This year, I was lucky in that the local card show promoter, Frank Moiger, put together a special "holiday" edition of the local card show on December 27. Now, to be fair, most of the normal folks I would normally visit set up at this show. The show was much smaller than normal as well. As a result, I only spent a couple of hours at the show.
But it was a great couple of hours. Why?
A vendor that I'm not sure I've met before had set up. He had a bunch of player-specific binders put together, including a Yount binder and a Molitor binder. I bought a few Younts and a ton of Molitors -- something like 30-40 cards of them total -- for a total price of $20. That may sound a bit pricy, but compared to the various online sources (and for what I got), it was a hell of a deal.
I also got some trade bait that I will show later this week.
What Younts did I get?
That Gallery HOF set from 2003 had photo variations for literally every card. I'm shocked that Topps hasn't done this for its base set by this point, considering their love of the photo variation. What I got this time were the two variations I needed -- the "no player" regular card and the "player in the background" artist's proof card. Throw in the "Innovation" insert from the 2002 Topps American Pie set and an oddball that I've looked for regularly for two years -- the 1991 Ballstreet card -- and you have four great additions to my Yount collection.
The Molitors though...my goodness.
For some reason, that mashup works.
I'll start with something about which I'm not sure of its origin -- and I'd love your help figuring out what it is.
This is an 8x10 photo of Molitor. I've tried finding it through Google Image Search, and I get a wonderfully Japanese shopping website called Sekaimon...and nothing else. I know that this photo had to be taken before the uniform change in 1992, and it's clearly taken in Milwaukee because that does not look like spring training. Can anyone help?
Two other great oversized items were in this buy as well:
First, there is this Pinnacle/Score 1992 promo panel. This is one of those items I've seen in the massive Baseball Card Catalog and thought, "that will be tough to find." Then, it drops into my hands for around fifty cents.
To go with it is my first ever Super Diamond King of anyone. Once again, this is something I don't know that I've even seen another one of anywhere else. Now, I may have been able to find either of these on eBay, but not for fifty cents with shipping included.
Then, there were all the 1990s cards. The massive hole in my collection generally are those 1990s cards -- especially post-1992. Those were the years of the first inserts, the proliferation of parallels, and just a ton of card makers. And I didn't buy cards then.
Now I do. Here are the highlights.
First, let's go to the "Top of the Order" Donruss card and the 1998 Donruss Studio "Proof" card. I like the Studio Proof for its shininess, of course.
Several just base set cards I needed:
Now, that Donruss Diamond King may be an insert, but to me, tradition dictates that the Diamond Kings are the first 26 cards of the set. And I don't care that there are 30 teams now.
One more base card came with its two parallels:
So, I haven't looked up the frequency for the seeding of the Gold and Platinum versions of the 1995 Studio credit-card-style cards. The Platinum, in particular, feels like a real credit card -- similar thickness and flexibility to it and everything.
More shininess? Yes, more shininess:
All that shininess. There's some Bowman's Best and Bowman Chrome and a parallel Bowman Chrome, then there's Flair Showcase Grace and a Leaf Limited and a Donruss Elite, and then you get an SP Authentic and even a die-cut Leaf Limited. I guess I like the Pinnacle Artist's Proof and that Flair Showcase the most for their weirdness and obnoxiousness as a parallel.
Of course, I'm the oddball lover, so I did pick up some Molitor oddballs too:
Everything from a 1993 Post to a 1981 Kellogg's to a 1987 Classic to a 1989 Donruss Pop-up to a 1984 Topps "rub off" with three Hall of Famers joining the late Alan Wiggins -- I mean, who could ask for anything more?
Well, there was one more.
So, this is the 1997 Fleer "Decade of Excellence" Rare Traditions insert Parallel. It's the rarer variation, I think.
Because I wanted to make sure I entered it on my Molitor collection list correctly and I wanted to find out whether my $20 was spent well.
So, I looked this card up on Beckett and eBay to see what people are selling it for. I don't subscribe to Beckett's pricing services, but I did check out their marketplace to get a feel for what one might expect to pay for this. The only two on eBay are listed as "Buy It Now" for $9.60 (plus $2.50 shipping) or $8.40 (and $2.71 shipping), and one of the base inserts sold for $0.99 plus $2 shipping in December. So, this was probably the best find I had at this show for my collection.
Next time: trade bait.