The other day, I briefly mentioned that I went to my very first baseball card show during the time that my blog went dark. Yes - I started collecting in the mid-90's and yet I've managed to completely avoid going to one of these bad boys until 2015. That's skill, right?
While I do have some mild societal anxiety that often gives me pause when it comes to large events, the main reason I'd never been to one was because I never took the time to look them up. In fact, before I'd started blogging, I wasn't even sure they were still a thing.
But, in late October, after realizing that I'd pretty much fished out my LCS, curiosity got the best of me and I finally got around to searching the internet for nearby conventions (so much effort, I know). Turns out, there's one in my backyard and it's held every two weeks. Here I was, blissfully unaware of such an awesome event.
So, I circled my calendar (figuratively, I don't actually own a calendar) and promptly began to count down the days until the next one until the big Saturday arrived:
Forgot to take a pic of the set up, so image courtesy of Fat Daddy Sports
It's only a buck or two to get in, so we got off to a good start. However, due to a snafu at work that morning, I got there towards the end of the show. As such, the crowd was fairly thing and vendors were already beginning to decamp shortly after I got there. Bummer. Stupid job and adult responsibilities...
While the pickings were comparatively slim, that didn't keep me from finding a few new gems:
There was one table with stacks upon stacks upon stacks of random, dollar vintage for several sports - it was almost too intimidating to delve into. Thankfully, I found some sorted by year and I was able track down this need for my CATRC.
In the upper right, you'll see Tom Lundstedt, and as far as I can tell, this is the only baseball card ever issued in his name. That'll happen when you only play 44 games in the show. So, I guess I'll have to deal with some non-Cub "roommates." Although, one of them is future Cub Barry Foote; so, that's toe-tally ok with me.
Speaking of multi-player cards, thanks to my next find at this table, I was able to replace one that was already in my binder:
Qualls was a spare part on the infamous '69 Cubs and barely lasted longer than Mr. Lundstedt in the Bigs. This '70 Topps was his only solo Cubs card (though he has a neat "zero-year" Reds card in the next year's release) and had been a passive target of mine for a while. Before, I'd had to settle for shared space:
The problem with that was not only is it a multi-player piece, but that it was also the only card I had of fellow '69 heart-breaker Alec Distaso. Seeing that it's my only copy of the card, the poor thing had to pull double-duty.
But, fear not any longer, loyal readers - I can now assure you that both Qualls and Distaso have their own place holders in the CATRC binder. Furthermore, Don Young has long had his own stake in my binder. Problem solved.
Can we also just take a second to realize how disturbingly blue and piercing Alec's eyes are here? I' mesmerized.
Not quite as piercing or mesmerizing as yours Mr. Rookie of the Year!
These two minor adds were nice and all; but, had that been all I walked away with, I'd have been pretty disappointed with my first card show. Thankfully, they weren't.
Still at this same table, I found a modest pile of pre-Topps era beauties all priced at two bucks each. Ummm... hell to the yea!
Among them was one lonely Cub and I was able to add this antique to my tiny pile (is two cards really a pile?) for two bucks. I absolutely adore cards from the time before Sy Berger & Co. took over and prefer having cards that were put out during the career of the player featured. Peanuts Lowery is an all-time great baseball name too. Cha-ching!
Granted there is some staining and paper loss on the front; ya ain't gonna beat that price though! Unfortunately, it looks like I just barely missed the deadline to send away for my official baseball ring... curses!
It was at this point that I realized pretty much everyone was packing up and after a couple of quick laps, nothing else was really catching my eye. It seemed like most of the other tables featured a heavy emphasis on recent product and I really had no needs in that department. In the words of Semisonic, "closing time..."
I do wish that I'd had more time to meander and soak up the atmosphere though. Again, stupid adult responsibilities and such.
Overall, not a bad experience for my first card show. I didn't walk away with much, but I was able to make what I did find count and do so at the right price. It sure didn't scare me away from going to my second show a few weeks later, which was far more productive and hopefully I'll get around to detailing that eventually.
Does anyone here remember what the experience was like at their very first card show? Was it good, bad or indifferent? Am I the only one who made it to the mid-20's before finally walking into one?
Did you "just enjoy the show?"