I have no idea how to create pages but I'll figure it out eventually godammit

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Card Show Recap





Ok, I'm back from the card show. I am riding the high of a cardboard-induced euphoria while munching on a Five Guys' Bacon Cheezburger with grilled onions, grilled mushrooms and A1 sauce. I met some friends, bought some cards and pitchers and catchers report in two days. Life is good. 

I'll be showing off my swag in good time, but first, let's see if I met the goals of my card show game plan:

1) Get a vintage Brave off my wantlist.

Yes, big time. I got a card I've been chasing for 25 years. 

2) Get one 1953 Topps card off my list.

Yes, but barely. I'm almost at the point where I'm not going to be able to find any cards I need from this set for under a $20. 

3) my reconnaissance team has informed me that there are dime boxes. Attack with extreme prejudice.

Yes. I was in the same building as Jason Heyward and Matt Ryan and instead of going to gawk at my Heroes with an Capital Aitch, I was digging through dime boxes full of junk like my life depended on it. I need serious therapy. 

4) If I see a J-Hey that I don't have and the price isn't jacked up, buy it.

Yes. Found two of 'em actually. 

5) Make faces at PETA if they show up to protest Michael Vick.

No. Mike wasn't there today. I made faces at Chris Harris though and sneered at a dealer trying to rip off some old guy who was looking through some vintage cards. 

6) Wander aimlessly in a Zen-like state until a card or piece of memorabilia trips me up and forces me to buy it.

Yes. I ended up staying at the show for 6 hours and after a while became dazed and confused. This mental diminishment allowed me to find an interesting bit of memorabilia. Also, a card I never ever would have bought in a million years jumped in my lap and insisted I take it home. 

7) One oddball non-sports card. Just one.

Yes. I got more than one, but I did find a PERFECT one. 

8) Use the wantlists I spent an hour and a half writing up this morning.

Yes. I wrote out my '06, '09 and '10 Allen & Ginter wantlists and my 1951, 1960, 1965 and 1972 Topps checklists because my printer is on the fritz. I bought a card off of every list but the 2009 A&G list. 


If I had gone to the ATM this morning to get an extra $40, I would have spent every dime. While I didn't get everything I wanted, I am very glad I drove by the bank in retrospect.

If you don't want to spend six hours at the card show, you need to forego the dime boxes. And quarter boxes. And 50-cent boxes. And the dollar boxes. Luckily, I managed to ignore this rule and get away with it.

Dime boxes are like ice cream. At first, you gorge on it in delirium and joy. After a while though you are completely sick of ice cream and don't even want to look at it anymore. I walked by some poor guys with a table full of dime boxes full of commons going back to the early '70s when I was in the 'sick of ice cream' mood. Location is key in real estate and card shows.

People who live within a 500 mile radius of New York City are jaded at card shows. Chris and Sooz*were all  like "yeah didn't find much today, kinda bored" while I was bouncing up and down like a kid at the circus who just ate 700 pixy stix and washed 'em down with a three liter of Jolt.

*To be fair, Sooz was a part of the show staff and thus has every right - nay, duty - to be bored.

While I was thoroughly pleased with the show, apparently the White Plains show makes this one look like a garage sale. At 5:00pm. On Sunday. I need to take a road trip this year. 

A good way to convince yourself not to spend money is to put the shiny thing you are about to impulse buy at the back of the box and say to yourself  "I'll come back for this after I look around some more" You will never ever go back for what ever forgotten shiny thing you stashed. 

When you go back and look through the cards you picked out in a dime box digging frenzy, you will always find a bunch of cards that you simply do not remember picking up. Most of the time you're glad you have them though.

Apparently Topps is purchasing a lot of the cards that they are giving away out of their 'archives' from the bigger vintage dealers out there. Good for Topps, keep these guys in business!


Every high has it's hangover and a Card Show High is no different. There are a few things I will regret after the show. 

The wantlist I most regret not bringing: 

My Allen & Ginter mini card Frankenset wantlist. I found a table with a 1600 count shoebox completely filled two deep with Allen & Ginter mini cards. Two for a buck. Oy. This is a pain that shall linger. 

The card I really really want but passed on that I won't really lose any sleep over:

My favorite Atlanta Hawk is Al Horford. I've kind of wanted a really nice Horford relic for a while and I found a decent looking patch card for 10 bucks. I was in the grips of Vintage Madness and passed. 

The card that may end up haunting me before it's all said and done:

My favorite vintage seller had a 'nicked and dinged' case with a bunch of stars at discounted prices. I passed up on a 1960 Stan the Man Musial for $8. That might not have been the smartest thing I've ever done. 

The thing I will think back upon and regret most when I am wasting money on retail packs in a couple of months:

One thing I've wanted for a while is an autograph from Bobby Cox. Another thing I think are really cool are MLB lineup cards from actual games. This one seller had a pile of lineup cards from various games going back to the '90s. Most were signed by Cox and another player like Glavine, Avery and Smoltz. There were a bunch of them though and none had a firm price on them and I just sort of assumed they were out of my price range. Turns out they were priced from $25-$40. I coulda had a lineup card and Bobby's auto for the price of two blasters. 

The I need to go buy something from this guy now regret:

I only saw one of the local card sellers at the show. I stopped by, said hi, looked around and didn't buy anything. In my defense, everything there is going to be at his shop next week anyway. I still feel like a bit of a douche.

The instant regret that quickly turned to relief:

One table had a few piles of dollar cards sitting out on the table. Among the piles were a couple of plastic 100-count boxes of 2011 Topps inserts including the new Code cards. I thought about picking up a few but while I was looking at something else this guy and his son came by and wiped the guy out of code cards. Even bought the ones he had under the counter. At first I was disappointed, then I realized that I probably just dodged an expensive bullet.


There's always strangeness at every card show. Here's a few things I noticed that I thought a bit off. 

The most fantastic box of junk wax was a 2007 Series 1 Topps box of those 21 base cards plus a stick of nasty Heritage gum things that no one ever bought. They were five bucks a pop. Someone bought one, I saw them ripping it at the snack stand tables. 

One dealer appeared to be selling nothing but supplies and books. I do not understand this. Did this guy make money??

On the other end of the spectrum there was another dealer who was set up like a flea market who had just about everything but the fleas. This guy had the most fantastic stuff.  Searched vending boxes of 1979 and 1983 Topps on the $10 table. Postcards piled to the ceiling. Books everywhere including the Bert Sugar Dover reprint books. A 7-11 display with a Dale Murphy Sportsflix disc free with every drink purchase on it. A plastic tub overflowing with film slides of MLB players. A pile of old Sportscaster cards. A 2005 Bowman Draft Update Aflac All-Star redemption set. He also had a stack of blank NFL credit cards. You know, the cards that you sign up for at the stadium where you get a free football or blanket and then 2 years later you've paid several grand in finance charges? Those cards. No numbers, but they had the hologram and everything. And finally the single most amazing dollar box I have ever seen in my life. I'll talk more about that later. 

Ridiculous: Every single dealer who sets up at a card show and doesn't price their shit. You guys stay home and stop eating up table space. 

Also Ridiculous: The card buying dudes who were alternately hustling people out of their collections and then making rude comments about the show attendees. While customers sit one table over hearing every word. Nice one, guys.

Ok, that's enough regrets and kvetching for one night. I had a blast today. Once I get everything organized and scanned  you'll be seeing some highlights. 


Laura said...

great read, as always...

Kevin M. Brady said...

sorry, wrong login before... great read, as always!

Mark A. said...

Forget the organizing. Scan. Show the scans.

Thorzul said...

Seventeen thousand paragraphs, and not a single card in sight?!?!
You, sir, are a tease. I feel like I've been slipping singles into your G-string for the past thirty minutes and all I'm getting is a hair tousle and a pinch on the cheek. I need to see the goods!

Tough luck on the Bobby Cox regret. On a related note, do you have many Bob Horner autographed cards? Like, 1980s in-person autographed cards? There was a pile of them a few shows ago form one seller. A pile. I was up to my elbows in Horner. Say the word and I'll pick one up for you, should I come across that seller again.

randombaseballstuff.com said...

Sounds like a fun show. Too bad about the lineup cards, but I would have assumed that they were out of my price range too.

Dealers that make you guess the price drive me nuts too.

the sewingmachineguy said...

The price-less jackball guy bugs the S outta me. We have a guy around these parts that proudly doesn't price anything, and displays a big "THE BECKETT PRICE IS OUR PRICE" sign. I just shake my head at him every time.
Good post. Woulda been better with images. ;)
WV: jacketin

dayf said...

You guys are the most impatient bunch of twittering magpies I've ever seen. Just for that, no images until tomorrow.

And trust me on this, I've got a month's worth of posts out of this card show. You will be so sick and tired of this show in a couple of weeks.

Chris Harris said...

Yes, us Philly and NYC folk are jaded -- although to be fair to Sooz, she was a bit under-the-weather. This was a decent show, but in retrospect, not worth the airfare/hotel/rental car.

But yes, the Philly, Chantilly, and White Plains Shows are so much better -- about twice as many dealers and in better facilities. Go. Make your plans now.

Philly: Mar 4-6
Chantilly: Mar 18-20
White Plains: Mar 25-27

Derek said...

Nice post, glad you had a great time

Nathan said...

Great recap dayf, looking forward to the scans (we know that eventually we'll be sick of them, we just want to be sick of them NOW, dammit).