Saturday, September 27, 2008

Card Show Reunion

A couple of weekends ago I went to a sports cards show for the first time in 15 years. Rather than form coherent sentences and thoughts here, I'll just break things down into positives and negatives:

  • Not every table was full of slabs of graded cards
  • Bargain boxes of singles and junk labelled by price (10 cent box, 50 cent box, $1 box, etc.)
  • The ability to see what you're buying, which is rare these days when retail packs and eBay are my main options
  • A good mix of baseball, football and basketball (though apparently hockey was poorly represented)
  • The smell of desperation in the air
  • A serious lack of packs - seriously, only like two tables out of 30+ had any packs at all. Some had boxes for sale, but one of my favorite things about going to shows back in the proverbial day was coming home with a big bag full of random packs. Instead, I ended up with a rather pedestrian Allen & Ginter hobby pack just for something to open. (This did prompt me to visit 4 big box stores later that day before finally finding an Allen & Ginter blaster, the most recent one I posted about here.)
  • Dealers packing up for the day at like 1:30 PM when the show is scheduled to go until 4:00 or 5:00 or something. These guys sit there looking all forlorn and desperate for your hard earned cash and then can't even stick it out for the full show for some reason.

From a 50 cent box, I picked up a couple of Albert Pujols Chrome insert cards, the Rick Ankiel 2001 Fleer Tradition card from above, a couple of Lou Brock cards from the late '70s (one I already had a copy of, but I decided to rescue it), plus the next few cards below.

One guy was selling loose Starting Lineup figures out of a tub for 50 cents each, including the cards (or any cards really) as a throw-in. I ended up with a Gregg Jefferies figure that may or may not match the card (the figure has Jefferies in a navy blue batting practice jersey that I'm fairly certain was only used in the early-to-mid 90's while the card has him in a home uni.) I also ended up with a Jim Edmonds card and another figure that is going to be a surprise gift for a friend.

1972 Topps Red Schoendienst - This one has a slight crease near the top, but I don't care.

1974 Topps Jim Hunter / Rick Wise All-Stars - This was a nice find. I was somewhat oblivious to the fact that Rick Wise was ever a Cardinal. He threw 20 CGs in 1972, yet somehow did not make the All-Star team that year. Times were different, man!

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter Chris Carpenter Mini A&G Back - I'm not sure how much I paid for this, but I know it wasn't much. Ditto for a Chris Duncan 2008 Goudey. I need the rest of the Cardinals from the 2008 Goudey set so I can convince myself that I do not need to buy any packs.

10 Cent cards! I ended up with 25 in total, but I easily could have spent another hour or two digging through boxes and buying more. These all ended up being from the mid-to-late 90s and in nearly every case the card designs were gaudy, awful and mostly unfamiliar to me, which made it all the more fun.

1996 Topps John Frascatore - This must have been the year Topps discovered Photoshop. Here they take a perfectly simple and clean design and ruin it by cropping a section of the player's face, taking most of the color out of it and then stretching it to make it look "extreme." It just looks awful.

1997 Pinnacle Alan Benes - Agh! The gold foil! It blinds!

1996 Zenith Brian Jordan - A very serious Jordan in front of a row of 9 or 10 golden glowing bats.
1997 Select Ron Gant - The red foil Cardinals logo is not so hot.

1996 Pinnacle Summit Gary Gaetti - Gaetti looks like he's busting out of Baseball Card Jail and is happy about it. Gaetti and Gant were the sluggers on the '96 team that got its collective throats ripped out by the Braves in the NLCS in the year that brought me back to baseball after two strike-affected seasons where I completely stopped caring.

1998 Circa Thunder Matt Morris - This is what happens when you let a small child and a pro wrestling fan design a card. Actually, it's really not so bad, except for the random scribble design. What I want to know is, what made all these companies go and design cards without natural backgrounds? Man, 1990-91 Skybox basketball was cool, but it wasn't THAT cool.

1997 Circa Dmitri Young - There is a battle going on here, between the cartoonish, almost comic book style print of 'Da Meat Hook's last name and his physical likeness itself. To the victor goes the space on the card. Somehow they had to compromise to find room for both.

1 comment :

  1. "The smell of desperation in the air." Yes, exactly. I've gotten a whiff of that during the last few card shows I've been to.

    And I agree 100 percent on 1996 Topps. What an awful idea.


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