Monday, September 26, 2016

Altered History

In yesterday's tribute to Jose Fernandez, I mentioned that I had spent that morning getting ready for a card show.  Of course, we collectors know that a lot of preparation goes into such a hallowed event - double-checking our want-lists, getting the proper gear together, eating a nice, hearty breakfast, etc.  Well, after reading that news first thing, I was completely thrown off of my routine and I didn't do any of that.

So, I went into this card show flying blind - although, despite that fact, I still had a pretty productive afternoon.

Coincidentally, this was the same Chicagoland show that Nick from Dime Boxes and Jeff of 2 by 3 Heroes fame were also attending.  Unfortunately, I did not bump into either of them; however, it's probably a good thing I didn't.  From what I saw on Twitter, if I'd bumped into to Nick, he'd likely still be playing 52 card pick-up, times ten.  What an impressive haul!

Anyway, while my findings were much more modest, I was still extremely happy with what I found and I think you'll be able to see why:

First off, I found myself a full box of discount, altered vintage.   Now, by discount, I mean dime box - so, pen-marks be damned, I don't think you can find a better deal than semi-star '65s and '71s for a silver FDR.  This is especially so when you include specimens featuring the hometown team (who's also extremely hot and popular right now).

With that in mind, I picked out a nice selection of Cubs that fit my collection.  According to my (usually) faulty memory, I didn't think I had any "playing days" cards of either Amalfitano or ye of near perfect game, which is my preferred representation for my CATRC binder.  I was correct about Joe, but whiffed on Pappas (much like Larry Stahl should have in 1972; there's where the lack of show-prep shows, but I think I can swallow a ten cent loss.

Next up are a couple of cards that I actually already had in my possession.   However, as you can see, these are both dual-player rookie cards and, to my knowledge, none of the four players featured ever had another card in Cubbie blue.  As such, in order to properly represent these men in my CATRC binder, I needed two copies of each card.

Double-purchasing cards is something I'm not particularly gung-ho about, especially when I'm looking at hometown markup vintage.  However, thanks to some kid's markups, I'm much more enthusiastic about filling these needs for 20 cents total.

The final highlight I have from that vintage dime box  came from the gridiron, rather than the diamond.  With as bad as the Bears have been this season, I wouldn't be surprised if all of their product was dumped in dime boxes by the end of the year.

That said, vintage football is something I have very little of - it doesn't seem to be nearly as plentiful (at sane prices) as baseball.  Thus, this worn but still perfectly acceptable 1960 Topps Doug Atkins was an easy choice to help fill out my purchase.  The defensive end immediately becomes the second oldest football card in my Bears collection and at just the cost of a dime.

I'll take that deal every day and twice on Sunday!  Though, I definitely wouldn't want to watch the current iteration of the Monsters of the Midway twice on Sundays... oof.

Anyway, all of those dime finds were all and well and good; however, it was my "big money" purchases that truly got my motor running on that sunny, fall afternoon.  After spending a good half an hour digging through that discount box, I only made it a few more tables down the aisle-way before I found a vendor with a wide-selection of super vintage pieces.  Spread all across the table were wonderful selections of Play Ball, Goudey, Exhibits and...

1949 Bowman! A set which contains two heretofore elusive names needed for my CATRC.

Luckily, one of these men were found within said vendors stock and it was even the one in the high-numbered portion of the checklist.  I was more than happy to hand over six bucks for the colorful, but slightly pencil-marked Jess Dobernic you see above.

Jess, for those who might be wondering, was a minor league journeyman who had a few trials in the Bigs with both Chicago teams and Cincinnati.  From 1948-49, he called Wrigley home, but, like many a Cubs pitcher at the time, was hit hard.  As such, he found himself farmed back out to AAA, as noted in the upper right-hand corner by a rather organized kid, circa 1950.

 Jess warming up in the Wrigley bullpen, courtesy of

Now, any time that I can knock a "super vintage" need off of my list makes for a good day - if the card show had ended right there, I would have been beaming regardless.  But, it didn't end there... in fact, I wasn't even done with that second table.  After making a full lap of the show space, I found myself back at that vendor's lair.  It was then that I noticed a large amount of altered cards in the corner of his glass display case, cards so old that being altered doesn't even really matter to the average joe:

T-206's!  All priced between eight to twelve bucks!  It's a good thing I only brought so much cash (wedding budget has me severely curtailing my card budget), otherwise it would have be far too easy to give into temptation and break the bank on these iconic bits of baseball history.

Nevertheless, I couldn't walk away from this goldmine without at least one bit of treasure.  As such, this Jimmy Slagle now resides in my CATRC binder, safe from any further damage.  Obviously, Jimmy had spent some portion of his existence tacked inside someone's old-school, photo album; no matter, the cut corners and creases do nothing to diminish my excitement about this purchase.

While he's listed with the old Baltimore Orioles of the Eastern League here, Slagle was a longtime starting outfielder for the Cubs, beginning in 1902 and wrapping up his MLB career with a World Series ring in 1908.  Jimmy was the last starter I needed from that storied club - here's hoping that the 2016 edition soon makes that team a little less notable!

 Slagle poses on the field during that infamous Cubs campaign,
Image courtesy of Getty Images

After handing over the dinero for that Slagle, I was officially spent for the day.  Therefore, it was here that my day at the show came to and end.

All in all, I think I had myself a pretty awesome card show - I didn't pull in the quantity, but I sure did find some quality (at least in my opinion).  Two super vintage needs from a couple of the most iconic baseball card sets of all-time make for a happy Burbs.  Not to mention, I was able to fill some other vintage needs (the newest of which was from 1971) for the price of modern commons - you might say, that made for the perfect cherry on top of card show "Sunday."

Good thing pen/pencil marks and creases don't bother me too much; hooray for "altered history!"


  1. Ummm - you could have emailed me or Nick when you arrived, ya dip!!!!

    Looks like you found the same boxes we did.

  2. We probably crossed paths a few times at that show without even realizing it. Jeff's right; you hit the same boxes we did. I came very close to pulling the trigger on one of that guy's T206s, but in the end I just couldn't justify it. Found a ton of good stuff in his discounted boxes though.

    Jeff and I almost completely missed that dime box vintage table. It was almost closing time by the time we found it, but thankfully they weren't packing up yet and were more than generous about sticking around until Jeff and I dug through their inventory. My jaw is still dropped from what I scored from their table -- more on that in upcoming blog posts!

  3. The Bears are almost unwatchable right now but Atkins is a HOFer, so good find there.