30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Me @ Card Show = Empty Wallet

On Saturday, I headed down to the Great Mall (in Milpitas) to help out my buddy and do a little window shopping.  After my huge flea market purchase in January, I've been pretty good about sticking to my cardboard budget.

In fact, a few weeks ago I walked out of the Serramonte Mall Show with a backpack containing only $22 worth of purchases.  I was very proud of myself, because there were a lot of cool items I wanted.

Anyways... getting back to this weekend's show, I went there with only one thing on my mind:  cheap wax boxes.  I was hoping to find a $10 to $25 box of baseball cards from the 80's or 90's.  Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned.  I didn't find any boxes.  Instead, I added a huge stack of cards to my collection.  And in terms of my cardboard budget, it comes down to simple math.  Even cheap cards start adding up.

1st Purchase:  Five Cards & Two Sets $5

When you can pick up a mid 90's refractor of the greatest wide receiver of all-time and rookie cards of the best tight end of all-time for less than a buck, you know cardboard values aren't what they used to be.

2nd Purchase: Fifteen Inserts, Rookies, & Parallels $5

Here's proof that I'm addicted to cheap rookie and vintage cards.  I must own twenty copies of that 90/91 Score Martin Brodeur, but I continue to pick them up.  2002 Finest Ed Reed rookie?  Yeah, I have probably ten of those.  Four copies of the 1978 Topps Thurman Munson.  Two copies of the 1976 Topps Nolan Ryan.  Starting to see a pattern?

3rd Purchase:  Four Cards $30

In terms of value, this was probably my worst purchase.  However, it was probably my favorite.  All four cards are huge PC Additions... especially the one on top.  It deserves its own post, so stay tuned.

4th Purchase:  Three Rookie Cards $15

Three rookie cards.  Three instant PC Additions.  I'm especially excited to add the Sean Taylor rookie parallel, because it's only numbered to 100.

5th Purchase:  Twenty Inserts & Rookies $20

There were plenty of duplicates in this purchase and I started to get tired of scanning everything... so here are six of my favorites.  Can you really go wrong with dollar bin rookie cards that include Lou Whitaker, Jack Morris, Lance Parrish, and Tim Raines?  They might not be good enough to be in Cooperstown, but they're good enough to be in my collection.

 6th Purchase:  Ten Inserts & Rookies $2

At this point of the card show, I was tired and ready to go out and grab dinner.  But earlier, I had seen some guys digging through this 5 cards/$1 bin and the Lawrence Taylor hologram caught my attention.  I eventually saw an opening at their table and jumped in.

I found some cool inserts and rookie cards that I could justify spending 20¢ on.  But one card made the experience completely worth while.  Sitting in a penny sleeve was this 1982 Topps rookie card of HOFer, Lawrence Taylor:

It's off centered with a few soft corners, but it's worth the 20 pennies I paid.

Honestly... it could have been worse.  I was tempted to buy a Russell Wilson autograph for my Seahawks PC, but held back.  But from this point out... I need to start showing some self control pretty soon.  Otherwise, I'll have to avoid card shows altogether.

Do you have a cardboard budget?  Do you have any advice on sticking to one?

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!


  1. The budget varies. The way to stick to a budget though? It's hard. If somebody figures it out, fill me in.

    1. I bet we could make a bundle if we figured out the secret to "creating & sticking to" a cardboard budget ;-)

  2. Great lot of cards and great post, Fuji!

    I know the temptation to splurge on the high-calibre pieces for a PC. I still haven't pulled the trigger on adding a relic or auto card of either of the two big 2012 rookie class players I want to start collecting: RGIII and Russell Wilson (I wish I was interested in Luck, but I'm just not).

    Budget? What's that? And, why would one stick to this, budget, you mention? ; )

    1. Thanks Zach. I'm dying to get my hands on a Russell Wilson autograph. Lol... wouldn't mind a Luck for my Stanford PC.

  3. I'm pretty good about sticking to my budget around 360 days per year.

    It's those four or five card show days that tend to get me a little off-track.

    Nice pickups! Love the '76 Ryan.

    1. That's pretty good. I'd take 360 out of 365. I love that Ryan too. It was hard to pass it up @ 33¢... even if it's pretty beat up.

  4. When i go to the shows, i typically walk in with 5 $20 bills. I've been pretty good about keeping my purchases at or around $100 each time, so it's worked for me...but every once in a while if the show has some new tables i tend to pull another $20-$40 out. My trick has been putting a $20 bill aside each week until the next show, it's like an in home no interest card savings account. Sometimes i spend that money on food...but really, who needs to eat!

    1. I usually go with $100 too, but it has to buy me food & supplies too. Unfortunately... every now and then I have to hit the ATM. I'd consider setting aside $20/week, but I know I'd dig into it and use it. Food happens to be one of my other true loves.

  5. oh yeah, love the Sean Taylor card.

    1. Thanks... I was pretty stoked to add this to my collection for $5. Loved watching that guy hit people.

  6. Great Steve Young card congrats.My simple budget is $1000 per year ,thats baseball ,football and basketball cards,if I sell anything on E-Bay,I add it to my budget.

  7. To paraphrase Skins owner Edward Bennett Williams' quote about the late great NFL coach George Allen..."I gave myself an unlimited budget and I exceeded it."