With little to do today, I googled and located a couple of card shops in the area. I thought it would be a nice way to kill an hour after lunch and if I was lucky maybe pick up a card or two. Instead I ended up with a treasure trove of a couple of hundred Tigers cards. All for around $25. I wish every Saturday afternoon was this much fun!
The first shop I went to was a tiny place that looked like they did more business selling coins than cards. There was a little baseball section in the back corner. I looked at a few singles in the case without spotting any Tigers. There was a box labeled "superstars" that I thumbed through without finding anything either until I got to the very end of the box. There were two mint condition '66 Topps cards of the A.L. Home Run Leaders (Norm Cash & Willie Horton) and the A. L. Strikeout Leaders (Mickey Lolich & Denny McLain). As you can see these cards are in beautiful shape and were only $2 each!
As I was walking to checkout I started chatting with the owner and I told him that I collected Tigers stuff. He said he had a bunch of Starting Lineup figures so I looked those over too. Lo and behold if there wasn't a Tony Phillips in the bunch! (I get WAY more excitement from finding cards/memorabilia of mediocre Tigers than I ever do from the stars...) I've probably got six or eight SLU's but I did not have a Phillips. For only $4 I felt like I was stealing it. So needless to say, the visit to shop #1 was a success!
On to shop #2 which had a much bigger card selection. There were two 5,000 count boxes of common cards on the counter. Two hours later I'd picked out close to 200 cards. First off I found the two cards I needed to finish my Topps Series 1 set as well as the two cards I needed to finish my 2010 Topps Series 1 Tigers team set. I also picked out 6 refractor cards, a couple of Ty Cobb cards, and the rest were commons and stars from '80 through '10.
The owner and I were chit-chatting and he told me that the '10 Heritage cards were out. He knew I was looking for Tigers so he went through the few packs he had already opened and gave me cards of Brandon Inge, Magglio Ordonez, and Jarrod Washburn. I bought three packs and pulled a Ty Cobb from one of them (along with chrome cards of Jeter and Lincecum that I'll offer up for trade....) Heritage is by far the best card release each year. It's such a shame Topps screws it up with the SP and variations, but I'm not going to let them rain on my fun afternoon.
After I was done the owner informed me that he had SEVERAL HUNDRED THOUSAND commons in boxes if I wanted to go through those too! He said he had cards going all the way back to the 60's and that I was welcome to come up anytime I liked and he would set me up with a table and chair and let me go through them to my heart's content. I told him he had a deal!
Between today's haul and the package I received from dayf last week (thanks again!) I've got a whole night ahead of me sorting Tigers cards into albums and and updating my checklists. I'll also be watching the lot of 100 2010 Topps inserts I put up on ebay last week as it struggles to climb to $2.
It wasn't a perfect day though. I pulled a photoshopped Heritage card of Placido Polanco which made my heart sink a little bit. Poli was my favorite Tiger during his time in Detroit stemming from seeing him hit a HR at a AA game that I went to with my grandfather. I didn't get to know my grandfather until late in his life and it turned out he was as big of a baseball fan as I was. I followed Poli's career with the Cards and Phils and thought it was pretty awesome when he came to the Tigers. I still think of my grandfather when I think of Polanco and seeing that card today wasn't any different. Thanks for the great memories Poli and good luck with the Phils.
Well, I think it's about time to crack open a beer, turn on some 80's tunes, and get to sorting!