Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Card Show Pickups

I was able to triple dip over the weekend, stopping home for my mom's birthday, visiting with some friends, and hitting a mall show nearby.  Overall it was a great weekend, even if the show was a little weaker than usual.

Pirate cards were pretty slim 'pickins.  I managed to find a whopping 5 new Pirate cards.  But the other areas of my collection benefitted, including more than doubling my Geno Smith collection.  When Geno was heading into the draft, I had every intention of starting a super collection of my former student.  When the pick was announced that he was going to the Jets, the only thing I could say was "shit."  Not only was he going to a team that would quickly throw him into a starting job that he frankly wasn't ready for, he also went to the biggest market, undoubtedly driving his card prices higher than I would want to pay.

Obviously the last couple years haven't been that kind.  I still believe he can be a solid NFL quarterback, but I certainly hope it comes elsewhere than the media circus.

But the silver lining is that the rough season has finally pushed his cards into some of the discount boxes and into my collection.
A copy of the Crusade card had been sitting in my COMC watch list for a good deal more than the $.33 I paid for it.  And I was thrilled to pay $1 for the Prizm card.  I'm sure some people aren't happy with them, but I love the crazy number of colored refractors Prizm has added this year to their football product.

 In addition to these awesome cards, I grabbed a stack of 10 or 15 base new base cards for ten or twenty cents each.
 Finally my Geno collection will look like a collection, rather than a few sad cards in a page.
 And of course I haven't forgotten about the other WVU alums either.  Me like shiny.

 Keeping with the college theme, I snagged this sweet Randy Moss Press Pass card.  If you haven't had the chance, check out the RandU documentary on Nextflix.  I've enjoyed the vast majority of the 30 for 30 documentaries, though I think at this point ESPN has produced way more than 30.
 And what fun would a card show be without some dimebox digging?  I've been wanting a copy of this Wizard of Oz card for a while.  I wish we would see some of the goofy 90's painted Fleer cards again.
 And keeping up the retro feel, I love the border on this Verlander.  Panini did really well with the inserts in 2014 Donruss.  Now if they could just stop screwing up base sets...

 I can never say no to an auto out of a dime box.
 The Fleer Retro products UD put out are probably some of my favorite from the past couple years.  It's a shame to see them losing the college license.  But money talks in today's card industry.
 I started a small Wil Myers collection a few months ago.  But I may be on strike from adding his 2015 cards until the Padres make some changes to their godawful uniforms.
 The Pirate pickups were uneventful at best.  For whatever reason, Pirate cards as about as plentiful now as they were in 2006 when the Pirates were losing 100 games.
 I was happy to snag this SP'd Marte Diamond Kings for $.33, which completes my Donruss base set.
 I'm still kind of lost as to why the Pirates get so little local love.  In the 20 years the Pirates were losing, I'm sure many collectors turned their attention to the Steelers and Pens.  They were championship caliber teams with superstar players to collect.  But I am kind of surprised how hard it has been to find cards now that the team has turned things around.
 But the real star of this show?  As I was hitting the last table of the show, one of two dealers on the upper floor of the mall who didn't seem to be getting much traffic, I almost turned and headed home.  It looked like the typical ebay+30% table, where common autographs were priced in the dreaded 5/$20 box.  Nothing craps on a show like seeing cards I know I can buy for $1 on COMC grossly overpriced.
 But I decided to look through the dealer's cheaper stuff.  And boy am I glad I did.
 His dollar box looked pretty much on par with the autographs - Jeter base cards in toploaders for $1.
 But when I hit the Geno green/yellow Prizm, I figured I'd keep looking in hopes of finding some other cool Prizm cards.  Instead, I found about half a dozen parallels from 2014 Topps Tek.
 I've been excited about the Tek set since it was initially announced.  I decided not to order any boxes since Topps waited until the release date to put out a checklist, and after the the trainwreck that was Stadium Club, I didn't want a $50 box of Chris Owings.
 I asked the dealer if he had any other Tek cards, and boy am I glad I did.  He said he had been waiting all day for somebody to ask about them, and pulled out a big stack.  He said he didn't bother with all the variations, so just pull out whatever I wanted at $3/1.  Most were the common patterns, but I did find a couple of the more rare patterns.
 All in all, I now have 3 glorious binder pages of Tek cards, mostly of the 90's players from the set.  Better yet, when all was said and paid for, I paid about $.20 a card for the commons.

Add in the 3 autos I purchased for a total of $20 on ebay a while back, and I basically have the equivalent of 3 boxes and some spare base cards of Tek for a grand total of less than $30.  Sure, I didn't hit a coveted Big Mac auto, but I think I would still be pretty darn pleased had I pulled all these cards from a box.


  1. Replies
    1. I was thrilled to finally find some nice cards in the discount boxes. I don't collect much football, but it seems like the pattern is everybody sells high as if the player is going to be a breakout star during their rookie season, and then the cards crash the next year if they don't hit star status. If Geno's prices dip a little bit more, I'll be going crazy on his autos.

  2. Great stuff Mark. Love the Geno cards only because I'm a die hard Jets fan. If he does make it in the NFL as a solid QB, it may not be with the Jets. Maybe new OC Chan Gailey will be able to work some magic with him. I do doubt it as I think the Gailey hiring was a terrible move by the Jets.

    1. Nothing against your beloved Jets, Mike...but I hope it's not in New York! I knew he was going to be in trouble when the Jets drafted him. I think a situation where he could be a backup for a year or two, develop and learn the offense, and then come in maybe during year 2 or 3. The offense they had at WVU was all about creating space for receivers to make things happen. Adjusting from that to the speed and smaller windows in the NFL was going to be a tough adjustment. And I don't think the added media spotlight did him any favors.

      I guess the cat's out of the bag already, but I do wish he had been allowed to develop more before being thrown in as starter.