30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, July 26, 2021

Day in the Life of a Card Show Dealer

Sometimes you don't appreciate the work that goes into something until you do the job yourself.  I have obviously been to numerous card shows over the past four decades.  There have been a handful of times that I helped my buddy sell cards at shows and conventions.  I've even sold cards while working at two different card shops and setting up at the local flea market.

But I've never set up and sold my own stuff at a card show... until this past weekend.  And I've gotta say... it's a lot of work.

I probably spent five hours going through boxes and pulling out cards that didn't fit any of my PC's that I thought might draw interest from other collectors.  I'd say 95% were sticker-graphs of hall of famers or fan favorites I've hoarded over the years.  The other 5% were graded cards I could live without.

After hand picking cards I was willing to part with... I started surfing eBay and PWCC's Market Price Research to get an idea of what these singles were worth and labeling them.  That took a couple of hours each day over a three day period.  Thank goodness I'm on summer break.  No way I could do this during the school year without burning myself out.

My collection is pretty much stored in either boxes, binders, or top loadersMagnetics are too bulky, so I figured I'd clean out my excess card supplies.  I started digging through them and pulling out every reasonably clean one-touch magnetic holder I could find as well as a small stack of brand new magnetics I had.  The process might sound simple, but it took at least two or three hours.

Last, but not least... I started going through storage boxes to see if there were any unopened wax boxes I might be willing to part with.  After an hour or so, I found four boxes that seemed interesting and worth the table space.  Sadly... I only sold one of them.

Inventory selection was only the first step in the process.  The next step was the show itself.  The show was from 9am to 5pm, but I was up at 5am loading the car and on the road by 5:30.  I stopped along the way to pick up my friend who helped me.  After picking up some coffee and snacks, we were off to the South San Francisco Convention Center.  I think we arrived a little after 6:30am.

The two of us unloaded the car and brought everything inside to our table... which we spent the next hour or so setting up.  My helper isn't a collector... so I gave her a quick introduction to card collecting and before we knew it... people started filtering in.

The next eight hours sort of flew by (at least for me).  I had a lot of fun talking about cards and every now and then selling a single or some supplies.

In the end, here is a summary of sales from Saturday:
  • Used Magnetics (x16)
  • New Magnetics (x9)
  • New Toploaders Package of 25 (x2)
  • Graded Rookie Cards of Derek Jeter, Shohei Ohtani, and Kobe Bryant
  • Autographs of Magic Johnson, Vince Carter, Will Clark, Ozzie Smith, Chipper Jones, George Gervin, Dennis Rodman, John Stockton, Kevin Durant, Bob Gibson, Dwayne Wade, Yao Ming, Monta Ellis, Baron Davis, Brandon Crawford, Madison Bumgarner, Max Scherzer, and Miguel Cabrera
  • Unopened Retail Box of 2001 Upper Deck Golf
We started cleaning up about 15 minutes before the doors closed and were walking to the car by 5:15.  It was a pretty tiring experience, but I'd definitely classify it as a success.  It was nice to see things from a dealer's perspective.

Quick takeaways:
  • I didn't sell a single football card.  I don't even remember anyone asking to see one.
  • My buddy had mostly $5 and under cards at his table and he did really well.
  • There was a lot of interest in San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors cards.
  • Wrestling and MMA were popular, but I didn't sell any of my autographs.
  • Evan Longoria stopped by my table, but didn't buy anything.
  • I didn't sell a single hockey card, but one guy looked at my stuff.
  • Nobody purchased my box of 1994/95 Emotion Basketball, but it drew a lot of attention.
Would I do it again?  Definitely.  It's not something I plan on doing on a regular basis, but if my buddy continues to promote shows... I'll support him by setting up.  The key is making sure I have a friend there to help watch the table and keep me company.

That's why I want to give a huge shoutout to my friend Michelle.  For someone who had zero interest in the hobby entering the day, she sacrificed a full day out of her busy schedule to help me out.  She made several sales on her own and even took the time to document every sale we made.

If that weren't enough, she's offered to help out at the toy show my buddy is promoting in two weeksThank you Michelle!  You're awesome!

I also want to thank two of my homies: Ben and MikeBen was originally going to set up with me, but couldn't.  However he loaned me both of his display cases and Mike hooked me up with the table.

By the way... if you're wondering if this is my first step towards leaving the hobby, I assure you... it isn't.  I love collecting and can't imagine walking away from the hobby again.  That being said... I've gotten to the point where I've literally run out of storage space and need to move stuff that doesn't fit my collection in order to make room for new stuff.

I also want to clarify that I don't flip items sent to me in care packages.  Actually, that's not completely trueSix of those new magnetics were part of a contest package I won last year.  And there's a chance some of those used magnetics came in a care package at some point.  However none of the cards I took to the show were gifts.

Well that my card show recap as a dealer.

If you have any questions about this experience, feel free to leave them in the comment section.

Until then... 

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Clown Prince

Over the weekend, one of my friends texted me the news that Biz Markie passed away at the age of 57 due to complications from Type 2 diabetes.  He's most famous for his song Just a Friend, which was huge back in the late 80's.  To this day... I have to sing along with it whenever it comes on.  Can't help it.  It's just one of those songs.

That being said... I don't want to make it seem like I was the president of his fan clubJust a Friend is the only song I could name a few days ago.  But after hearing the news, I did listen and add a few songs of his to my classroom playlist.

I might not own any albums of his, but I own a few of his trading cards...

The first one captures him throwing out the first pitch at the Oakland A's game versus the Houston Astros back on July 23rd, 2014:

2015 Topps First Pitch #FP-05

This is a pretty cool insert.  I like how Topps actually did the research and documented the actual date of the event.

On the back, they even break down his approach to the mound and the actual pitch... which you can see here.

Next up is an awesome card that captures why he was nicknamed The Clown Prince of Hip Hop:

1991-92 Pro Set Super Stars MusiCards #112

The back of the card mentions his comic rhymes which is exactly Just a Friend is composed of.

The final card of his in my collection is this sticker autograph I purchased off of COMC right after I added the Topps First Pitch card to my collection:

2015 Panini Americana Signatures #S-BIZ

Panini doesn't waste any time mentioning his hit song, but they also write about his guest appearances on In Living Color as well as his work with my favorite group... The Beastie Boys.

If you're interested, here are songs he did with them:  The Biz vs. The Nuge, Intergalactic, and the cover of Elton John and Bernie Taupin's Benny and the Jets.

Rest in peace Biz!  I hope you're in a better place and you're up there hanging out with MCA, entertaining and making everyone around you smile... like you did for millions of people over the years.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Flea Market Finds #148: Fresh Air and Five Cards

Before this past Saturday... it had been 546 days since I last walked around a flea market and purchased some cards.  Obviously... a lot has changed over that time.  I thought about listing some things, but honestly... it was a little depressing.

Instead... I wanted to keep this post
positive and focus on my first trip back to the Branham Flea Market in nearly 18 months.  One look at the photo above reveals that over 50% of the spots were vacant, but the good news is the high school is hosting flea markets again and there were three vendors with cards.

The bad news is that prices are pretty inflated right now, so I only made one purchase.  But one is better than none.

Purchase #1Sports Cards $1

On the right side of the above photo, you'll see a guy with some Wheaties cereal boxes.  He's a regular who I've purchased cards from on numerous occasions.  In the past, I've referred to him as Box Bottom Guy.

He had several boxes of cards that were marked at 25¢ to 50¢ each.  As I was digging he told me they were five for a buck, so I purchased these five...

1997 Donruss Limited #53

There were a bunch of Hideo Nomo cards, but I had no idea if I needed them or not.  I pulled this one aside, because I didn't recognize this cardLuck was on my side, because when I got home I discovered I needed this card.

1995 Zenith #149

When I saw this card sitting in the box, I knew owned a graded copy of this card... but wasn't sure if I had one for my Nomo binder.  This time I wasn't so lucky.  Oh well... it was only 20¢.

My favorite card in the stack was this rookie card of Andy Van Slyke:

1984 Donruss #83

He might not be a household name, but if you followed baseball back in the late 80's or early 90's, then I'm sure you recognize this 3x NL All-Star.

2008 Rittenhouse WNBA Promo #P1

Collecting promo cards have been a side PC for over a decade.  I don't remember seeing this one, but haven't had time to check my promo card box.

1996 Zenith Mozaics #17

Actually I had pulled out eight cards, so I needed to trim the fat and get the stack down to five cards.  I opted for this Montreal Expos insert to represent the fifth and final card.  It's all about that Dufex technology.

My friend Tony also brought out cards, but he's currently taking advantage of the 2020-21 Hobby Boom and doesn't have any bargain priced cards.  I can respect that.  These people have to strike while the iron is hot.  Although based on my recent eBay sales... things seem to be cooling off quite a bit.

The last guy with cards had some 90's sets.  One of them was a 1994 Stadium Club Member's Only box set that was shrink wrapped.  He was asking $30, which seemed fair considering one closed on eBay back in April for $74 + shipping.  The pre-lockdown collector in me would have grabbed it, but I'm starting to realize I don't need to buy one of everything.

In fact... I currently have several stacks of cards sitting in my office that need to be organized, scanned, written about, and put away.  Some are from care packages.  Others are from my card show haul that took place a few weeks ago.  Plus... there's my recently arrived COMC package.  I will be sprinkling cards from each of these stacks into blog posts over the next month or so.

Today, I figured I'd wrap up this post with two Montreal Expos cards from the COMC order which pair well with the 90's insert I picked up at the flea market...

2002 Topps Chrome Refractor #T109

I'm not the kind of guy who typically searches for Montreal Expos inserts or parallels on COMC (well at least not anymore), so I'm guessing these were blog inspired purchases.  Unfortunately... if that's the case... I can't remember when or who to give credit to.

1997 Bowman Chrome Scout's Honor Roll Refractor #SHR3R

However thanks to the great bookkeeping at COMC, I can tell you that I spent $1.68 on the Frank Robinson and $2.17 on the Vladimir Guerrero.  No exactly the quarter bin prices I'd like to pay... but these were purchased during the 2020-21 Hobby Boom when discounted cards were more difficult to track down.

I'm not complaining though.  My COMC order arrived on schedule (I had to pay $16.49 for Economy Rushed).  I've got plenty of blog material sitting on my desk.  There are still four weeks left in my summer break.  And one of my favorite flea markets is back in session.

Vendors and bargains were scarce... but there was plenty of fresh air for everyone

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

Monday, July 19, 2021

Hoops I Did It Again

 When my Little League career ended back in the mid 80's... my hoops career bounced and took off.  A few years after that my interest in collecting basketball cards followed.  This lasted throughout the 90's until I sold off my collection in the early 2000's and picked up right where I left off when I returned to the hobby in 2008.  Sometime around 2010 my interest in the NBA and buying basketball cards faded and hasn't bounced back.

These days I will still add them to my collection when I stumble across deals that are too good to pass up or when fellow bloggers send them my way.  I'd estimate basketball makes up less than 10% of my collection.  That's quite the fall from grace when you consider that they once represented 30 to 35% of my collection a decade ago.

That being said... I still have thousands of basketball cards sitting in boxes.  Two weeks ago I decided to sit down and organize a 5,000ct. box filled with stuff I've tossed in there over the past decade or so.  And since we're in the midst of the NBA Finals, I figured I'd show off some hidden treasures from my sort.

The first card is the newest addition to my Prime Number PC:

2009-10 Panini Basketball HOF #46 (#'d 001/599)

This is the 75th addition to my collection of cards that are the first serial #'d card in the run.  It also slides into the #2 spot in regards to size of print run.  

The only card serial numbered #1 in my collection with a higher print run is an Eddie George insert #'d 0001/1750.

Next up are a pair of Stephen Curry inserts from his rookie year.  Both are run-of-the-mill cheap lookingoverproduced inserts:  

2009-10 Panini Generations #8
2009-10 Panini Rookies & Stars Studio Rookies #9

However the card on the left sells for around $40 and the one on the right fetches around $20.  Not bad for a pair of boring inserts.

The next card is probably the most valuable card I found:

2009-10 UD Greats of the Game #36 (#'d 30/50)

I might not follow hoops on a regular basis... but even I know The Beard.  It was pretty cool to find this rookie card #'d to 50 of this future hall of famer.

1997-98 Metal Universe Planet Metal #11PM

This insert set became popular a few years ago when Michael Jordan inserts started soaring in value.  It doesn't command triple digits like MJ, but it's still a cool card to add to my insert binder.

And last but certainly not least is this card of The Glove:

1998-99 Ultra Exclamation Points #13EP

The saying "they don't make them like they used to" definitely applies to modern day inserts.  This card is made of two parts... the sleeve (shown above) and another card that fits inside:

I was surprised that I wasn't familiar with this insert set, since 1998/99 was one of my peaks in basketball card interest (thanks to Vince Carter).  Part of it might have to do with the fact that these inserts were tough pulls (1:288 packs).

Basketball card posts are pretty rare on this blog, so I might as well kill two birds with one stone and feature some cards recently donated to my collection.

First up are some more cards from Reader X... also known as Xavier Higgins.  He sent me two large care packages which included a few Los Angeles Lakers cards.  I already showed off the Kobe cards here.  Here are the rest of the Lakers he sent my way:

2019-20 Panini Chronicles #75
2019-20 Panini Chronicles #162
2019-20 Panini Chronicles #176

I will happily accept any King James cards people want to send my way... especially ones featuring him with the Lakers.

2017-18 Panini Status Materials #M-BLP

Lopez already has a place in my Stanford PC.  Now he has found a home in my Los Angeles Lakers PC as well.

Next up are a quartet of basketball cards sent to me by Elliptical Man:

1996 Skybox Texaco USA Basketball #1
1996 Skybox Texaco USA Basketball #4
1996 Skybox Texaco USA Basketball #11

Food issues receive a lot of press on blogs.  Gas station issues need love too.  Here's the team card:

1996 Skybox Texaco USA Basketball #14

Team USA has some basketball fans worried as they prepare for this year's Summer Olympics.

That didn't seem to be the issue back in 1996.  That team featured eleven future hall of famers (sorry Glenn Robinson) and went 5-0 on their way to winning a 2nd consecutive gold medal.

Elliptical Man also sent me a few San Francisco 49ers cards... which for the most part will be passed along to my students.  However... I did add these two to my binder collection:

2019 Panini Black Friday #35
2011 Topps Super Bowl Legends #SBL-XXIV

Thank you Xavier and Elliptical Man!  I might have lost interest in the sport, but I still enjoy adding basketball cards to my collection.

What about you...

Are there any sports you've lost interest in over the years?

If so...

Do you still collect their cards?

I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend.  Mine was exceptionally busy and included my first trip to a flea market in over a year.  Stay tuned.

Happy Monday and sayonara!


This weekend Papa Fuji celebrated his birthday.  I wasn't able to visit him in Las Vegas, but the family did sing him Happy Birthday over Zoom.

2009-10 Bowman '48 Locker Room Collection Autograph Patch #LRCAP-LB (#'d 12/24)

He's not an avid basketball fan, but he enjoyed rooting for the Celtics back in the 80's... while I supported the Lakers.  Good times.  Happy birthday Dad!