Yes, it was White Plains weekend. And you know what, The Slap couldn't come soon enough. After all the turkey, bad football, and annoying relatives, a Saturday afternoon in White Plains was definitely in order.
For the first time in a long time, the show was in the basement of the Westchester County Center. The folks at JP's Rock Solid Promotions were punked out by a stamp and coin show, which booked the arena floor so into the basement we all went.
If you've never been to the basement of the Westchester County Center, consider yourselves lucky. It is the tenth circle of hell. Imagine the usual White Plains show, but compressed into a space the size of your typical middle school lunch room. Combine that with the atmosphere of a medium-security prison and you have a dreadful scene.
Now that I'm on the subject, for those of you that have small children or babies, do me a favor. Do not ever take your kid to a card show like White Plains. It's bad enough that you have to constantly run into other collectors while navigating the extremely narrow aisles. I don't need to be constantly running into your wife/girlfriend and your four-year-old. It's called a babysitter, look into it jerky.
In fact, when I'm dictator, my first decree will be that all children under the age of eight shall be prohibited from attending sports collectible shows.
As for the show, Jim Rice -- one of the show's autograph guests -- no-showed. Not that anyone seemed to care. (This is, after all, Yankee/Met country.) Now if this were a little further to the North and East, you would have heard about the riot already.
One of the regulars at White Plains (and at most other card shows in Northeast) is a dealer named Seymour. He always rents six tables and stacks them high with all the latest wax. I purchased a box of Allen & Ginter for $65 and an HTA box of Topps series two for $45 from him, but then the conversation turned to another Topps product.
"Say, are you collecting Stadium Club? I can cut you a deal. $175!"
The price tag on his stack of eight 2008 Stadium Club baseball boxes had already been marked down from $225 to $200 to $185. I replied, "Nah, that's alright."
"What's the matter, you don't like Stadium Club?"
"I like Stadium Club, just not 2008 Stadium Club. It's overpriced and uncollectible."
At this point Seymour lowered his voice and said, "You know what, you're right. But I'm stuck with all these boxes that aren't moving. You know, I have to wonder what Topps was thinking. It great that they brought back the Stadium Club name, but $25? For one pack? In this economy? And all those autographs? Who's gonna collect that?"
To which I said, "Yeah, sometimes I wonder too. I wonder if whoever came up with 2008 Stadium Club even collects baseball cards?"
He nodded his head in agreement.
After making this purchase, and bowling over about five stray toddlers, I went looking for cheap singles. White Plains is a Mecca for cheapskates like myself who rummage through the $1, $5, and $10 boxes. I picked out about $30 worth of 2006 and 2007 Bowman base set autographs and another $16 worth of various inserts from such boxes.
For the first time in my life, I witnessed perhaps the single greatest autographed insert card of the modern era: a 1992 Score The Franchise Triple-AU of of Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, and Carl Yastrzemski. It didn't have a price tag, and I wasn't about to ask.
Some a-hole had packs of 1997 Metal Universe for $5 each. $5 for a pack of '97 Metal? Yep, $5. Why? Because it has an "A-ROD AUTOGRAPH!" Yes, 1997 Metal did have an on-card autograph of Alex Rodriguez. Too bad it was a redemption.
Another a-hole had a 1993 Donruss Don Mattingly (base card) for sale. It was graded PSA10 and he wanted $20 for it. First off, who the fuck sends '93 Donruss singles to be graded? And who the fuck would want to pay hard currency for a GRADED 1993 DONRUSS DON MATTINGLY BASE CARD?
Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects is live, but no one seems to care anymore. I didn't see a single waxbox sold.
The same can be said for the new unlicensed Donruss Elite.
I was tempted to buy a waxbox of 1992 Score Italian Soccer for $5, but thought better of it.
Total Spent on Cards: $156
Admission and Parking: $11
Grand Total: $183.70