Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Trip to the Big Sports Card & Autograph Show in Mansfield

Today I went to the Big Sports Card and Autograph Show at the Mansfield Holiday Inn, the first time that I’d been in a little over four years. To be honest, I didn’t really expect the trip to be too productive, but it was only about a half-mile from my apartment and I wanted to show my fiancé what a card show was like. Plus, today the show was having a promotion that if you wore Red Sox or Bruins clothing you got in free.

So, we got to the Holiday Inn around 9 o’clock and walked to the ballroom where they were holding the show. At the door, the show’s organizers gave us two packages of cards, which I later opened and found 2010 Sage HIT Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen and Ryan Mathews cards. Not bad for free.

When we entered the ballroom, there were probably already four or five dozen people there and close to fifty venders. Not having been there in awhile, we walked around the ballroom to get a general feel for what different venders were offering. There were a good number of vintage dealers, some dealers specializing in unopened boxes, lots of tables of high-end autographs, game-used and refractor cards, and some tables with boxes full of cards for 10-25 cents each.

Since I’m getting married in a few weeks and don’t have too much extra money to be spending on cards, I set a $20 budget for myself and wanted to get the most for my money, so I decided to dig through the cheap boxes and hope to find some gold. I found one seller who was selling 2008-2010 Bowman and other assorted cards for 25 cents each, 60 for $10, so I went to town.

$16.25 later, here’s what I got.

2010 Bowman Topps 100 Donavan Tate, Mike Moustakas (x2), Dustin Ackley, Mike Stanton (x2)

2010 Bowman Expectations Domonic Brown/Ryan Howard

2008 Razor Jordan Danks, Ike Davis (sold for $5.20), Brett Wallace and Jason Castro.

2009 Upper Deck Own the Rookies Shonn Greene, Jeremy Maclin, Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez, Chris "Beanie" Wells, Josh Freeman, Percy Harvin.

2010 Press Pass Portrait Edition Sam Bradford (x2), Tim Tebow (x2) (sold for $8.60 each), Jimmy Clausen (x2), Rob Gronkowski, Tim Tebow Headliners, Sam Bradford Headliners, Tim Tebow/Jevan Snead Face to Face.

2009 Bowman Mat Latos (x2), Neftali Feliz, Tommy Hanson (x2), Chris Tillman (x3)

2007 Topps: Rookies of Phil Hughes, Adam Lind (x4), Miguel Montero (x2), Kevin Kouzmanoff (x4), Yunel Escobar (x2), Ryan Rowland-Smith (x2), Micah Owings (x3)

2008 Bowman Chrome Prospects Dominic Brown, Ivan Nova (x2)

2009 Upper Deck USA Star Prospects Garin Cecchini, Sean Coyle, Matt Newman, Connor Mason, Nick Pepitone, Asher Wojciechowski, Ladson Montgomery, Sonny Gray, Tony Zych.

2010 Topps Pro Debut Jared Mitchell

2009 Topps Platinum Chris “Beanie” Wells, Brian Cushing, Donald Brown, Rhett Bomar (refractor 096/499)

2009 Topps Unique Donald Brown (Red/Orange 434/799)

2007 Allen & Ginters Alexander Graham Bell (mini-A&G back), Jared Satalamacchia (black mini)

2009 TriStar Obak Mike Stanton mini

2009 Upper Deck Ultimate Legends Drew Bledsoe (287/375)

25 Ulta-Pro Toploaders

Overall, I am very pleased with my purchases, and am confident that I will be able to easily double my money re-selling these cards. I am especially happy with a number of the baseball prospect cards that I was able to pick up for a steal. I never cease to be amazed at the number of card dealers who do not take the time/effort to research the players before throwing them in junk boxes, and how few collectors and prospectors are willing to put in the time to dig through the boxes and find cardboard gold.

However, the most interesting part of my card show experience came when I was digging through the boxes trying to get to 60 cards when a younger collector, probably 17 to 20 years old, came over to the table where I was going through the box and tried to sell his NSA Tiger Woods/Michael Jordan dual relic card. He told the dealer that he had bought the card at Target for $50 and was looking to sell it for $50. The dealer kind of looked at it funny and said that he had never heard of the company. So I chimed in, "Do either of you read the blog, "Sports Cards Uncensored?" They both looked at me like I had 5 heads. "Well, it is one of the best blogs on the intenet, and the guy who writes it did a thing a couple months ago about how most of the NSA stuff is definately fake. I wouldn't touch the stuff." The dealer quickly handed the card back to the kid, and said that he wasn't interested. Later, when I was still looking through the boxes, another guy came over with a Chris Johnson Topps Rookie Premier Auto card. I decided that I couldn't do all of the dealers research for him, so I didn't bother mentioning how all of those are fakes, too.

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