Saturday, September 25, 2010

Baseball Card Show Report - Valley Forge

1971 Topps #682
For the first time in nearly four years, I attended a major baseball card show on Saturday, making my way to Valley Forge for the Philadelphia Sportscard & Memorabilia Show.  Admission was $7 and there were at least a couple hundred tables.  I'm not big into autographs, but signers included several players from the '93 Phillies' squad (Curt Schilling, Darren Daulton, Tommy Greene and Wes Chamberlain) and several players from the current team (Joe Blanton, Placido Polanco and Ben Francisco).
I printed out my lists on Friday night, and I went with the goal of picking up some vintage Phillies cards to round out my growing collection of cards from the '50s and '60s.  The trip was a huge success!  In no particular order, here are the highlights and random thoughts from the show:
1969 Topps #350

- I immediately stumbled upon a table selling high grade commons from 1953 through the mid-1970's for $0.75 each.  I easily spent close to an hour at this table, spending the bulk of my allotted funds on a nice stack (over 50 cards) of Phillies cards from 1954 through 1969.  I also picked up 30 or so high numbers for my 1971 set - which at $0.75 a card was an absolute steal.
1954 Topps #45

- I gravitated towards bargain bins after reading about the successes of several other bloggers.  I found a few $1 and $5 bins with vintage Phillies cards from the '50s and early '60s.  The cards' condition would probably be considered mid- to low-grade, but that didn't deter me.  The '54 Topps Richie Ashburn featured here, rounded corners, smudged front and all, set me back $5.

1962 Post #198
- I don't understand the lure of graded cards.  Let me rephrase that - I think graded cards are borderline silly.  Table after table contained rows of the sterilized slabs and dealers and their customers were viewing them as if they were framed paintings in an art gallery.  I just don't get it.

- And I'm always amazed at the tables containing nothing but high-end tobacco cards with prices starting in the hundreds and running into the thousands.  Do people come to these shows and plop down $950 for a single rare T206 tobacco card?  I always feel like asking these dealers, "Have you sold anything today?"  Plenty of people always stop to look at these cards (I did), but do they buy them? (I didn't.) 

1965 Topps
Embossed #32
- I bought my 2010 Topps factory set and I'm happy this is the first year Topps has released the set in a special "Phillies" box with five bonus Phillies cards.  After walking the entire floor, I found dealers were selling these sets anywhere from $40 to $59.  Before leaving the show, I circled back to the guy selling the set for $40 and I left with my new set under my arm.  These were the only baseball cards I bought that were not from 1975 or earlier.

- There were very few kids or teenagers walking around.  Back in the day, in my teen years, I'd typically see  a few dozen kids my age walking around with their lists trying to complete their '84 Topps set or their '83 Fleer set.

- Asking dealers if they're carrying any 2009 Upper Deck singles is akin to asking someone if your festering, massive head wound looks contagious.

- I missed my Dad today.  Dad's working on getting himself healthy and he couldn't make it to the show.  Had he been there, he would performed some advanced scouting for me and then helped me cross my new purchases off my list.  Here's hoping he makes next year's show with me.


Jim from Downingtown said...

Ahh... Terry Harmon. One of only 3 players (of that era) to play at least 10 seasons, and all for the Phillies. Mike Schmidt and Larry Christenson were the others.

Richie Allen - The last "Richie" Allen baseball card!

I picked up a bunch of those '61, '62, '63 Post baseball cards about a year ago. One year, they also had Canadian versions that were in English & French.

Goose Joak said...

Completely agreed on so many levels. You really hit the nail on the head.

I hope your dad makes the show with you next year too.

deal said...

Great show report. I wonder who swiped er I mean purchased all the Phils out of the .75 cent stash.

Thats ok I did pretty well and I am glad to hear others did so as well.

night owl said...

I don't understand the "slab" tables either.

I still see kids at card shows. More often they're tracking down particular players instead of sets (around here it's an endless parade of Jeter lovers).

Looks like you had great fun!

Jim said...

Jim - Terry Harmon was actually at the show signing autographs, but I didn't want to break away from the $0.75 table to get one!

Dave - Thanks!

Phungo - I looked for a guy in a WBC jersey, but our paths never crossed. Maybe next time.

Night Owl - I'm going to take my boys with me once they're old enough. Maybe one of them will be a set builder like their old man!

Anonymous said...

I was there on Sat, too. I bought the '10 Topps set in the Phillies box, also, and it will be a Christmas present. I got some good stuff and I'm already looking forward to the next one in Dec. I was debating going back yesterday but I didn't want to miss the Phillies clinch the NL East; guess I should have gone after all. Oh well, hopefully the Phillies will clinch tonight!

Jim from Downingtown said...


I would have thought that Terry Harmon would be stationed at the $0.75 table (nyuk, nyuk)!