30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

It's Showtime!

This month... I kinda lost control in terms of my hobby budget.  It was sort of a "perfect storm" kind of thing.

#1:  My best friend moved to Oregon and I was pretty bummed out.

#2:  eBay kept having 8x and 10x eBay Bucks days.

#3:  I came up with the bright idea that buying a few nice cards would cheer me up.

#4:  I received my retroactive pay raise in my May paycheck.

I won't go into too much detail today, because I have plans on sharing these pickups in future posts.  But I will say it's the most I've spent in a single month on trading cards since I returned to the hobby and it includes one of my most expensive card purchases ever.

With that being said... I walked into last Saturday's Serramonte Mall Sports Card, Toys, and Collectibles Show with the following plan:

#1:  Avoid all dime boxes and quarter bins.

#2:  It's okay to walk away empty-handed.  Hanging out with friends is worth the time and cost of gas.

#3:  I mainly brought cash just in case I found an affordable 1973 Topps baseball card set.

Well... let's see how well I stuck to my goals...

Purchase #1:  Dollar Bin Bonanza  $35

Due to construction, I parked in a new area... which placed me near my buddy's table.  He's one of the guys I hang out with at the Branham and De Anza Flea Markets.

Anyways... he didn't have anything I really wanted... but his friend had a solid dollar box.  I grabbed a bunch of low end autographs and relics.  Here are two of my favorite finds:

There weren't really any hidden gems that were going to pay this month's mortgage sitting in this guy's box, but I felt I got my thirty-five dollars worth.

Purchase #2:  The Cheap Stuff  $1

Tony's friend also had a 50¢ bin.  I honestly had no intention of going through this, but my other buddy was working a deal for a Jeter autograph and I was bored.  There were tons of goodies I normally would have grabbed, but I had to stick to my guns.

Actually... if I had two quarters in my pocket, I would have been happy with just this:

But since I didn't... I grabbed this shiny Matsui as well:

After my two friends couldn't work out a deal for the Jeter autograph... we continued walking around.  About thirty minutes later, I came across the guy who sold me the 1964 Topps Giants and 1977 Topps baseball sets last year.  I was hoping to run into him and find a 1973 Topps set.  Instead, I found the following...

Purchase #3:  2006 Merrick Mint Golden Legends Set  $15

I'm a sucker for oddballs.  Baseball legends on 24kt gold plated quarters?  Yes, please.

Purchase #4:  2007 Merrick Mint MLB Wax Box  $15

The guy also had this unopened box for the same price, so I grabbed it too.

Purchase #5:  More Relics  $20

In addition to the baseball quarters, he about thirty stacks of trading cards organized by groups.  The first group I looked at was his $3 autographs and relics.  Since I had already dropped $30 at his table, he told me I could have as many as I wanted for $2 each.

I love hall of fame relics, so I pulled out ten.  The Carter is headed into my Montreal Expos collection:

And the Fisk is headed into my special serial numbers collection:

Purchase #6:  Mel Ott and Company  $10

My final purchase from the "coin" guy consisted of his high end stuff ($5 stack), with a three for ten dollar discount.

The Mel Ott was an instant buy:

I would have paid $5 for this card all day.  We'll never know if it's actually authentic pieces of Ott's bat.  But it's totally cool nonetheless.

I also grabbed this Csonka to keep the Fisk company...

After dropping $96 within the first ninety minutes of walking around the show, my budget alarm went off and I decided to slow things down.

I walked around the mall acquiring steps on my Fitbit while stopping along the way to check out cool toys and collectibles I didn't check out during my first walkthrough.  I saw a guy who had a bunch of McFarlane Sportspicks, so I asked him if he had the Tony Gwynn white jersey variant.

He pulled this out instead...

Purchase #7:  2010 McFarlane Tony Gwynn  $5

I already own two of these.  One has been opened up and is sitting on my Padres shelf in my office.  The other is still sealed and is displayed on my office wall.  For $5... I figured I'll bring this one into my classroom and hang it up in there.

Purchase #8:  Even More Relics  $12

A few minutes after picking up the McFarlane, I came across a guy with a $2 box.  It contained the typical autographs and relics you'd find in a $2 bin.

I pulled this card out, because I'm a fan of old school jersey swatches... even if I don't recognize the player.

I also found a Brandon Moss autograph with him featured as an Athletic:

After digging out a few more cards, I asked him if he work with me on a price and he gave me the nod.  I was thinking he'd charge me $15 for the lot... but didn't complain when he said he'd take $12.

Purchase #9:  Tony Gwynn Relic Lot  $10

This isn't really a card show purchase.  My buddy mentioned he had four Tony Gwynn relic cards and offered them to me for $10.

I paid for them and picked them up at the show... even though technically... we agreed on the price weeks before.

All in all... I walked away feeling okay about my purchases.  With the exception of the one 50¢ bin, I avoided all other cheap singles.  I know that I spent a lot more than I originally intended... but I also added a lot of cool cards to my collections, while replenishing my trade pile.  I wasn't able to find a 1973 Topps set.  However... I didn't really expect to either.

Most importantly... I was able to hang out, catch up with friends, and enjoy my favorite hobby.  Isn't that part of a successful baseball show?

Let me know what you think down below.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!


  1. Incredible adds! I wished I had flea markets or even a yard sale 4 to to right now

  2. Absolutely great additions/pick ups.

  3. Ahhhhhhhhh, ahhhhhh-what a score-I think you did exceptionally well. Hopefully I will have some of the same luck in September. Great autos and relics-as well as a lot of TG love.

  4. That's a lot of relics! Looks like fun.

  5. sport card collectors - the day after the show i hit up my local flea market and found some goodies. when it rains, it pours

    john miller - finally got around to opening up your package this weekend. thank you so much for that contest/giveaway! absolutely love the brett. actually was hoping to find more highland mint stuff at the show. sadly... didn't see any :(

    brady - was pretty happy with my new Gwynns. hope you had a great trip. missed ya at the show.

    the lost collector - it was all you could collect relic buffet. it's crazy how cheap relics sell for these days.

  6. I'd say you did really well with all those relics and autos for a good price!

  7. Looks like you had a fun day. I need you to teach me how to be more adventurous at these things. I go to shows and I'm usually too reluctant to go through boxes if I don't know the dealer. Stupid I know but that's me.

    BTW...Sam McDowell was a poor man's Don Drysdale. Nobody dug in on him.

  8. Love the Carter. Makes me wish I had a card show near me.

  9. ketchupman36 - thanks. i tried to put things into perspective and compare them to the money i would have spent on blasters. after looking at things that way, it was a no brainer

    commishbob - we probably need to meet in the middle. i need to avoid getting lured by those damn $1 to $2 relic bins. at least i avoided the dime boxes.

    jeremya1um - me too. super shiny. the bay area used to have a bunch. now we're down to 4 or 5 each year.

  10. Replies
    1. Thanks Ryan! Hope you enjoy your journey to Germany! Can't wait to hear about the sports cards you find there.

  11. Those quarters set off my oddball radar. I've never seen them before and Piazza is in there, so I had to track some down. I've got a couple of boxes coming my way.