Sunday, March 9, 2014

Recapping my first card show since the early 90s

My first card show since 1992 is in the books! At under 10 minutes from my new house, it was hard to pass up checking it out. I gotta admit I felt like a bit of a newb, nervously bumbling around various bins and cases (Had only they known thee Best New Blogger of 2013 was in their midst, I'm sure they would have bowed at my feet, right?). But I ended up dropping a cool $23 on 19 cards. Not a haul that will make any of you seasoned show-goers jealous, but I feel good about it.

Let's check out what I brought home..

So most of these were from what seemed to be "the vintage guy" at the show. From the chatter I picked up, he's always at this show, and his inventory doesn't change a whole lot show to show. His cut off of what he dealt with was just before 1973, so I didn't make any progress with my 73 Topps goal, but that's fine because a nice reader named Mike recently let me know he's sending 100+ cards from that set my way, so I'll want to see where that leaves my needs before I go picking up much more. But anyways yeah, I figured I'd add a few random vintage cards on the cheap. I love vintage, but don't have a lot of pre-late-60s cards in my collection as it stands.

I didn't own any 1950 Bowman cards, and now I do! This one is in rough condition, and not a player I knew of, but for a buck, I was happy to give it a good home.

So who is this guy? Well, Ray (Rae) Scarborough was an All-Star that year. Went on to get a ring with the Yankees in '52. Cool.

Another old-ass card.. I didn't own any '51 Bowman cards, and now I do! Again, not in gem mint condition, and not a well-known ballplayer, but for a buck, I'll take it.

Alex Kellner won 20 games in 1949, making the All-Star team that year. The next season he would lose 20. Them's the breaks. But yeah, neat card.

Next is the first card I picked out. It turned out to be my "splurge" of the day, the only card that cost me more than a buck.

I love the simple "Polaroid" feel of 1957 Topps and would someday like to work on putting together the set. I've already got a beat-up Mantle, so some heavy lifting is out of the way. Maybe I'll pick up a card or two now and then, but won't be a main focus for a while.

Picking up a 50s card from a Hall of Famer is always pretty cool.

Mostly, I just thumbed through the $1 vintage bins, pulling out a card here and there of guys I recognized who caught my eye.

Jimmy Piersall got some love on the blog back during the 12 Days of Christmas Cards.

I think I might have 1 or 2 other 1960 cards kicking around, but definitely not many (Oh yeah, there's a beatup Hank Aaron visible in the banner). Gotta confess, I didn't even remember what year this design was without researching it.. darn vintage cards with no copyright date or years listed in the stats.. makes it tricky if you're not that familiar with a design.

This next one is another set I don't have much from, but I at least know this is 1961 Topps on-sight.

Jim Kaat! Some weird surface issues going on, like perhaps Jim is being beamed up to the Enterprise.

Kaat is a guy I've kinda semi-collected since, as a kid, his '79 Topps card was one of the first "vintage" cards I ever added to my collection. He's gotta be a fun guy to collect, since he was around so long. (My favorite tidbit: Ted Williams came up in 1939. Julio Franco played in the majors till 2007. Jim Kaat faced them both.) Plus he was very good, but not quite HOF, so his cards aren't too expensive.

Now here's another "I don't know this player, but I don't have any cards from this vintage set, so I'm gonna grab it" instance.

I've been interested in Fleer's lone vintage issue since I can remember, but this is the first card I've added to my collection.

Glen Hobbie didn't have a very notable career. Led the NL in losses and earned runs allowed in 1960. But cool to finally own a '63 Fleer card.

Up next is the only card I grabbed that actually fits into a main PC of mine.

I've probably got a couple dozen McCovey's in my collection, but this '64 Topps is easily the oldest. Poor Leon Wagner's side is pretty flawed, but Willie came out unscathed.

It's also a bit miscut.. but for a buck, I don't mind.

The only set I picked up a bunch of cards from was 1965 Topps. I love that set, and if/when I complete '73, I tentatively plan to set my sights on '65 (we'll see if this year's Heritage set wears out the design for me and I change my mind). So I suppose I'm laying some groundwork picking up a few semi-stars from the set.

It's no Hank Aaron, but it's a start.

Easily my favorite aspect of 65 Topps are the great cartoons on the back.

Yep, Piersall makes a second appearance in my haul.

A 65 with no cartoon is always kinda sad.

This guy might be best remembered for writing an amusing book about his time in the game. I haven't read it yet, but downloaded the ebook. Looking forward to flipping through it one of these days.

There we go! Great cartoon.

A '65 Topps of a HOFer for a buck? Yes please.


For some variety, I threw in a '66.

Turk Farrell was fresh in my mind thanks to a quick mention in a recent post at Remember the Astrodome. And for whatever reason, I was compelled to add this card to my small stack.

As I said, the dealer specialized in 50s and 60s cards, but a few later-vintage cards popped up here and there.

I wavered on whether to grab this Phil Niekro or not, but as you can see, I eventually pulled the trigger on it. Like Kaat, he's another crafty guy who pitched forever with a lot of cards to hunt down.

Ok, now we're moving on to the other seller I patronized.

I picked up this Jenkins 1980 Kellogg's card for what turned out to be free. I bought five $1 cards, plus this one which was from a quarter bin. The guy threw it in free and just charged me for the 5 $1 cards. Cool.

Those dollar cards? Five Marshall Faulk rookies..

The guy had a bunch of Faulk rookies and I picked out the ones I needed that featured him in a San Diego State Aztecs uni (though all but one of these has the text/logos airbrushed out), since that's my alma mater and I get a little swell of college pride out of these cards. I'm not a big college sports fan at all, and my hometown colleges aren't often a factor in the sports world (hey, I get it; it's San Diego, why bother practicing when you could relax in the sun? I blame the beautiful weather for the lack of championships for the city), but Faulk was a rare notable player to come out of the SD college ranks, so he's got himself a place in my heart/collection.

So yep, that wraps up my first card show in over 2 decades. I probably prefer card shopping from the comfort of home online, where I can research prices and take time to think about what I want rather than just make impulse buys. But still, it was fun and not a bad deal. With more experience and confidence, maybe I'll get better at sniffing out killer deals and making offers instead of just paying whatever. They do this show almost every month, and again, at just 10 minutes from me, it's a good way to kill a couple hours on a weekend, so I expect to be back in the future.


  1. That Mazeroski is pretty dang sweet for a buck! Nice haul.

  2. Love the Piersalls! And although I'm partial to any Hoyt Wilhelms, his '57 is one of my favorites.

  3. Nothing beats a first card show. All the dealers are new and their inventory feels fresh. If your area is like mine, the next time you go you'll see 95% of the same cards. The missing 5% will include every card you wanted to buy but were holding out for.

  4. First off, those are some rather nice pick-ups. I'm glad you had a great time at your first card show in some time.

    However, I have to take umbrage with your comment about "I'm not a big college sports fan at all, and my hometown colleges aren't often a factor in the sports world." Are you kidding me, San Diego State basketball was 5th ranked in the nation earlier this year and won the Mountain West title with a 16-2 conference and 27-3 overall record. Since Steve Fisher began coaching Aztecs basketball, he's been the darling of Montezuma Mesa.

    Now that I think about it, Tony Gwynn has the baseball team 11-4 overall and 4-2 in the Mountain West.

  5. After going to my first show last summer I love them now. There was one here Saturday a week ago but I had to work. Pretty disappointed I couldn't go cause the next one won't be till July.

  6. Cool card show purchases. Love the 65T's... and the Fergie Kellogg's card.

  7. I feel extremely stupid for not knowing that Wilhelm pitched for the Cardinals at one point. Now I really want that card, even though it's clearly airbrushed.

    This probably happens everyone, but I do really like that many of the dealers at that show offer up discounts without even to really have to ask. I usually gravitate towards the nickel and dime boxes, but sometimes more expensive things catch my eye. I had grand plans to go to that show but ended up spending my usual card show budget on Blazers tickets earlier in the month and just couldn't justify it.

  8. Great pick ups. Always like killing a few hours at a show. You have to read Ball Four. Great book. Have some more 73' to send your way. Will check your list again after you

  9. looks like you got some nice pick ups at the show. i've been going to these same shows for a few years now and they tend to be better at the start of baseball season and through summer but taper off near the end of the year...although it's always the same group of guys most manage to bring new items. if you develop a good relationship with them, they can definitely search out cards for your collection. the cedar hills shows are decent as well, but not as populated by the vendors. maybe i will see you at one of the shows.