I think yesterday's trip to the Baseball card show was the first time in over a year that I didn't purchase a single dime card throughout the entire day, and I'm struggling to tell if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
Leaving the show without a sole dime card even surprised me, especially because I was obligated to stick to a budget yesterday, more so than usual. Typically, whenever I go to a card show with limited spending money, I stick primarily to dime cards.
With that being said, I found it difficult to be inspired while searching through the dime boxes and that's not something that usually happens to me. I put together a stack of around 40 cards or so when I simply decided that I could do without the typical pile of player collection additions that I so often bring back from the show.
Instead, I moved on to a couple of $1 vintage bins located directly next to the dime boxes. As soon as I began searching through them, I was certain that I had made the right decision. $1 vintage cards were definitely the way to go.
I continued to make progress with my 1961 Topps set by picking up 10 new cards to go towards the set, bringing my total number of needs to way below 300 cards. Other than crossing the halfway mark with the product a few weeks ago, I've noticed, time and time again, cards that I already have when searching through bins of 1961 Topps.
It's definitely helped to validate the progress that I've made towards completing this set, especially since I haven't even been seriously collecting it for a year now. With 281 cards left to go, it's not completing this set that seems to be impossible. Rather, it's finding key cards like Juan Marichal's rookie and Mickey Mantle's base card for the right price.
While I focused primarily on 1961 Topps, my Dad took the opportunity, while searching through the vintage bins, to pick out some older cards not just of guys we collect, like Frank Howard, but other players as well. It's part of what drew me to the $1 vintage card bin in the first place, the fact that I don't need to grab a bunch of cards for my player collections to appreciate these 60s and 70s cards.
For example, we don't collect Pirates catcher Manny Sanguillen, but that didn't stop my Dad from picking up this card for only a dollar. I still have to figure out where these cards will end up, but it's hard to say no to vintage cards for this price.
Everything about this card, from the uniform to the pink circle, looks pretty awesome and perfectly embodies the Pirates and the 1960s as a whole. When it comes to vintage, it becomes less about the player and more about the card, and I can definitely see why that would appeal to some collectors.
If there was ever such a thing as too much color than this card would perfectly fit that bill, especially since it's a 1975 Topps mini, causing the colors to be far more compact into a smaller space. However, you can never really have a card that has too much color, so instead, what you have is a pink, purple, and yellow card with an awesome action image.
Yeah, the 70s were a pretty sweet time. Honestly, it's pretty much impossible to fault this card, and it proved even more difficult to turn it down for only $1.
I wouldn't think that the team cards that also state the team's division placement from the year before lasted too long during the 1960s. I mean, seriously, who wants to look at a team card to see "8th Place" in big, block letters at the bottom.
The inclusion serves to take away from the rest of the card, and since we don't have this kind of team cards anymore, I need to appreciate every traditional team card I can get without being told that the Chicago Cubs finished in 8th place in 1965.
After picking up a solid number of $1 vintage cards, my Dad and I realized that we still had some lee-way and could conceivably pick up a couple of hits before heading on home. Sticking with the vintage theme from earlier, we ended up with 2 hits of players from the 60s and 70s and for a great price as well.
In lieu of his recent passing, it seemed right to pick up this stadium seat relic card of Frank Robinson, featuring a piece of an authentic stadium seat from Crosley Field, former home of the Cincinnati Reds.
At first glance, I recognized the set as 2006 Topps Heritage, a product that featured the 1957 Topps design, the same year as Robinson's rookie card. I believe this is my first relic card of Robinson and even though it's a stadium seat and not a jersey or bat relic, it's a pretty sweet piece nevertheless.
After his time in Cincinnati, Robinson moved on to Baltimore where he teamed up with a couple future Hall of Famers. One of them is a 3-time AL Cy Young award winner whose autograph redemption I picked up for around the price of a Series 1 blaster box.
This card will likely go down as one of the biggest bargains I've ever found at a Baseball card show, and I wasted no time in redeeming it. Upon further research, I learned that the autograph is serial numbered out of 125 copies, and the card features a signed reprint of Palmer's rookie card from 1966 Topps.
An iconic card signed by one of the greatest pitchers of his era? It can't get much better than that, even if I don't currently have the card in-hand. From what I've seen, recipients have already received their copies in the mail, meaning it won't be long until I add a new Hall of Fame autograph to my collection.
Sometimes, sticking to a budget isn't the worst thing after all.