30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Collector, the Vendors, and the Card Show

If you live near the San Francisco Bay Area, then I encourage you to check out the Serramonte Mall Card Show. It's actually a collectibles show that's held three times a year: January, June, & September.

The June show was held this past weekend and it didn't disappoint. It featured everything from unopened wax, singles, toys, posters, non-sports, movies, and a bunch of other stuff.

Here's a snapshot of what I picked up:

Purchase #1: Routine Max Dime Box Purchase $13


It's been almost two months since I've seen Max, so it was nice to see his dime boxes were reloaded with goodies. An even nicer surprise was seeing his new "75 cards for $5" pricing.


In addition to the 75 singles, I also picked up three of his dollar bin autographs/memorabilia cards and another box of 2009 World's Greatest Chase. I picked up two boxes from him last time and ended up calling myself a "buffoon", so I guess I have no right to complain when I pull a bunch of non-sport junk wax.


I offered to help Max advertise his next show at the Southland Mall in Hayward from July 6th to July 8th.


Purchase #2: Two Sets of 2010-11 Panini All-Goalies $10


I usually walk past the vendors who carry unopened boxes, because I'm not big on busting newer products. But I was bored and figured I might find a cheap $15 box to bust. Well, I didn't find any $15 (non retail) boxes. But I did find these $5 sets. Each of these factory sets contains the 100 card set, 6 parallels, and a memorabilia card. I'm giving one of the sets to my nephew. I'll bust the other one on a future post and give it away in this contest.


Purchase #3: 1970 Topps #189 Thurman Munson RC $30


I had no intention of spending this much on a single card at the show. However, I needed this card for my Thurman Munson Project and absolutely loved the condition. After some negotiating we settled on the $30 price... which seemed pretty reasonable.


Purchase #4: 1992 Skybox USA Wax Box $20


It's been almost 20 years since The Dream Team won the gold medal in men's basketball at the 1992 Summer Olympics. It's arguably the greatest basketball team ever assembled and this product commemorates the team. As soon as I saw it at the show, I wanted it. And after a quick eBay search to see if $20 was a reasonable price, I snatched it up. Stayed tuned for a future box busting post.


Purchase #5: 2008 Max Factory Figma Chunichi Dragons Mascot Figure $5


If you follow this blog on a regular basis, then you know I love collecting Japanese baseball cards. Well... with the addition of this figure, I'm now collecting Japanese figures too. The Chunichi Dragons were the 2007 Japan Series Champions, a team that featured Kosuke Fukudome and Kenshin Kawakami.


Purchase #6: 2011 Cryptozoic The Walking Dead: Season One Set $10


I kicked myself for not grabbing this set at the last show for $5 and wasn't going to let this opportunity pass me by again. I'm counting the months until the third season starts.


Purchase #7: Jerry Rice Jersey Cards $15


Did I pay too much? Maybe. But what I like about these cards is that they're all from an era when memorabilia cards still had respectable COA's and were pretty tough pulls.

Both of the Upper Deck cards specifically state that the swatch is from a jersey worn by Jerry Rice in an official NFL game and were inserted into one out of every 144 packs. And although Topps' COA is non-existent, at least this card was a tough pull. Collectors found these Gallery Heritage Relics at a rate of 1:211 packs (less than 1 per 8 boxes).

Add that to the fact that Jerry Rice is one of the greatest to play the game and I'm content with my purchase.


Purchase #8: 1998 Kenner "Collector Club" SLU Ted Williams $4


I can't resist purchasing these damn figures. The vendor was selling his figures for 3/$10 or individually for $4. I'm a huge bargain shopper who wants the best deal, but I couldn't find anything else of interest.


No biggie... I'm a huge fan of 90's SLU Convention and Collector's Club pieces and will pay $4 all day long for figures I don't already own.


Purchase #9: Michael Jordan Baseball Cards $1


In last week's Cheap, Cool Cards post, bobjah mentioned Michael Jordan baseball cards. I already have a few in my collection, but figured it couldn't hurt to add a few more at 33¢ each.

Okay... there's my long-winded card show recap. Now, I'll pass it off to you.

In your opinion... what were my best and worst purchases?

1 point - Leave your responses below.
2 points - Leave your responses below with an explanation for your choices.

Don't worry about hurting my feelings... I realize that my collecting tastes aren't shared with everyone.

I look forward to reading your responses. Responses for this post will be accepted until Friday at 3pm (PST). Thanks again to all of you who have chosen to participate in my contest.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

54 comments:

  1. Hard to go wrong with the dime box haul! Especially for 75 for $5. I'd go with that. After that, the Munson because I want that card sooooo bad!

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    1. I was pretty happy with those vintage finds in the dime box (or should I say 6.6¢ box. As for the Munson... it was hard to drop a 30spot on him, but the condition was too nice to pass up.

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  2. Walking Dead? WTH? TV show? Sounds like an Astros team set! That's the worst purchase. Maybe ever. By anyone.

    Best purchase? Munson rookie. Looks like a nice one and $30 isn't unreasonable for one of those. That just edges out the Chunichi Dragons figure. I dig Japanese baseball cards. That's a cool novelty.

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    1. I'm just raggin' on you Fugi. If you like the Walking Dead thing, it's cool. Sort of. ;-)

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    2. LOL... wait to you see my A-Team sticker purchase ;-)

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  3. I wouldn't say it was a bad purchase, but I'd say the least interesting one was the "Walking Dead" set, only because I've never seen that show.

    As you might guess from the title of my blog, I think your dime box purchases were the best ones. The '78 Bench is an absolute steal for a dime, I don't think I've ever found a Bench card from his playing days in a dime box.

    Great haul!

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    1. You have to go check out that show... it's awesome! I should state that the Bench is in pretty bad shape, but that's probably why it's in the dime box. The condition doesn't bother me at that price though ;-)

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  4. I would say the cards from the 75 for $5 are the best score, there are some beauties in the ones you showed.

    I think 2009 World's Greatest Chase is probably the least of the bunch, they always have crap in them but we still fall for it now and again.

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    1. Yeah... I have no idea why I picked up that damn box. I guess I'm hoping for a vintage Star Wars pack or something else that's pretty cool.

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  5. toss up on the 75 for $5... but I'll go with the '70 Munson as your best purchase. Being able to knock of a vintage rookie in greta shape of your favourite player is always a great purchase. Congrats on that one.

    worst???? uh.... go with the 1992 basketball wax for $20. That stuff is everywhere, usually being used for packing materials or insulation... One I would've definitely left behind.

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    1. I might just use those 1992 USA commons for insulation... but hopefully I pull that plastic insert card from that box. That's the main reason I purchased it... crossing my fingers.

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  6. Best: The dime box selections. Pretty much the only thing you got there that I could see myself buying. In fact, I have a bunch of those cards!

    Worst: World's Greatest Chase. Ugh. I've seen so much ugly come out of those boxes that it's scared me off from ever buying one.

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    1. I pulled absolutely nothing worth keeping from my first two boxes of World's Greatest Chase... but something inside me just couldn't resist picking up another one.

      Thank goodness, I don't do drugs.

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  7. I actually think the Rices were a good deal. I;d call that best.

    Worst...basketball. The cards don't do anything for me and I probably would've spent it on more dime box stuff.

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    1. I'm pretty stoked to add those Rices to the PC... and like I posted above, the main card I want from the USA basketball is the plastic card. If I pull it, I'll be happy. If I don't, I'll hopefully build the set at least and give away the singles to my students.

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  8. The best? Clearly the Ted Williams SLU. Wish I had one.

    The worst? Spending $30 on a card with not one, but TWO Yankees on it!

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    1. You wouldn't happen to be a Red Sox fan? LOL... I feel ya! I'm the furthest thing from a Yankees fan... but there's something about Munson that just says "bad ass".

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  9. Worst: I'd have to say the Walking Dead card set, just because I think all of the other purchases were pretty good. It lost by default.

    Best: The Dragons Mascot figure. It's not something you come across everyday and it's a good conversation piece.

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    1. The toy company that makes the Dragons figure has a few others, but they sell for a decent dime on eBay. Not sure why this particular figure is so reasonably priced.

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  10. Love the Chunichi Dragons figure.... unique wins every time!

    As for the worst, I'd lean towards the Dream Team.

    If you pull a Thomas McCollum Up Close parallel from the All Goalies, I'd love a shot at it.

    And long live The Walking Dead!

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    1. I busted open my set last night... damn it sure is nice. Unfortunately, I didn't pull a McCollum. I'll post what I found in an upcoming post.

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  11. Tie for the best would be the Jerry Rice Jersey cards and the Munson

    Worst - Worlds Greatest Card chase, got a couple of those myself and found them to be pretty useless to me.

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    1. Yeah... I need to go to counseling if I ever buy another box of that crap.

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  12. that Teddy Ballgame SL is pretty friggin' sweet and any time you can get 75 cards for $5 you're doing ok. You probably overpaid for the Rice cards, but its San Francisco, so that is to be expected.

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    1. Yeah... you can find cheaper Rice cards on eBay. But I liked these particular ones, because they come from older products.

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  13. BEST PURCHASE: A tie, between the Jerry Rice Relics and the Munson RC.

    An Abe Lincoln Vampire Slayer per Rice Relic is a great deal, considering he's arguably the best football player ever, and not just the best wide receiver ever. And as you mentioned, expansive COAs are always an appreciated touch.

    The Munson books (for whatever that might be worth) at a c-note, with the cheapest on COMC being 30 clams. You got one in fantastic condition that you could hold before buying, allowing you to really make an educated decision on whether or not to pick it up. And the price was swell, the cherry on top.

    WORST PURCHASE: The Great Chase Blaster.

    I picked one up once upon a time for full-price at Target.

    Worst. Decision. Ever.

    I should have avoided the chase entirely and bought something vintage for more money just to ensure I got it instead of five minutes spent busting wax I'll never get back.

    ----------------------

    All in all, I'd say you made out pretty well, hitting multiple areas of your collection. Congrats Fuji!

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    1. You bring up a good point about the Munson. The guy let me compare it to several of his other 1970 Topps cards to make sure it wasn't trimmed. That really was the thing that sealed the deal.

      Yeah... it's hard to argue with your points on The Great Chase blaster.

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  14. Best: The two Hockey boxes! I would have picked up all of them if I was there! haha

    Worst: I would have to say the Jordan Baseball cards. Not a big fan of them. And the worlds greatest chase.

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    1. Are you crazy? Not a fan of baseball cards featuring the greatest basketball player of all-time? Wait... okay, I sort of see your point... LOL.

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  15. First of all, no bad purchases, it's your money and your choice.

    IMHO

    Best Ted Williams $4 anything Williams for under $5 is a good buy.
    Worst Walking Dead $10, if you'd have bought them earlier for a $5 maybe but there's alot of other nice things you can buy for $10

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    1. Yeah... The Walking Dead set was an impulse purchase. I picked it up because I didn't want to risk it going up any further. Boxes on the secondary market are insane, because of the relics and autographs.

      The actual 81 card base set sell regularly on eBay for $12.50 to $25.

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  16. Easy to pick the Munson for the best as I've just added the McFarlane Munson to my humble little collection at work. At least until I saw the Mascot figure, Mascots are, by far, the coolest items one could ever produce. I've got Dayf's Phanatic Birthday painting as my wallpaper at work now. I've always like the Phillies mascot just for the crazy stuff he pulls off at the park, and watching Riptide at the games here in Norfolk is always a blast as well. My favorite non-baseball mascot is Lucky Dog, for Aarron's Furniture, as well as MWR Racing.

    As for the worst, it's easy to pick the football cards for worst, since I view the entire NFL season as that annoying time between baseball seasons when Sunday night T.V. gets screwed up. Except for the Jerry Rice jersey cards, those 49ers maroon jerseys really make those cards pop. That Championship Threads card just screams for an autograph though.

    Though in my absolute opinion, the worst purchase (and I totally agree with you on this) was the Star Trek Trading Card Lot for $15 (http://sanjosefuji.blogspot.com/2011/09/another-month-another-card-show.html). You way overpaid for that particular box. I loved the entire S.T. franchise but they went way overboard with the different sets back then, and $15 for the hologram was outrageous, I could have sold you one of those for $14.50!!

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    1. Have you checked out my Japanese mascot cards?

      http://sanjosefuji.blogspot.com/2012/03/pc-addition-japanese-trading-cards.html

      I'm glad there's another mascot fan out there.

      Growing up, I was more of a baseball fan... but these days, if I could only watch one sport, it'd be football. It's just more exciting and action packed.

      Last, but not least... I know I overpaid for the ST lot. But I'm not complaining... I LOVE that ST hologram card. Heck... I love hologram cards in general.

      BTW... great detailed response. Love the fact that you linked a past post of mine. Extra credit for you!

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  17. I'm going to have a tie between the best. The Munson RC for obvious reasons is the best, but 1A would be the Skybox Dream Team cards. After just watching the documentary and fully remembering how awesome they were, documenting this in cardboard is sweet. If you pull a few dupes, I'd love to trade for them.

    Worst: Ted Williams SLU. I feel like being anti-Red Sox today, and when you put SLU's up against McFarlanes, it's comical how bad they are. But I wouldn't trade my Dream Team boxed set of SLU's for anything...so I'm clearly a hypocrite. Anything Red Sox for $4 is $4 too much. Now I feel better.

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    1. Finally... someone who can appreciate the Dream Team cards. I'll definitely be building the set and the dupes are yours. I really do hope I pull the plastic card!

      Yeah, McFarlanes are 10x nicer than SLU's... but for me SLU's are a huge part of my early collecting days (which is why I still collect them).

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  18. Best: Munson, though the dime box cards look nice too. But have to go with the Munson RC, even if everytime I look at it all I can think of is how much nicer the '71 Munson is.

    Worst: Lot to choose from with many worthy options. I'll go with the the Walking Dead set. Chances are that ends up in someones trash can eventually.

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    1. Yeah... that 1971 Topps Munson is a beauty.

      As for The Walking Dead set ending up in my trash can... only after I'm 6 feet under.

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  19. ok fuji, the best was those 75 cards for $5 bucks. yes, because of the great value, and yes, because it looks like there was alot of vintage to choose from...but it's the best because you GOT to choose. you had the fun of the hunt.

    that would be big fun sifting through those cards. next time you get stuck at 73 cards and dont know what to choose, grab an extra johnny bench for a trade with me !

    the worst..its a close tie between the RC munson and the walking dead. i have my own mini collection of munson, but it seems $30 is too large to pay living in our trading-sphere. that said, RC munson is awesome and the condition of the card is great.

    that leaves the walking dead. i hadda choose something, right ?

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    1. You can't put a price on the entertainment I received from sifting through those dime boxes. It's simply therapeutic and relaxing.

      As for the Bench... it should be noted that there's a lot of wear & tear on that card. But that's okay with me... it gives the card character.

      The Munson sort of fits two collections. I like collecting rookie cards in high grades and although this card is far from gem mint, I don't have a problem adding it into my vintage rookie card collection.

      It also fits into my Topps Munson project, which condition is of little concern. So, I was a little torn on paying that much... but it's almost a week later and I still have no regrets.

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  20. The best, in my mind, is the lot through Max's dime box. He always has awesome stuff there, and I loved spending about an hour every show sifting through that thing! I would have totally grabbed those vintage cards too.

    Worst for me is the Worlds Greatest Chase box. Unless you got it for $1, which then makes it fun. There's just too much crap in those things!

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    1. Hey Ryan... you should have seen Max's vintage box. He had 5,000 cards from the 70's. If my legs didn't start to get sore, I would have spent more time on the box. I ended up taking a break, but every time I went back to his table... there were people sifting through the box.

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  21. Wow this is tough.

    Best: DAT DIME BOX. I'd punch a kitten in the face for a dime box with vintage Johnny Benches in it.

    Worst: I dunno about this one. Each one of your purchases I would have done myself or at least can understand why you did it. I almost chose the Jordan cards because I don't like Mike, but I can't dis on a Harry Caray card. I guess the '92 Skybox box because that is the only thing in the post I can't see myself pulling the trigger on myself in any circumstance.

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    1. You never cease to entertain me.

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  22. Best: Dream Team. As a pre-teen just getting into sports in 1992, it felt pretty amazing to see that team dominate in the Olympics.

    Worst: I'll be a jealous Rams fan and say Jerry Rice, because everything here is pretty cool.

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    1. Woo hooo... another dream team fan!

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  23. The Munson is probably the best, but my favourite is MJ playing baseball and golfing. As to the worst, well, I collected Welcome Back Kotter cards which I use as launch points to blog about life, so I am not someone to pass judgement.

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    1. Welcome Back Kotter cards? I need some of those!

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  24. Greetings! Nice to see that another poster commented on Jordan baseball. Worst purchase is the Chase box. Too much blah for too much money. I would have used those funds for the dime box purchase. The best purchase would be either the Starting Line Up or the Jordan cards, just because of the price you paid for them.

    As for the Walking Dead, $10's a little too high for a season set. $5 - $7 for a season set was the most I'd drop on a Star Trek or X-Files set back in the day. Still, if you're a fan of the show (have yet to see it), I understand the motivation for getting it.

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  25. Best: The 75 for $5 is awesome. If I brought $100 to a show and the guy had enough cards, I'd spend it all getting 1500 of those cards.

    Worst: probably the Greatest Chase because I've had a few of those and they were awful.

    The Walking Dead is a great show by the way!

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    1. I'm glad to see another The Walking Dead fan. If I have any regrets, it's not spending more time sifting through those vintage cards. Oh... and buying that damn Greatest Chase box.

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  26. I'm going to base my response on price. How well do it compare to purchasing these items using other venues. If I based it on personal value, I would always pick the Munson.

    A bargain - the best of the bunch.

    First place goes to the Jerry Rice cards. The value of Rice relic cards is still strong. You would probably pay $15 for one of the relics anywhere else.

    The Ted Williams Starting Lineup, if you intend to keep it boxed, is a really good deal. At $3, it might have beaten out the Jerry Rice cards base on percentages.

    Then comes the All Goalies sets. These still command between $7 and $10 sealed.

    The Figma Chunichi Dragons is probably a 25 - 30% savings.

    Right on target - The items you could purchase elsewhere for the same price.

    Routine Max Dime Box.
    1992 Skybox USA.
    Jordan cards.

    Could have done better.

    The Thurman Munson, which kills me. I know you said you love the condition, but I'm not sure how well this would grade. I see some printing errors (the white circles) and some other minor issues. Even at $30 it is tough to judge and can be found elsewhere for less.

    But the worst deal is probably The Walking Dead cards are extremely popular and because of that they seem to be readily available. You didn't overpay by much but you didn't get a bargain.

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    1. Yeah... I'm sure I could have found a higher condition Munson for $30... but I don't usually buy vintage stuff online unless it's graded.

      I ended up pulling the trigger on this particular Munson, because I was able to hold it in my hand and compare it to other cards to be sure it wasn't trimmed or tampered with.

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  27. Contest entries for this particular post are now closed... thank you to everyone who participated.

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  28. Challenges always attracts me as they provide chance to show skills....

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