and move on with my day.  As cool as the card was, I knew without even taking out my phone to research that paying $20 was a bit much.

That's when I saw the sign on the front of the boxes..."Everything 70% off except Davey Crockett cards".  I did a double take, re-read it, and let it sink in.  At one point I even walked over and asked the owner if this was correct; the last thing I wanted to do was spend an hour of my day picking out cards only to be surprised at the price during checkout and walk away frustrated.

Sure enough, every card was 70% off the listed price.  That meant that Stan Rojek, and Joe Muir here, priced at $20 each, set me back just $6 a piece.  I'm not crazy enough to think about taking a shot at the '52 set, but for cards in this condition from this classic set I just couldn't walk away from them.

The best part is that while a few cards were as recent as the 1990s, the bulk of what was available was 1970s and earlier vintage baseball.  Sure, if you're a condition snob this '55 Topps Spook Jacobs might be a little "loved" for your liking, but how could I not add a card of a guy nicknamed Spook to my collection at this time of year?  Especially when the $4 sticker price was reduced to $1.20.  An appropriate card for October for sure.

The majority of my purchase consisted of '52 Topps cards.  I'm just a total sucker for the over-sized Topps sets up through 1956, I pretty much will gladly pick up any card I don't have (and can afford!) from that era.  There were so many '52s available at $6 each, in fact, that there was just no way I had enough money in my budget to grab them all.  I had to be selective about which ones I took home, and in this case the horizontal format and great post-swing picture were the deciding factors.  If I had less self control I could have rung up quite a credit card bill that day.

As I mentioned, there were cards that were as recent as the late '90s, though the majority of those were basketball.  I tried to stay focused on the older stuff, but I did manage to pick up this Golden Rainbow parallel of Cal Ripken for just 60 cents.

Getting back to the older stuff, this remarkably mint Tug McGraw out of 1970 Topps was tagged at just $1, so I paid 30 cents.  Not bad at all for what amounts to just slightly more than a quarter box card.

While not exactly mint, I excitedly shelled out 60 cents for this card featuring "Mudcat" Grant.  Just about any vintage league leader card is worth picking up on the cheap as far as I'm concerned.

Don't know much about Sammy Ellis or Mel Queen, but I do like 1964 Topps, especially the multi-player rookie cards from that set.  At $2 before the discount, into my stack it went...

Alright, how about a couple more '52s before we close out this post?  Really starting to like this set more and more as I see a greater percentage of the cards in person.

Last '52 for today's post, and my favorite image out of all of them.  I love it when old ballparks get to really shine as a background on a vintage baseball card. 

Let's close out this post with one of my favorite cards of the day, which also had a $20 sticker, resulting in a $6 retail price:

Off-centered?  Yes.  Beat up?  Yes.  It's 1962 Topps, which isn't a very popular release generally speaking, though it's growing on me more and more.  But it's Don freakin' Drysdale for what you'd pay for an average pack at the hobby shop nowadays.

I probably could have waited this one out, scoured eBay and followed auctions for months, and eventually landed a better copy at a better price, but in the moment I decided that this one is more than acceptable as a place holder until that day comes (which it likely never will).

Besides, I had a lot of fun enjoying a nice afternoon off and sifting through these boxes, and isn't that what the hobby is really about at its roots?

This was a pretty good representation of what I brought home that day, but it's certainly not all of it.  I'll try to get the rest of the haul up within the next week or so, but given how long it took me to get even this much up we'll see...


Brian said...

Awesome! I am never going to finish it, of course, but I am collecting horizontal '52 Topps in pretty much the same way - if it is reasonably priced, it comes home with me!

Tony L. said...

Those are some awesome cards! The only cards I ever found in an antique store were a set of Braves playing cards at a shop at the Savannah airport...I wrote about them last year because, well, I'd never seen cards in an antique store!

Nick said...

I may have to start frequenting antique stores now. Those are some sweet '52s.

Mark Hoyle said...

Great cards.

Fuji said...

Great cards. Antique shops and sports cards must go hand in hand, because I had a similar experience a while back at a shop in Southern California. I probably should go around and check out my local antique shops. Nah... I'll let someone from another town have their own antique store haul.

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