Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Weekend Card Show

Every year as an early birthday present, my wife lets me go off to a card show. Typically, I'd go to my preferred show, the monthly show at the Nutter Center in Dayton but this time I decided to venture down to Sharonville, a northern suburb of Cincinnati, for a show being held at the Clarion Hotel.

I had memories of this show from way back in the day when I used to work for a card shop. On occasion, the owner would send me off with a car load full of stuff from boxes with loose packs to dime boxes to jersey and autograph cards, to set up with at the show. After a while, he just started doing the show himself, I think perhaps because he took better stuff with him, but regardless I still had fun running the table.

Having said that, it's been at least ten years since I've been to this particular show and for once, in the days leading up to it, I wasn't excited for card show day. I'm not sure why. Maybe because the little voice in the back of my head was telling me to wait for the Nutter Center but I was bound and determined to go.

I got a later start than I wanted and pulled up to the hotel about 10:15 for a show that started at 9:30 and the parking lot was already packed. I headed in and over to the giant conference room I remember the show being in so many years ago and yes, there it was. Like it had never left. I knew I was in trouble though as the first vendor I saw in the door had two tables of triple digit vintage. I had a feeling good deals were probably going to be scarce.

I was right.

Dime and quarter boxes were nearly non-existant. I found exactly one true dime box throughout the whole show, the rest were either 50 cent or dollar boxes (which really isn't a bad thing but I'm on a budget here!). Some vendors had boxes out that had no price on them, which should've been a big red flag for me but I dug anyway. I found some gems, managed to negotiate a fair price, and still walked away with a feeling like I'd been had in some instances.

Complaints aside, it was still a card show and I did manage to find some good deals. Let's see what I got.

I'll start off by showing off most of the finds from the only true dime box of the day. While the box was mostly 2017 Topps base, it still had a good handful of miscellaneous stuff including some from this years Gypsy Queen and Allen & Ginter. The dealer running the table mentioned it was the first time he'd put together one. That Randy Johnson Expos card is a short print by the way so seeing it pop-up from a dime box was super cool.

I think the 1987 style inserts are cool so when I found three of them, I set them aside. I almost decided to put the Clemens card back but it'll go good with the "quick stops" cards (aka "short term stops") I have in my collection. The John Goodman card I had my eye on since it came out as I've always been a big fan of his. Plus, he played Walter in The Big Lebowski, which is one of my favorite movies ever.

Some of the Donruss throwback style cards from this years release. Despite the fact that Panini doesn't have an MLB license, that still doesn't stop me from enjoying the fun that Donruss brings to the table every year.

Speaking of Panini, Diamond Kings is always one of my favorite releases of the year. They're a premium style product at not a premium price and you're always guaranteed to get a bit of good stuff. Getting all of these for 10 cents each pretty much made my whole day up until the very end of the show (which I'll get to later). Yes, the base cards are nice but those Heritage Collection inserts, those are just gorgeous.

And a few more things to wrap up the dime box portion. I became a big fan of Scooter Gennett this year as he had a great year for the Reds who picked him up off the scrap heap in Spring Training. 

Moving on from the dime box, I managed to score a few buybacks from a 50 cent bin, however I only paid a $1 for these. 

Aside from the vast selection of football cards, the baseball products that were all over the place included Update and Topps Fire. The Kris Bryant was from a dollar bin (and yes, I realize it's a 2016 card) but the others were from one of the unmarked bins. It's the first time I'd seen these in person and they are awesome. Plus, I wasn't expecting to see a card of Hank Aaron in a Brewers uniform in a modern product. The Willie McCovey card is a parallel I believe.

I'm normally not a big collector or buyer of Chrome but these were too nice to pass up. 

I found these on a second pass through a 50 cent bin that I'd missed on my first lap through the show. I know I'll never be able to afford boxes or packs of products like this so finding cards in the bargain bin is super cool.

Stadium Club was all over the place too and most of them were in dollar bins or vendor were commanding an unreasonable price for bulk singles. I think I'll have to try to get some more of this as  it's just tremendous. The Gehrig card is one of the black parallels but my favorite has to be the Warren Spahn card, just for the fact it includes a ton of old school ballpark ads in the background.

Of course, I can't go to a card show and not come back with some Reds cards. Even though I don't care much for 2016 Topps, I knew I didn't have the Lorenzen and the Diaz. I didn't know Barry Larkin was in A&G this year so that's definitely a new card to add to the Larkin collection. My favorite of the batch though has to be the Johnny Bench Stadium Club card.

Newer cards weren't the only thing I bought. As I mentioned previously, the first table I saw had nothing but high priced, triple digit vintage. I did manage, however, to find someone towards the back corner of the room with a 50 cent bin of late 60s and 70s cards. I spotted these two Pilots cards right away and I'll add them to the Pilots collection. My goal is to get a complete team set from 1969 and 1970.

All five cards above were also in the 50 cent vintage bin. The photo on the George Scott card is just amazing. I think Stargell might be a duplicate but I'm not sure. For 50 cents though, I was willing to take that chance.

Here's a bunch of other baseball cards I got that didn't really belong in any of the other scans above. How can you not like this batch? You've got Reggie as an Oriole and Roger Maris as a Cardinal. Everything else is just cake.

I like to keep my options open at shows so even though I'm not much of a basketball collector, I couldn't really pass these up. Especially for cards of three bonafide NBA legends. The Shaq card I think is one of those special cards given out at the National.

Hockey cards were definitely in short supply. The only person who even had any was the aforementioned person where I got the 50 cent vintage cards. Every card shown above here was only a nickel each. 

He also had a binder full of vintage hockey cards. I took a gander through and came up with these. To be honest, I'm not too familiar with any of these guys and the only one I've heard of is Jacques Lemaire. The Flames cards I got because they'll go well with the defunct teams collection. Phil Roberto I just had to get because honestly, how often do you see pictures of fights on hockey cards?

A few other random hockey cards I managed to dig up, including two of my favorite players to watch from two of my favorite teams to watch.

My best find of the day though had to be at the very last table. Normally, I try to shy away from vintage dealers who have showcases on their tables but I noticed this particular person had really good prices on everything. Now, to be clear, this wasn't the initial vendor I saw. I'll also say that of all the card shows I've ever been to, he was by far the nicest vendor I've ever ran into. Most if not all vendors there would give me a quick "Hi" which was quickly followed by them looking back down on their phones to check their fantasy football teams. Not this guy, he was genuinely interested in helping me find some cards to fit my budget instead of shoving high priced stuff in my face, provided me his business card, added me to his email list, and seemed just happy to be there. That being said, I bought four nice cards from him as my last purchase of the day.

Behold! My favorite purchase of the day! These four cards set me back a mere $12 as the guy gave a me a deal and gave me and extra 20% off the low price he quoted me already. The Sam Mele card is only the second 1952 Topps card I have. The rest are from the 1960 set. Sure, they're a little beat up, the back of the Mathews card has very minimal paper loss, but for three bucks each, it was hard to pass up. The guy I bought these from said he recognized me from the Dayton show as well and would be sure to let me know the next time he'd be back in the area.

My budget going into this show was $50. I came back with $12 left so I think I did ok for myself. What's left I'm going to put towards getting some more storage and organization stuff. Did I get amazing deals? Not really aside from the last four cards. Will I be going back to this show again? Probably not any time soon as I definitely prefer the smaller scale and the selection at the Nutter Center show.


  1. Great haul. Love that Aaron Fire card and the Reggie with the Os.

  2. Scooter! Awesome pick up. Hey, I pulled a 2016 GQ Johnny Bench MVP mini today. Would you want it? I love the Reds but more focused on getting my flagship team sets organized first. Let me know! Looks like an awesome haul!

    1. Send me an email with what you collect and we'll see if we can work something out.

  3. The Diamond Kings are really cool. That is a product I seem to always forget about until I see it on a blog. And you can't go wrong with '73-74 Topps hockey, such a great looking set.

  4. Decent show! I love those four vintage cards you picked up in that last purchase. One of these days I need to add a 1952 Topps to the collection.

    1. 1952 Topps is really fun to add. Even though I don't know hardly any of the common players, if I can get them for cheap I'll happily add them to the collection.

  5. Great card show haul. That 60T Mathews is especially sweet.

  6. Nice finds! Even if that was the only dime box at the show, it looks like a solid one. Can't go wrong with Pilots cards, and the '60 Mathews is a treasure.