I hit the West Palm Beach card show for the second consecutive month today. Last month I spent just $20 and bought a bunch of dime cards. It was good, yes, but with the mask on it still didn't feel quite the same.
Today my buddy Chris and I went; this was the first time that I'd been to WPB with him and the biggest highlight for us was finding one of the dealers that we frequented at the Ft. Lauderdale shows before the pandemic hit.
We were both very happy to see Joe as he was us (we are good customers after all) and he shook both of our hands.
This months show also turned out to be mask optional. A sigh of relief for me as I'm fully vaccinated (I have no fear of the gov't tracking me, that'll end when I'm dead and gone) and go a lot of places now without a mask.
But I digress....
Before we hit Joe's table, I found a table that was selling some vintage for reasonable prices and managed to bring home some cards that I needed for various sets.
This '81 Topps Art Monk RC is in really nice shape and only cost me $5. I'm just starting out on the '81 set, so to get one of the other RC's that isn't named after a state is a nice start. I also grabbed four cards from the '79 set, which I failed to scan, but all 4 are star cards (Payton, Dorsett, Staubach and Lofton) and were just $2 apiece, so I was happy with the football portion.
The Hunter was $3, and I believe the HR leaders card was $5 so I was quite happy coming home with 2 fewer cards on my '72 Topps want list. That set is almost 65% done but there's still no imminent timeline with this one as I have the mountain of high numbers to tackle some day.
For $5 combined, I knocked these 2 off the long neglected '71 Topps want list. This might be the last of the 68-72 Topps run that I complete as I'm barely past the 1/3 mark, but again like the '72 set, there's no hurry on this one either.
Lastly, the vintage table had a few '68s that I picked up at a nice price. Especially the Bird Belters card, which I believe is only the 2nd card I own from this set that is numbered above 500. That one cost me $5, which I really didn't think was that bad. The 3 commons on the left were $1 apiece and the RBI leaders was $4.
These 5 cards knocked off two milestones for the '68 set. I was at 298/598 before these came in, so not only did I pass the 300 card mark in hand, I also passed the 50% mark. Nice.
The key monetary takeaway for me from the show is that I had a lot less of a problem chasing the $1-$5 cards than I've had in the past. I've come to terms with the fact that if I'm going to get anywhere with the 68-72 Topps run, I'm going to have to open the wallet. That is even more evident with the '59 set, of which I received card #500 in the mail on Friday and will share that some time this week.
For the longest time, I'd only been buying cards online. Ebay, Sportlots, a bit here and there on twitter. All have been a good source of cards coming in, but no matter the enthusiasm I showed when they came in, it just wasn't the same as getting out and hitting a card show.
I've been to 3 in the past month and I'm starting to feel normal again (well at least as normal as this knucklehead can be). Interacting with people and collectors, that's what really helps with making this hobby special.
Normalcy feels good.
Enjoy the hobby!