30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, July 11, 2016

161% Over Budget...

100% worth it.

Two weeks ago I drove up the San Francisco Peninsula to attend the Serramonte Mall Sports Cards, Toys, and Collectibles Show.  It takes place three times a year and it's the only show I'll actually clear my schedule for.

Now that I've started to cut down on collecting (which I'll talk about in a future post), I honestly didn't think I'd come close to spending the $100 I had set as my card show budget.

Well... as you can see from the title... that didn't go so well.

Purchase #1:  1977 Topps Baseball Set $80

Right out of the gate, I came across a guy who was selling a bunch of sets and card lots with his son:

One of those sets was a 1977 Topps baseball card set, which was the number one thing I wanted to buy at the show.  I have been targeting this set for a few years, because I'm trying to collect every Topps baseball regular issue set from 1972 to 1986.  Before the card show, I was down to three sets: 1973, 1977, and 1979.

I flipped through the set and noticed it was in fairly decent condition, so I asked the guy if his $100 price tag was firm.  He told me to make him an offer and we agreed on eighty bucks.  The Andre Dawson and Dale Murphy rookie cards were obviously swapped out, because they're at least one condition grade below the other cards.  However... I'm okay with that, because you can still find graded copies of both cards in the $25 to $35 range.

Purchase #2:  2016 Topps Archives Singles $10

With $20 left in my cardboard budget, I headed over to my buddy, Tony's table.  He's the guy who sold me the Campaneris autograph and the buyback singles a few weekends ago.  I promised him that I'd take his 2016 Archives base cards off of his hands.

The box above is the remnants of a full hobby box and a blaster box minus the hits and serial numbered parallels.  I'm trying to build this set, so I was hoping this would wrap things up... but unfortunately... it didn't.

I'm still looking for the following cards: 48, 57, 70, 115, 188, 193, 284, and/or 296.  Anyone have extras available for trade?

Purchase #3:  3 for $10 Bin $10

While I was hanging out talking to Tony, I decided to dig through his 3 for $10 bin.  He's one of those guys who marks everything high, but is willing to negotiate a price.  After pulling out these six cards, he told me I could have them all for $10.

Purchase #4:  Dollar Bin Singles $5

At this point, my entire $100 budget was spent... but Tony had a shoebox on his table that was off to the side.  I asked him about it and he told me he was selling some cards for his friend.  I pulled out these five and he charged me a buck a piece.

Purchase #5:  3 for a Dollar Bin $1

The final four cards I purchased from Tony were from his three for a dollar bin.  He threw in the Posada refractor for free.

Okay... let's update the cardboard budget.  It's been less than two hours at the card show and I'm already $6 over my budget.  I decide to go hang out with my buddy Mike over at his table and grab some lunch.  Afterwards, I would walk around one more time and then head home... hopefully without spending anymore money.

Purchase #6: 1964 Topps Giant Set $100

While making my final rounds, I stop by the father/son booth where I purchased the 1977 Topps set.  I noticed the 1964 Topps Giant set my first time around, so I started flipping through it.  I've always loved the design on these oversized cards.

While I'm reading some of the card backs, the father says "make me an offer".  I asked him if he'd take $100 and showed him completed listings on eBay in the $80 to $130 range.  He said that was fair and accepted.

The cards aren't gem mint, but they're pretty nice for being over fifty years old, plus he saved me some money by already having the set in a binder.

The only downside... I'm now $106 over budget.

Purchase #7:  Autographs & Relics $30

I continued to hang out at the "set" guy's table and was flipping through his $2, $3, and $5 stacks, which had been recently marked down to 50% off.  He asked me if I was interested in purchasing all of them at a highly discounted price.  We played around with the math and he told me I could take everything for $120.  It was a great deal, because at that price it would have been a little under a dollar per card.

But I ended up passing on the deal.  At this point I was way over budget and I didn't really want to be stuck with a bunch of autographs and relics of players I don't collect.  But he told me that I could have any of the $2 or $3 cards for a buck and anything in the $5 stack for $2.  I ended up picking out twenty-six $1 cards and two $2 cards.

Purchase #8:  Ahsoka Tano Black Series Figure $25

And rounding out my epic card show shopping spree is another item I walked into the show hoping to find.  Over the past few years, Anakin Skywalker's former apprentice has slowly become one of my favorite Star Wars characters and Hasbro finally released a 6" Black Series figure of her.

Unfortunately... I haven't been able to locate a reasonably priced copy anywhere, so I figured the best place to look would be at a toy show.  After some searching and haggling... I finally managed to secure this figure for a little over what I wanted to pay... which kind of fits the theme of this card show experience.

Bottom line... I spent way more than I wanted to... but don't have any regrets.  I honestly can't remember the last time I walked out of a card show with the both of the items I walked in looking for.

Happy Monday and sayonara!


  1. Wow, you got quite a haul!

    That Jeter Fleer diecut is very cool looking!

  2. I am jealous of your 1964 Giants set, and two of the SP's I need for my own set (Mays & Koufax) are mocking me through your blog.

    ...And congrats on being two sets away from completing an impressive run of Topps sets!

  3. Great cards and a pretty good price on the Ahsoka figure. It is a nice figure and hard to find nowadays. Budgets are tough at card shows. I understand. Still lots of good stuff. Really enjoyed your post.

  4. I think it was worth going over budget for the haul that you picked up. Do you have a wantlist for 1979? I bought a random monster box a while back that was loaded with them.

  5. You bought two complete sets from the '60s and '70s? Yowz.

  6. You have NO willpower. LOL But you got some fantastic stuff at good prices. I 'pieced together' that '64 Topps Giant set and I know I spent over $100, maybe $150. And it took a long time.

    And the '77 is such a fun set. Congrats on a great show day.

  7. I think you made the right choice. Had you walked away from stuff you wanted I bet you would have regretted it later...I know I still regret not buying stuff going back to card shows in the 1990s, either stuff I never saw again or stuff that skyrocketed in price to where I couldn't afford it anymore.

  8. It stinks to go over budget, but it doesn't look like there was a lot in the way of regrettable buys. Going over budget for things you 'need' is a lot better than going over budget and realizing you got stuff you didn't really want.

  9. Wow, you really killed it at the show.....sorry I had to miss this one as I was out of town through Sunday that weekend. I have lots of 79's in NRMT if you want to start building that one piecemeal...

  10. Over budget would be me at every card show. It is always nice when you have vendors that price to sell. Great haul!

  11. Great pick ups, the '77 Topps is a set I love, what were the prices for the '75 and '73? budget, what is that thing called a budget. I seem to always forget about it.

  12. Great pick ups Fuji. I love the Doolittle USA Baseball card. He was a great college player, I know he pitched at UVa, but I can only remember him as a first baseman. 77 cards are cool too, forget the budget.

  13. Nice pickups. I love going to card shows still...setting a budget is a guide for me as I've learned that some stuff you may never see again so buy it when you see it. American Pickers motto. Heading to Chantilly, VA store this weekend...really looking forward to it.

  14. You deserve a treat. Great post and an awesome haul! I could see a 1976 Topps basketball giant card binder in one of your photos. Damn... I would've snatched that up too.

  15. Money well spent Fuji. You might have actually saved yourself some money if you had decided to,piece meal those sets. I always go over budget myself

  16. tlc - i don't come across cheap jeter inserts very often, so i was pretty stoked.

    shlabotnikreport - thanks. really excited to add both of these to my collection.

    bulldog - i have yet to see an ahsoka in my local retail stores. oh well... guess i don't need to look for her anymore.

    angus & mr. haverkamp- to be honest... i'm probably just going to buy a set when i find one in my price range. building it is more entertaining, but much more expensive. thanks guys for offer to help me out though.

    night owl - yeah. broke the bank.

    commish - thanks. i'm glad i bought it. it was fun reading all of the backs.

    billy & raz - you guys nailed it. i've turned down deals in the past and regretted it. there was no way i was letting these two sets slip through my fingers.

    matthew - yeah. i regret not looking at his other sets more closely

    brady & mr. haverkamp - missed both of you guys. hope to see both you in september. although, i probably won't be spending much ;)

    brady - $275 for the 1973 starter set & $275 for the 1975 starter set

    snorting bull - agree. love seeing mlb guys in their team usa jerseys. i remember receiving my first doolittle and thinking... why is he batting?

    r laughton - very true. hope the guy comes back with more vintage sets next time (but i'm not counting on it).

    ko rob - thanks. i considered that set too. great looking cards.

    mark hoyle - you might be right. unfortunately... i don't have the patience to build vintage sets anymore.

  17. Wow, getting a 77 Topps and 64 Topps big set for less than $200 combined is pretty great, those are both amazing sets. I live in Japan so I don`t have access to shows like that but would love to be able to do that (A 77 Topps set is on my wanted list, but the cost of shipping one out here alone would cost almost 80$)!