Have you ever walked into your LCS only needing to pick up supplies, then found yourself walking out with cards? That’s rhetorical, of course. We all know that you have. After work Friday, I stopped by Duane’s Sports Cards to pick up some sleeves. I know you can get them at Target or Walmart for about the same price, but giving the local shops business is what helps keep them open. If you have a shop in your area, don’t take it for granted. Many others aren’t as lucky as you.
Once I walked in I took a look at the boxes (and boxes and boxes and boxes and you get the point) of singles sorted by set. I looked in the 2015 Contenders box looking for the WVU rookies (Kevin White, Dreamius Smith and Mario Alford), but all that was in there were the veterans. I later found the rookies, but he wanted $4 apiece for them. I’m sure in a few months I’ll be able to get them for a quarter at a show or something, so I will wait. I did pick up the four cards below for a dollar. Auburn and Stanford are two of my “other” schools. I pull for and watch them every chance I get.
The card shop is different than any other I’ve been to. There are multiple “vendors” inside selling cards. I believe it’s four or five guys. The gentleman I bought the cards above from was telling me that he’s looking to get out of the hobby by the end of the year. He’s a very nice old man and I’ve chatted with him several times. He told me that he’s 82 years old and has no (living) children to pass his collection onto. That’s led to him selling off most everything he has and typically at more than 50% his marked price. Granted, some of the prices are high, but still, it’s worth looking around.
He pointed out the boxes on the table across from him and said that everything was $3. It was completely full of autographed and memorabilia cards. There were no stars, but since you usually pay at least $3 shipping for anything you buy online, it’s still a deal IF you find something for your PC. I found just one. He had it severely overpriced originally, but I was more than happy to pay the $3 price.
This is nothing special to most collectors out there, but I love my former Mountaineers and it was well worth it. I believe I only have one other Reynaud auto and it is a dual with Steve Slaton. As many autos as I have of other WVU players, he is very under-represented in my collection.
I don’t collect much baseball or football anymore, but I do have a soft spot for cards that I either had during my childhood or that bring back memories of my collecting youth. I also have a soft spot for vintage (especially football), but unfortunately, I didn’t pick any of that up.
While the gentleman I spoke of earlier is nice, some aspects of his selling do bother me, as the consumer. I understand that he has a very large amount of inventory and it may be difficult, but he doesn’t keep up with currently market/book value. You can see what he had this card marked at, while current book is only $10. He also knocked three bucks off it (below the 50% off), so I did still get it for below book. Could I have picked it up cheaper from eBay? Maybe. However, there’s just something about that instant gratification of walking out with a card.
There are a couple of reasons that I wanted to add this to my PC. For one, as a guy that was always “husky,” I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the fat outfielders (see also: Tony Gwynn). Secondly, it is the Leaf version. Obviously in today’s age, something that’s a Canadian exclusive actually isn’t. Within minutes of arrival into the hands of a Canadian collector, they can turn around, put it onto eBay and make it available to me. As a kid collecting in the 1980s, though, the Leaf cards were tough to find and pretty cool. I can’t even recall who I had, but I know that as a kid I only had a couple of them, so this was the case of bringing back the childhood memory.
When I saw this in the display case, I thought it was one of the old TCMA cards. Now that I think about it, I’m not even sure if TCMA made major league cards, but I know they did a lot of minor league cards. I probably knew more about SSPC cards 20-25 years ago (in my early to mid teens) than I do now. I just thought it was cool, so I picked up up. While there is the staining on the two bottom corners, they are sharp corners and the front coloring looks about right, if I recall correctly.
This turned out to be another case of an overpriced card. Current Beckett book is only $12. However, with the 50% off and a couple of extra bucks off, I walked away with it for $8. I’ve always held a great deal of respect for Winfield. I’ve read multiple stories from people who believe that he could have also been a star in the NFL or NBA. When people talk about greatest athletes ever, Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders are typically the two names mentioned. I always throw Jim Thorpe and Jim Brown in. Why do people never seem to mention Winfield?
This was the final card I picked up. Again, he had it marked higher than current book. Even though this is from the start of the junk wax era, I’m surprised that this only books $8. I started collecting baseball cards in 1987 and didn’t really start picking up football until 1990. However, I never had a Barry Sanders rookie. I wasn’t going to pass it up for $5, and then he knocked another buck off it. Yes, please.
I walked out of the shop with those cards for $23. I’m going to head back over some day when I have some more time and go through a lot more of the stuff he has. There are so many boxes up on shelves and below tables. I know there have to be some hidden gems for my PC. I also know he wants to find those cards a good home before he leaves the hobby.
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I love that Winfield… I’ve got a few hundred of the 1976 SSPC set, but mine are mostly commons and minor stars. For some reason I appreciate Winfield a whole lot more now than I did when he was active.
The set *was* made by TCMA, it was made as a “collector’s set” and sold only as complete sets. Topps’ lawyers told them to knock it off, but according to what I’ve read, they were allowed to sell off what stock they had at the time. Despite the 1975 copyright on the back, promotional material and updates for offseason trades made it clear that it was meant to be a 1976 set.
Awesome info, I appreciate it! It’s also nice to know that maybe I’ve retained some of the knowledge from before my college years (the SSPC/TCMA thing).
I also agree on Winfield appreciation. If I remember correctly, didn’t he have a bit of an attitude problem? I think in the 70s/80s that rubbed people the wrong way more than it does now. Plus, it’s probably a lot like relationships – the further you get away from an old relationship, you tend to just remember more of the good and less of the bad.