Friday, December 11, 2015

Card Show #2: What the Puck?

Just the other day, I detailed the very first show of my card collecting life. It was a pretty good day; I was able to knock a couple of small needs off of my list and talk cards with people who weren't looking at me with glazed over eyes.  So, I decided to go ahead and try again at a different show, just to make sure my enjoyment was not an isolated occurrence.   However, this time I decided to try a different show out in Northwest Indiana.

However, after I decided to commit myself to this event, I soon found myself transported from the south side of Chicago to the middle of Alaska - or at least that's what it felt like.

Not the best picture, I know.  But take solace in the fact that I was parked as I was playing with my phone and not trying to drive through a blizzard at the same time.  I'm responsible and stuff.

Despite the yucky conditions, I soldiered on through, sliding across I-80 all the way to get to this combination card, toy and craft sale in the community center of Highland, IN.  I came expecting a card show and got a flea market and I didn't quite realize how large it would be, taking place in their field-house and packed to the brim with vendors of all sorts.

Just like my first show, I forgot to take a picture.  Thanks to for picking up the slack.

Not that there was anything wrong with this development, I was just a little bit surprised.  There was going to be a lot of ground to cover; yet, as I discovered later, I did almost all of my purchasing at one table.  Funny how life works, isn't it?

But more on that later. The first table that piqued my interest was actually a vendor that I recognized from the first show at Orland Park, the same guy that sold me my vintage Bowman .  The set up was the same, lots and lots of vintage, so I thought I'd dive in and see if I could repeat my success.  While, I didn't land anything as old as that Peanuts Lowery, I did walk away with two cards that I've been chasing for a long while now:

There's nothing inherently special about this multi player rookie card.  Bernie Carbo had his time in the sun and all, but his rookie card is not on the level of Brett or Schmidt or what have you. Danny Breeden wasn't anyone of note either, having only played 28 games in the Bigs - 25 of which were for the Cubs in 1971 as a teammate of his brother Harry.

For whatever reason, I could never locate this card. None of my local sources had this card in their inventory, despite healthy selections of 1971 Topps lying around.  I guess sometimes it's not the big ticket, scarce items that elude you.

This card also proved to be difficult to land; but, I can understand why this one was a problem.  The reason: it's a super high number in one of the most popular trading card sets ever released.  It has nothing to do with the player pictured, even Steve had a productive, lengthy career on the MLB mound. It has everything to do with the fact that it's card #.

Unfortunately for me, it's the former NCAA & NBA basketball star's only card as a Cub.  That said, after seeing it sell in the double digits quite often online, I was able to walk away with it for a few bucks, in all of it's poorly airbrushed glory.

There wasn't really anything else grabbing my attention here, so I gave the man his money and began to wander.  I would have been fairly content if I didn't find anything else that truly caught my eye; however, there was one thing on my mind.

Then it came to me, in the form of a vast dimebox.

Yes, that's right, hockey cards.  Going into the show, I was passively thinking about starting a Blackhawks collection in the mold of my CATRC.  The sticking point was that I didn't want to spend a lot of money on it though, I have enough bills begging for my cash.  Well, this box answered my prayers.

I walked away with 50 or so building blocks for my new collection, mostly no names or semi stars from the junk wax era, but a healthy base to build on, nonetheless.

They weren't all no names though, as evidenced by this pair of inserts.  These guys powered the Hawks through the 90s and I'm pretty sure Chelios had to be forcibly removed from the ice in order to retire. The man played from 1983 until 2010... eat your heart out Jamie Moyer!  *However, Julio Franco is not impressed*

My lasting memory involving Jeremy Roenick is being ecstatic to win an autographed jersey of his at a bar one night. Of course, when I got it, it was a stitched autograph, the front featured at Coors Light Logo instead of Blackhawks markings and it was a size 4XL.  The only thing bigger than the jersey that night was my disappointment!

There were even a couple of Hall of Famers floating around in this particular dime box.  Not a bad deal - after all, I need some legends to keep my binder interesting.  Ed Belfour is one of the surest goalies in team history and his trade to San Jose in January of 1997 was symbolic of the upcoming "dark years" for the franchise.  Those years are all but forgotten now; but, they were hopeless for a long time.

Meanwhile, Stan Mikita is a man that needs no introduction.  Sadly, it seems as though his health has been failing quickly and he won't be of this earth for much longer.  Apparently, he can no longer remember anything about his career either.  I guess we all have our expiration date,

There were also some Blackhawk greats disguised in other uniforms to be had.  Eddie Olczyk is a local boy made good who has also become an excellent broadcaster; it seems almost dishonorable to have him enshrined in my collection in a Jets jersey.  However, I couldn't argue with the price and I can always swap it out down the road - I have to get this collection off the ground first though.

Tony Esposito's brother Phil had most of his HOF success elsewhere in the NHL; but, the card I found of him went even broader than that, depicting him on the Canadian national squad for the '72 Winter Olympiad,  Can't complain about a HOF'er for a dime though.

After a good 45 minutes of flipping through, I came away with +/- 50 Blackhawks cards to start my new Blackhawks All-Time Roster Collection, not bad for a collection that didn't exist before I walked into the show.  There was also a new Cub to be added to my CATRC from this dimebox dig, but I'm saving him for another themed post.

Additionally, the vendor was so happy that I took a chunk out of his not oft-looked through items that he threw in this gem on the house:

Now, I'm not one for screw-down cases and I know Jeremy's rookie card is still junk wax, but who am I to say no to free cards?  I think there's a rule against that in the blogosphere by-laws.  That's a thing, right?

After all of that, I was pretty much done for the day.  Except for a stack of American Girl books purchased for my girlfriend and her childhood nostalgia, I was done spending money.  There just wasn't anything else drawing me in, not to mention I already made out like a bandit.

Symbolically, I suppose it's fitting that on a day that I went out and "braved" snowy, slippery and icey conditions that I would walk away with my first batch of hockey cards.  Also, if anyone wants to help add to this batch, I'd be more than happy to arrange a trade.

Two cards shows, two successes.  What have I been missing my whole card-collecting life?


  1. So that's where a lot of the names you had came from. I was comparing the list to my dupes and I was shocked some of the odd names you had.

    When I came across Alexander Andrijevski I though "here's one I know he doesn't have" - and you did. That dude has ONE Blackhawks card. HE PLAYED ONE GAME IN THE NHL! It's his only card, and you have it.

    Now I know - dime box pull of the 94-95 UD.

    1. Well, nothing like crossing a toughie out right away!

  2. Ed Belfour was a crazy man. I loved watching him play.

    You had a very well rounded show.

  3. I think you and I attended different card shows on the same day. I slogged through public transit during that blizzard to get to my show that afternoon. Ah, the things we'll put ourselves through for cards.

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