When: Saturday, May 7th
Where: De Anza Flea Market
What: Six SLU's, a Small Lot of Sports Cards, & a Boba Fett Action Figure
How Much: $23
Saturday was the perfect day for wandering around a flea market. It finally cooled off after reaching the 90's, here in the Bay Area last week. If I'm not mistaken, it was in the 70's with clear skies... which is why I love living in California.
The nice weather brought out a lot of vendors I hadn't seen in months... as well as a ton of shoppers. There were at least 10 people who had sports memorabilia, which is about twice as much as usual. And another 4 or 5 vendors selling toys & collectibles.
I'm not sure if everyone figured they could get top dollar for their stuff, since it was so crowded... but I left feeling empty handed. I ended up making three purchases from three people I regularly see at this particular flea market. Sadly... there were no extreme bargains to be found... but I was able to pick up some cool items.
Purchase #1: Small Lot of Sports Cards $3
Every month this one guy brings out older video games, some Barbie dolls, and a small case of sports cards. I always make a point of chatting it up with him, since he's pretty interesting and social. The cards in his case were the same as last month's, but he brought out a 3500 count box of cards. So I killed 20 minutes sifting through the box and talking about the upcoming TriStar show and the San Francisco Giants. The majority of the cards were 2009 and 2010 Bowman and Topps baseball, but I did find a small stack of junk wax era cards. When I was finished, I found 29 that I could use and gave him three dollars. Here's a sampling of what I found:
1998 Collector's Choice "Stick 'Ums" #24 Barry Bonds
1981 Topps #380 Willie Stargell
1989 Fleer "All-Stars" #2 Jose Canseco
1993-94 Hoops #390 Anfernee Hardaway RC
1993-94 Upper Deck #382 Anfernee Hardaway RC
1995-96 Ultra "Power" #1 Charles Barkley
Football & Hockey
1989 Topps "1000 Yard Club" #5 Jerry Rice
1990 Action Packed #128 Bo Jackson
1992 Classic Four Sport #224 Manon Rheaume
And finally... the two best deals in the lot:
2000 UD MVP "Drawing Power" #DP2 Ken Griffey Jr.
The Drawing Power insert of Griffey is the highest valued card in the lot at $4. There's 7 cards in the set and each card was seeded into packs at a ratio of 1 per 28 packs.
1982 Topps Traded #44T Kent Hrbek
This 1982 Topps Traded was by far the best card I found in the box and if you're either a longtime Minnesota Twins fan or followed baseball in the early to mid 80's... then you know why. I remember wanting one of these back in the day... but I couldn't find one. Well.. my search is over... and I found it in a commons box. How times have changed.
Purchase #2: Two SLU's & a Boba Fett Action Figure $10
My next purchase was definitely done out of guilt. I'm sure I've mentioned this guy in the past, since he's sold me a bunch of Star Wars figures in the past at really good prices (usually 2 for $5, but sometimes even less). Anyways, I've completed my bounty hunter shelf and have most of the jedi's I want... so I'm wasn't really looking to purchase any new Star Wars figures.
BUT... when I walked up to his booth... his eyes immediately lit up and he told me he brought a special box for me. Well, I couldn't use anything... but I felt bad so I pulled this Boba Fett from the box:
1995 Star Wars "Power of the Force" Boba Fett
I know he likes to sell things in pairs, so I also grabbed this Rollie Fingers SLU:
1997 Kenner SLU Cooperstown Collection Rollie Fingers
Out of all of the figures I bought yesterday, this is the only one that had damaged packaging. The inner plastic had major discoloration, which didn't matter, because I knew I needed this one for my A's shelf. Mr. Fingers has now found a home nestled between Ben Grieve and Barry Zito.
I hung out and talked to him for another 10 minutes or so and was just about to get ready to pay when I spotted this Cal Ripken Jr. SLU:
1996 Kenner SLU "Santa Clara Convention" Cal Ripken Jr.
I already have an opened Ripken on my baseball shelf, but I noticed that this figure had a special sticker on it. After looking at it, I noticed that it was a convention special, so I asked him about it. He told me they originally sold for around $15 to $20 at the show, but he'd sell it to me for $5. So... I picked that up too.
Purchase #3: Four SLU's $10
My final purchase of the day was probably the one I was happiest about. I bought it from a guy who collected sports figures in the 90's, who was trying to make a few dollars. He was selling it along with a bunch of random things from his house.
The figures were barely visible, because they were in a box that was under a table that had a table cloth draping over it. However, on the side of the box he'd written sports figures, so I asked if I could take a look. There were about 10 figures in there, but these are the four that caught my eye:
1991 Kenner SLU Larry Bird
1989 Kenner "Legends" SLU Wilt Chamberlain
1994 Kenner "Cooperstown Collection" SLU Lou Gehrig
1991 Kenner SLU Nolan Ryan
Originally, he wanted $5 a piece... and 15 years ago, this would have been a bargain. I started to put them back and he asked me to make him an offer. I told him that my friend just sold me a Fingers SLU for $2.50, so that's what I was looking to pay. After negotiating for about a minute... he agreed to my price.
The reason I liked this deal the most out of my three purchases is the condition these figures are in. The guy really took care of his stuff and I was surprised to see how clean the Ryan and Bird figures are after 20 years of storage.
Well... I wrapped things up by hanging out with another friend for a few more hours. He sells autographed sports memorabilia and has been in the business for over 20 years. I hadn't seen him in a while, but it was nice to catch up. I'm planning on hanging out with him again in a few weeks at the TriStar show. I've been saving up my money, hoping to find a good deal on a 1956 Topps Jackie Robinson... which is one of my all-time favorite cards.
Speaking of good deals...
Which of my purchases do you think I scored the best deal on?
Which was the worst?
Don't worry... I'm a big boy... you won't hurt my feelings, so go ahead and be honest. Like I mentioned at the beginning of the article, there weren't any amazing steals this time around.
Happy Monday everyone... Sayonara!