I love flea markets. I especially love the flea market in Laurel, Delaware -- about 20 miles southwest of the Stale Gum Southern Command. The Laurel Junction Flea Market is a socioeconomic experience that, if you're ever in the neighborhood, you need to see for yourself. Where else can you find: used power tools sold by a one-armed man; bootleg FC Barcelona and Real Madrid jerseys; multiple copies of Jerry Maguire on VHS; all the vaping supplies and glass pipes (for tobacco use only!) you'll ever need, all in one place.
And you'll find baseball cards, too. Granted, most are of the Junk Wax Era variety -- 50-count team baggies stuffed with 1987 Topps, 1990 Donruss, and 1991 Fleer commons for a dollar -- but on occasion, you might find something decent. This past Saturday, I think I found something decent. I found this ...
Stuffed among shelves of second-hand kids clothes, already-been-read romance paperbacks, 90s butt-rock CDs, and accessories for antiquated cellphones, was a Ziploc baggie of cards. Easily, by a decade and a half, the Adam Dunn 2012 Topps "relic" was the youngest baseball card in this whole flea market.
Of course, I had to buy it.
Here's what I got in my $10 Flea Market Sack 'o Joy.
A second-year common from the Busch Light of grading companies.
A second-year card that used to be worth something. But now, is worth about the same as the Glenallen Hill card above.
In 1993, this was a BIG MJOOJ HIT, and goddamn, 1993 Flair was an awesome set. Hard to believe now, but this was a legit $40 card in 1993.
What caught my eye initially were these jersey cards. Yeah, they're
filler and ain't worth shit. But one of these is, well, interesting.
Why is there a white pinstripe on this Adam Dunn game jersey card? Obviously, it's not from a White Sox jersey. It could be from a Washington Nationals shirt, as Dunn did play for the Nats in 2009-10 when they wore navy alternate jerseys. Unfortunately, those alternate jerseys were solid and without pinstripes. If only there was a way for card companies to put something on the card that identifies the relic's provenance -- like a picture of the bat/jersey before it gets carved up -- that would prevent such confusion in the future. "Not from any specific game, even, or season," indeed.
2009 Topps Ticket to Boredom, errr ..., Stardom was an awful product with some dumb concepts. Considering this was the era of awful products like Moments & Milestones and dumb concepts like the Barry Bonds/Mickey Mantle/Alex Rodriguez mirror inserts, I think the dumb concept in Ticket to Stardom might have them beat: Ticket Stub Relics.
I may not look like it, but that thing surrounding the orange frame is a ticket stub from a 2008 Padres game. The Padres were 32 games under .500 at the time, and lost to the Rockies 9-4, although Kevin Kouzmanoff did go 2-4 with a double and a run scored. Naturally, this was worth commemorating with a "Relic" card serial-numbered to 110 copies.
And finally, a pair of 2013 Topps Blaster-exclusive Manu-Relics. Nope, these ain't going to be worth shit either.
So for $10, I got exactly zero cards I needed or wanted, and I'm only going to keep the two Manu-Relics. With that said, this was the best $10 I've spent on cards in quite some time.