Monday, October 15, 2007

What I Got (and Observed) at the Philly/Reading Show: 10/13/07

Site: Greater Reading Expo Center; Reading, PA

After taking a practice GRE exam in the morning, I arrived in Reading around Noon. Stale Gum reader Scott, a teacher at a Philadelphia-area Catholic school, was the sole person to RSVP, and he didn't arrive until around 1:30PM.

Some observations:

  • Although I miss the old Ft. Washington Expo Center, I'm beginning to warm to the new place in Reading. Yeah, it is 55-miles from Center City, but the Greater Reading Expo Center has one trump card over the old Ft. Washington Expo Center AND the Westchester County Center: they've got a liquor license. This may be the only card show in America where you can buy a beer. Awesome.
  • We may have witnessed the last three unopened packs of 2001 Bowman Chrome Baseball left on the planet. I was tempted to plunk down $75 for the packs, and post the results to A Pack A Day, but thought the wiser. Besides, knowing my luck I would have pulled the Albert Pujols redemption.
  • I think I also found the last two unopened waxboxes of 1994 Sportflix Rookie/Traded left on the planet. They were both in a locked display case, and didn't have a price listed -- didn't ask either.
  • Judging by the amount of used baseball books for sale, I've come to the conclusion that every member of the '77 Yankees had their "autobiography" ghostwritten by Peter Golenbock.
  • I was unable to find my latest "white whale," a 1994 Upper Deck Next Generation Alex Rodriguez insert. I great card from an under appreciated set.
  • I had no idea that Frank Howard, the show's autograph guest, once played in Japan. Yep. The "Capital Punisher" played one game for the Seibu Lions, struck out, blew out his back, and never played again.
  • The Fleer Ultra SE experiment has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. 5-pack boxes were selling in the $44-$50 range -- well below the $100/box MSRP. Allen & Ginter is still hanging in there at just under $100/box.
  • Question: Which waxbox do you think costs more? 1987 Donruss, or 2007 Bowman? The correct answer is 1987 Donruss at $30. Would you believe that the current year's Bowman is now going for less than $30/box? I guess all the autographs and Chrome cards weren’t such a great idea?
  • I'm a total sucker for junkwax, and the table that had the $29 Bowman waxboxes also had some other primo junk. Unfortunately, it wasn't much of anything I was interested in. Examples:
    • '93 Stadium Club series two: $8
    • '93 Fleer series one Jumbos: $10 (If only I could go back in time and NOT buy that '93 Fleer jumbo box.)
    • '94 Leaf series two Jumbos: $12
    • '94 Pinnacle series two Hobby: $15
    • '97 Pinnacle Hobby: $19
    • '97 Score series one Retail: $12

As for what I bought:

One retail waxbox of Upper Deck Goudey. (Paid $50)

If you're still in the market for Goudey, avoid Hobby wax like the plague! Retail is where it's at. The only difference between Hobby and Retail is 1) the Sport King chiptopper, 2) one autograph, and 3) about $35-$40.

(Since I've already posted a Blaster break, and my product review on APAD, I won't be posting the results of this box here.)

A stack of '90s inserts. (Paid $129)

1994 Leaf Gamers Barry Bonds ($5)
1995 Leaf Statistical Standouts Ken Griffey, Jr. ($8)
1995 Leaf Heading for the Hall Ken Griffey, Jr. ($6)
1995 Leaf Gold Leaf Stars Barry Bonds ($8)
1996 Donruss Hit Parade Ken Griffey, Jr. ($3)
1996 Donruss Long Ball Leaders Ken Griffey, Jr. ($6)
1996 Donruss Round Trippers Ken Griffey, Jr. ($5)
1996 Donruss Freeze Frame Ken Griffey, Jr. ($5)
1996 Leaf Limited Pennant Craze Ken Griffey, Jr. ($8)
1996 Leaf Preferred Steel Power Ken Griffey, Jr. ($5)
1996 Summit Positions Edmonds/Griffey, Jr./Damon ($8)
1997 Donruss Armed and Dangerous Barry Bonds ($5)
1997 Donruss Franchise Features Ken Griffey, Jr./Andruw Jones ($5)
1997 Donruss Power Alley Ken Griffey, Jr. ($8)
1997 Donruss Limited Fabric of the Game Ken Griffey, Jr. ($10)
1997 Leaf Preferred Staremaster Ken Griffey, Jr. ($4)
1997 SP SPx Force Jones/Guerrero/Walker/Rolen ($4)
1997 Ultra Fielder's Choice Ken Griffey, Jr. ($6)
1998 Studio Masterstrokes Mark McGwire ($6)
2001 Donruss Longball Leaders Barry Bonds ($6)
2001 Donruss "1999" Diamond Kings Ken Griffey, Jr. ($6)

I've rediscovered the joys of collecting 1990s inserts. Most of the current wave of insert cards aren't really worth collecting, and you just don't find these cards everyday. Give me 1995 Leaf Statistical Standouts over Generation Now any day.

Speaking of the Leaf Stat Standouts, whatever happened to "Material" cards anyway? You know, those cards that had the look and feel of leather, wood, polyester, etc., but weren't actually made of game used material? They were all the rage about a dozen years ago, but by the turn of the Century, the concept fizzled out. I guess having actual pieces of wood and polyester mounted onto a trading card (the gamer) killed that idea off, but I wouldn't mind them being brought back.

As part of my quest to build a master set of the Worst Baseball Card Set of All Time, I also picked up another two 2001 Donruss inserts.

Another reason why I've rediscovered the 1990s insert is price. You can now have these cards for a fraction of what they were going for just a few years ago. This particular dealer had a boatload of Ken Griffey, Jr. and Barry Bonds inserts for 80%-off Beckett HI. I don't know why those particular players, but I could have easily bought another $100 worth of cards from this guy. Unfortunately, I just got my car insurance bill. (DAMN YOU GEICO! DAMN YOU AND YOUR CAVEMEN TO HELL!)

Total Spent on Cards: $179
Admission: $6
Tolls: $3
Hot Dog, French Fries, and a Beer: $10
Grand Total: $198


Anonymous said...

I have never been to a show where you could buy a beer. Maybe if more shows did that attendance would go up.

I also like junk wax but that list of boxes didn't sound good to me either.

You are dead on with the Goudey comments especially if you are set building.

Sounded like a great show.

SJ said...

You left out that $20 Griffey Donruss Dominator from '92 or '93.

Anonymous said...

"The Fleer Ultra SE experiment has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster."

Maybe I'm ego-centric, but I only think of "unmitigated disasters" from my perspective. Otherwise, it is mitigated by the fact that it didn't happen to me. For me, an unmitigated disaster would have been if I had started collecting that set and bought boxes at 3x the price at which they were available at the show.

Anyway, I love that show, but since it moved to Reading, it has become harder for me to take the time to get to (since, as my name implies, I am "in Philly"). Hopefully I will get to the one that runs from 2/29 to 3/2/08.

That show taught me not to rush to buy Topps factory baseball sets the year they come out. Sets a couple years old can often be found for $20, down from the $50 they cost when new at Target.

The hot dogs are way overpriced, by the way. Isn't it about $4 for one? You'd think you were at a ballgame.