Card Show Report: Size Matters Not
If you're expecting me to report on any Star Wars pick-ups, you're going to be disappointed. Today I went to my first card show in about eight years. It's been a while. Living in northern in a place where the population can be fit in a single movie theatre means few shows to check out. Even now, having moved to a place that's big enough for a Walmart and a handful of Tim Horton's, I still have trouble finding local shows. Today, I was in luck.
Don't get me wrong, I went there with no expectations. This is hockey country and I'm not terribly interested in a lot of the newer hockey stuff. The stuff I'd be interested in wasn't in my budget. I approached the show hoping to find one table with a box of baseball stuff I could dig through. Anything beyond that would have been a bonus. As I mentioned to someone on Twitter right before I left, I went with the same expectations I try to have with Hollywood movies - low. That way things can only be better. Today, they were. And even with a strict budget of $20, I was able to bring home a trio of treasures.
Entering the hall, I immediately saw the eclectic mix this "card show" was going to offer. The first tables that greeted you as soon as you walked in the door had more toys and comics than they did cards. That's cool. I like looking at those things too. The room had about 20 tables. Most were cards or had mostly cards, but there was also some unexpected things like dishes, dolls and even a couple of dealers with West Coast aboriginal art.
Ever since my first card show, my routine has been pretty much the same. Quickly go to every table, scan items, get a handle for the prices (if there are any) then make a second trip to start buying. This was especially important with the small budget. If I got too excited, I could have been done in a couple of minutes.
As expected, there was lots of hockey. Not much wax, but lots of singles. Canucks, Upper Deck Young Guns and a nice amount of vintage (and by vintage, I mean old). The biggest surprise was the love in the room for In the Game products. They were very prominent with the modern card sellers.
Three tables had baseball. Two had prices on half the cards and half without. I hate this. I want to know how much a dealer wants. The third dealer simply had a few baseball cards mixed in with everything else. He also had some gorgeous 1952 Topps Baseball just lying loose on top, no protection or anything. And by gorgeous, I mean near mint. I didn't even ask about them because I thought they might have been reprints. But after chatting with him for a bit, I knew they weren't but I also knew that he wasn't going to let them go cheaply. One card he had that I really wanted to grab was a Rickey Henderson rookie. It looked very good, save for one corner that was a little dinged. Still, it was in-hand and would have been great for the set I'll eventually build. Knowing I didn't have enough today, I was curious for when the next show ran next month. When I asked, he had to "check the Beckett." I rolled my eyes a little in my head but whatever. Guess what? No Beckett. So the guy goes from table to table asking the dealers if they had one. Nope. Nope. Nope. When he came back I told him it was probably $80-100. That's what he figured too. That was about the most action I saw in the 45 minutes I was there.
I ended up buying three things today, none of which are modern. In fact, the newest of the three is from 1954. So without further ado, here's what I found:
1. Scoops 14. President McKinley Shot (Topps, 1954)
This is a set I love and find myself picking up a couple here and there on eBay. It's more or less a time travel through significant events. The front have awesome artwork and the backs are excellent, reading like mini newspapers. What caught my eye was the condition. It looks great. Even better, the price. When I asked the dealer, he said everything in the binder (which was mostly old nature-themed tobacco or tea cards) was $1.50. Sold.
2. A really beat up 1953 Topps Chuck Dressen
Yeah, it's beat up. I'll say well loved. The illustration on the front is gorgeous. The colors almost have a sepia feel to them. Amazing stuff. Knowing how pricey this set is, I honestly haven't given it a ton of attention. I paid $5 for it. Maybe a little more than I would have online considering how rough it is, but I'm very happy with it.
It's not a baseball card, but it's still AMAZING. According to the postmark, the postcard was sent in 1910 and includes the greeting, "O you kid" and the word "swell." I love the history behind it and may even try and figure out a little more of the background of the sender. We have an excellent online archives in BC that may turn something up, which will make this even cooler.
Oh yeah, there's the risque picture on the front. It's safe by today's standards but there's some seriously dirty undertones that can be read into it. Even my wife got a chuckle out of it. The dealer originally said it was $20 (no price tag) but quickly knocked it down to $10 when it was obvious I wasn't paying that much.
I am very pleased with how I made out today. I got to surround myself in a card world, see some things I hadn't seen in person and added a couple of items to my collection. I really could care less about what they're "worth." Each caught my attention for their own reason. And at $16.50, they're likely more interesting than anything I would have pulled if I spent the same amount on a couple of packs instead.
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