Wednesday, August 10, 2022

i wasn't going to make the same mistake twice

[i originally had this post ready to go last wednesday, but it was pre-empted]

i suppose this post could count as an entry in the "blogger national" bat-around - and speaking of the national, have you seen brad's blog's posts! incredible stuff. unfortunately, blogger won't let me comment on his posts, but it was fun to follow his exploits for sure.  as for me, it's been a long time since i attended the national and i doubt i will ever get there again.  thankfully, there is a monthly card show here in the twin cities that i attended in july.  on with the cards!

at the show earlier this year, i passed on a 1995 score hall of gold brett butler card, assuming i had it. once i got home, i found that i did not, in fact, own that card. when i returned to the show the following month, the butler was no longer in the bargain box. i wound up picking the card up in a sportlots order.

well, this time, i came across a 1992 donruss butler diamond kings insert
i set it aside and later checked my wantlists. all my online list said was "dodgers complete" under 1992 donruss, but knowing that this was an insert, i wasn't too sure. i took it home with me and sure enough, i had not added the dk inserts to my want lists. now i can say "dodgers complete!"

as usual, i had made a beeline for a particular dealer and his bargain boxes. the butler was in the 5 for $1 box, along with these cards:
turns out i had both of the dodger cards in this lot, but i put the 2019 topps chrome update michael chavis card in my "names/numbers on the back" mini-collection, and the two shiny a&g braves will go to my brave collector source for dodger cards. the kikuchi (i bought two) is a factory set variation, and the goldschmidt is a high number short print.

the 5 for $1 box was pretty lackluster, as i think this dealer is seeing that he can price things for more and get away with it. i saw a few cards in his dollar boxes (which were actually seven for $5 boxes) that had previously been in the 5 for $1 boxed. such is capitalism and i totally accept that.

i am a sucker for parallels - even when they aren't dodgers - but was excited to find a 2022 topps julio urias
black parallel
for less than a buck. i see these things so rarely that i didn't notice topps was changing the print run of these annually like they do with gold parallels.

here are some more cards from the 7 for $5 boxes
a couple of comments on these cards - i have a hard time passing up bryce harper cards, but i don't collect him. the heritage is a high number short print, and the card directly above this is a montgomery card. i like the design of it. the josh hamilton and alex gordon are rack pack exclusives, and i had great success with an albert pujols rack pack card at a previous show, so i bought these two. i doubt anyone still collects hamilton but maybe.

here are some more:
i was surprised to see those two tim salmon cards as i didn't know there were variations in the 70 years of topps inserts from 2021. turns out those are from a different insert set.  yay topps.

even more 7 for $5 cards:
more braves for trading, and i don't pass on the 2021 topps 3d cards when they pop up in this guys boxes.

don't fret - i also found some dodgers in these boxes:
there's a 2013 bowman chrome clayton kershaw, a 2018 panini chronicles phoenix alex verdugo, a 2019 bowman christian santana chrome prospects purple refractor, a 2017 bowman draft chrome gavin lux, and two cards from 2020 topps update - a mookie betts 1985 35th anniversary card and a duke snider platinum players die-cut card. even though i didn't check my want lists, the only dupe turned out to be the kershaw card.

i also added this 70 years of topps insert
from 2021 topps update, along with another betts insert from update
i already had the walker buehler card, which was from topps series 1. or maybe series 2.

i was happy to find a couple of silver pack cards - one from 2021 update
and one from 2022 topps
i would like more albert pujols and max scherzer dodger cards, please.

there were a couple of weird cards that i picked up from these boxes, like this thing
which is a sage hit make ready card of anthony allen who plays the football. not sure why i put this one in my stack, but i did and now would like to find it a new home.

i also bought these two cards from 2015 panini americana
and i can hear christopher cross in my head, telling me to "think of laura". ah, genie francis.

back to parallels, i rescued these guys from the boxes
they come from 2021 topps update and 2022 topps. the andrew vaughn card there is not a parallel, just an insert from last year's update. even though i like the foilboard parallels, the real gem here is the ryan zimmerman card.  it's a camo parallel, numbered to 25
yes, a low-numbered parallel of a semi-star and team icon for less than a buck. nice. if only it weren't so late to market it would have covered all of my purchases for the day.

finally, i dug through the dealer's "half off sticker" box. here's what i purchased:

2017 bowman's best cody bellinger
2018 topps cody bellinger 1983 all-star black parallel /299
still don't have the "base" version of this card, though.

this is a neat mini relic card from 2001 bowman heritage
and here are some cognac parallels from 2011 topps:
including legends:
i took advantage of the 2 for 1 aspect and added two 2021 topps silver pack cards of former dodger farmhand yordan alvarez
and two cards from 2013 topps update of former pirate gerrit cole
the last card i took from this box was a 2015 topps chrome update mega box kris bryant rookie card
the shine is off of bryant at this point, but not the card.

those were collectively marked for a total of $56, so $28 was the actual price.

now we get to the math...

it was time to settle up with the dealer. i had 10 cards from the 5 for $1 box, 77 cards from the 7 for $5 box, and $28 worth of half off cards. he totaled it up as $41 and asked for $30. um, ok. that didn't sound right but he was so confident that i handed the money over even though i was confused. i walked away and did some quick math and reversed course. basically, he forgot to multiply the 11 sets of 7 cards i took by $5 to get the real total - instead he counted all of those cards as being worth $11. the total should have been $85 - not $41. he asked for another $40, so i still got a bit of a discount from his posted prices ($15) although certainly not the deal he mistakenly let me have at first. i definitely felt better about things after we corrected the sale. 

by this time the show was pretty crowded. the dealer whose boxes i was looking through is set up at the back (used to be the front) of the show (long story) so i hadn't seen just how many people had arrived.  i walked over to a guy who always has true dime boxes and found 106 cards that he let me have for $10. here are most of them:
i am a sucker for topps heritage inserts and other random colored parallels and inserts.
same goes for parallels. even of marlins.

i picked out four 2018 topps update hall of fame highlights vladimir guerrero cards
one of which is the silly "parallel of an insert". it turns out that blue parallel was the only one of these cards i needed.

i even bought some metallic snowflake cards from 2017 topps holiday
some of the keeper cards from this box are this 2022 topps opening day insert
for the tattooine collection, and a bunch of dodgers
these cards are:

2017 bowman andrew sopko mega box chrome prospects
2010 bowman carlos monasterios blue /520
2014 panini prizm eddie murray 
2016 topps adrian gonzalez record setters 
2018 topps opening day yasiel puig blue foil 
2020 topps cody bellinger choice blue parallel
2019 bowman platinum corey seager 
2020 bowman heritage cody bellinger
2018 topps gypsy queen cody bellinger blackless

it turns out i already had the murray, gonzalez, and seager cards, but i wasn't going to bother with the want lists at this point.

i took all the 2018 topps cody bellinger highlights cards the guy had to offer
and was actually bothered by the fact that there were a few black and blue parallels in there because i could have used the base version of those cards.
there's one more of the blue parallels along with some panini chronicles cards from 2018. i don't know how to buy chronicles cards, so this is pretty much the only way i will add them to my collection.  the other stuff here are a 2020 topps max muncy hr challenge and a 2021 topps update trevor bauer 70 years of topps cards and some 2022 opening day cards i already had.

after the dime box purchase, i made a quick loop looking for some bargain vintage. i knew going in that i wanted to find some cards for my 1957 topps set build, and i did
here's the back of the senators card:
the top of the card (the left in the rotated image) feels like it is barely held together, but it's the only appearance of harmon killebrew in the set and the price was somewhat decent.  i learned from this cards that goose goslin's real name was leon.

in all, these '57s cost a total of $16. it's a but much given the condition but because of the opportunity cost angle, i made the deal. i also bought another card for $4 from this seller, bringing my card show expenditure total to an even $100.

as usual, i've sold a few of the cards i picked up and now the ones i am keeping have turned out to have cost me just my time and gas. heading to the national would cost me a whole lot more!


  1. Good on you for letting him know. I kind of feel like he should have let you walk with the original deal though. I'd be embarrassed to ask for $40 more from someone after I settled and they walked away, even if they were willing to pay more. Guessing he had nowhere near that into the cards to begin with either.

  2. I can never get into the "buy the cards to sell them" game when I'm at a card show, even finding cards for fellow traders is hard for me to remember. Like the Dodgers pick-ups though.

  3. Glad you settled up with that dealer after all was said and done - I love a good deal, but I don't want to pay less than I should have. Most dealers have been very appreciative & I understand since I'm no math whiz myself.

    Great finds all around - I especially love those legend liquorfractors. Impossible to resist them.

  4. That would've been risking some seriously bad juju to have not gone back and corrected his mistake. That Reggie Jackson Cognac is pretty neat, I'm not sure if I've seen that one before or not.