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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Card Show part 3 - The Pricey

When I last left off I had just purchased two cards from Uncle Whozit (not the Indian Gum card, two that you will be seeing soon) and I left the outer ring of dealers to start in on the tables in the middle. The very first dealer there had almost the whole front row taken up with cases filled with vintage cards. Absolutely amazing stuff, this really was like a card museum. Tobacco cards, bubble gum cards from the '30s, Topps from the '50s and '60s, all sorts of oddball stuff. I wish I could have taken some pictures to show it all off. Absolutely astounding. All of it was waaaay out of my price range too, so I just eyeballed the goodies and moved down the row. Eventually the cases ran out and some stacks of old oddball stuff was laid out on the table, along with some magazines and programs and... a bargain box!! Full of vintage stuff from the '70s and older! JACKPOT! I spent the second most amount of money at this table picking out some excellent old Braves cards (and a few others which you'll find out about later). This dealer had the distinction of selling me the most expensive card I bought at the show. This beauty right here:

1949 Leaf Bob Elliot

That's right, under ten bucks for the third '49 Leaf card in my collection and the first Brave from that set. I'm guessing some of you are thinking "The most expensive thing he bought was only ten bucks??" and others are thinking "Wow, a '49 leaf card for under ten bucks!". I am a merciless scrounger and when you're that cheap you have to know how to pick out the deals. This same card was prices at $35 at the very same booth and there wasn't that big a difference in condition. This fills a nice biug hole in my Braves binder and I picked up three other Braves oddballs from the same dealer, but that's for another post.

After leaving this booth, things got ugly. The next dealer around the corner had a bunch of expensive stuff and a box of vintage unpriced commons. I freaking hate boxes of unpriced stuff! If you're too lazy to price the cards beforehand then sell them all for one price and be done with it! Slap $2 each or 3 or a dollar or something on the box. I have no interest in picking out the cards I want, stand there while you thumb through a goddamn book and then wait for you to give me a price for the whole lot that is 3 times what I wanted to spend. Now I have to play games taking out cards and messing with an irate dealer because I'm wasting his time because I want to give him my money. There was good stuff in that box too including a '56 Willie Mays with a pinhole in it for fifteen bucks (because he just priced that one). I didn't even bother, I just walked. Again I'll say to aspiring card dealers out there: PRICE YOUR STUFF!

The next table had all the 5 dollar junk wax. I regretted passing up the box of Topps Big at the time, but now that I'm home I don't miss it much. It would still be unopened to be honest with all the other stuff I have to deal with. the next two dealers I'd bought from before. Blue Gray Sports cards from Marietta has a table set up next. The owner is a great guy and he's been open forever. I've bought some stuff from him many times, but I didn't get anything from him at the show. I can go to his store any time (well, any Friday or Saturday afternoon at least) and I wanted to see stuff from dealers from out of state. I'll probably drop by the shop in December to make up for passing him by.

The next dealer I recognized from a Braves Fan Fest at Turner Field a few years ago. This was back when they had a card show up in the Lexus Level (Now the Golden Moon Casino Level) and I bought a Hank Aaron booklet, an old Braves ticket stub and a couple of cards from the guy. I flipped through a binder he had and there was that same Aaron booklet for 50 cents. There was other stuff in that booklet now - autographs! Really really awful ones! Ones like THIS. I'll be posting all the horrible autographs I bought from him on Auto-Matic For the People over the next few days, but I almost didn't get any of them. The autos were almost all uniformly lame, and thus awesome, and they were cheap as hell but I didn't just want to get just that. I needed one good card I couldn't pass up to justify the purchase. Buying horrible autographs on index cards is just strange, but getting a cool card and picking up the bad sigs on the side is acceptable in my mind. You never realized card shows were so complicated did you!

So now I had to find a card. There were a bunch of boxes onthe side of the table full of cards in top loaders. The guy wanted to blow some out on the last day, so everything (well, almost) was 2/3rds off. Lots of stars, lots of Braves but nothing jumped out at me. I had all the braves, nothing special in there. There was an '07 Goudey Carlton Fisk Heads Up Short print card that was cool, but I thought I already had it. I haven't actually checked to see if I did, because I really don't want to know if I passed up on a short print I needed. At the end of the boxes there was a section of vintage stars that looked cool. I found one I wanted, asked if these were 66% off too and the answer was no, they had already been discounted. Which was true, so no biggie. I got a card from that stack of vintage. This card right here:

1975 Topps Jim Rice Rookie

A buck fiddy. For a Jim Rice rookie card. That some kid jumped on to slide down the hall back in the day. It's also cut a little weirdly now that I look at it. However, it's a Jim Rice rookie, I'll bet my shorts that Jim is voted into the Hall of Fame this go-round, and it was a Good Excuse to fork out money to get those dreadful autos. I'm guessing that you're confused again. How is a card bought for $1.50 pricey, exactly? Well, the categories I used to break up these posts are sort of squidgy. You see, the Bob Elliot card could easily fit into the Vintage Braves category and some of my '53 Topps cards coupld fit into the Wierdness category and there were even a couple of autographs in the El Cheapo category. For purposes of this execise, Non-Bargain cards are either the most expensive one I got or stuff that I didn't really plan on buying and probably wouldn't buy if I went through the show a second time, but are cool anyway. An abused Jim Rice rookie fits the bill.

I got the Rice, picked out five abysmal autographs, paid the man three dollars and went merrily on my way. Well not so merrily, because the pickings got slim again. The dealer facing the bad auto guy was already packing up by the time I got to him. Not muche there as I remember interested me anyway, but it was still a bummer to see people getting ready to leave after I'd only been there an hour. The rest of the row was deserted too, so I went to the back row. The first guy had some basketball packs and a ton or relics and autos and stuff. It was funny in retrospect how I COMPLETELY ignored all the newer jersey cards and autographs. My mind didn't even take them in. I saw new stuff and zip - moved on. I was really laser focused on that vintage. I moved through the back row pretty quickly. I figured I wouldn't find anything better than the three guys up front and decided to give the rest of my money to them. As I moved down the row something caught my eye:

1978 Topps Willie Randolph

RAAAWWR VINTAAAGE. Willie was peeking out of a dime box. I had to get Willie for a dime so I started scrounging through the rest of the box. This is what I found:

1980 Superstar Willie Mays with totally fake autograph

No, that's not Willie signature. It's not even close to Willie's signature. Some joker signed it on there though and I thought that was neat so I picked it up.

2 Turkey Red Reprint Cards

No these aren't Topps Turkey Red cards, these are from an old reprint set. I would have bought a stack of these suckers, but they only had these two.

2005 MVP Phil Niekro Batter Up

Knucksie! I think I have all the Braves now from the only decent thing to come out of 2005 MVP.

So now I havd five dime cards and I. Could. Not. Find Five. More. I wanted to find an even dollar's worth of cards so I could just hand the guy a buck and be on my way. The change I had in my pocket consisted of a pile of pennies, 3 Chuckie Cheese tokens and a Susan B. Anthony. I couldn't find five more cards that interested me in the slightest though. I checked the quarter box, no luck. I checked the fifty cent box and was getting frustrated that I'd wasted a lot more time looking for cards to round it up to a dollar that it would have took the guy to dig out two quarters change and I was cursing my nueroses. I finally found this one for fifty cents and paid.

2006 UD Ultimate Pee Wee Reese #540/799

Pee Wee, shiny foil and serial numbering? GO FOR IT. So I handed the guy my buck, showed him the cards I got and he pulled out the cash box fished for change and handed me a dime. He didn't see the Willie Mays card so he thought the total was only 90 cents. Oh the irony.

Up next -
Wednesday: The Braves!
Thursday: El Cheapos!
The Grand Finale: 1953 Topps Cards!

Also look for more just plain bad autographs over on Auto-Matic for the People, and some non-sport packs over on A Pack A Day!


madding said...

These posts are getting me psyched for a card show I'm planning on going to this weekend. I went to it in September (it's apparently monthly) and it wasn't totally horrible.

RoofGod said...

I don't know what's better, the '49 Leaf or the free Mays. Gotta love free cards, even it only would have cost you a dime.

deal said...

gotta be happy w/ the Leaf card. Well done on the vintage.

dayf said...

I pointed out the mistake to the dealer on the Mays. I worked to hard to round it up to a dollar to end up with change.