28 March 2012

they're not mint, mister.

there's a big card show in the twin cities this weekend - a few hall of famers are signing on saturday.  i'll probably go on friday evening and not worry about that, however, no matter how badly i would like reggie jackson to sign one of his iconic 1978 topps cards for me.

i went to this same show last year, and picked up a hefty dose of bargain vintage.  being a dodger fan, and being a dodger fan without the backing of the guggenheim group, that means i bought non-mint stuff.  like this beautiful-to me 1957 topps don drysdale rookie card.
and you can't have a drysdale without a koufax, so i picked up a 1960 topps while i was there
now, the first thing i saw when i walked into the earle brown center was mr. mint.  he was set up at a table directly in line with the entrance.  right next to him was one of the regular twin cities' dealers with the vintage bargain bins.  i set up shop there, and kept one ear on what was going on at the mr. mint table.  he didn't have a whole lot of traffic and spent most of his time talking to his younger companion (son?) about real value vs. sentimental value.  he also had some stories about some of his past purchases, but i can no longer recall any specifics.

now don't get me wrong - i have no illusions when it comes to value of these things we collect.  monetarily, they are only worth what someone else is willing to pay for them.  and, if you are selling to mr. mint, you must understand that you are dealing with a middle man who wants/needs to make a profit off of what he is buying from you.  apparently, many folks don't understand that.  and, i am guessing that this is a speech that mr. mint has had to give thousands of times in the past, so the fact that he was so matter of fact about it while crushing the outlandish hopes of some would-be sellers should not have surprised me.  and it didn't, even though i still cringed at his brusk tone.

in the two hours or so that i spent poring through boxes of vintage cards, many with rounded corners and/or creases, no less than two babe ruth signed baseballs were presented to mr. mint.  he looked at them nonchalantly and made offers on each - offers that were far less than their owners had hoped to receive.  were they fair offers? i don't know.  even dealers came down to see what he might pay for some memorabilia.  not once did i see money or merchandise exchange hands.  he didn't seem to be enjoying himself, that's for sure.

i had a good time though.  i finally found a 1962 bob uecker rookie card that i could live with at a decent price.
being a dodger fan, this is one of the tougher multi-player rookie cards to pick up, especially in the upper midwest.  thanks doug camilli for making it difficult.

not to be outdone as far as rounded corners go, here's a 1962 post daryl spencer card
i am sure i could get a much better copy online for probably close to what i paid for it at this show.  but i don't care!

that's not to say that i didn't pick up some decent looking cards for their age, like this 1956 topps billy loes
 or this charley neal from the same set
and, this sandy amoros
and this don newcombe
from the 1958 topps set are both upgrades for me.  there was another dealer there who had a ton of mid-70's stuff, and he helped me (almost) complete my dodger team set from the 1975 topps mini issue.  for not much money at all, i picked up a 1956 mvp card featuring newk and some triple crown winner
 plus a 1955 campy (with some other catcher)
and a 1963 koufax featuring yet another yankee
this year i will try to complete my 1973 topps set (15 cards to go) and maybe pick up a 1959 topps koufax to finish my dodger set from that year.  and with my budget, mint cards need not apply.

anybody else need anything?


Captain Canuck said...

1975 Topps Clyde King #589 Unmarked and fairly nice shape...

or a double cheeseburger and vanilla shake.

night owl said...

Yeah, I need that show to come here.

dayf said...

I need that Uecker. Oh mah goodness.
Impossible high number '62 rookies with five different players per card has got to be the worst thing Topps ever did to team collectors.

MrMopar said...

It doesn't get much worse than the Ken McMullen RC though for Dodger collectors. That was a shaft job of epic proportions for DODGER collectors, unless you were lucky enough to land one before they skyrocketed or maybe you were old enough to be an original owner. Neither group do I belong!

gcrl said...

My dad had a mcmullen rookie back in 1981 or so. He traded it for some sandys iirc. I have since picked one up, but like these, it's not mint. Heck, I worry that it's not legit. I'll show it sometime soon.