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It’s a beautiful thing when you wake up on a Friday, have the day off work and the only real plan is to hit the first day of an annual three-day major card show.
It may have been Friday the 13th, but there was no bad luck for me when it came to cards. I was headed to the annual Tri-Star Productions card show in San Francisco with a pocket full of cash and a plan that included bargain hunting. The end result is one that will be absolutely impossible to match in the future.
In fact, my haul included some 300 cards, some of which will blow your mind given the prices at which they were purchased. But because there was so much acquired at the show, I’ll have to break the haul into three blog posts. They’ll all be documented as “Thrift Treasures” because the prices I paid were pretty much on par with what I would have paid at a thrift store. Unbelievable.
This is Part One of Three:
Where do I start? We’ll kick things off with a dealer who had a vast array of clearance items. He had probably six 5,000 count boxes full of cards priced at a dime each, a box of cards in Top Loaders that were 2 for $1 each, and then some PSA graded cards he wanted a buck each. Insane.
The following cards are ALL from this one dealer:
How ’bout a little PSA 10 action?
There were at least 50 cards in the PSA bargain bin, but a lot of them were 7s, 8s and 9s. Had I not already been jaded by some other deals, I probably would have went to town on this one box. Instead I bought only the pictured Gem Mint 1990 Topps TV All-Stars Dwight Gooden. There is one on eBay for $17.99 Buy It Now, and the description says there are 4 graded as Gem Mint by PSA. I guess I have one of them now. Cost: $1
We’ll work backward and show the cards that were the most expensive next. These next two were 50 CENTS each. Seriously?!
In one of the 5,000 Monster Boxes, the seller had about 3,000 1975 Topps cards all in plastic sleeves. There wasn’t much quality left in there when I hit those, but I did locate a few Steve Swisher rookies. Until yesterday I had been unable to obtain even one of these. Cost: 10 CENTS each
In a small sandwich bag stuffed in a two-row shoe box were some over-sized cards that everyone seemed to pass on, probably because they had no clue what they were. Me? I knew EXACTLY what they were. They were 1989 Topps Baseball Talk! I had only seen people play with them, and had never owned any personally because they were too expensive and not readily available to me. The bag contained 30 of these cards, which feature plastic record-type discs on the back which play audio clips when inserted into the machine that plays them. I thought about buying them all, but really, there were only 10 that felt like must-haves. The seller didn’t care if I only took the ones I really wanted, so … I did! These were all 10 Cents each.
How awesome was that? Got all ten of those for a buck. And because I like to have fun with numbers, want to guess what the Beckett high book value of that small lot of Baseball Talk cards is? Just $103.50. Yeah, a C-Note.
Anyone like hockey? I don’t actively collect hockey, but I do know rookie cards. Did I mention these were 10 cents each?
A pair of football rookies — 10 cents each
Let’s move onto some baseball …
I like Nolan Ryan. I like his cards. I really like his cards when they are ten for a buck.
…And Rickey Henderson …
Eight baseball stars …
Some baseball rookies/prospects:
And we’ll close the first part of this series with a slew of “vintage” wrestling cards. This is where good gets awesome.
And the grand finale … a flying elbow from the top rope …
Oooooh, yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! That Macho Man Canadian rookie card is in great condition and might be worth grading. Raw copies of this card are upward of $20 easy.
Total cost of these treasures: $9.50
Think those were awesome?
I’m just getting started.
Stay tuned for the next part of this special Thrift Treasures series.
When I bought this issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 1997, I immediately noticed something funny — the calm look on Sid’s face and the pair of Band-Aids he is rocking on the cover, one on each arm. At the time, I wondered if it was proof that he was on steroids — after all, the guy was a monster. Now some 13 years later I still wonder if that was the case. Is the proof in the picture? Something tells me he didn’t just get a flu shot.