Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Empty Arena Card Show

Last weekend I finally had a spare Saturday so I figured I would treat myself. I made the 45 trek up to the Nutter Center in Dayton to hit the monthly card show. Typically, the show is held in the adjoining gym but due to a last minute change in schedule (there was a robotics competition the same day) the show got moved into the main arena. 

Now, I've been to this arena numerous times for WWE shows and never in my wildest imagination did I think I'd be sorting through dime boxes on the same arena floor where Bret Hart made his triumphant return to WWE back in 2010. Also, going into the main arena and seeing the seats completely empty, was a bit bizarre. Anyway, let's take a look at my haul.

Behold ... all kinds of goodies and oddities. Let's look closer ...

There was one vendor selling these old retail sets for a buck each. There were lots of good sets to choose from honestly so narrowing it down to three was a chore. There was one Revco box set but it wasn't in that great a shape so I settled on these, a 1986 Topps Baseball Champion Superstars set and two sets from the old Hills department store. At a later date, I'm planning on giving each of these their own post.

I couldn't resist a Bronson Arroyo bobblehead for six bucks. When I unpacked it at work, I could see why it was six bucks. It was a little chipped and there was a very small piece broken off at the bottom of the base on the back but other than that it was fine.

Now on to the cards! First up, hockey! These all came from a dollar bin that was marked down to 50 cents each. So much good stuff especially with the Eric Lindros Maple Leafs card, Curtis Joseph as a member of the Coyotes, Brodeur, Patrick Roy, and others.

More from the 50 cent bin with Sergei Federov in a Columbus uniform, Mark Messier as a member of the Canucks, and some vintage! The Jean Pronovost card is from the 1975-76 Topps Hockey set. That season Pronovost played in 80 games, scored 104 points (split evenly between goals and assists). He also finished second in the voting for the Lady Byng Trophy that year.

Speaking of vintage hockey, one dealer had a 15-card stack of 1968-69 Topps hockey in his case. I asked to thumb through them and quickly noticed no price. I found two I liked and asked how much. Quickly, he turned to his Beckett as I shuddered inside. He sat the book down, shrugged his shoulders and said "eh, how about five for the pair." Ummm ... ok! So, let's reiterate ... I got a card of a Hall of Fame goalie (and a short-tem stop card nonetheless as the 1967-68 season was his only in L.A.) and a card of a guy who founded a very successful coffee chain for a measly five dollar bill.

I also added to my football collection. Everything you see here was from a nickel bin, except for the Terry Bradshaw which was out of a dollar box.

I swear I'll get to baseball cards here in a second. Before I get to that, I got this giant stack of WWE and UFC cards for ... brace yourself for this ... for free! As I was thumbing through them at the table, I asked the guy how much they were each. He said to take the whole stack as he didn't want them. I offered to pay for them but he insisted. 

Here are the only four I wanted from the stack. Clockwise from the top left is Michael Bisping, Terry Funk, Edge, and Frank Mir. The Edge card is a beautiful card as it's taken after his win at WrestleMania 27 in 2011 in what would turn out to be his final match.

Getting to baseball now, I managed to knock off two highly sought after cards from my wantlist. First, this 2018 Topps Update Matt Harvey. This is one of only two Reds cards that I know of that were issued of Matt Harvey as a Red. The other card is from the 2018 Kahn's set that was issued at the ballpark. (Yes, the Reds still make their own cards for the stadium giveaways).

Another card I was in search of was the Scooter Gennett Topps Now card commemorating his 4-homer game back on June 6, 2017. Not only was he just the 17th player in MLB history at the time to record a four homer game, he was the first Reds player ever to do it. The price tag on it was still $10 but I couldn't resist for a card I've been searching for ever since it was issued. 

Here's a pretty neat card, an Ozzie Smith manu-relic patch card numbered to 75. I got this from the same guy I got the Matt Harvey Reds card from. 

Another manu-relic card. I don't really hate on these as much as a I've seen a lot of people do. I personally think they're neat cards. The medallion here looks like a class ring but it's Randy Johnson as an Expo. I'll take that any day.

A few more bargain relics in players I collect.

I got these from a guy that said he was just cleaning out his garage so he had a bunch of random stuff like dime boxes, random loose vintage cards, and these. These are 1977 MSA discs that were issued in cartons of Pepsi and they cost me nothing at this show. Since I bought a nice stack of cards from him, he threw these in as a bonus.

Of course, I can't go to any card show and not pick up some vintage. I know the Billy Martin has some writing on the surface but it's a Topps card of Billy Martin with the Reds. I couldn't resist.

I nabbed this 1960 Wally Post as well from the guy who gave me all the wrestling and UFC cards. I like the card but there's something about it that seems a bit off. Maybe it's the border brightness or how sharp the corners are, I'm not sure. The back seems brighter that the 1960 Martin as well. Regardless, I only shelled out a few bucks for it.

Who can pass up vintage oddballs? I can't. These were a buck each.

Early 80s goodness for 50 cents each. 

Moving on now to where I did the most damage, the dime and nickel boxes. There were only a few vendors that had bargain bins so I made sure to make the most of them and I dug through each one thoroughly. The first was the regular vendor who has singles of all the new stuff. I nabbed a ton of new Gypsy Queen base cards for a dime each. These aren't all of them, just the highlights of the batch.

Some fabulous dime bin Reds from the 1980s. My favorite here may just be the Chris Sabo Toys R' Us rookie card.

90s oddballs? Sure, why not.

Some great 90s base cards including Jose Rijo working as a member of the Reds grounds crew. He always did fun stuff like that while he had a bad shoulder injury.

Some cool horizontal cards. Willie Greene was a decent third baseman for the Reds in the 90s and had a bit of pop in his bat too. His best year was 1997 where he played in 151 games and hit .253 with 26 homers and 91 RBIs.

Some great mid-2000s stuff to add to my collection.

And finally some newer Reds cards. Reds cards weren't the only thing I dug out of the bargain bins though ...

Here's some stars of the 80s, including a cool Graig Nettles that's not only a sunset card but also a short-term stops card as he wound up his career with the Expos in 1988.

These 1987 Donruss cards were a nickel each. Yes, a nickel each. I was so excited that I accidentally grabbed two of the Tim Raines card.

Can you guess what all these players have in common? If you guessed they are all former Reds, you'd be right. One of my guilty pleasures of collecting is getting cards of former Reds players in different or unfamiliar uniforms. Some of these I barely even remember like Tim Belcher with the Royals or Dave Parker with the Angels.

The bargain bins just kept on giving like these cards Hall of Famers. The most expensive here was the Griffey for a buck.

I hit some player collections as well ... some Dennis Eckersley Cardinals cards and Paul O'Neill who I enjoy finding cards of in bargain bins.

A bunch of random cards here. Just all kinds of cool stuff.

Buybacks! Yes!

Lots of inserts from some Hall of Famers. I love the Hank Aaron cards with the old school Braves jersey.

Diamond Kings are my favorite Panini product. I'll scoop these up from bargain bins all the time. The Orlando Cepeda card is just beautiful.

More random stuff. 

And finally, a bunch of really, really good stuff. I never really collected Justin Verlander cards when he was with the Tigers but for some reason, I'm drawn to cards of him with the Astros. I can't really explain it.

That wraps up my card show visit for the spring. I spent more than I thought I would (mainly due to the Ozzie Smith and Scooter Gennett cards) but I think I still came out on top though and even knocked two cards off my want list. 


  1. Nice cards, I like the Kaybee and Pepsi cards. I've never seen them before, I might look into them. Fun post.

  2. Cool stuff. I liked the three box sets and the MSA discs most. My least favorite was the Gennett. I'm a Cardinals fan. I watched that game, from the losing end. I have been to one Wright State game at the Nutter Center, and really liked the facility.

  3. Oh man... it's always scary when a dealer grabs a price guide. Glad he ended up hooking you up on those two 1968-69 Topps hockey card for $5. That's an awesome deal.

  4. Holy cow, nice haul!! All that?!! You must have really scoured. I miss the arena. Watched a crap ton of concerts and all sorts of sporting events. Good stuff.

  5. i love the small, oddball sets too. A lot of good cards here but the vintage hockey - yeah, that is sweet stuff!

  6. I'm torn between the Pepsi cars and the Raines relic.

  7. Wow that Wally Post looks super clean! I like the Tim Raines bat and vintage hockey, too. Lots of great stuff there.

  8. Awesome stuff! I especially like the vintage baseball.

  9. Where to start? All of the relics are cool. Love Aaron cards in that jersey. Nice pops cards and I love the Ozzie patch card. Fun post .

  10. Nice haul! Does a dime box hunter like myself proud.

  11. How did I not know that Tim Horton's was founded by thee Tim Horton?