Tuesday, January 12, 2016


In 2015, it took me until October to make it to a card show, which was actually the first time that I had ever attended such an event, and I only made it to two throughout the entire calendar year.

With the pop of the starter's gun for 2016, I'm off the line with a much quicker start.

This past Sunday, I went back and re-visited that same, monthly Orland Park show that I attended last October.  My reasons for this trip, despite the extreme cold, were as follows:

  1. The last time I went, I'd had some issues at work that morning and ended up getting there kind of late, so I felt rushed 
  2. I was really really really bored.

I did go into this adventure with some trepidation though; while the show was listed as being on Sunday, the official website for the venue (OP Civic Center) indicated that they were closed on Sundays.  Additionally, I could have sworn that these events were on Saturday last year.  I resigned myself to the fact that the show listing was likely an error, mostly so that I wouldn't be too disappointed.

Not only was I wrong, I was actually able to find a lot of neat stuff to stoke several different aspects of my collection and to keep me entertained for a few hours.

The cold kept a lot of people away and, apparently, kept me shivering even once I got indoors; both of these cases are evidenced in the shaky snapshot above.

That was a-ok with me, there were still a healthy amount of vendors and less people to steal my deals and bump elbows with.  I do not do well in crowded rooms.

But, enough yakking about the conditions and the set-up and such, let's take a look at some of the cards I uncovered:

The very first table that I stopped at had a whole box filled with 1984 OPC Hockey at 4 for $1 - with vintage hockey being in such short supply in these parts, especially at reasonable prices, I jumped at this chance.

I was able to uncover a few new additions for my now-blossoming Blackhawks All-Time Roster Collection, granted without the proper attire; but, the price was definitely right.  Well, there was one find that showed the player sporting the grand, old Indian-head on his sweater:

His clothing says Blackhawks; but the text says Devils.  However, I'm going to defer to the outfit on this one and mark it off as a "true" Blackhawk card on my master list.  Do not question me.

Also, I'm pretty sure the dealer hated me since I ended up with five cards instead of a much more convenient four or eight... oh well.

From there, I found an even better stash of hockey cards at another, nearby table:  three 3,200 ct. dime boxes, loaded with various hockey products from the last decade.  Yay!

As you can see, this ended up being an exceptionally productive dime box dig.  My personal favorites have to be those plaque-like rookie cards of Vorobiev and the recently traded away Trevor Daley from 2003-04 Beehive.  Tragically, I'm a sucker for wood paneling, which hs proven to be the bane of my girlfriend's existence when it comes to home-decorating.

These two additions came from yet another discount box at a neighboring table.  It seemed criminal that Chicago legend Pilotte was, heretofore, unrepresented in my Blackhawks collection and the Stanley Cup champion Richards was shown in a Stars uniform in my binder.  Fortunately, now both of these wrongs have been righted,

To wrap up the hockey portion of this show, the most money I spent on a single card all day was this slice of vintage awesome-ness:

My first "real" vintage hockey card!*  Bonus points for it coming from such an iconic set as 1971-72 OPC.  This unearthed gem set me back a whole dollar, which I was more than happy to fork over.  Van Impe began his NHL career with the Blackhawks, skating for them for just one season (1966-67) before being selected by Philly in the Expansion Draft.

What also makes this card especially special to me is that I've developed a thing for Philly sports, being that my girlfriend hails from that area and my sister has somehow developed a passion for the city of brotherly love.  So, if it can't be a Chi-Town card, I'll gladly take a Philadelphia one.

*The eighties might "technically" be considered vintage, but that's not old enough for this stubborn blogger.

I might have found more useful hockey cards than anything else at this show; but, that definitely wasn't the only collection I was able to add to that day:

Though my rooting interest in the Bears waned pretty quickly this season due to their being in a much-needed rebuilding phase, that doesn't mean I don't want to still build my Bears All-Time Roster Collection.

For a quarter a pop, I was able to scratch four more names off of that immense list.  Every little bit counts!  Also, for the record, the J.C. Caroline is actually a reprint card - if I were able to uncover such an old football card for a shiny Washington, that certainly would have been my favorite deal of the show.

Instead, that honor went to one of the meager two baseball cards that I purchased that day.  Yea, the guy with a supposedly Cubs-centric blog only bought two baseball cards at that entire show.  Sue me.

Laying loose on a table, there was a scattering of certified autos of no-names who never so much as sniffed the Major Leagues - that is, except for the guy peeking out at the very bottom:

Once he graduated from McNeese State University in Louisiana, Bobby Howry had a lengthy career in the Bigs (1998-2010), pitching for both Chicago clubs.  During his Cubs tenure, he was part of the back-to-back NL Central Champion Cubs who will always be near and dear to my heart.  If the price was reasonable, I was definitely willing to consider more than I had on Van Impe.

The cost?  Fifty cents!  I was able to add a pre-rookie, certified autograph card of a long-time Big Leaguer and personal favorite Cub for half of the price of a soft-drink at McDonald's.  Holy moly.

This was definitely my favorite deal of the day - not even close.

As for the other baseball card I packaged with it:

Yea, he might be a decent prospect, but a Zagunis base card doesn't move the needle nearly as much for me.

At this point, the show was due to end any minute, so I gathered up my findings in a plastic bag, that was kindly provided to me without solicitation by a fellow attendee (silly me completely forgot to bring anything with me to carry my purchases), and walked out of the Civic Center with a big smile on my mug.

In summation, I walked away with 17 new Blackhawks, a handful of new Bears and a fifty cent auto of someone I actually cared about without even cracking the ten buck barrier.  Definitely not a bad way to kick off the card-buying new year.

I should get bored more often!


  1. Nice pickups Tony! I really like those vintage hockey cards. I might have some Bears and Blackhawks to send you at some point.

    1. Thanks! I'll gladly take you up on that

  2. I have a few of those "signature rookie cards" like that Howry and for .50c how could you not pass that up. Sounds like that guy prices his stuff to sell.

    1. And at those prices, I'm quite happy to oblige!

  3. You have to love the guys who are reasonable with prices and have good stuff to boot!

    On bringing something along to put your cards in, I have a 400-count box with my name and cell number on it that I drag with me everywhere at the shows. The box, my phone, and my wallet -- my three necessities, since my phone has access to all my want lists online.

    1. That's quite genius... I might have to borrow that strategy for next time.

  4. The Bobby Howry card was a steal! Nice job!

    1. My mother always told me not to steal; but, I don't regret a thing!

  5. Man that Pierre Pilot card is sweet. Young guns for a quarter, that's a steal. I definitely have some newer Bears to send your way if you want them

    1. Yea - I was really drawn to that Pilote as well, something about that design calls to me. Also, I will gladly take you up on that offer!