Pre-National Card Show Post (Shown Way After Actually Going To The National)

In June of 2014, I went to a card show in Rockford.

First, we’ll start with the Cubs team set I bought for $5.  At the time I needed 2 cards, but now the rest are either trade bait, or they’ll come in handy if I choose another Cub to replace Starlin.

The kid was pretty good for a while

I try to pick up the team sets every year, but for some reason I couldn’t find the 2013 one in Target.  The picture here is the same as the normal set card, so you get to see the fancy number on the back to prove it’s different.

These next few cards were over $1. I’m not sure exactly how much each ended up being, but I think the highest was $3, which is fine since that’s typically shipping on an online purchase.

Not a great font choice

This was probably one of the pricier ones, but for a sort of good reason.  Flipping it over shows that it’s #/300.  It’s not easy to find a low print run for a buck or less.

Ooo, pointy.

I admit that I was blinded by the shine and possibly overpaid.  These inserts are actually pretty common.  I also possibly thought it was the chrome refractor.

Refractors will not be found in a dollar box

Early finest.  How many of you bought packs of the first year of Finest back in the day?  I think I bought 3 or 4 of the basketball kind as a splurge.

Shattering stones

Newer Finest lost a lot of it’s luster in terms of reverance, but there’s still some luster on this /3000 shiny guy.

That segment was quick enough, right?  Well, next we have the 50 cent bin where a good portion of fun stuff was found.

That friar’s logo looks off center and that circle looks wonky

How’s this for fun stuff?  An early year OPC Gwynn.  Even he’s in shock.  <Flipping shades> Say whaaaaa?

Mesh shirt alert

There’s a chance I have this card in the little box set somewhere in my parent’s basement.  We have all kinds of sealed sets like that.  It does me no good there, so here we are.

Texas Tea

As a kid, I never noticed how much white border there was.  Now it’s almost all I can look at.  I was so jealous of my brother landing a redemption card for these.

Ready to take over for Porky Pig

Hell yeah, I’ll take a hologram for 50 cents.  I don’t care if you can’t see it, because I can.

My god, that purple.

Silver signatures are not all that rare, but they can be difficult to obtain just because of their age.

Reminds me of a childhood metal playground

It may not have a nostalgia factor, but it did fulfill a need.  After all, new inserts are always welcome on the cheap.

A Me Is A Winner

Oh, the original gold parallel.  It’s odd that back then the Winner variant was less desired.  That’s probably still true, but they’re equal in my book.

Another Porky imitator

It’s kind of hard to see, but this is another silver signature.  They shrunk it down quite a bit.

Two fake for the price of one fake

Even though Greg gets half the card, his signature stays the same size

This comes right before the Gwynn CL

Yup, the train keeps rolling along.  These may all be subset cards, but that makes no nevermind to me.

The golds will be really tough

I may be happiest to find this card in the bin.  From my experience, it’s easier to find the redeemed winner set cards (most often still in set form, which is why I don’t have some of them yet) than the contest cards.  Were people short sighted and trashed the losers like a scratch-off?  Or did Frank when a bunch and they were all sent in?

Front row seat to all this exciting action.  That guy in the background could move up

This is one card in a mini set.  Maybe I’ll find the full set at some point, but until then I’ll build it piece by piece.

Gaudy was the name of the game

I found quite a few unlicensed promos/broders.  This one was called Nitro II.  I don’t have a checklist of these, so I have no clue if there was a Nitro I.

Always need to have fractured foil

Dare to Dream for a real card license.  Either that or just take the few hundred or thousand in profit you got from printing these and run.

That is not the White Sox logo I know

There are several of these, because I think they were part of an actual magazine.  I’m not sure how many, but so far I just have this one.

Which players would you invest in?

This too is somewhat legit since it came from the Investor’s Journal magazine.  I don’t know if this was cut out or if they pre-cut and distributed them.

Big Hurt in the Big City

There are ONLY 25000 of these.  I’m glad I acted fast.

I’m telling you, you have to use this crappy foil

This and the one above are from the same “company” Sports Stars USA.  Anyone know anything about them?

Close the blinds, the foil is seeping in

You think we’re done with the broders?  Oh no.  I found a bunch of different ones.  There were so many of these things made back then.  I’m sure I made a decent dent in the unknown grand total.

So close to good

Okay, now we’re done with this almost elegant card.  It would be great if it weren’t for that gul-dern plaid-ass foil crap.

And with that, we move into even cheaper territory (in terms of price, not value) with the 25 cent bin.

Already there, dude.

Why show roads when it’s called Heading for the Hall.  Call it Road to the Hall instead.  Either that, or put people’s heads in the graphic box.

Pre #19

Tony’s ass has become something of iconic image.  Every time I see it, it looks like some random game in an open park.  I swear those people are in lawn chairs.

That green works surprisingly well

Here’s another reprint (didn’t mention it above, but you knew).  This one doesn’t make tons of sense in a historical perspective, but okay.

He wasn’t really chasing history anymore at this point.

It’s not too easy to tell, but this is the retail holofoil version.  Yup, it was a quarter card just a few short months after release.

Does Billy Bass have a card?

Yup…I found this for a quarter. The best comc price the last time I looked it up was about $1.50.  Not too bad.

But wait, it gets better.  This show had one of those rare monsters called the 10 cent bin.  You hear about this, but never do you actually think you’ll see one in the wild.  Well, it happened to me.

Pinstripes were a terrible choice

We’re starting off a little slow, but honestly, any Maddux cards for a dime are good Maddux cards

That’s not Wrigley’s brick wall

A mini for 10 cents?  That makes sense since there’s less cardboard.

Once a Ranger, not always a Ranger

How about the first ever Dempster card?  It’s not in great shape, but I’ll take it as a place holder.

One of the Best

Hey, another minor league set Thomas.  I rarely do the price look up stuff, but I was curious.  On this one, the lowest price on comc was $4.50.  Buy low, sell high.

Green works here too

I may not have the full Disc-ography, but I’m trying.  This little guy is a 1991 7-11 disc.  I never had one in my town growing up, so I missed these food issus.

Okay, now look happy.

I completely forgot the Studio did a little insert set of Frank Thomas.  I don’t know how common they are, but I haven’t seen one in a trade yet, so this kicks things off.

No, I said happy

I’m not really sure how this shows off a photographer’s skill, but this is what we get.  It’s his collection, he can choose what he wants.


There was a guy next to me at the dime boxes talking up the dealer and he saw me pulling all these star cards (along with quite a bit of trade material I sent off already) and seeing this card, he said “this guy’s got all the good stuff.”  He did have a lot.

Tripping over your own bat, eh?

Entering the 5th dimension would be quite the moment.  I had no idea that magical event happened during a baseball game.

The card that gives you devil horns

I’ve talked before about my love of these early SP cards.  I think part of it was how unattainable they seemed back then.  Even now, grabbing a die cut like this for a dime seems like a total steal.

Put this on your Mantle

I don’t remember this insert from ’94 Upper Deck.  I was shifting away from baseball at this time.  It’s shinier than the scan shows, which gives this cool 3D effect.

No need to pace myself when cards are a dime

If you thought we were done with the silver signatures, you were wrong.  But, this is the last one for today.  Hopefully not forever, because I still need a bunch.

Season 5 of 5, thus far

I miss these player-centric insert sets.  Frank Thomas had a handful of them due to his licensing dealings with Leaf.  What non-retired player would you like to see get an insert set to himself?

Regular size shots

When you’re dealing with a budget set, sometimes you get budget inserts.

Condition sensitive

What’s better than a crazy, super foiled card?  How about a die-cut crazy, super foiled card.  Imagine how cool the gold version would be.

Not as sensitive

That box is full of all kinds of rounded cards.  I guess it makes sense that these cards would cost so little.  I mean, they used less cardboard to make them.  Did I use that stupid line in this post already?

Not exactly a Crusades insert

It’s interesting, I would expect there to be more cards that use the royalty theme, but this is only one of three on my checklist.  Even Crown Royale didn’t show anything.

Looking for some color

This sucker is bland as all get out, but I needed it, so I guess it’s good I didn’t have to shell out big bucks.

Contrasting colors

While the uniforms may be fashion backwards, the Padres were ahead of the curve by showing off their exercise balls in photos.

Bring back holograms now

Who else wishes the “Then” was the “Now?”  You may hate the Padres, and Cubs fans may hate the Padres from that era, but there’s no denying those outfits

Remember those old uniforms?

Here’s another special die cut in the cheapo boxes.  Tony’s happy.  I’m happy.  We’re all happy.  Wait, are you happy?

Paul wants to play. Will someone let him play?

I ended up buying this card again at the National (still with the protective coating on it).  This card show was my first experience with it, and I probably paid a “high” premium for the extra coating.

I hope the player is catching this throw on the other side

I forget who is on the other side of this card.  I could look it up, but I’m not going to.  I will, however, reiterate that dual sided All-Star cards should make a comeback.

I got it, I got this card

I don’t see too many of these Electric Diamonds in the wild.  Although too be fair, I’m not in the wild very often.


That does not look “Relaxed.”  That’s a perturbed expression if I ever saw it.  Or constipated.

Good game, I guess

Only one can be seen in the daylight.  All the peons must be bathed in weird gold.

Welcome to the Tony Gwynn theater

If you were making a marquee, would you put a whole sentence like this on there?

Close the day down a little

Did you know that Pacific had cards called “Opening Day” before Topps?  I did not.  Although, who could blame me. These are so washed out, then it’s tough to see anything.

Goddamn right I got 3000 hits

And here’s the Opening Day I’m used to.  These Magic Moments are going to be tough for me, but luckily this is the only parallel for this set.  Regular Topps and Chrome are a different story.  And Home Team Advantage. And Limited.

Looks like he dropped a karat between his legs

I don’t know much about the Gold Reserve set.  There were so many short-lived sets in the mid ’90s through mid ’00s that its tough to keep track of them all.  This is an insert, so I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a main set card.

Studying something, of course

Hmmmm….I remember my days as a top prospect.  Our uniforms were much cooler back then.  And we had holograms.

The hits just keep on coming

Oh man, there’s no way you’re going to miss that ball.  It’s half the size of your body!  That’s probably how he saw the baseball every day.

Why this year’s card?

If you remember all the way up on near the top of this blog, I bought the non-shiny one for more money. These cards are pretty cool.  In fact, I opened a box of this stuff a few years back.

Move that leg over a little and we have something

Lastly for this card show, we have the non-SP Tony Gwynn.  I probably didn’t need to pick it up, but my thought process might have been that for ten cents, I’ll take a flyer in case it was the short print variation.

Then in January 2015, I went to another show in the same location, and about the same size, but with less productive results.  I didn’t really see the same cheap-o bins from before.  No more dime guy.  No more quarter guy.

Should be a Cub

I think this was a quarter, however.  It’s your standard Triple Threads base card.  It’s usually tough to grab these because people that break the high end will either junk them, or leave them at the card store and they don’t get back into circulation easily.  So, I’ll take it.

A work of art

And the only other card I picked up at that show was this Tony Gwynn relic from Topps Gallery.  I actually wasn’t sure if I already had this, but the answer was “now I do!”  So, I spent a lot less overall, but it was still productive.

This was supposed to be posted before I went to the NSCC.  Now, it’s easy to confirm that the National was a lot more productive from a quantity stand point.  Maybe not a price stand point, but how can you not enjoy going to a card show?  Man, now I want to go to a card show….  Who’s with me?

2 comments to Pre-National Card Show Post (Shown Way After Actually Going To The National)

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>