Wednesday, September 22, 2021


 At my local card show, I have come to know a few guys (customers, not dealers) that are looking for the same kinds of stuff that I am.  Of course the "stuff" I refer to is cheap boxes that are not just absolute junk.  These guys are my natural competitors, as we would all love to be left alone with these cheapie boxes to take all the good stuff for ourselves.  But in practice, that rarely happens.  Once a good spot is found by one of us, the others usually gravitate to that table, and a polite competition ensues.

Basically, it might go like this.  Say there are 4 dime boxes at the good spot.  The guy who found them tries not to call attention to them, but a few other guys soon show up.  The original guy has claim to whichever box he is currently in, but the others are fair game.  Once the boxes are all taken, any additional customers are on the outside looking in.  Everyone is courteous, always asking 'Are you done with that box' or letting the others know when a box is available.  But we are all looking through the cards pretty quickly, trying to find the diamonds so we can move on to the next section.

I call these other collectors my canaries.  Like a canary in the coal mine.  In a coal mine, toxic gasses would kill a canary before they would do the same to the miners, so you would always keep your eye on the canary.  This isn't the same at all, since watching MY canaries leads me to good things, while you would watch the canary in the coal mine to avoid bad things.  But I like the general idea, so in my mind, these guys are canaries.  Always keep your eye on the canary!

OK, big lead up for a little post!  At the last show I made it to, there were some canaries.  And the usual stuff happened.  There wasn't a ton of cheap boxes there, so we all finished our canary dance pretty early, which was good, because I had my son's soccer game I had to get to.  I was walking for the door, when I saw a couple of canaries huddled around a dealer I had never seen before.  I hurried right over and was fortunate to find an available box.

I had only 15 minutes, so I was flipping through the cards as fast as I could.  Man, I wish I had been the one to find this table, because the stacks that my canaries had out were looking very nice!  Unfortunately, I ran out of time, but I pulled 76 dime cards before I had to leave.  I am only scanning a few below, but I was very happy with what I found:

Hopkins RC, Canseco Box Bottom, Springer RC, 2 Prizm Griffeys, 2006 Bowman Futures Votto, Littlefield (not the reverse negative, but I still thought it was fun), 2nd year Betts and off-cut Mattingly RC.  Just fun stuff!
It's not the 92 Bowman Rivera, but COMC still lists this as a Rivera RC.  Not sure why, but it is sure cool!  There were 2 copies of this card in the box, but I only grabbed one since I didn't know exactly what it was.  And a 74 Mays for a dime???  Wow!
A graded Fred Lynn RC!  For a dime!!  Made me feel good.

And the card of the box for me...
Kershaw Stadium Club RC!!

The whole canary thing sounds pretty goofy, now that I write it down.  Anyone else got any card show canaries?


  1. Geez, I went through quarter and dollar boxes at a show last weekend and didn't find anything as good as the Mays and Kershaw.

    There weren't very many people around me as I was going through them, which is good, because I hate that. I'll leave if I sense someone getting to close to me.

  2. I've never seen ANY graded card for a dime, not that I buy graded cards.

    But, man, the Mo and Kershaw rookies for a dime! I wish!!!

  3. Well done. That 74 Mays is a great card. Final fumes for Willie.

  4. Awesome dime box finds. Whenever I find good deals like that in the dime box, I'm worried the dealer is going to see them while counting the cards and tell me he/she made a mistake. As for the canaries... I don't like crowded spaces, so I'll typically fly away and come back if there are a lot of canaries around. I'd rather be able to look through a box in peace even if that means sacrificing the chance at an awesome find.

  5. My local card shows don't even have done boxes. I found one, single, 1600-count 20 cent box at the last one. But that was the only box I've seen for less than $1 for years. Those are incredible pickups!

  6. Wow, you found some great stuff! Congrats!

  7. Love that Willie!

    As for the canaries, I rarely pay attention to what other folks are doing, and am not the sort to draw attention to myself, so I can't say that I've ever had such an experience.

  8. great finds for sure. i recently found a votto rookie (make that two) in a 20-cent box, along with a bunch of other stuff that should have been priced higher. would love to find a kershaw rookie for a dime!

  9. I haven't been to a show in over 20 years not even sure what today's kind of shows would even be like