Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Post Christmas Card Show Pt. 1

I could not complain in how to end my extended work break through the holidays by taking in my local card show.  This is an old-time,-host-in-a Holiday-Inn-conference-room,-card show.  The show brings in the same dealers, whom set up in the same spots, and least 2 local sports team current or alumni player as signing guests.  Its that comfortable pair of sneakers you grow to love,  The modest $2 entry fee is accompanied with free junk wax era pack of cards, or even a free autograph from a prior show's guest.    Hell, they even truck in pizza for all the dealers at the show!!  If Norman Rockwell were to ever paint an idealistic grass roots local card show, he could be hard pressed to argue against this little scenario.   My teen year collecting buddy, and I would hit this show many a time before we found distractions that kept us from attending regularly.
When I jumped back in the hobby, this was a no-brainer, only 30 minutes away.  Like many people.  We all have a "guy."  That dealer that you find yourself doing a majority of your business with and he always has access to whatever product you might need.  Looking for an unopened case of 1992 Leaf Series 1?? I got a guy that can get one!  
So I venture out Sunday morning at a unsightly 4:45 AM!  Yup, you read that correctly, 4:45 AM!!  The show itself does not officially start until 4 hours later, at 8:45AM, but for "my guy," his day begins at 4:30-5 AM when he arrives to set up.  Needless to say, he is rarely alone.  Several regulars are there to greet him, as well as help him lug in his stock for the opportunity to get early view at his newest stock, and for what he charges, it is well worth going up early.  Vintage cards priced at 15% of book, last month's stock, is down to 10%.  Boxes of cardboard goodness marked $3, $2, $1, $.75, $.50, $3/$1, $.20, $.10, $.07, and $.05! Every show, what did not sell, gets moved down a tier, and so on, so on and so on.  All sorts of high quality stars at common card prices.  Sure some of it is over produced, but for what you can find, there is all sorts of cool stuff.   This show, I wanted to try to fill in some of my 1970 and 1975 Topps set needs, and maybe a few 1961s.  Then it would be grazing at the boxes for bargain bin goodness.   So first the 75s.  Now sometimes it pays to be the first to go through a box of fresh new old vintage stock, I hope, to one day be that person.  In this case, the key rookies, would be snagged right before my eyes, but I still manged to walk away with a few cards that didn't set me back. 
Growing up a Red Sox fan, and a Carlton Fisk fan, meant you never liked this guy.  However, if I grew up a Yankee fan, he might have been my favorite player.  The first of the 3 temples of Nolan Ryan (The Highlight card, The League Leader card, and the player card itself. ) I am happy to get this one out of the way, but really need to find a deal on a #500.

When I was a kid, these MVP cards were not the most exciting cards.  The photos of the cards were tiny, but had some interest in just putting the sub-set together.  Today, there is legit value in these cards.  The theory of putting Mantle on any piece of cardboard and it is worth money was in full force.  These "Mini Mantle" appearances were great to get out of the way, and pay dimes on the dollar was helpful. 

 I actually prefer the vertical MVP card to the horizontal.  Then one of my favorite cards from back in the day,  elder statesman, Brooks Robinson:  This card had a cool close up of him at bat, that big white star to denote his pedigree, all things that had me buying in as a kid.  It also helped that since he played in the American League East Division,  I saw him perform a lot more frequently that the West Coast or National League contemporaries. 

1970 Topps:  I fared a bit better, though there were a few that the condition was not worth it for me as I know I would just end up upgrading it eventually.  This was the haul of the 70s:

  I never turn down a clean checklist!  I can deal with the off center, but if it was marked up, I would be irritated by that.  Though a Phillie here, Deron Johnson would end his career with the Red Sox.  In 1974, Johnson, fresh of a World Series win as a member of the Oakland A's would soon find himself picked of waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers before being sold to the Red Sox for a failed stretch drive.  The next season he signed with the Chicago White Sox, only to be reacquired by Boston when Jim Rice was lost to injury.  Needless to say, he was a black hole, but during the 1970 season, Johnson would tally 93 RBIs as well as watching the ball leave the yard 27 times.  In 1970, Reggie Jackson was not quite the straw that stirred the coffee that he would become, so he was still bowing to Harmon Killebrew in the statistical categories.  The Cepeda was a throw in.  There is paper loss on the back, but it is still a high number card.  The Rose makes the 2nd All-Star I have acquired.  These cards always made me think Pete (or whichever All-Star) was a guest on The Love Boat.   Bill Buckner will always be a polarizing figure in Boston, but this would be the start to a rather successful career in the National League with the Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs before being traded to Boston for Dennis Eckersley.  The Wagner, Royals Rooks, and Taylor card are semi high numbers.  One interesting thing is this checklist is one of several variations that are seen in the 1970 Topps set.  For this particular card, it was merely forgetting a period.  Card 226, can be found with either the player noted as R. Perranoski or without the period between the R & P.  I flipped the card over and found this...

If there was a period to begin with, there is not one now!!! The card was cropped so poorly, I can't tell if there ever was a period or not. So until I find a clearer version of this card, this will do nicely.

     The next four are part of the high number series, so I am glad to get 4 more and keep my goal of acquiring at least 2 high number  cards from this set each pay period.  There he is again, my defacto superstar, Larry Haney.  This time his standing in the card community is heightened by his placement in the final series of cards. Fryman would be an Expo by the time  I would initially be introduced to him.  Shttps://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=3197372350696149061#editor/target=post;postID=1566636673837910236eattle Team card is another tough one from the high series. That adds 13 more 1970s to the pile that will one day be the complete set.

 1961 Topps: Two things I always associate with the 60s trading card period is that 1968 cards have a high population of cards that look like they went through the ringer more often than not.  Perhaps they used a cheaper paper quality that year, or maybe that bleed pattern lends itself to showing more unsightly wear than those with white borders.  On the flip side, I see so many 1961 Topps cards in very nice shape.  I started putting aside 61s years ago and there is a working set of a couple hundred in ex-nm-mt condition that is over my mother's house. (Maris, Mantle, Mays, were all acquired at that point.)  I never know when I will see my mother, so I have no idea if I am buying duplicates with some of the common guys. 

 I snapped up this checklist in unmarked condition, and it must be my Red Sox blood that made me grab three Sawx players.Though I will say the futile airbrush job done on Carroll Hardy's hat made it a choice on this day. 

Then there is the curious case of Chuck Schilling.  Well, there is no case, he got hurt and was never the same player after his debut alongside friend and future Hall of Famer, Carl Yastrzemski.  Schilling was a spark plug right from the start, the Red Sox even moved the 1960 Batting Champion, Pete Runnels to first base to accommodate Schilling.  Schilling didn't disappoint as a rookie, he led the league at fielding percentage.  He also was not to shabby with the stick piling up 87 runs alongside 62 RBIs and 5 long balls.  The following year, Schilling got injured and was never the same player.  he was out of the league by 1966.  
Finally,  I know I did not have a lot of team cards, so this was a easy safe buy.

The Other Vintage: As I said, His vintage can be a great steal.  Snagged the following singles.

     Those rare 1968 Topps that remain in presentable condition.  Eddie Mathew's swan song year.  I always loved Joe Morgan.  he was one of the greatest second basemen I have ever seen play.   Grabbed a very clean 1968 All Star of Rod Carew, a guy that was one of the more dominating players of the 80s.  I kinda feel Carew has always been under-appreciated in the game.  This 59 Don Zimmer looked amazing and with vibrant colors  A vintage card with great color and gloss will draw me like a moth to flame.  Zim had a notorious run as Red Sox manager and eventually adversary with the New York Yankees, but his legacy in the game as a "lifer" is one to be honored.     Growing up, another one of my heroes that I never saw regularly was Dave Parker.  The guy just mashed, and he had a cannon of an arm in Right Field as well.  It was cool to snag his rookie card again.  A few 1969s  The Steve Carlton was a beauty and was glad to snag this one.   I can't use under-appreciated without bringing up Ron Santo and the rookie card of Joe Rudi.  Rudi was one of dynamic players that played on the Oakland A's dynasty teams.  I remember in 1976, Charlie Finley tried to disband his team of impending free agents by selling off his players.  For a very brief time, Joe Rudi and future Hall of Fame closer Rollie Fingers were sold to my Red Sox, while our arch-rival Yankees ponied up for ace starter Vida Blue. 

The total for my 75s, 70s, 61s and the odd lot of stars $25.  Pretty happy with that pull.  Part 2 will showcase a few oddball items I pulled out of the bargain bins.

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