Thursday, February 28, 2019

Card Show: Conclusion

I thought I had scanned up all of the dime box finds from Sunday's card show, but a few Topps baseball singles got separated from the pack.

I skipped over most of the recent Topps baseball cards since I've already got them covered in my collection. The exception was Update singles, like this James Jones from 2014. It would have been a nice addition to my post featuring 99 cards of players who wore #99.

This 2015 Topps Update single salutes Miguel Cabrera for hitting his 400th home run, which he accomplished on May 16, 2015. That was nearly four years ago. You'd think he would have hit his 500th by now.

It's always nice to find pre-rookie cards of established major leaguers, and I was excited to find this Trevor Williams card among the four or five 2015 Topps Pro Debut singles in the box. Not just because Williams was second on the Pirates in WAR last season; I started a Trevor PC a few years ago thanks to some impulse COMC shopping.

An even more exciting find was this rookie card of Cy Young award winner Blake Snell. The excitement was short lived, however. When I got home I noticed a significant ding on the bottom left corner I thought I had inspected it before buying..apparently not close enough.

Same for this Mark Trumbo card, also from 2016 Topps Update. I'm less bummed about this one, for obvious reasons.

This Anthony Rizzo emerged from the box unblemished. Most collectors despise this set, due to the smoke effect along the corners. It's far too noticeable on the Trumbo but it's not so bad here.

While Trevor Williams was impressive as Pittsburgh's #2 starter, Jameson Taillon led the rotation - and the entire roster - in WAR last year. This Wal-Mart exclusive insert depicts prospects in the Topps set design of their birth year. I have a Kyle Schwarber from this set that might have to be discarded; when cataloging my 2016 baseball cards I noticed a small crease in the left side.

1991 was also the year Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell made his major league debut. You'll notice that the Astros didn't wait three weeks to call Bags up to the bigs. Probably because there was no BS service time rule but also because the Astros wouldn't have saved anywhere near $30 million by holding him back.

There are very few singles from 2017 flagship that I actually like. Here's one of them.

I'd also like to take this time to point out a sports fan fallacy. Most of us who complain about exorbitant player salaries are not "pro-owner". I don't think I'm alone in saying this, but I'm fine with star players such as Chris Sale getting paid market value. What infuriates me as a Red Sox fan is overspending on the wrong players and/or short-sighted spending.

Boston has already closed the door on Craig Kimbrel because the payroll is maxed out on guys like David Price, Dustin Pedroia, and J.D. Martinez. Losing Sale and/or Xander Bogaerts just to keep Mookie Betts long-term would be a crushing blow. I actually hope JDM opts out after this season. He's a luxury; Sale is a necessity.

This concludes my dime box purchases (I think.)  

After finally summoning enough will power to walk away from the dime boxes I looped around to the other side of the room, where I found the 2018 Topps singles I was searching for (dime box guy didn't have any.)

This dealer had a two-row box full of flagship (and another, bigger box of Chrome) As I pulled out my checklist he felt the need to point out that these are not this year's Topps singles. I told him I knew that, and I was looking for '18 as I hadn't completed the set yet.

The cards were out of order and my wife was on her way back from a short shopping trip, so I only picked up 53 new cards. I might have made a bigger dent in my wantlist if I'd had more time.

While I had intended to focus on baseball cards at the baseball card show, this dealer's table was loaded with boxes of football singles. Lots of quality inserts and parallels. I quickly rifled through for some shiny parallels and players I collect; having much more money to spend than time was an odd feeling.

I considered a Dan Marino parallel #d/99 but put it back when I realized that the $7 asking price was more than half of what I'd spent at the dime boxes. However I didn't cheap out completely:

I was willing to pay $1.50 for this Jim Brown insert from 2017 Donruss...

$3 for this Jan Stenerud orange parallel (#d/25) from 2018 Panini Classics...

$5 for this Christian McCaffrey spectrum parallel (#d/100) from 2018 Panini Absolute...

$8 for this Brett Favre purple parallel (#d/149) from 2017 Panini Phoenix (not the best value compared to COMC prices, but still..)

...and $13 for this Brett Favre Golden Arms insert (#d/225) from 2016 Panini Black Gold. 

That's $30.50 for the five football cards and a TBD price for the 2018 Topps stack. The dealer only charged me $25 - so basically the McCaffrey and all 53 set fillers were free.

Not only that, the dealer (correctly) surmised that I was a Packers fan and offered me 50% off any Packers cards on the table because, as he said, "I know you're gonna keep them in your PC." Indeed I am. Unfortunately the selection wasn't that great at the front door-facing side of the table. Too much J'Mon Moore and Jonathan Franklin. 

I did find one more card to add to my Packers PC:

This Davante Adams Tools of the Trade relic was priced at $4, but it only cost me $2 -- which was cheaper than any of the 4 for $10 relics in the first dealer's box. 

Overall I spent a mere $40 on over 250 cards, some of which will be headed out to bloggers in the near future.  Didn't get any high-value cards, but it was a lot of fun to search through all of the boxes on both tables and find so many neat cards. 

Thanks for reading this three-part recap!



Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Set Fillers and other Dime Box Finds

Continuing with my card show haul...

One of my goals was to cross off as many 2018 Topps baseball needs as possible. In fact it was the only checklist I brought with me. I'm old school. I maintain and print my own list, because it takes up less space than a TCDB page.. and because I don't have a smart phone.

I did find a seller with these singles, but he wasn't the dime box I'll cover my purchases from him in the next post. Since I wasn't expecting to find any other set needs - especially in a dime box - I had to grab and guess. 

My eyes lit up when I saw the green and white borders of 1986 Topps Football. Some of the cards tricked me - 2013 Topps Archives cards were sprinkled in, and a handful of the '86 singles were the same Eric Dickerson card pictured above. Still, five singles was five more than I expected to find. I ended up needing the top three; Greer and the Chargers card were dupes.

I found three cards from the 1988-89 Fleer basketball set. All of them were Celtics (not a surprise considering I was in New England) The Dennis Johnson card was in bad shape so I didn't buy it. The only Hoops Decade card I found was Sam Cassell. I haven't officially started that set yet, and I haven't officially become a Bucks collector, but I'm on the verge of committing to both.

The dime boxes were loaded with Donruss. I have the complete 2015-16 basketball base set so I went right for the rookies. Of the five pictured I guessed right on two: Vaughn and Holmes. I'm now at 90.4% of the set.

I found so many 2016 Donruss football that I actually contemplated building the set on the spot. (Already had about 40% thanks to cheap retail boxes.) Instead I saved time and money by putting nearly all of them back - a smart move since I only needed Largent and Driskell.

Had I spent more time in the basketball boxes I probably could have found more '92-93 Fleer Ultra needs. I guessed right on Dee Brown and Robert Horry (who has more rings than MJ, btw) which gets me to nearly a third of the set. 

My dime box stack was packed with Prizm. I'm building thie 2014-15 set almost exclusively from extra singles Jon sent me (and there's more on the way) so I only picked out a handful. Even though I already had 105 of the 300 cards in the set, I guessed right on all seven of these.

 Some of this year's edition, including my first Kristaps Porzingis card.


More Prizm, and another die-cut jersey (John Henson.) I couldn't pass up the Ricky Rubio Crusade card; it's too shiny to sit in a dime box.


There was a nice brick of 1999-00 Topps Chrome singles in the box. Some were stuck together but they all looked crisp and clean. I found David Robinson stuck behind another card.


More basketball cards, including my first Buffalo Braves card. I picked up Raptors and retired players in case Douglas or Jon would like to claim a few. Tried looking for Michigan alums but almost completely blanked on who went there..though I managed to remember Sauce Castillo.

I didn't find quite as many Prizm football singles; the bulk of his football cards were from Donruss and Playoff Contenders sets.


Not a lot of star power in Optic, aside from Rivers and Kelce. I didn't mind, considering Optic packs are $3-4 for four cards and this is probably what I'd pull if I bought one(or two.) Thanks for saving me $7.40, Dime Box Guy.

The player selection got better with Contenders Collegiate Cards.


 As you can see, I bought a mix of stars and not-stars, most of which came from sets I like. The exception here is Jordan Reed; I overheard my coworker tell the guys in our office that she dated him in high school.

Plenty of Packers were plucked from the boxes. These were all new to me.

I was less certain about the older cards pictured here, but I guessed right on them, too. The only dupe I ended up with was a 2016 Donruss Jordy Nelson. 

Wrapping up the football haul here. The Johnson is trade bait for any Steelers fan or collector of '90s inserts hint hint. O'Leary is headed to Douglas of the Dollar Store.

There wasn't a whole lot of baseball or hockey in this 190-card stack, for two reasons. A lot of the newer cards in the boxes were from base Topps/Upper Deck sets I already had (plus a lot of overproduction-era stuff I didn't want to waste my time on.) 

The second reason I bought less baseball is because I haven't cataloged my cards yet, so I'm not as certain of what cards I have in my collection. (The OD Posey was one of my favorite finds.)

In fact I only bought three Red Sox - and I bought both Mookie Betts cards knowing I already had them. Why? Because some guy asked the dealer if he had any Aaron Judge or Mike Trout cards. Nah, they wouldn't be in here said the seller. #BettsIsBetter

When I started shuffling through the rows of hockey cards the dealer commented to me that he was glad he brought them, since he doesn't usually sell much hockey. His selection was equal to the other sports, it just wasn't stuff I needed.

I'm not even sure I needed these Devils, but I didn't want to pass 'em up. Kinda wish I'd taken a close look at his hockey cards, but my wife was waiting for me in the car and after 40 minutes I hadn't left the first table yet.

That's when I decided to stop at 190 cards, pay my $13, and work my way around to the Packers fan at the other side of the room...


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Card Show in a Bag

I filled this bag for $40.

Today's card show was a little more sparse than the one I went to last year. It seemed like there were fewer tables and fewer dealers - but the dealers had more tables and much more selection. 

I was there for an hour and a half and only bought from two dealers. Went in with $60, came out with over 250 cards..and a $20 in my wallet.  

The dealers I bought from last time were not there, as far as I could tell. I was looking for the guy who had boxes and binders full of vintage baseball. Didn't see him, so I didn't buy any vintage singles. That's the one thing on my "look for" list that I didn't get. 

Another dealer I bought from last time was a kid who had a nice dime box of recent baseball cards at 12 for $1. I ended up getting 72 cards from him for just $4. But I didn't see him, either.

The Elks Lodge shows are in one big square room. There are tables along the perimeter and tables in the middle. I started on the right side of the middle tables. All of them were run by a guy wearing a Kansas City Chiefs hoodie. His boxes were as follows: 5 for $1, 4 for $10, and 15 for $1. 

The first two boxes were being picked through when I arrived, but his dime boxes were wide open. There must have been at least eight of them, with rows of cards from all years, brands, and sports. I'll show off those spoils throughout the week. 

After a while the dollar box raiders left and I got a look. The 4 for $10 boxes were lower-end relics and autos. I picked out six, carried them with me as I did my dime box digging, and decided to put them back when the dealer wasn't looking (I hope he doesn't think I stole them.)  None of the six cards fit my collection, and I couldn't justify spending that much on a handful of "hits" when I could get 150 dime box singles for the same price.

I'd searched and searched and searched all but one of those dime boxes. One of the things I was looking for was Prizm parallels. Unfortunately (for Jon at least) the only ones in the dime boxes were hockey:

There were a couple more in the quarter box. I wasn't thrilled with the selection there (probably cleaned out by the guys ahead of me) but I found a dollar's worth:

The Zito, Sefarian-Jenkins, and Mirotic were bought with bloggers in mind, so if anyone wants them, let me know. I like the KCP a lot so I'll probably keep that one.

I joined Kerry's Guilt-Free Basketball Card Club so I picked these up with him in mind. If he doesn't need them I'll probably keep them.

These dime boxes had a ton of the big four sports..and also some tennis, golf, and soccer. I searched for some Kylian Mbappe but came up empty. Got these three instead, mostly because there aren't many soccer stars I've heard of (passed on a Paul Pogba because it was in the 5/$1 box and it was the sixth card.) 

Most of the 190 cards I bought in the dime boxes were new..but there was a handful of '80s issues in there. Phegley in particular is super sharp. However the Bernie Nicholls has a dented left edge and a tiny crease at the bottom. I swear I didn't see notice these flaws until I scanned it :/

One more batch for's a little bit of baseball bait. 

The Danny Duffy snow camo (#d/99) was one of the few numbered parallels I found in he dime boxes. 

I'll have more cards to show off once I scan 'em up and log 'em in on TCDB. 


Friday, February 22, 2019

Post 222

It looks like I'll be going to a card show in Connecticut this Sunday. I'll be on the lookout for dime boxes, set fillers, vintage, and some return fire for bloggers:
  • Raptors, Senators and 2/14-born players for Douglas
  • Prizm shiny and Panini Classics greats for Jon
  • Cardinals and Trail Blazers for Kerry 
  • and something for Shane, who sent me a nice PWE a short time ago:

I claimed this sharp looking Ken Lehman from Shane because he had a dupe. The rest were all surprise returns for a few buybacks I sent him:

Shane and I are both New Englanders and grew up Whalers fans, so we often end up with each other's dupes. My Whalers collection isn't cataloged yet (and my card room is a mess right now) but I think that these are all needs except the Propp.

The rest of the cards were all Red Sox, another fandom Shane and I share.

I didn't have any of these cards. The Valentin pairs nicely with my Jeff Bagwell card from the same set.

Johnny Damon was one of my favorite "idiots"..but I was naive to get too attached. Like most players, he went where the money was. It's too bad because Boston loved the guy.

A near team set of 2018 Stadium Club. I had all the horizontal cards already but I don't mind dupes of these beauties. With the addition of Bradley and Betts I'm only missing the Rafael Devers RC.

Shane, thanks very much for the great cards! If I see any more buybacks I'll send them along. Failing that, perhaps I'll pick up a Kylian Mbappe or something.

This is my 222nd post (and it just happens to be February 22nd) so here are two cards of retired tough guy Jordin Tootoo:

Have a great weekend everyone!