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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Here's what $10 can buy you at a "dying a slow death" card show.

Let's face it.  The days of the local hobby collector's show are almost at an end.  No more do we find the plethora of places to go to get your cardboard fix on the weekends, whether it be the local mall, VFW, or banquet room at the Holiday Inn.  Sure, if you live in a larger market (or Canada) you might find a smattering of interesting things on weekends.  Heck, my fellow Canuckian collectors have been posting all sorts of goodies from a variety of shows that take place north of the border.  But for some of us, local shows are a thing of the past.

My local show is no exception.  There is an old elementary school that was converted into a community center many years ago very close to my house.  Four times a year, they have a fairly large "rummage" sale that features as many as 120-150 tables.  If you could see this for yourself, you'd be shocked.  It's wall to wall junk tables filled with ceramics, clothes no one wore even if they were fashionable, records, books, and other assorted knick-knacks.

But for the card collector, there has always been a portion of the show reserved for dealers and sellers of all sorts.  It is starting to become apparent that these shows are less than attractive for dealers as more and more tables remain unfilled.  I've even thought about picking one up sometime to try and sell off some of my collection but I can't compete with the guy with a table full of thousands of vintage cards, the guy with all the SLUs, or the one and only hockey guy with more top shelf GU and Autos that I think he has them specially made for himself.

Well, the hockey guy didn't show up this time so what was I to do?  I stopped by the first 10 tables I came hockey.  I circled back to cover the other side of the hockey.  I couldn't find hockey anywhere.  Finally, after going through about 50 tables, I found a few guys willing to part with a few cards.  I spent a total of $10 on 10 cards.  Here is what you can get for $10 when a card show is dying.

2010-11 Black Diamond QUAD DIAMOND Gordie Howe - These quad diamonds are a rough pull out of hobby boxes and blasters alike.  I think you only get one in a blaster and maybe two in a hobby box.  They are not inserts but are the high numbered base cards.  There is no serial numbering on them but they are most definitely short printed.  The black and white photo of Mr. Hockey here makes the card almost look entirely made of metal.

2009-10 Upper Deck Ice Fresh Threads Jakub Voracek Jersey - Hey, I didn't say they were all great but this is a nice jersey piece with a stitch right through the middle.  Voracek has been a Jacket since coming into the league and is a pretty solid winger.  He also is known to throw down on occasion.  I think the only time I remember him in my hockey memory is when he was destroyed by Kris Letang in a game last year after being cross checked in the back about 8 times along the boards.  I'm sure the video is out there somewhere....oh, wait, here it is...

2009-10 Upper Deck Ice Frozen Fabrics Alexander Frolov - I'm not a Kings fan but there is something about purple on a jersey swatch that just draws you in.  As for the player, eh.  But it's a jersey and as I already said in another post, I have been obsessed with them lately for some reason.  Frolov spent the better part of 8 seasons out west until the Kovalchuk lottery last year made him dispensable.  He went to the Rangers to help boost the production of Marian Gaborik but that never panned out either.  His season ending injury pretty much sealed the deal that he wouldn't be back in the Red White and Blue...literally.  He defected to the KHL back in May.

1999-00 Be A Player Millennium Signature Series Martin Straka Autograph - Pittsburgh Penguin...check.  On-card autograph...check.  One of the all-time Penguin greats...check.  How could I go wrong with this one?  It is interesting how these cards scan.  The silver holo-foil makes the player image much more predominant than normal.  You almost can't see the autograph but it's there, trust me.  But, wait.  It gets better.  Not only did I get one Marty signature...but...

1998-99 Be A Player Martin Straka Autograph - Two!  Two Martin Straka Autographs!  Ah, Ah, Ahhhhh.  This was by far my least favorite Penguin uniform in their history.  As much as I am not a huge fan of the baby blues they sometimes bust out, I think I disliked these even more.  That computer generated pigeon they put on their jersey's was laughable.  I just can't believe they lasted as long as they did.  Maybe that's why they couldn't get back to the finals for so long after the back-to-back Cups.

2005-06 SPx Winning Materials John LeClair Dual Jersey #/350 - LeClair is pretty much synonymous with the Legion Of Doom and the Flyers.  He scored 50 goals with them three years in a row and was the first American born player to do so.  But, there was a time back in 2005 that the infamous CBA that everyone either loves or hates kicked in.  The Flyers were forced to dump cash quickly and John was a casualty along with Tony Amonte.  The Pens signed him to a 2 year deal and he finished third in scoring, passing the 400 career goal mark.  He also put up his 9th 50+ point season that year.  But was one and done for John and the Penguins (well 1 1/2 actually).  He was released in December of 2006.  He is in the US Hockey Hall Of Fame.  Maybe one day, the big Hall?  I doubt it, though.

2006-07 In The Game Heroes & Prospects Jordan Staal - Here we have Mr. Staal III, the third brother to be drafted into the NHL.  Staal is such a powerful guy out on the ice and his scoreing capabilities still blow me away everytime I watch him play.  It makes you wonder how bad the Penguins actually were to be able to get this guy (oh, and Fleury/Crosby/Malkin too).

2000-01 Crown Royal Jaromir Jagr Jewels Of The Crown - A little known insert set from one of the 10 million Pacific sets put out between 1998 and 2003.  For some reason this was a Jags card I didn't least I didn't think I had it.  Hmmm?  I really need to update my lists. 

2010-11 SP Authentic Sign Of The Times Colin Wilson Autograph - Again, I don't know how many people would get excited over Colin Wilson, or for that matter a Nashville Predator card.  But it's an on-card auto of a great future star of the Preds.  Colin centered the top line for Nashville in only his first full season, putting up 34 points in 82 games.  Hopefully good things to come from this young guy...he's only 21 (as of writing this). 

And my favorite of the bunch...

1955 Bowman Ted Marchibroda - This one is in excellent condition and adds to my Steelers PC.  This was by far my favorite pick up of the day.  Especially for a buck!!  For those of you thinking "Ted was a Steeler?"  The answer is yes...for a little while.  He was the Steelers first pick in the 1953 draft and played on the team the following year.  After that, he left to join the army.  In 1955 he came back and played another year until he finished his career with the Chicago Cardinals in 1957, not a long career at all.  But, Ted is much better known for his coaching prowess with a 28 year resume that includes stints with the Redskins twice, the LA Rams, Baltimore (Colts), Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, and Buffalo. Most people will remember him most recently as the coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 1992-95 and then the first head coach of the Baltimore Ravens after they were unceremoniously yanked from Cleveland by the Great Satan (aka: Art Modell).

All-in-all, not a bad bunch of cards for a 10 spot.


  1. nice. completely freakin' random, but some nice pickups.

  2. And that's exactly how this show was...completely freakin' random.

  3. Voracek just became a little more relevant. I wonder if his RC's are going to also become a little more desirable.


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