Saturday, November 29, 2008

What I Observed (and got) at the White Plains Ass Slap: 11/29/08

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.

Other observations:

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
Tolls: $16.70
Grand Total: $183.70


--David said...

$184.. Well, at least you got a few cards and a funny post out of it.

dayf said...

Love Love Love those cheap boxes.

Also, seconded on not bringing the kids to shows. I took a 6 year old to Braves FanFest last year and looking over the half dozen or so dealer tables there was a nightmare even after buying him 10 bucks worth of loose Starting lineup figures.

I'll have that Stadium Club e-mail to you tomorrow. Turkey Day wiped me out and I've been organizing someone's collection for dispersal all day today.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather bump into 100 6-year olds at a card show than one sweaty, overweight, middle aged man.

Also, if kids don't get involved with this hobby somehow, we are all going to look pretty stupid in 40 years trading cards at the senior citizen's center. Kids are good for the hobby.

Scott C. said...

I'm with hamiltonian. I was going to shows when I was under age 8 (mid-80's). I'm sure I was annoying to some, but back then kids were the foundation of the hobby. Now, they're annoying nuisances. And THAT is what's wrong with this hobby.
Scott C.

deal said...

Loved the show review - good solid info.

Has anybody seen any info on whether Bowman Draft has the futures game set this year??

Motherscratcher said...

I'm exactly the type of asshole that would have paid $5 for a pack of Metal Universe Thinking "Hey, why not, maybe I'll get lucky, what's $5?" Do you think the guy knew it was a redemption? He had to, right?

What a jerk.

The Baseball Card Snob said...

I'll have to look for Seymour the next time I'm at WP. Sounds like a pretty cool dude for a dealer.

madding said...

Well, the problem is the kids who are being dragged there by their parents/relatives who are too young or unlikely to ever be interested in the first place. I have no problem with having to put up with small children who are interested or curious, unless they are screaming in my ear or kicking me in the shins or something.