Sunday, July 1, 2012

June Baseball Trip 1978 Topps Finds - Part VII

Before I left for my baseball trip I researched baseball card shops in the St. Louis, Colorado Springs, Denver, Omaha, Lincoln, and Des Moines areas.  I didn't end up stopping in St. Louis, because I spent my time catching up with friends and family.  I was tired and had no other reason to stop in Lincoln, Nebraska, on my way to Des Moines so I stayed on the highway.  I tried hard to find three different shops in Des Moines, but all had closed their doors permanently.  Somebody needs to update the internet!

Below are the details on the three stores that I did purchase cards from on my baseball trip.

My main objective was to work on my 1978 Topps set.  At the beginning of the trip I had 546 out of 726 cards and I was looking to make a serious dent in my want list.

I stopped in at John's Collectibles in Colorado Springs before catching the Sky Sox game and found fifty-seven cards I needed.  John was a fun guy to talk to and he kept me entertained as I tried to sift through his uncollated 1978 inventory.  I only made it through about one-third of his inventory before I had to settle up and head off to catch my baseball game.  Most of the cards were in pretty good condition, and they kind of stand out among the other cards in my set. Here's the best of the best that I found:

The next day I was scheduled to catch the Rockies in action at Coors Field, so I had all day to track down shops.  Two I found didn't have any '78s, but my last stop was a gold mine.  Bill's Sports Collectibles in Denver was the largest sports card shop I had ever personally entered.  The store, was being manned by four guys (none named Bill) and it carries magazines, posters, bobbleheads, plaques, memorabilia, autographs, and lots and lots of cards.  In fact, he had six different lots of 400 cards or more of '78s sitting on shelves to sell as starter lots.  When I saw those I was scared the starter lots I had seen may have been his entire inventory and he was trying to liquidate all of his '78s.  Nope.  He brought out 5,000 count monster box, which was nearly full.  Again, the cards were in much better shape than mine, so I pulled mostly commons and couple of dinged up stars.  Ninety-one cards!  Here's the ones that stood out:

The Spaceman!
Look at that hair!  Sweet!

Miscut Whitaker rookie for cheap!  Score!

So, after the first two stores I had made a pretty size-able dent in my want list.  Here's the stack from the two stores combined,  148 cards in all for about $30.  Cost per card was about twenty cents. Considering the cards were mostly in decent condition, I had pulled a couple hand fulls of stars and other decent players, I was feeling pretty good about myself.

My last stop was Omaha, and I had something special reserved: a 2011 Bowman on card auto of Jeremy Jeffress:

Jeffress is in the Kansas City Royals system and is currently playing for the Omaha Storm Chasers.  I actually saw him pitch later that night. His fastball sat in the mid 90s and he looked good.   I thought this might be the best time to unload the Jeffress card for something that could help me out toward my collecting goals.

Enter LB's Sportscards of Omaha.  The gentleman was very helpful and even offered me a seat at the sorting/trading table in the middle of the shop to go through his 500+ singles of '78s. 

I was able to find some other cards I was looking for and purchased some protective sleeves for another project, but I more or less was able to trade the Jeffress card for the six cards below.

Here's the first four that I was able to cross of my checklist.  Three commons and a Ron Guidry card.  Good start.

A Lou Brock Record Breaker card!  I need most of the "record breaker cards" still and this was a nice find since Cardinals are usually marked up in my neck of the woods.

This card left me absolutely speechless.  It's a rookie card that features Alan Trammell, who was a six time all-star and '84 World Series MVP, and Paul Molitor, who is a hall-of-famer!  This card has a TON of character: crease marks, soft edges, and rounded corners.  I'm sure at this point it's not worth much more than the cardboard it was printed on, but it's mine! 

It's easily one of my favorite cards, not just in my 1978 set, but in my entire collection for the following reasons:
1.  Two great players on one card . . . awesome.
2.  Helps me in my chase of 1978 Topps set . . . yeah, that's a huge plus.
3.  I was able to trade for it and I feel like I got a steal!
4.  I imagine if I collected back in 1978 my cards would be in the same condition.

I was able to find 154 cards that I needed for my set.  I now have 700 out of 726, which is 96.4% of the way to completion.  I'm missing a handful of commons, but most of the twenty-six remaining cards are of semi-stars, major stars, and hall-of-famers.  Hopefully, there's a few more "loved" cards out there that won't break the bank!

All in all, I had great time trying to find 1978 Topps cards that I needed for my set.  At all three of the aforementioned shops the owners/workers were more than helpful, friendly, and seemed genuinely interested in my card collecting goals.  Two of the three even mentioned how they wished there were more set collectors out there.  All three shops seemed to share the same philosophy as my local card shop: making a buck is nice, but you should collect because it makes you happy.  Which, I can't argue with . . . I figure if the customer is happy, then he/she will keep coming back, right?  Yeah, I'm pretty happy, and if I'm Colorado Springs, Denver, or Omaha I'll make it a point to stop by.

1 comment:

  1. UL Washington wound up having a decent career as well. It's not too often that all 4 players on a quad Rookie Card even end up playing in the majors, but that Molitor/Trammell card wound up being the exception.

    Great haul by the way...good luck completing that '78 set.