Monday, April 20, 2015

Card Show in San Francisco

This past weekend I attended the TriStar Sportscard Show in San Francisco.  I have attended this show for the past five years.  Being from a small town in Northern California, there are never any cards shows here (please bring back the glory days of the early 90s when even in my hometown there were shows monthly).  Usually the only show I attend each year is this show in San Francisco, normally held at the Cow Palace.  For me it is about a five hour drive to San Francisco, but it is worth the time and expense as I get a chance to look at and buy baseball cards outside of my local card shop. 
I was excited about attending the show, as I was planning to go to the show on Friday afternoon/evening (I had never done that before) and Saturday.  I was a little confused on Friday when I first arrived as there was a long line of a couple of hundred people waiting to get into the show.  However, the reason that there was such a long line was cleared up minutes later when I found out that this year the venue at the Cow Palace was moved to the north side of the building, because there was a HempCon show also scheduled (link: Hempcon Show San Francisco) that was using the room that the card show normally occupied.  A couple of times when I went to my car to stash some of my purchases, I detected the wafting of smoke from a joint or pipe floating across the parking lot.    
The main reason I attend the show is to buy baseball cards.  Prior to the show I curtailed my purchases at the local card shop and on the internet so I would have more dollars to spend.  A couple of other reasons I like the show are: 
  1. I get a chance to talk with dealers.  I like to talk with them about cards and ask how they are doing at the show.  This year, the dealers that I talked with said they were having a good show.  To me there seems to be more people at the show than in previous years.  I don’t go to the show to sell cards, but a couple of times I was asked if I had any cards for sell.  I also noticed many dealers were willing to purchase cards.  From what I could tell, a majority of those deals were for relic and signature cards or one-of-one issues.
  2. I also like to talk with the children at the show.  Yes, a majority of the attendees were old farts like me, but if I get the chance, I like to talk with youngsters about their card collecting.  I was eight years old when I started to collect, and it is a hobby that I’ve enjoyed since then, and I know the future of the hobby is to have children interested in and enjoying the hobby.  On Friday night the few children I saw seemed to just be tagging along with their dad and/or mom.  On Saturday, I got the chance to talk with a few children, and those that I did talk with were excited about the cards they had, as they seemed most trilled about the relic or signature cards they were holding.  There was one young man, who couldn’t have been any older than twelve, who was working a table with his parents.  He seemed very knowledgable about cards and was having a good time, except when his older brother pissed him off after he stole his nachos.   He was a good salesman and looking back, I should have bought some of the cards he offered me.    
So when I entered the show, I had my lists in hand and started looking for dime boxes and $1 vintage cards.   I found dime boxes first. I was able to find two dealers who were selling cards for a dime.  One of the dealers had over 100,000 cards and the other dealer had about six or seven full 5000 card boxes.  It seems that I was elbowing for space with other card bargain hunters, as I wasn't the only one looking for dime card deals.  Yes, other collectors were polite and courteous and apologized as we kept bumping into each other in search of the best dime card.
In my next few posts I want to share some of the cards I bought at the show.  I am happy about the cards I got, maybe spent too much, but it was worth the travel time and spending a couple of days combatting the traffic of the city.    Later I will do posts on some of the non-vintage cards that cost more than a dime and about vintage cards that I bought for a dollar.

Dime Card Deals

One of the best things about going to a card show is looking through boxes of dime cards.  It is fun to look for a good deal, but I also enjoy looking at the cards, many that I’ve never seen.   Normally I will come home with anywhere between 500 to 1000 dime cards.  This show was no different, and now that I’m back home, I am wondering what I am going to do with all of these cards.  I’ve started to sort them and I am trying to figure out what I've got and now that I write this blog, I can share some of my purchases on my blog.  Here are some of the cards that I brought home with me.
1969 American League Co-Winners of Cy Young Award
I was able to find vintage cards of the Co-Winners of 1969 American League Cy Young award.  These cards are not perfect.  The Cuellar card is a Topps 1966 short print issue and the McLain card is from the Topps 1972 set, one of Topps first traded cards.


Mike Cuellar Topps 1966 #566 and Denny McLain Topps 1972 #753

 Negro League Stars 

I always interested in learning about the history of the game.  Baseball cards offered the chance to educate me about players from yesteryear.  Each of these Negro League star cards was issued in 2001. What could have been if these players would have had the opportunity to have a playing career in the major leagues?

Josh Gibson Topps 2001 What Could Have Been #WCB1, Andrew “Rube” Foster Fleer Tradition 2001 Stitches In Time #20, Satchel Paige, & 2001 Upper Deck Legends, The Foirentino Collection #F2.
The 1952 World Series Reprints 

The 1952 World Series was before my time but was a rematch of the 1949 Series between the Dodgers and the Yankees.  In 2002, Topps issued reprints of cards from their 1952 set that portrayed players from the 1952 World Series, which the Yankees won four games to three.  I was able to get five from the 2002 Topps regular set and two issued in the chrome set.
Topps 2002 regular set 1952 World Series Reprints 

Duke Snider #2, Bill Martin #6, & Gene Woodling #15,
Johnny Sain card #16 & Hank Bauer #19.  

Topps 2002 chrome set 1952 World Series Reprints

“Preacher” Roe #11 & Ralph Houk #17
 Topps 1998 Minted in Cooperstown set 
I don’t have many cards from the Topps 1998 Minted in Cooperstown set.  Beckett says the cards were seeded in one of every eight packs.  I didn’t buy a lot of packs in 1998, so the Minted in Cooperstown cards I have I purchased on the secondary market.  I was able to find a stack of about 40 common Minted in Cooperstown cards and I went ahead and snagged all of them.

Here are a few of those cards.

Carlos Delgado #384 & Bobby Bonilla #356
Jim Eisenreich #67 & Chili Davis #40

Ozzie Guillen #164 & Walt Weiss #96
David Wells #83 & Trevor Hoffman #57
Food Issues

I was able to find some nice odd ball food issue cards.

1987 M & M Star Lineup Mike Schmidt #3, and 1989 Hillshire Farms or Kahn’s Cooperstown Collection Brooks Robinson #9

 1994 King B Greg Maddux, Jr. #18 & 1994 Tombstone Pizza Cal Ripken, Jr. #26,

2001 Upper Deck Oreo/Ritz Ken Griffey, Jr, no # listed on card & 2006 Upper Deck Sunkist Alex Rodriguez #6
Minor League Issues 

It seems that in the early 1990s there were many minor league issues.  I was able to find some nice minor league cards.

1990 Star Ivan Rodriguez #26 & 1990 CMC Dave Justice #285,

1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Double AA Jim Thome #96 & 1991 Classic Best Pedro Martinez #355

1992-93 Fleer Excel Manny Ramirez #164 & 1996 Classic Sport Nomar Garciaparra #121

Some Rookies
I was able to get some early 90s rookie cards plus some rookie cards for current players.

Here are a 1990 Donruss Rated Rookie Juan Gonzalez, which is a reverse negative (note the 19 on Gonzalez's jersey is backwards and that he is batted left handed), and a 1990 Leaf of John Olerud.

1990 Donruss Rated Rookie Juan Gonzalez #33 & 1990 Leaf John Olerud #237

I found 2004 Topps Cracker Jack Yadier Molina rookie with the sticker issuance of the same card.

2004 Topps Cracker Jack Yadier Molina #204 and the same card as sticker

Here are a couple of current Red All-Stars, Joey Votto and Todd Frazier.  I am not sure if the Votto is his rookie card.  He made his major league debut in September 2007.

2007 Bowman Draft Future’s Game Prospect #BDPP98 Joey Votto and Topps Update 2011 Update Todd Frazier #US270  
Some Inserts

I found inserts from sets going back into the 80s.  Here are a few of them.

 1987 Fleer All-Stars Roger Clemens #11 and 1993 Upper Deck Then and Know George Brett TN2

1999 Upper Deck Wonder Years Mark McGwire #WY19 & 1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated Diamond Dominators Nomar Garciaparra #8

2001 Topps Gallery Alex Rodriguez #GH9 and 2001 Upper Deck Superstar Summit Deter Jeter #SS1

Watch for other of my blogs with more tales about the San Francisco card show.

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