30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, May 9, 2011

Flea Market Finds #9

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!


  1. I'm gonna be biased but I LOVE the 4 SLU's for 10 bucks. That 89 legends set is one of my all time faves, I have the Dr. J and used to have the Oscar Robertson and wish I still did. SLU's were my thing when I was kid, I used to have around 400 of em, all hanging in my room, it was crazy,lol. I luckily sold most (held on the my Cowboys, Griffeys, and a couple rookie pieces like Duncan and Moss) before they hit rock bottom and made a decent profit out of em. A few years ago the bug hit me again and I started buying McFarlane figures, which led to rediscovering SLU's albeit luckily at drastically reduced prices. But to get those 4 for 10 bucks is INSANE! Considering on Ebay shipping usually 5-6 bucks per figure, I would gobble those up all day long. Very nice!!!

  2. Chris P - Thanks... yeah shipping on eBay is insane. Shipping in general is starting to get out of hand... but what can we do?

    It's crazy how cheap these figures are nowadays. I remember working at a shop in the mid to late 90's and selling non rookie pieces for $10 to $15 a figure... and if they were rookie pieces or hard to find figures, they'd go for $30, $40, $50...and even more sometimes.

    You're lucky you sold a lot of yours... I kept mine. Most of them are sitting in my buddy's garage... waiting to become valuable again one day. I'll probably drop these off at his house sooner than later.

    A lot of the figures with damaged packages, I opened... and now they're sitting on shelves in my office. I'll have to do an updated post on my wall one of these days. I'm sure I'm close to 50 figures.

    I also have a small collection of SLU cards that I slowly add to every now and then.

  3. Yeah I remember when the 97 Terrell Davis was insaaaaaaaaanely hot. Like 150 bucks if I recall, a couple years ago I picked it up for 3.99 including shipping. I still love em, and I'm kinda glad they got cheaper so I can rebuy them at much less prices

  4. Wow...I love the Boba Fett figure! That is pretty sweeeeeeeet! I used to have a lot of starting lineup figures but then "hard times" hit and I had to liquidate them. I kept the Gretzky (oilers), mets, NY Giants, and USA dream team figures and sadly parted with 30 other key rookie figures. I've kind of taking a liking to the McFarlane figures now and just pick up my fav teams players.

    On a side note....we never have any flea markets around here. We just have fleas on the Amish sometimes. Closest likeness to it would be auctions and the occasional yard sales. You hardly ever find any toys or figures around here though which is kind of a bummer. But you definitely made out really good with what your purchased!

    BTW did you receive my email that has a small request? LMK then!

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  6. You should see the collection of storm-troopers my son and I have amassed! I'd swear we were building a small army to take over the Amish community around these parts! LOL!
    We have every version of a storm -trooper figure that has been made. We have not touched to much on the clone wars but we'll get to it eventually. We are also trying to get every robot figure that was made in the star wars series in addition to the stormtroopers.

  7. the big kahuna - those usa team sets are some of my personal favorites. in fact i picked up a 1992 dream team set at the flea market a couple of years back.

    i don't really want to buy anymore figures... but it's hard to pass up when they're $2.50 a piece and no shipping is involved. in fact... if they weren't at the flea market, I wouldn't was my time. shipping is just too crazy for a little piece of plastic.

    i searched my emails and didn't see anything. did you send it to sanjosefuji@yahoo.com?

    shoot me another mail and i'll get back to you. time to hit the sack.

  8. the big kahuna - have you posted the stormtrooper collection on your blog? i'd love to check them out.

  9. Wow, so much to be insanely jealous of in this post. That Hrbek card is one of those things that I nevef seem to remember to pick up for my collection. I've got all kinds of oddball cards of his and finally finished off his last name in the UD Icons manuletters, but I never think to pick up a Traded rookie on COMC.

    We've got one big flea market in the area and I went there with high hopes, but the people set up there with cards were worse than card show dealers with their prices. No bargains to be found.

    I've got a decent sized SLU collection. I've got every Piazza piece that was produced unopened and then a few extras that I opened. Right now, I'm trying to figure out what to do with them. I really want to put in some peg boarc to hang them, but I don't know if I have the wall space for that.

    Even McFarlane figures have dropped in popularity. It's only the variants that are worth anything these days. I picked up the brand new Rondo and Celtics Shaq figures for $10 each which is dirt cheap especially when one is a rookie figure of a young star.

    Love the Bird with the coin. I've got a Classic Duos with Bird and McHale that's pretty cool. In fact, I think I may have two. I might have to ship the extra one out to you if you're interested.

    Do I still owe you an email with what I need for UD hoops Masterpieces? I've lost track of what I did and didn't do before getting laid up after the surgery.

  10. Offy - Hey Mike... you should head out to the Bay Area. There are a couple of flea markets to go to... but the monthly one is the best. Unfortunately it was yesterday and it rained most of the day, so I didn't go.

    But there are a couple of figure guys who sell their stuff dirt cheap. I got lucky with the Hrbek, since most of the guys who sell singles are pretty ridiculous.

    It's funny that you mention what to do with your figures. Ideally, I'd like to hang mine up and show them off... but I don't have the wall space either. So what did I do with those I just picked up? They now sitting in a box collecting dust. If I ever end up buying a house... I'll build a mancave and show them off.

    As for the UD Masterpieces... yeah. Shoot me an email with your updated list. I hope you're feeling better. Talk to you soon.