30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, January 11, 2016

Card Show Road Trip

Would you be willing to hop into your car and drive 140 miles to attend a 40 table card show?  Depending on how deprived you are of card shows or how much you're craving cardboard and camaraderie... your responses will range from "heck yeah" to "hell no".

I usually fall into the latter group, but my buddy was looking to get out of the house and away from the kids, so he offered to pay for gas if I was willing to drive him to Sacramento on Saturday.

The roads were wet and the drive took two hours, but there's something about hanging out with your friend and rambling about cardboard.  About twenty minutes away from the show, one of our friends called and mentioned that he'd gone to this show before and it was a complete waste of time.

Obviously... that's the last thing you want to hear after driving for almost two hours.  Luckily he turned out to be wrong.  There were probably around twenty dealers carrying everything from wax boxes to Kris Bryant autographs to bargain bins.

You can probably guess what I was attracted to.  I spent over two hours digging through one guy's 5¢ boxes and another guy's 10¢ boxes.

Purchase #1:  160 Baseball Cards $8

If you like newer inserts and rookie cards, then you would have loved this guy.  I was able to fill in plenty of gaps inside my insert binders... but was actually a little sad to see that most of these 2015 Topps inserts are pretty much worth less than a taco sauce packet from Taco Bell.

Since I'm way too lazy to scan even a tenth of these cards, I'll just share a few of my favorites:

By far... my favorite card is the Biz Markie First Pitch insert:

I've wanted this card since I laid eyes on it... and ironically... I had no clue that he was an A's fan until Topps released it.

If you're not familiar with Mr. Markie... his Just a Friend is one of those iconic rap songs that you just can't listen to without smiling and singing along.  

Purchase #2:  80 Baseball and Football Cards $8

There was one other dealer with cheap cards.  His prices were higher, but he had a larger variety of cards to choose from.  I spent most of my time digging through his football boxes, because two other guys were looking at the baseball box.  Sadly... most of the baseball singles were sloppy seconds... however I did managed to find a pair of cheap vintage cards:

And a boatload of inserts/parallels for my football inserts binders... plus a few new Hawks and Packers for my collection:

Purchase #3:  20 Junk Wax Packs $5

Do you know that purchase you kinda wish you could take back?  That's this purchase.  Do I really need commons from the 1991 Stadium Club set?  The honest answer is "no".  But at that exact moment when I was passing this guy's table... the allure of 25¢ packs was just too much to resist.

Purchase #4:  Robin Yount Autograph $22

2015 Topps Tier One Clear One Auto #RY

This card is sweet.  It's a reasonably priced card that features an on-card autograph (not really... but it's better than a sticker autograph) of a first ballot hall of famer.  But that's not the reason I bought it.

If you look carefully at the serial number, you'll notice that it has the number that Yount wore in Milwaukee for twenty seasons.  This is a huge addition to my Prime Number PC.

Purchase #5:  Rickey Henderson Manufactured Relic $3

2015 Topps Update Etched in History #EIH3

I've always had a soft spot for most manufactured relics... especially ones with chunks of metal that can be used as desktop paperweights on those windy days in the office.

Well... there's my card show haul.  There were a lot of nice cards I was interested in... including a couple of '56 Hank Aarons and a sweet Russell Wilson booklet card.  But I'm on a budget and there's one more card show this month.  Sadly... after that... there aren't any card shows in my area until April when the annual TriStar show arrives.

It's your turn...

Assuming you're bored and have nothing better to do... what's the furthest you'd drive to check out a small (40 table) card show?

Happy Monday and sayonara!


  1. Wait - did you find that Bryant in the nickel box?? Man, in Chicago I see shops/shows trying to peddle that same one for 5-10 bucks. Sometimes I wish I didn't live in the market of the team I collect.

  2. I made a three hour drive to Syracuse (crossing the border) just for a card show. It might have been about that size. I've considered the extra distance to go to Albany and might do it in the future. The things I'll do to have better selection of football cards.

  3. I think that if the journey takes any longer than 3 hours (2 if it's raining), I would probably reconsider attending.

    Although, if I had information that a specific box or set I was chasing was there, I would definitely be going!

  4. I would totally drive that far for a 40-table card show! I went to a card show this past weekend with 5 tables and I didn't know what to do with myself I was so excited. If it were 40 tables I would've had to pack at 3 meals.

  5. Been tempted to check that show out...my friend who runs the San Leandro show goes up there to set up and says it's always been a decent show...glad you made the trip work out! There's actually a great card shop up in South Sac you should check out if you go up there again.

  6. For me, there's no such thing as a card show that isn't at least two hours away, so I definitely fall into the "Heck, yeah" category... Just "the cost of doing business". That being said, I don't go more than once or twice a year.

  7. yes, I'd probably make the drive too. card shows don't come to my town either. you found some great cards in the dime box. My fave here left me drooling a bit - the Yount auto. oh so sweet! congrats on this addition to your prime pc!

  8. I live within 30 miles of the largest city in the area. Cities 'nearby' that would likely be large enough to support any card show at all are all 300-500 miles away (Salt Lake City, Portland, Seattle). I'd need a reason other than a card show to visit them, but if I happened to be visiting at the same time as a card show was scheduled I'd drop in to check it out.

  9. That Lakeland show that I made a couple of trips to last summer is 2.5 hrs from me. Pure envy on that Yount auto!

    1. feel free to dump those 91 TSC baseball commons on me.

  10. I'd say an hour would probably be my max, though I may have to reconsider if I knew the show would have nickel boxes like those.

    1. I was gonna say the same thing, those Contenders for a nickle... nice pickups all around Fuji

      I'm lucky enough to have 2 monthly shows within 30-40 minutes and an awesome flea market with 2 full time card guys

  11. I am thinking I may have to drive to Sac myself if Serramonte tanks, actually going to post tomorrow in a long over due post about this-glad you were able to score some goodness.

  12. Love the Yount autograph Fuji and the Biz Markie video

  13. If someone else was paying for gas, pretty damn far haha.

    Nice Yount pickup!

  14. I have the Clemens version of 2015 Topps Update Etched in History,
    Man those things are bricks.

    And bad weather means less people crowding over you at the 5 cent bin's.

  15. My limit is the usual hour-plus that I travel and that's for a lot more tables. I'm card show-deprived, but I don't have a lot of patience for long drives. I'd be a terrible trucker.

  16. I would have to go hours and hours for a show. So jealous of you being able to go and the awesome pickups you get

  17. If I had the time and someone to accompany me to the show, the sky is the limit on how far I would drive.

  18. I've traveled from Tokyo to Nagoya and even Osaka to visit a card show, though it's not driving. Instead, try overnight bus rides. I could do the bullet train but it's a lot more expensive. However, when I've done that it involved other activities while I was there for the weekend. Those Osaka and Nagoya card shows only have about 10-15 dealers, mind you.

    And with an awesome nickel/dime box, I would totally be sitting there for hours. Boy do I miss US card shows. I've been thinking a lot lately about moving back to America or at least trying to plan another long vacation there that coincides with a card show.

  19. tony b - yeah... was really surprised to see it in a nickle box. it's my very first 2014 kris bryant.

    angus - very impressive. i'd drive three hours for the National... but not or a 40 table show

    beefman - you make a great point. if i knew there were going to be great deals on kellogg's sets or a 1973 topps set, i'd probably be willing to drive a little bit further.

    jayp- lol. i would have cried and made my buddy walk home if there were only 5 tables. glad you have a better attitude towards card shows.

    mr. haverkamp - it was a decent show... but i probably won't be going back unless i plan a few things to do out there. what is the shop's name?

    shlabotnikreport - i guess i should stop complaining and appreciate the four local card shows that I attend each year.

    julie - thanks. normally i'd call my cheap purchases my favorite, but this time the yount takes the cake.

    raz - 300 to 500 miles? yeah... there'd definitely need to be another reason like family or friends to make that journey

    johnny - no problem. should be busting them open sooner than later.

    nick - yeah... i'd say an hour is my max too.

    b man - let's hope that serramonte is awesome. this time i'll have a nice little care package for you ;)

    snorting bull - thanks. glad someone took the time to watch the video.

    greg - just wish he would have paid for the cards and food too... but i can't get too greedy.

    mj - i think i was the first to dig through the 5cent bins. unfortunately there was nothing big left for me in the baseball dime boxes.

    night owl - yeah... me too. pretty sure this was a one time event. although my other buddy and i have gone down to LA a few times to attend one of their shows. only difference is we had other things planned, so it made the trip worth while.

    sport card collectors - thanks. there aren't a ton of shows out here, but at least there's four for me to attend, which seems like more than other people on here, so i can't complain

    matthew - come out to the bay area and we'll drive down to LA and go to Frank and Sons.

    ryan - overnight bus rides? you win buddy. i draw the line on riding the bus... especially overnight. you know the deal... hit me up if/when you come back to the bay area. i figure i at least owe you a few sushi dinners and some sake bombs.

    1. Sorry, shouldn't have made the name a mystery....it's D&P Sports Cards, different owner from when I originally discovered it, but a nice store nonetheless....

  20. Glad it was worth it! You got some awesome cards! The most I'd probably drive is about an hour. The card shop I like the best is about 35 minutes away.

  21. mr haverkamp - my buddy mentioned that one of his friends just bought a card shop out there. i'll have to ask him if it's d&p.

    daniel - thanks! by the way... cleaned out my office and found some dbacks for your collection. i'll get them out to you in the next week or so.

  22. I wouldn't make the drive for that size show, although I have considered making the trip down to Dallas to see what their shows are like.

    Last show I went to, I found the Eddie Vedder First Pitch card for my wife. She doesn't colelct, but she loves her 1990s grunge music.