Sunday, March 8, 2009

March Card Show Report: Part I

It's been raining in Milwaukee for two days straight. As Flight of the Conchords would say, "Conditions are perfect." Perfect for a card show, that is.

Today's show was held at Serb Hall. This time, I finally had the foresight to bring a camera along with me to properly document the action.

After a short drive, I arrived at my destination. The marquee commanded all traffic on Oklahoma Avenue to turn left to where an earth-shattering baseball card show was taking place, and not turn right into Sentry, a depressing grocery store. The "drive thru" option was not in effect this afternoon, but it's not the worst idea I've ever heard.

As you can see, it was raining like a son of a mother. To top things off, Serb Hall is one of those types of places that has many entrances and an almost equal number of entrances that remain locked for years at a time. The red awning in the center of the frame is where the first set of locked doors are located. I'm telling you this in case you would ever want to come to this show and stand outside for a few hours. The real entrance, the one that allows people to enter the building, is under the second red awning, barely visible at the left side of the photo.

The nice thing is, once I was inside, the room that show was being held in was directly ahead. I narrowly averted disaster by avoiding heading towards some sort of collectible glass show, indicated by the whiteboard as taking place in the "Hall of Presidents Room." As you can see, this immediately qualified as a sincere card show, mostly because of the dank, cramped nature of the surroundings. All kidding aside, the hall is pretty nice. Does your card show have multiple chandeliers? I didn't think so.

After making my way to a couple of the tables, I arrived at the corner opposite of the entrance. The lighting isn't quite so bad once you get inside. So far I can spot several artifacts that reveal the local flavor . It looks like there's a mini Packers helmet for sale, the nail-biting dealer has a Bucks hoodie on, and see that kid dealer at the far right? That's a Milwaukee Admirals jersey he's wearing.

Not long after I got there, the auction started. This is always a strictly low-price affair. There were no signed jerseys or anything like that, just a bunch of cards I had no interest in.
And good God, that's a lot of denim for one shot! Even the untrained eye can recognize at least two denim top/bottom combos. And don't you just love the four-inch platform? What are you, a pharmacist. Actually, once you step on a platform like that, you are immediately imbued with a sense of authority that those left on the ground cannot deny you.

Let's start with the best loot I captured today. At one dealer's table, I spent $12.00 on a nice stack of vintage cards.

There was a trio of 1959 Topps commons.

Next, a 1959 Topps Ed Mathews. The centering was poor, but the price was right.

Here's my first really tall basketball card, a 1970 Topps #114 Oscar Robertson All-Star. It's got some really bad corners and a huge crease down the middle, but I love it.

The back is even better than the front. Photos depicting 1970s basketball games always make me think they were played in the dark. Arenas just had really bad lighting back then.

Ted Williams looks happy on the front of this 1971 Topps card.

On the back, he's clearly just realized he's managing the Washington Senators. Yes, Ted, someone just played a cruel joke on you. Chin up, you'll ride out that contract soon enough.

And the find of the show, 1960 Topps #445 Warren Spahn. Think about it-- for about the cost of a single hobby pack of 2009 Topps Heritage (which I'm not buying), I can instead get a vintage Spahn. The choice is obvious, miscutting and all.

And finally, some other cards from the same dealer don't get to see until another post.

They're that good.

Trust me.


Scott said...

Loved the documentation. I always wonder what shows are like in other parts.

Chuck said...

This is precisely what price guides cannot value - the character of the vintage card.

Great narrative of the show - nice haul of classic cards.

Makes me miss shows even more ....

thanks for the post.

Collectible Glass said...

Thanks for the play by play. Impressive cards, my father would have been in heaven! If only my grandma wouldn't have thrown away his collection when he left for college...

Thanks for the news!