Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Card Show Chronicles

Two days.  Two Shows.  Way too many cards to scan.  So today's post summarizes the highlights from last weekend's card shows.

Show #1:  GTSM Bay Area Autograph Experience

This show was pretty much a complete bust in terms of dealers.  There were two, maybe three guys selling vintage cards and another three or four sports card vendors in all.  In fact, there wasn't a single dime box to be found.  It took me less than twenty minutes to walk around the entire showroom floor.

Luckily one of my buddies set up at the show, so I had the opportunity to dig through his boxes.  I ended up digging out sixteen cards that caught my eye and we went back on forth with what both of us considered fair prices.

We finally agreed on a $65 price tag for the lot.  That might seem a little high, but I walked away with some very cool cards.  My favorites are the Dave Winfield rookie card, the Don Drysdale autograph, a Chipper Jones patch, and this unique Kobe Bryant Christmas relic:

The only other purchase I made last Friday was for this 2008 Press Pass Gridiron Gamers card of Colt Brennan for my Hawaii PC:

I picked this up for a buck off of a dollar table and ended up walking out of the show having spent a lot more than I originally planned.  But most of the money went into my buddy's pocket and I added some decent cards to my collection.

Show #2:  Serramonte Mall Sports Cards, Toys, and Collectibles Show

The next day, I woke up early and headed out to my favorite show of the year.  There were two main items on my want list:  1977 Topps Star Wars Sticker Set and a 2012 Crown Royale Silhouette Russell Wilson autographed rookie card.

As fate would have it... I didn't purchase either of these, which was probably a blessing since I blew the bulk of my cardboard budget the night before.  After hanging out for close to six hours, I ended up finding three different vendors with dime boxes.

In an effort to save time, I combined the three purchases into one stack of 161 cards.  I actually spent $17, but one of the vendors included a box of American Bandstand trading cards and a 1971 Kellogg's Willie Mays:

Okay... let's get to the dime box cards:

Tony Gwynn Cards

I grabbed every Gwynn oddball or insert I could find and when the dust settled, I had fourteen cards in my stack.  Six of those cards were new editions to my binder, including the cool looking Wonder Years card.

Baseball Inserts and Parallels

The majority of my dime box purchases were baseball inserts and parallels.  This is what I normally target in hopes of filling in my binders and whatever doubles I get go into my care package box which get shipped to you guys.  My favorite?  It's easily the 1998 Flair Showcase Wave of the Future Brad Fullmer.  One of the coolest insert sets from the 90's.

Baseball Oddballs

I was pretty excited to find some older oddballs in this show's dime boxes.  All of the Kellogg's I found were significantly damaged, but I don't mind adding them to my collection for a dime.  The 1961 Post George Altman represents the oldest card from my entire dime box purchases, while the 1975 Hostess Lou Brock is the coolest.

Rookie Cards

I was surprised at the lack of rookie cards in this show's dime boxes.  If I were to guess, I'd say 20% of my dime box purchases are typically rookie cards.  This time I only found fifteen and five of them were 2011 Topps Legends A.J. Green rookie cards.

Football/Basketball Inserts and Parallels

This trip I avoided anything outside of baseball and in the end there were only a handful of football and basketball cards.  Heck... I didn't even buy a single hockey card at the show.  The highlight from this lot was easily the 1996 Playoff Prime sample card of Antonio Freeman.  It represents the sole addition to my Promo Card PC.

Vintage Baseball Cards

Last, but not least are the vintage baseball cards.  There weren't as many as I had hoped, but at least I finally added a Boots Day card to my vintage binder.

The next group of cards was purchased as we were literally leaving the show.  They were at the table closest to the exit and had my buddy not clarified their sign, I would have left without these cards:

The vendor had the boxes labeled "$1, buy 1 get four free", but I only saw the $1 part and had no intention of dropping that much on quarter bin quality cards.  But my buddy pointed out that they were really 20¢ each, so I decided to quickly sift through the boxes.  I ended up buying $2 worth, 70% of which were Steve Largent base cards.  I think I'm going to chase down all of his regular issue Topps base cards produced during his playing years.

I'll wrap things up with a fifteen dollar purchase that will leave most of you guys scratching your heads.

2013 Topps Star Wars Jedi Legacy "Ewok Fur Relic" #ER-7

Yeah... I know.  It has already been pointed out that I could have had 150 more dime box cards.  Instead I chose some Ewok fur.  Oh well... it's easily one of the most unique cards in my collection.

Well that's it for now.  I hope everyone is enjoying their week.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Other Guy

Today is the 60th anniversary of one of the most famous plays in baseball history.

"Say Hey" Authenticated

Just one look at the photo and 99% of baseball fans can name the player who made the The Catch.  But what about the other guy involved in the play?

No.  I'm not talking about any of Willie's teammates.  I'm talking about the guy who hit the ball to The Say Hey Kid.

Back in July, I took a trip down memory lane and reviewed parts of the January 1993 issue of Beckett Baseball.  One of the things I forgot to mention was this cool comic strip highlighting the famous play.

That's where I read about Vic Wertz and his epic day at the plate.  

1954 Bowman #21

Did you know that Wertz went 4 for 5 that day and fell a home run short of hitting for the cycle?  Actually he had a pretty amazing series altogether.  Even though the Indians were swept by the New York Giants in four games, Wertz batted .500 for the series.  In fact, he represented 30.7% of his team's hits for the series.

Before the comic strip, I had no idea who Mr. Wertz was.  But thanks to a twenty-one year old Beckett Baseball, I now know the name of The Other Guy involved in The Catch.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Card Show Camaraderie

I've stood around dime boxes plenty of times since I reentered the hobby eight years ago.  But yesterday's experience was unique and really cool, because I wasn't alone.

When I described the Serramonte Mall Sports Card, Toys, and Collectibles Show to my buddy Michael, the two things I used to describe it were "variety" and "dime boxes".  One of my favorite things about this show compared to the TriStar and GTSM card shows is the variety of memorabilia.  Whether you're the kind of guy looking for a Generation 1 Optimus Prime Transformer or the little girl looking for a new Sailor Moon plush toy, chances are there's something for you.

I really enjoy walking around and looking at toys I played with as a kid, but obviously my favorite thing to do at this show is stand around dime boxes.  And that's exactly what I spent most of my time doing.

Somewhere around 11am, I walked up to a dealer and saw my buddy digging through the guy's dime boxes looking for Oakland Raiders to add to his collection.  I decided to jump in and within a few seconds, a gentleman asks me "Are you Fuji?".  Even though I've never met this person in my life, I immediately recognized him, because of his St. Louis Cardinals hat.  It was Brady from Yadier Molina Baseball Cards and he had been standing next to my buddy looking for his Cardinals cardboard.

For the next hour or so, the three of us stood around digging through the dealer's boxes pulling out cards for each other and talking cards.  If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you know how much I enjoy this card show in the past.  But believe it or not... yesterday's experience was ten times cooler, because of the card show camaraderie I experience around those dime boxes.

Michael... I'm glad you decided to start collecting again.  Let me know if you're down to attend the De Anza Flea Market next weekend.  Churros are on me.

Brady... It was great to finally meet you.  Thank you for the stack of Nomo's.  If your wife will let you go, you're invited to hang out at De Anza too.  Let me know and I'll bring you a box of Cardinals for your collection.  If not, then hopefully we can catch up at Serramonte in February.

Everyone else... I'll show off my card show pickups sometime this week.  I blew most of my budget Friday night picking up singles for my PC's... while Saturday's purchases were more of the dime box variety.

Happy Sunday and sayonara!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Card Show Survival Kit

This weekend I've been blessed with the opportunity to attend two card shows.  Tonight there's the GTSM Memorabilia Show at the Santa Clara Convention Center which happens to be right across the street from Levi's Stadium.  There will be a bunch of former and current San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, and Golden State Warriors signing today and tomorrow.  Unfortunately the prices they're charging for autographs are way out of my league.

But that's okay because if things go as planned, I'll be saving my money for the Serramonte Sports Card, Toys, and Collectibles Show.  It's my favorite show of the year, because there's a little bit of everything and there's always at least two guys who have solid dime boxes to dig though.

Hopefully I'll run into Brady... who authors Yadier Molina Baseball Cards.  If I do, it'll be the first time I actually meet a fellow blogger.

Anyways... last weekend he asked his readers the following question...

What should I bring to the show?

I figured I'd answer his question and show off my Card Show/Flea Market Survival Kit:

Let's kick things off with my backpack.  It's your standard two compartment JanSport backpack.  Inside the main compartment, I pack the following:

500ct Box

First up is a 500ct. box with the following: team bags, penny sleeves, a plastic grocery bag, a variety of top loaders, and plastic storage boxes.

I carry a 330ct. box too, just in case I need extra room for dime box purchases.  Within the box, I keep a 100ct. plastic storage box.

I also carry an Ultra Pro magazine sleeve that holds an 8.5" x 11" top loader, a 6" x 9" top loader, and a pair of 5" x 7" top loaders for those oversized purchases.

And just in case I run out of room in my backpack, I carry a reusable grocery bag.  Oh... can't forget my bottle of water.

Inside of the smaller pouch, I carry a bunch of random items like snacks, hand sanitizer, a pen, note pad, more penny sleeves, and some spare change.

Okay... it's time for you guys to chime in.

Any suggestions for my card show survival kit?

Happy Friday and sayonara!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Forgive Me Friar Fan Brethren

With only four days remaining in the 2014 MLB regular season... I'm still sitting around waiting to see where the Oakland A's will land after their horrendous finish to this season.  It's been pretty painful watching their hitting fall apart over the past seven weeks.  But seriously... nobody wants to sit here and listen to me whine and be a Negative Nancy.

Let's focus on the greatest pitcher in the game and some of his left-handed colleagues.  Being a "lefty" myself, I've always enjoyed watching dominant left-handed pitchers.  And right now, there's nobody better than Deuce-Deuce:

As a San Diego Padres fan, this post might be construed as heresy among some of my Friar fan brethren... but there's no denying what I feel in my heart.  Clayton Kershaw is a beast and I enjoy watching him pitch.

Another National League West left-handed rival that I can't help but admire is San Francisco's Mad Bum:

He's not quite at Kershaw's level on the mound (then again... who is?)... but at the plate there are few pitchers who rival his bat.  Earlier in the year, he became only the second pitcher in MLB history to hit two grand slams in one season.

I'll wrap things up with another young lefty who has dominated hitters this season... only this time it's an American League pitcher:

This season The Condor has soared to elite status in terms of left-handed pitching.  It's a shame he doesn't receive the same kind of run support as Kershaw and Bumgarner.

If you're wondering why Jon Lester, David Price, Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee are missing from this post... it's because I haven't acquired their autographs.  Yet.

But as soon as I pick up a few more... I'll be sure to unveil one of my latest cardboard projects.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!