The best part of digging through boxes and boxes of cards for three days is the unparalleled potential to score some unique pieces of cardboard. Not unique in the sense of being rare, but simply cards and brands that just don't find their way into cheap-o boxes too often. Maybe it's high end product. Or a 700 card set, where you need to flip past 200 generic cards to find one gem. Or a one-off set released two decades ago that nobody opened. Bring enough dealers from across the country into a large enough venue, and you'll find something special.
One of my favorite collections is my unique unis collection. Throwbacks, special jerseys, or just plain weird uniforms are all welcome. And thankfully my card show adventures were well rewarded in some cool looking cardboard.
Sometime it seems like collecting throwbacks alone is just a little too easy. There seem to be a couple throwback games each year that find their way onto quite a few cards. For example the White Sox early century throwbacks were worn on and off through most of the 90's and early 00's, and can be seen on quite a few cards. But finding a nice, visible photo of a throwback? That's another task entirely. Both the Pudge and Nomar cards above do a great job of showing off the full uniform, not to mention capturing two of the better players of the decade in their retro glory.
But retro glory can take many forms. This Rollie Fingers Senior League card was one of a small stack of cards from the set I picked up. The rest will be heading out for autograph. But the combination of the ridiculous jersey and Rollie's awesome 'stache were too much to pass up. Speaking of retro, can the DBacks do away with the horrible color scheme they have going on now and just bring back the illogically 90's black, teal, and purple?
After a while it becomes tough to decide just where to draw the uniform line. Do I stop at one copy of each uni? If only one, should it be the best player, or the best photo for showcasing the uniform?
After all, uniforms come in all varieties. This Matt Kemp card is just an awesome photo. Add in a premium set card in the dime box and an awesome throwback uni and we have a winner. But some cards are just as noteworthy for their...less than awesome photography.
The new(ish) fad in minor league jerseys is the one-off special event jersey. They usually look terrible, but the team can auction them off for a decent chunk of change. I'm not sure what exactly was supposed to be going on with the tie-dye esque patriotic acid trip uniform. But then again, most minor league cities are places I dare not visit.
But others have even less of a place in my collection. I'll pick up a white-cap Dbacks card any time I can - it's still one of my all-time favorite hats, even if it never actually made it onto the field. And flipping through a stack of Topps football cards netted some football throwbacks as well, along with some great photography. The best part? Nothing in this post cost me more than a dime.