It's hard to believe that it had been a little over six months since I had been to a card show. Thankfully, that dry spell was ended this past Saturday. Historically, I've headed out to the shows with a specific game plan, rarely straying from it. My success or failure (and therefore the amount of fun I had) was always dependent on the vendors having the items I was looking for.
Fortunately, since my daughters were born, my approach towards things has become much less structured/planned. This has carried over to my show strategy as well. The only things formal about my game plan these days are to see how far I can stretch my budget, scan the entire room before choosing where I will spend the majority of my time looking, and keep my eyes and mind open for all of those treasures out there. Since I adopted that outlook, I've had a LOT more fun and found some incredible cards to add to the collection. Here's the rundown of the new additions from this latest adventure.
After doing a quick lap around the entire room, I figured there were about four tables where I'd spend the bulk of my time digging. Let's start with table one.
I know the blogosphere loves Kellogg's cards, and I'm no different. This table was packed with Kellogg's. Some were cracked, some curled, and others graded. I spent a good bit of time taking it all in, looking though each stack he had lined up in no particular order. Most of the stuff was way over-priced or at least beyond the price I was willing to pay. However, I found a small stack of them that were reasonably priced and in nice condition. The stack was filled with players I couldn't care less about, but I did find the two pictured above. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to add a former Yankee captain and Louisiana Lightning to the collection for fifty cents a piece.
Table number two had at least a dozen 5000 count boxes lined up. Some were dime boxes, some quarter boxes, and a few fifty cent boxes. All of them were packed with various recent issues. I started the search in the dime boxes, but they were packed with true commons. No gems to be found there. When I moved to the quarter boxes, things shifted. There were recent rookies and inserts from Topps flagship and Chrome sets, Bowman Chrome, Finest and Prizm. I found a number of cards of players I have seen play with the Durham Bulls over recent seasons.
If I had found the base versions of all of these, it would have been good enough, but the Romero was the Silver Ice parallel. The Cobb and Myers were both refractors. The Moore was an orange refractor and the Odorizzi was the blue refractor which is numbered out of 250. Turns out this guy was willing to do a quarter a piece or five for a dollar. Definitely a great deal!
I've had the base version of this Wade Boggs Finest Moments for some time now. At the same table as all of the other Bulls/Rays players, I was able to grab the refractor version for a quarter.
At the third table that I spent a chunk of time searching for treasures, I found the true finds of the day. It also happened to be the last table I'd visit. This guy had box after box, ranging from a quarter a piece up to $5.00 per. I spent all of my time searching through the quarter boxes. The first few stacks I searched turned up nothing but some junk wax era commons. In the past, I would have likely just moved on to the next table and missed out on all of the oddball goodness I discovered. After a few more stacks of nothing exciting, the first card that caught my eye was this one.
A Cal Ripken from True Value Hardware?! This is like a booklet. It hasn't been opened. Yeah, it is missing the Orioles logo, but I had never seen something like this before. How could I pass it up at just a quarter? Seeing this, I was hooked. I needed to to keep digging in these boxes to see what other gems were lurking in them. Next up was the following Jiffy Pop disc.
Again, missing the team logo, but it's an early career issue of the first Yankee captain of my lifetime. Donnie Baseball was the first great homegrown Yankee talent that I got to see play. Sometimes it still makes me sad that he missed out on a World Series ring by one season, having hung up his spikes in 1995.
A few cards later I came upon this Roger Maris. It's the type of card I would have previously shuffled quickly past without a second look. I'm so glad that something told me to turn this card over. Perhaps it was the fact that it was printed on thinner card stock than usual or maybe it was because I was curious who 'Alvey' was.
Upon turning the Maris over, I found that this was a menu card from Steinbrenner's Yankee Inn. I hadn't even known this kind of a card existed, let alone ever actually seen one. I HAD to have it! I have searched and searched since last weekend and I have found that there is also a Yogi Berra card like this. I haven't been able to find anything about what year these were issues or how many others may exist. If anyone in the blogosphere has any info on these, I'd love to hear it. I'm in the process of tracking down my very own copy of the Yogi Berra, but if there are more, I need to know so I can find them.
I continued the search, picking out a number of other random, oddball goodies. Some for myself and some for some new trade partners. By this point, I was running low on time so I told myself that I was going to finish searching the row I was on, count up the cost of my new additions, pay for them, and head home. Boy, am I glad I decided to finish that row! In the last stack I pulled from that row, I happened on this card. It caught my eye because I grew up in New York, about an hour from the city and I would visit the city periodically. I remembered the first time I had seen Penn Station. I thought it would be cool to have a card of the building. Then, I turned it over...
I read the great description, and then I saw the advertisement. I'd never seen anything like it and it looked like a tobacco card.
Apparently, I was too tired to come up with the idea of using my phone to research this before buying it. I figured, what do I have to lose for a quarter? I paid the guy and piled into the car to head home. Once I got there, I started to search for more info on this Penn Station card. Turns out it is a T99 tobacco card from 1911. The series is 'Sights and Scenes of the World'. I realize it has certainly seen better days, but I now have a card that is over 100 years old in my collection, and it only cost me a quarter! There are 50 total cards in that series, and after finishing that research, I feel like I want to put the set together. Who doesn't love a challenge?
I can't remember the last time I had as much fun at a show as I did this past weekend. Here's looking forward to my next adventures at the card show!