30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Flea Market Finds #127: Baseball Card Binder

I've been meaning to go out to the flea market, but it's been one of those things where my schedule never lines up... and when it has... Mother Nature has intervened.

Luckily things worked out perfectly last Thursday when my buddy and I scheduled a busy day that involved walking around my first flea market in months, then picking up supplies at the wholesaler, and finally wrapping things up at the Oakland Coliseum to watch the A's take on the Texas Rangers.

I've learned over the years that Thursday is the best day to walk around the Capitol Flea Market.  It tends to have a slightly smaller crowd than on Sundays, but you'll often find more sports memorabilia dealers.

Sadly that wasn't the case this time.  There were only three or four guys with baseball cards.  Most of the stuff was your typical junk wax I try to avoid, but I did manage to buy one thing...

Purchase #1:  Binder of Baseball Cards  $5

As we were walking down the 2nd to last row, I found a guy who had this binder of cards and a shoebox filled with cards.  I wasn't interested in the shoebox, because the cards were a mix of late 80's/early 90's junk that hadn't been stored properly.

On the other hand, I was definitely interested in the binder.  Inside was a 1984 Topps baseball starter set:

I actually already own this set, but I'm pretty sure that I have a stack of base cards sitting in a box somewhere.  I figured I'd try to build myself a second set if the price was right.

The guy wanted $10 for the box and binder.  I offered him $5 for the binder.  He said "no"  I started walking away.  Ten feet later, he changed his mind and accepted my offer. 

1984 Topps #8

This will be one of those future rainy day projects when I have a few hours to kill.  In the meantime, I pulled out the sharp looking Mattingly rookie card and added it to my 80's rookie card collection.

After the flea market we stopped off at GTS Distribution to pick up some supplies:

Usually, I'll at least inquire about their current Topps products, but ultimately I decided to save my money for individual cards on eBay and COMC.

It's a good thing I didn't buy any wax boxes, because when we got to the Coliseum I discovered that they charge $30 for parking now.  $30 for parking?  That's insane!

That was almost as expensive as the price of the tickets themselves.  Speaking of the tickets, my buddy Mike picked up the tab and bought me my nachos and a soft pretzel:

In return, I drove, paid for parking, and bought him dinner.  It's one of those trades where both parties walked away happy.

We had a really great view of the ballpark from our seats:

It's just a shame that there were hardly any fans there.  Although they announced that there were 10,132 fans in attendance... it was probably more along the lines of six or seven thousand.

The outcome wasn't any better.  After a rough 2nd inning and a 2-run home run by Shin-Soo Choo in the 9th, the A's lost to the Rangers 6-3.

But I'm not complaining.  Anytime you can start off the day by finding a 1984 Topps starter set for $5 at the flea market and spend the afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum chomping down on nachos while watching your favorite team play... it's a pretty good day.

Do you have any go-to foods you eat when you go to the ballpark?

Happy Thursday and sayonara!


  1. Well done Fuji! 30 bucks for parking would be a bargain in Boston

  2. I am all about peanuts at ballgames. The binder and pages are worth at least half of the cost of the $5.00 you paid. Nice pickup!

  3. Sweet deal. 1984 Topps is on my list of sets to work on one of these days.

    As for at the ballpark, I'll usually try to eat before the game to save money (and take public transportation if possible), and just have a beer or two there.

  4. Oh man! A 1984 starter set for five bucks? That's a great deal!

    In regards to ballpark food, when I go to Reds games, I usually tend to get a couple Big Red Smokies (basically smoked sausages disguised as hot dogs). If I'm not in the mood for hot dogs, I'll grab nachos or a few chili-cheese sandwiches (Cincy style chili and shredded mild cheddar in a hot dog bun) from the chili stand.

  5. Mattingly RC for $5.00, WoW! The rest was icing on the cake.

  6. I used to love the chicken nachos at the previous Yankee Stadium. I'd get them at concessions out by the right field bleachers, since I almost never sat anywhere else. They were completely nasty in all of the best ways possible. Nowadays, they'd probably be more than your parking was, and there'd be artisan mayonnaise in there somewhere or something.

  7. No go-to ballpark foods, but I do have a stay-away ballpark food: nachos.

    The cheese (if that's what you want to call it) weirds me out, and it has the potential for being too messy. Just too much that can go wrong when eating out in public.

  8. Lol, I remember reading about the A's new parking fee change and everyone making fun of them for it two weeks ago. It could be worse, you could be in somewhere like LA where the traffic is bad, the parking fee's are bad and the ticket prices are bad/high.

    I stay away from ballpark food since it's overpriced and very bad. I either eat before I get to the park or wait until after I leave the park. Although if I'm in the right mood I might grab one of those mini ice creams that come in the cute helmets (although I'm starting to get priced out on those too).

  9. Great way to spend spring break!

  10. I usually don't buy food at the ballpark unless it's a new (to me) park and I want to live like a local. Minute Maid Park actually has pretty high quality hot dogs. They use a premium brand from Nolan Ryan's company.

    Back in the day I did have go-to foods: At the old Yankee Stadium it was hot dogs. The vendors roamed the stands and sold them. They got put in a napkin and passed down the row to you by the other fans which is pretty gross when you think about it now. At Shea it was a knish and in Baltimore I always had to have a crab cake.

    Best things I've ever at at baseball games are the Chesapeake fries at Camden Yards, the tomato soup at the Joker Marchant Field in Lakeland and the beershake at Hammond Stadium in Ft Myers. The last two were enjoyed on my Spring Training trip a couple of years ago.

    That's more than you wanted to know wasn't it?

  11. I have to have peanuts at sporting events. But now, if there are any kids around me, I will ask their parents if I have to worry about allergies. Only once has a parent said yes, and was very grateful that I asked, and I went home with a sealed bag of peanuts.

    I blame my dad for getting me hooked on peanuts at sporting events.

  12. Lol, the gf and I just saw thee A's play the Dodgers on Tuesday, 4/10. I blogged about it here (http://stadiumfantasium.com/at-the-game-dodgers-vs-as/) along with the cool stadium giveaways we got.

    I thought parking at Dodger Stadium was high ($15 if purchased online) but now I see it could be worse. As for ballpark food, the gf and I usually eat before arriving at the game. Besides, I've eaten tons of stadium/arena food since I work in that industry. But at Tuesday's game, we did have a Wetzel's pretzel (cinnamon/sugar) and chocolate soft serve ice cream that comes in the cute helmet, lol.

  13. Up until a few years ago I would get a bratwurst and a Coke whenever I went to Camden Yards... they had *really* good brats there. Then they changed concession companies and not only did I have to go to the upper deck just to get to the one concession stand which still sold brats, but they were nowhere near as good as what I used to get... thus ended the tradition.

  14. The looks like a fun find for $5! The Mattingly alone is a great find.

  15. Good times at the ballpark. I don't feel as miffed about the Rangers charging $20 to park now.

  16. Yeah, ya can't turn down a second starter for five bucks....

    I'm pretty much a pretzel and hot dog guy. And I put ketchup on my hot dogs. Some people think that's blasphemy.

  17. Brat and a beer at Miller Park are always a must.

  18. Never get to go the ballpark so don't have an answer here lol

  19. Dodger dogs and a cool-a-coo were staples when I was a youth attending dodger games

  20. Hot dogs are really my only go-to ballpark food. I paid $6 for my '84 Topps Mattingly, and I thought that was a good deal until I read this post!

  21. Mark Hoyle - Seriously? How much is parking at Fenway?

    SumoMenkoMan - The pages are actually those old school plastic pages I used back in the 80's. I'll probably dump them eventually.

    defgav - Let me know which cards you need. I'm pretty sure I have a bunch sitting in a box somewhere, so there are bound to be doubles.

    Adam Sanders - Big Red Smokies sounds amazing. The chili-cheese sandwiches sound good too.

    John Miller - Yeah. That's kinda how I looked at it.

    Scott Crawford - Sounds like the new stadium is more like AT&T... and Old Yankee Stadium is like the Oakland Coliseum.

    night owl - yeah... I used about ten napkins that day. But they were amazing!

    Zippy Zappy - I guess I'll mainly be attending games on Free Parking Tuesdays this season. Love the mini helmet sundaes... although I usually get them when I go to AT&T.

    B Man - It really was a great day.

    Commishbob - The more the merrier! I'll have to refer to this list when I start traveling the country to attend games. Beershake? Sounds interesting. As for the hotdog issue. I saw that at the game. The vendor would ask the fan what he wanted on his dog... then pass it down the aisle. I'm way too big of a germaphobe to do it that way... which is weird since I'm sure there are tons of germs spread in all of the food served at ballparks.

    Angus - That's awesome of you! As a teacher, I'm well aware of the peanut allergy thing. I think the Oakland Coliseum has a special section that is peanut free.

    bbcardz - Love that 1965 Topps card design! Wish the A's had that giveaway. I might be going to a Dodgers game this summer. Hopefully they're giving out cards that night.

    shlabotnikreport - Looks like I'll be sticking to the Chesapeake fries that the Commish recommended when I eventually make my way out to Camden Yards.

    The Lost Collector - I was secretly hoping the Strawberry was in there too... but he wasn't.

    The Angels In Order - Pretty sure it was $20 last year. Not sure what the A's are thinking. They could barely fill the stadium before. With these new parking prices, nobody is going to go.

    GCA - I'm a ketchup guy too. Ketchup. JalapeƱos. Onions. And relish.

    Matt Prigge - Brat sounds good. But I'm not a beer guy. I know... I've disappointed a lot of people over the years.

    Kin - Thanks!

    Sport Card Collectors - No ballparks in your area or what?

    gcrl - Gonna have to look up cool-a-coo. I've had a few Dodger dogs over the years.

    Nick - I usually get a hot dog too. But since my friend was paying... I didn't want to overdo it. As for the Mattingly... you've had more than your fair share of "good deals" buddy ;)

  22. Sounds like a great time. Can't wait until my first game of the season!

  23. That's a nice Mattingly. Back in the day I used to get the Frosty Malt (with the flat wooden spoon) at Wrigley.

  24. Bulldog - It was a great day... even if the A's lost and it was the lowest attended A's game I can ever remember attending.

    Hackenbush - Don't think I've had them at games before. Always too busy stuffing my face with nachos, hot dogs, and pretzels. But I used to get those malts all the time walking home after school from the ice cream man