It's my firm belief that if you're going to a card show, you have to have a plan of attack. If you run in there willy nilly you'll get overwhelmed by the cardness and lose your grip. You could end up leaving with a pile of bad relics and a 1990 Fleer factory set. Even if you have a plan, strange things can happen, but it's best to be prepared. My plan for this show was predicated upon my wantlist. Or rather, the lack of one.
I have a bright red folder with about 50 pages worth of printed wantlists. All my Heritage up to 2009, all of my A&G up to 2010, 2002-2003 Topps206, Topps 1951-1956, about 8 other Topps vintage sets, All my Braves Team sets and about a half a dozen other odds and ends. All in one place, sorted, cards crossed out as I acquire them. I haven't seen the bloody thing in months. Luckily, I have my wantlists backed up here on the blog. Ok, some of them haven't been updated in three years, but they're there. And I can print them out whenever I like! Well, at least when my printer is working, that is.
So here's what happened. I was procrastinatory as usual and didn't take a half bloody hour to write out my wantlists or put them in a text document so I could print them elsewhere. It's the morning of the card show. Due to an enormous cock-up on my part I thought the Jason Heyward signing was at BP Sports in Marietta on the same day as the card show. Was an honest mistake, the e-mail BP sent me had "Jan. 14" and "Jason Heyward signing" on it and that's all my mind registered. It didn't occur to actually read the thing and see that the Jan. 14th referred to the card show I was already going to. So that morning I got up bright and early (9:57am) and watched My Little Pony.
WAS PINKIE PIE EPISODE!
WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO?!
So after I watched the episode (twice) I got to scribbling down my wantlists on scratch paper real quick like. It was 11:00 and I wanted to be out the door by 11:30 to get to the signing. I was forced by time restraints to narrow down the stuff I was going to look for immensely. Like the Carlin routine A Place For My Stuff, I was forced to create a smaller version of my wantlist, just the stuff that was really important.The things that made the cut:
1953 Topps. I wrote out the whole thing and reality checked it against my binder. Out of EVERYTHING I collect, this is the main really really main for reals main focus.
1979 Topps. I only need two bloody cards for this damn set. Don Sutton and the Pedro Guerrero rookie. Can't find the gorram things anywhere.
1972 Topps Series 3 and 4. At the last card show, I completed my 1972 series 2 set but due to poor planning I left several cards I needed from series 3 on the table. I wrote out both series 3 and 4 this time! Series 5 would take a half hour to write out. Series 6 isn't even worth writing out. If you find a cheap '72 high number, just buy the damn thing.
Braves team sets 1933-1967. I should really just print out 100 copies of this and leave a pile by the door so I can pick up one on the way out every time I leave the house. This is when time really started to crunch and the writing got scribbly.
1956 Topps cards 1-107. I started writing this out and decided "screw this" If I find something epic or dirt cheap I'll think about it.
I then jotted down a half a dozen cards I vowed to buy instantly if I found them in my price range:
1940 Play Ball Casey Stengel
1962 Topps Bob Uecker
1964 Topps Phil Niekro
and a couple others I forget.
So due to my lack of planning, this became the plan:
- If there's a high dollar card like that '53 Yogi Berra I passed up last time that I can afford get it.
- If not, attack the cheap '53 high numbers.
- Then, attack the '72 want list.
- Then cross your fingers for '79 completers.
- If money left, then browse bargain box for Braves.
- Get at least one cool non-sport card just because.
- After that, if money left, free for all.
I'll go ahead and spoil it for you, here are the results of that hastily cobbled together plan.
- EPIC SATCHEL FAIL
- Epic Win
Pretty goot success ratio, even if I shall see C-Note Satchel looking at me sadly on my deathbed, a tear in his eye lamenting the life we could have had together. Oh well. I got 26 cards instead and left with over 30 bucks in my pocket. But this post is about Fail! Wantlist Fail! Here is my fail, coming in at #20 on the countdown.
1960 Topps Frank Torre. In dreadful condition. Normally I like Tiptons, but there's a feel to this one that depresses me. I love 1960 Topps for the bright, shiny colors (is it any wonder I'm obsessed with poniez?) and this one is kind of scuffed and faded. It looks like Frank is sadly looking out his front window, bat in hand, ready to play some ball, but it's pouring down raining. Raindrops streak the window, obscuring Torre's sad face, disappointed that there will be no ball played today. This would make a hell of a 1957 Topps card. Half that set looks like Silent Hill anyway, this would just add to the ambiance. Too sad for '60 Topps though.
Add to the sadness the fact that this card was pricey. Five bucks! For a 1960 Topps common in rainy condition! Oh, but it's a high number, you say. No, no it isn't. High numbers don't kick in until card 507. My guess it was priced so high due to the name Torre. Torre is a popular name among Yankee fans and Damn Yankees drive up the price of everything. That's my theory anyway. A better one than it was in the wrong sleeve at least. I didn't really want to buy the card. I almost put it back twice. At the end of the day, I looked at that card, and back at my wantlist, and said to myself, "Self, this overpriced crummy looking card is on your wantlist and even though it is too bloody expensive, you need to get this damn card for your team set instead of a bunch of dollar cards out of the bargain box you big dummy."
So I bought the Torre.
I got home that evening. Scanned all the cards. Updated the wantlists on the blog. Opened up the Braves binder to put things in their proper place... and there's Frank staring at me in my binder. 1960 Topps. #478. Frank Torre. In friggin great condition too! Good corners, bright colors, a few print streaks on the bottom, but who cares. I had the bloody thing already! So what happened?
My Braves wantlist on the blog was out of date. Badly. I did a reality check after I discovered the Frank error and found about 20 cards I never knocked off the list. Since I pulled the list I took to the show from the blog list, there were problems. The really really dumb thing is I tried to do a reality check when writing it down, but rushed due to time constraints. So I could leave at 11:30 (ended up being 11:45 anyway) and be two weeks early for a Jason Heyward signing. Derp.
So, because I was lazy and unorganized, I ended up buying a 1960 Topps common for my main set for a fiver. LESSON LEARNED. Organize yo stuff! I'm going to get my wantlists together in a new folder. One I won't lose because I chucked it in the trunk of my car after a show. I'll do this right now! Well, it's late, maybe tomorrow. Actually tomorrow is bad. Later this week. Next card show isn't 'till April anyway. I got time. I wonder if the new pony episode is on YouTube yet?
Here's the complete list of upcoming posts. See if you can guess what cards are coming up!
#20 - Wantlist Fail Part 1
#19 - Dollar Box Gem
#18 - At Least He's a Hall of Famer Now
#17 - Thurman Inaction
#16 - Cocktail Hour
#15 - Kid Stuff
#14 - Clubbed Cub
#13 - Cheapest High Number I Could Find
#12 - '59, Dude!
#11 - Look at the Whistler
#10 - Heartbreaking Taunt
#9 - '54 Ford With a Beat Up Chassis
#8 - King of the Bums
#7 - Joy of a Completed Page
#6 - HOW THE HELL IS THIS NOT IN THE TOP FIVE?!?!
#5 - Oh, because this one is...
#4 - Awwww, come ON.
#3 - Admit It, You Knew This Was Coming
#2 - Wantlist Fail Part 2
#1 - Feat of Clay