Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Card Collecting in Overtime

I don't live far from Salt Lake City.  I'm in the Valley in 10 minutes and downtown in less than a half-hour.  Even so, I'm far more likely to drive 30 minutes south into the heart of Provo than into Salt Lake.  I think it's mostly because I grew up in a small town, and I'm far more comfortable with Utah County's 600,000 people than I am with Salt Lake County's 1.5 million.  When I'm in Salt Lake, it's always to and from my destination with no messing around.  Last week, though, I had a conference in Downtown Salt Lake, so I made my way north.  Toward mid-afternoon, I found myself with a little extra time on my hands, so I tracked down the card shop that I knew was there in Midvale but had never visited.

Overtime Cards was a treat.  I found a dime box and made myself at home for a while, picking out cards I needed for my various collections.  Dime boxes are unheard of in these parts, even at card shows, I was ecstatic.  As I was digging, I came across an oddity that I had never seen before.

This is a 1998 Skybox Thurman Thomas.  But what is that marking under the Skybox logo in the top left?  I set it aside and when I had my stack ready to buy, I asked Heidi, the proprietor, about it.  She said she had never known what it was either and had finally concluded that it was some kind of mis-stamped card.  I decided that it was unique, at any rate, and put in with my pile.  It sparked a great conversation, and I learned that Heidi has been in the card shop business for somewhere around 30 years, which is about as long as I have been collecting.  We talked about the changes she had seen in the hobby and her perspective as a dealer.  It was a fascinating conversation for me.  When I mentioned that I had stopped collecting in the late 90s, only to pick it up again about 15 years later, she said that she heard that story quite often.  I told her about my blog and shared that it's also a common story amongst us bloggers--we all have a dark spot in our collection, and it usually coincides with the first decade of the 2000s.  That piqued her interest, so I shared a little about our blogging community.  The conversation alone was enough for me to go back.  I've never experienced that at other card shops.

Oh, and the Thurman Thomas card?  It turns out it's an oddball that could be obtained from Fleet Farm.  According to Wikipedia, Fleet Farm is a retail chain with 37 stores in the Midwest.  I'd never heard of it, but that stamp is the Fleet Farm logo.  I'm glad I grabbed it when I did.  There some other gems in the box, too.

Like vintage football!  Granted, these cards are in pretty rough shape.  All of the 1977s I picked out had the same "MK" marked in red pen.  You can see the scuffing on Ken Stabler and Franco Harris.  But still, vintage Hall of Famers in a dime box?  I didn't even question these well-loved cards.  The 1977 Lee Roy Selmon is a rookie, to boot.  I've almost picked that card up on COMC before, but I can handle this copy.

More from the same 1976 and 1977 sets, this time in Packer green and gold.

It wasn't all old and beat up, though.  Oh no, there was plenty of shiny, too.  These cards represent sets that were missing completely from my collection.  All except Troy Aikman fit into my All-Decade collection.

I should have scanned the Lee Roy Selmon rookie with these two.  That makes three Hall of Fame rookies I snagged from the box.  Yes, I'm counting Tony Gonzalez as a Hall of Famer in his first year of eligibility.  Book it.  1989 Score rookies are the premiere rookies of possibly the greatest draft class ever.  This card has some bent corners, but this copy is good enough for me.

More Packers, this time of the late 90s variety.  This marks my first Doug Pederson card.  He didn't play much for the Pack, but he did win a Super Bowl as a coach last year.  The Dorsey Levens card is a serial numbered insert (a mere 8700 copies!).

I picked up some inserts, too.  These three players all made the All-2000s team and eventually the Hall of Fame.  I'm not a TO fan, so I'm trying to fill my All-Decade project with higher quality cards of him.  If I've got to gather cards of him, I may as well make sure their quality.

If there are BYU players, I'll snag 'em.  The Head to Head card is interesting.  It gives a scenario on the back with no resolution.  "The ball is snapped.  Smith charges.  Young rolls out.  Does he get the pass off?"  Well, does he?!  I guess we'll never know.

Speaking of colleges, how about some Heisman winners?  I'm digging the Crown Royale (original incarnation) of Eddie George.

The box was mostly football with some basketball.  Baseball pickings were slim, but I did manage to find some needs from this year's Heritage. 

The dime box said 12 cards for $1, so I picked out 108 cards.  I figured that $9 of cards plus tax would be about right for the 10 spot I had in my wallet.  I sat and chatted with Heidi for a while and then went to pay.  She looked at my stack and said, "How about $5 for the stack?"  All right!  Just like that, the dime box turned into a nickel box.  All the cards above set me back about five cents apiece.  Overall, the experience was great.  The discovery of a dime box + a great card conversation + a generous shop owner = a happy customer.  Now I feel like I might have to make trips to the Salt Lake Valley more often--and leave myself some extra time to stop in for a true hobby experience at Overtime Cards.

And Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I'm truly grateful to be part of a community with whom I can share my hobby and that is made up of true collectors.


  1. Sounds like an awesome store with a great owner! Glad to hear about it.

    Very nice cards you got there, even with those Steelers cards in there.

  2. Apparently you found one of the few remaining GOOD card shops! Hopefully they restock those dime/nickel boxes on a fairly regular basis. And I was a big fan of Steve Young's, but I think with the scenario proposed on the back of that insert, that it's safe to say that Bruce Smith would've smoked him... it's what he did!

  3. Nice to hear you found a great shop with a pleasant owner. And that was a fantastic deal! Love that Dorsey Levens insert.

    I've been out east my whole life, in the shadow of NYC, so I find it interesting that you're not a fan of Salt Lake. I understand why you're more of a small-town guy (there are New England towns that I wish I'd lived in, far away from NYC/Boston) it's just unexpected to hear SLC as the "big city" that one would avoid.