I've created projects for myself that I find fulfilling. Like my refractor, Frankenset for example. I don't know anybody else who has done a multi-sport refractor Frankenset. But I love refractors and it makes sense to me. I think everybody reading this understands where I coming from here.
So when things started opening up again and a card show was announced, I jumped on it. And it was fun. It was crowded and stuffy, but there were some great tables and I got to talk to some people I hadn't seen for a while. I already posted about that show; it happened back in March of this year. Then I found out that shows were planned for every 3 months. I was ecstatic. I'd never seen card shows happen so regularly!
The next show rolled around in June. I bought a table of my own for this one and tried to sell. I thought I had a niche--I had dime boxes. There are never any dime boxes at card shows I attend. The only one I've ever seen is mine. I figured with all of the cards marked in triple and quadruple digits, some dime box gems might help people out.
But the atmosphere had changed completely for this one. Pokemon tables outnumbered the sports tables. At one point, I had a buddy watch my table and I made the rounds as a customer. As I wandered, I picked up that Pokemon was where the money was, which explained the proliferation of tables. I don't know how many conversations I overheard about $1000 eBay sales. Forget dime boxes; I couldn't find cards for less than $1. All of the cards you have seen so far have come from the June show. Most came from my one friend who sold them to me for a quarter apiece. Meanwhile, I had exactly one person stop at my table and leaf through the boxes. I made zero sales.
It turned out to be a less than satisfactory experience, but not completely fruitless. Unless you count my -$50 net profit on my table. I was able to find some good cards for my collection.
This $2 numbered auto of an All-Decade performer was probably my favorite find of the show. But in all, the experience disappointed me so much that I put off writing about the June card show until December.
Then, the September show rolled around. This one I attended as a consumer only. And it was more of the same. No cheap cards in boxes to dig through. Everything was in one-touch cases. Everybody was scrolling through eBay to price their $500 cards and bragging to each other about how much they sold a card for the other day. I found only one table that had something for me.
I asked if he would take $15 if I left the binder, as I was more interested in the pages. It turns out, he would. We struck a deal, and I walked away with 54 pages at 28 cents a pop. Or, if you rather, 486 cards at 3 cents apiece. Either way, I got a steal.
So I walked away happy with my purchase, but once again unhappy with the overall feel of the show. I really can't complain about these cool 1978 Dover Reprints, though. Perforation marks on the edges and all, these are just neat little cards.
The rest of the post will get picture-heavy as I show what else was hiding in those Ultra Pro pages. Then I'll return to my card show thoughts.
I needed these Cubs, including the two Mark Grace rookies and the two Gracie oddballs.
Speaking of oddballs, they were the best thing about this purchase. I'd never heard of this 1989 Pacific Crossed Bats set before, but it was fun to find half of the set in the pages.
There were a lot of oddballs. These are for my collection, but I did pick up some more of the Baseball's Best (bottom photo) that I have for trade. If you're looking for Mattingly, Boggs, or Greenwell, let's trade!
The early to mid '80s were well-represented with some fun cards.
Boxed sets and stickers are fun.
The first half of the '90s was fun, too. It wasn't quite as well-represented, though.
Some fun rookies. I'm only planning on keeping Sutcliffe from this group, though. Maybe Larkin. The others are available.
These are a sample of the newest cards in the binder, aside from 2017 Topps and Bowman that mostly went into the trader box.
So while I will continually be disappointed by the absence of cool dime or even quarter boxes that I see you find at your local shows, I was able to find one table that brought be a ton of fun for a great value. But in large part, I had a sense of, "these aren't my people and this isn't my scene," at the September show.
Now fast forward to December. This past weekend, the Utah County Card Show came around once again. Let me show off everything I bought there:
There you have it. I made two rounds around the room. I glanced at a few tables and flipped through a couple of shoeboxes. Literally no card was less than a buck or two. No base to be found anywhere. I found a few that I may have considered, but then recalled my recent COMC purchase and thought why settle for cards that are here when I can hand-pick cards for similar prices? I thought about the mess in my card room and decided that I didn't need to buy anything right now; I'll be better off getting myself organized first. So I left. And after listening once again to late-teen, early 20-somethings congratulate themselves on their insanely priced sales and flips while seeing three tables devoted to $55 blaster boxes (That's where they all went!) discouraged me to the point that I plan on skipping the next show. It just wasn't fun. I'll choose the cards I really want from online sources to complete my projects. And I'll hang out on the blogs with people who think a little more like me. Like collectors.