Friday, June 24, 2016

Card Show Report Pt. 1: A Sampling of 2016

For a Father's Day present, my wife let me have my choice of card shows to go to. There were three happening in June, one on June 4th at the Wright State Nutter Center, and two on Father's Day weekend itself, with a small show at a local card shop on that Saturday and a large 75-table show the next day in a northern suburb of Cincinnati. I weighed all options.

I've been to the Nutter Center show before and while not big, it's not small either and I know what to expect, especially since the layout is pretty spacious. The show at the card shop I've been meaning to go to every time they have one but I'm not one to enjoy people crammed in a tiny space sorting through mounds of cards which I imagine it to be. Speaking of lots of people, the large show isn't my style and it's big wheelers and dealers with tons of tables in a large hotel ballroom. In the end, I opted to go back to the Nutter Center show as it's quiet, spread out, and relaxed ... exactly my style.

While the pickings were pretty slim and dime and quarter boxes seemed to be non-existent at most tables, I was able to find a number of good things by doing some digging. Enough, in fact, to break up my findings through four posts. For this portion, I took a page out of Dimebox Nick's playbook and picked up 2016 singles on the cheap in the bargain bins.

I grabbed a bunch of 2016 Series 1, Gypsy Queen, and a handful of Archives singles from one dealer who had boxes and boxes of 2016 base cards for a dime a piece. The person next to him had loads of singles from Diamond Kings and across the gym, another person had loads of Archives singles.

Diamond Kings

I'll start with Diamond Kings as it's the only Panini product I found singles of. Only one person had these so I cleaned up with them. You'll see a trend on some of these products where I gravitated to the older retired stars than current players and that's especially true with this. The thing for me with Diamond Kings is that you feel like you're getting a high end product but not at a high-end price. Sure, the packs themselves are about $7 each and that's just above what all of these cost in one deal.

Nothing but legends on this page. I think it's really cool that not only are the usual suspects included like Lou Gehrig and Rogers Hornsby, but there are others like Frank Chance and Harry Breechen who get little to no cardboard love from Topps. The only downside is that since Panini can't use team names, I have no idea if Hornsby is in a Cardinals uniform or Browns uniform. If I had to guess, I'd say Browns.

Because the backs are important too, these are equally as great. Sure, it's the same photo but there's also a brief bio, which is helpful for those who might not be as familiar with those from baseball's early days

I grabbed the Henie Groh card simply because it was a Reds card. Jake Daubert I grabbed because he played for the Reds on the 1919 World Series team and had a pretty solid career with both the Reds and Dodgers. The thing I really like about seeing dead ball stars on these cards is the fact that Panini doesn't need to airbrush out team logos on uniforms. 

Some more old timers and handful of current players. Lamb has really struggled in the Reds rotation as of late and may risk losing his spot once Homer Bailey comes back from the DL. Waldrop has been a handy player off the bench when needed. However, I consider the fact that I got Nap Lajoie, Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente, and Kyle Schwarber cards without getting taken to the cleaners a really nice bonus.

The last page of Diamond Kings and some really awesome inserts! Both of these black insert sets are absolutely gorgeous but my favorite has to be the Nap Lajoie card. You may also notice that there's another Frank Chance base card. No, I didn't scan it twice, I accidentally bought two copies. Oh well, I can think of a few Cubs collectors that could use it. 

Gypsy Queen

I generally don't buy packs and boxes of Gypsy Queen just because it's out of my budget. Sure, I might grab a few packs here and there if I have extra cash and I feel like splurging on some packs at $5.99 each but otherwise I'll just pick up the cards I like. I really enjoyed last year's design and wasn't too thrilled when I saw this years cards. However, the more I saw it, the more I liked it. All of these cards cost exactly a dime a piece.

First page up and it's all Reds. I believe this is the Reds team set (minus short prints which I'll get to in a minute) and I'm pretty have I got all of these for under a buck. The cards with Votto, Mesoraco, and Bruce in the red jersey just absolutely pop.

I also grabbed current players that I like along with a few Indians cards I found in the box as well. I had to grab the Ichiro since he's probably going to hit 3,000 hits this year. 

A few more card from the Gypsy Queen dime box. I still dig getting Todd Frazier stuff and I find it super odd still to see him in a White Sox uniform.

This was the only card I bought out of a display case the whole show and I snagged it for a mere $2. The picture on this card is just great and you can't really go wrong with a Johnny Bench card for two bucks.

Flagship/Series 1

When the details of Series 1 along with the card design was released last fall, I got pretty excited as it looked like Topps was at least thinking out of the box in terms of design. When these were released however, it wasn't received well at all by most. I personally don't mind the design, it stands out and I'll be able to pick it out unlike 2013 and 2014 which are very, very similar and I still can't tell apart unless I look at the backs.

There were a ton of commons that I thumbed through but I did manage to find some gems, especially the Noah Syndergaard and Kris Bryant cards which I thought would have been quickly snatched up by someone. 

The middle row of this I call the "fun row" just because of how entertaining these cards are. The Royal World Series victory photo, Huston Street getting doused by water, and the Orioles being generally overjoyed. Not to be forgotten either is the Johnny Cueto card with him celebrating. Good for him to get a ring in Kansas City last year.


Now the star of the show ... Archives. Much like Gypsy Queen, I avoid buying packs and boxes of Archives because the last few years Topps jacked up the price with the Major League cards and Will Ferrell cards in the product. This year it's Bull Durham which seems to have brought the price down to earth somewhat. The movie does nothing for me so I didn't bother with any of the cards from that part of it. I grabbed a few of these from the dime box guy and the rest from another person across the gym who had loads of singles. I think I spent about $7 combined from both vendors on these and there are a lot!

I'm sure by now everyone has seen some of these cards multiple times on multiple blogs but cards like Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Andres Galarraga haven't gotten much love from the cardsphere. The 1991 style cards pretty much steal the show here.

I saw the Gaylord Perry card on someone's blog right before this show and my first thought was "I've got to have that!". I love the old school 70s Indians logo coupled with the red uniform. It's a beautiful card. Not to be outdone, Satchel Paige peering over at someone while next to a brick wall just spells trouble.

No 1991s on this page but one thing to notice, especially on the 1953 style cards, is the difference in logos. Use the Tony Perez and the Billy Hamilton card as examples and you'll see what I mean. It's the little things that make some of these cards that much better.

Get ready for a plethora of 1991 style cards as this page and the next page are nothing but that. I didn't scan the back of either these or the 1979 cards but everyone knows they have full stats on the back. That's really awesome and reminds me that Eddie Mathews had a cameo for the Astros or that Andre Dawson played for the Marlins. Again, the little things. By the way, look how vibrant the Carlos Gonzalez card is!

The photography on these makes me wish they would do stuff like this for Heritage instead of dull posed shots on pretty much every card. Again, the old school logos for the old school players is awesome.

The final four Archives cards. Really cool to get Peraza in a Reds uniform finally.

That's it for the first part of the card show report. Settle in, there's lot more good stuff to come!


  1. Not typically a fan of Panini products... but I really like this year's base card design. Great stuff.

  2. Going the dime box route for current singles really is the way to go. I love opening packs, but the $2.99s and $3.99s/pack for retail can really add up after a while.

  3. Great haul! I'm 99% sure that DK Ted Williams is an image variation.