While my Dad spent the first hour or so of Sunday's Baseball card show searching for a wide range of different oddball vintage cards, I took more of a safe approach with the first vendor that I visited that day.
Virtually every time I look through dime bins at the Baseball card show, they're from a particular vendor that I've known for years. Whether it's the local Woburn show, the larger one in Mansfield, or the twice a year Shriner's show, this dealer always shows up, this time with 5 total Baseball card dime bins.
I didn't even finish looking through my 2nd dime box before I met the pecuniary limit that I set for myself before I began searching through the bins. While I could've kept going and doubled or even tripled the number of cards that I purchased, I wanted to save my funds for other aspects of this show.
After wandering around for 10 minutes or so in search of this vendor, I landed at his booth and found myself standing directly in front of the 5 previously mentioned dime boxes that he brought to the final day of this 3-day show.
Without hesitating, I chose one of the 3 bins, started in the first row, and began shuffling through the cards. The selection wasn't incredibly strong at first, but it continuously improved as I progressed through the various rows and bins.
Even though I've most definitely stumbled upon dime bins in the past that featured an exorbitant number of refractors and chrome cards, I don't believe I've ever seen something this impressive ever before.
Scattered throughout the rows in 1 of the boxes that I looked through must've been 100 or so refractors from Bowman Chrome, Topps Finest, and Topps Chrome. Out of all those cards, a respectable number of them are players that I collect, making this dime box find one to remember.
I wouldn't be surprised to hear that I only had 9 2015 Topps Finest cards in my collection before Sunday's show. It was exciting to acquire so many different cards from a product that I'm unfamiliar with, especially since they can boost a lot of my modern day player collections.
A couple of pitchers whom I still collect; guys whose lives were cut far too short. RIP Yordano Ventura and Jose Fernandez. Man, the black background of that Jose Fernandez card is especially somber.
On a lighter note, the refractor-crazy dime box didn't stop with cards from the 2015 Topps Finest set. In fact, it ended up delivering a surplus of different cards from varying sets and brands. Among these products, there was 2014 Topps Finest, 2012 Bowman Chrome, and 2011 Topps Chrome.
I've been purchasing dime cards for as long as I can remember, and I don't recall ever seeing a selection of chrome cards quite this strong. There are all sorts of different refractors, brands, sets, and players featured, every one of which is a guy that I collect.
It's truly challenging for me to pick a favorite from this wide range of different refractors. That said, the Evan Longoria x-fractor from 2014 Topps Finest is pretty incredible, the first of those refractors from '14 Finest that I've ever seen.
After the initial refractor craze began to die down, I noticed another trend as I continued to make my way through the dime bins. Now, instead of running into Bowman Chrome, Topps Finest, and Topps Chrome cards everywhere I went, there were oodles of cards from various Bowman products, featuring both veterans and prospects alike.
For starters, there were a bunch of colored parallels from 2012 Bowman Platinum, parallels that I didn't even know existed as a part of this set. Green, gold, and pink were all present, and while none of them are serial numbered, I can't complain given that they cost me only 10 cents apiece.
As I continued to scan through the stacks of cards, I found another group of the same cards in a small stack together. This time, it was a bunch of light blue parallels from 2010 Bowman. They're also serial numbered out of 520 copies, some of the only numbered cards that I picked up from the entire dime box.
As I explained yesterday about Curt Flood, I don't add cards to my Adam Dunn or Tim Lincecum player collections too often, so it's always rewarding to find a card or 2 in order to boost one of those PCs.
The same goes for quite a few of the players that I collect. Since I don't come across their cards all that often, I'm always very pleased when I can track down some cards to add to those player collections.
Although I've purchased a few value packs of 2019 Bowman so far this year, the last thing I consider myself is a prospect collector. I don't stay up-to-date on how certain top prospects are doing, and I certainly stay away from spending too much money on Bowman products that I'll likely never get my money back from.
With that being said, there's no harm in picking up a few different prospect cards if they're available for the right price. In this case, I grabbed 4 prospect cards of guys who have either already made their MLB debuts (Flaherty and Torres) or top prospects waiting to get called up to the big leagues (Adell and Bichette).
I also picked up a couple of Red Sox prospect cards for my brand new rookie and prospect binder. Moreover, I was quite shocked to find 2019 Bowman cards already in the dime bins. I half-expected some veterans and rookies to be in there, but it was surprising to see the highly-desired chrome prospect cards for only 10 cents each.
Both Michael Chavis and Yoan Moncada have been playing stellar Baseball over the last few weeks, so it makes sense for me to grab these 2 Bowman Chrome cards.
With Chavis called up, the Red Sox farm system is almost completely depleted, making it even more imperative for the Red Sox to break out of their World Series hangover.
A significant departure from Bowman Chrome prospect cards, cards from a couple different Upper Deck Masterpieces sets was the next as I continued to search through these unbeatable dime boxes.
One of the many different art sets attempted by card companies throughout the 21st century, Masterpieces encompasses both retired and current players in the checklist. Thankfully, old school uniforms are included as is evident with the Steve Carlton and Willie Stargell cards in the photo above.
Even though all the Baseball card shows near my house take place in the Boston area, that never stops me from finding Red Sox cards in the dime bins. This time, it wasn't just any Red Sox cards, but high-end cards of Boston legends, all of whom played on the 1975 team.
The Fisk and Yaz cards are very sleek looking base cards from 2012 Topps Triple Threads. Even though the Fred Lynn card from '05 Upper Deck Past Time Pennants is nothing to look down upon, my favorite card of the 4 shown above is the Jim Rice bronze parallel from Topps Museum.
Given how fond I am of anything that has to do with the Montreal Expos, I always try to find at least 1 Expos card each and every time I look through dime boxes. This time, I landed, at least, 4 different cards, including 2 guys who I rarely see in Expos uniforms.
Yes, I'm ecstatic to add cards to my Vladimir Guerrero player collection, but Pedro Martinez and Brandon Phillips aren't guys I see too often in Montreal Expos jerseys, especially the latter.
This makes sense, however, because while Martinez played some of the best seasons of his career with the Expos, Phillips was only there for (I believe) 1 year or so.
Unlike 2019 Bowman, a set that has only been out for around 2 weeks, 2019 Topps was released roughly 3 months ago, so I understand why these insert cards from that product are starting to appear in the dime bins.
Even so, that doesn't take away from how fantastic these 1984 inserts look. For the 3rd year in a row, Topps took a beloved Flagship set and enhanced it for modern times with a healthy mix of veterans and retired players.
There's no denying that Topps did an incredible job with these cards. Now, let's hope they don't burn us out on yet another 80s set, but something tells me they most definitely will.
Oh, and I also tracked down 2 of the Scratch Off inserts that I need to complete my 2019 Topps Heritage master set. Because I only pulled 1 or 2 of these cards per hobby box of Heritage, I was shocked that these cards ended up in the dime bins.
Yes, they don't feature rookie players or Mike Trout-caliber veterans, but these cards are pretty tough pulls out of 2019 Topps Heritage. With that being said, I'm, in no way, complaining. Finding these cards simply capped off a nearly unbeatable search through the dime boxes.