Monday, June 28, 2021

I went to the flea market

 Today I went to an outdoor flea market - my first in-person card-buying experience in over a year. It was fun looking at all the old magazines, toys, campaign buttons, owners manuals, etc., but a collector must specialize and my specialty is baseball cards. Quite a few vendors have baseball card among their various wares, and I was able to pick out a few reasonably good deals. I get jealous when I see bloggers who live in areas where college football or NASCAR are king, and can find things like vintage Warren Spahn in dollar boxes. Here in baseball country, it's more like 1990 Topps Gary Carter with "$1! Cheap!" Still, I was able to find some pretty good stuff.

These were piled loosely on a table with a lot of random stuff. 13 1987 O-Pee-Chee cards, not in the best shape but OK. I offered $1 and the guy took it.

One guy had a bunch of boxed sets for $3 each. A lot of stuff like 1990 Donruss Rookies. I found six sets I wanted but the guy had disappeared. I came back later and two of the sets were gone - both 1990ish Yankees minor league sets with Bernie Williams on top. Still managed to score a Diet Pepsi set, 1981 Drake's, a McDonald's Diamondbacks set, and a Blue Jays team set sponsored by O Henry! bars and the Ministry of the Solicitor General of Ontario, because what goes better than baseball and chocolate and litigation?
I saw he also had a stack of 1989 Baseball Talk cards in a box of loose oddballs. I had been aware of them since they came out but had never seen any in person. I asked how much they were, thinking maybe I'd buy one or two if they were cheap. He said "$2 for all". Wow! Some big names in there, and dupes of Mattingly, Henderson and Blyleven for trade.
There was one guy whose setup was mostly cards, and I think I've bought from him before (I'd been here in previous years). He had a 600-count box of random cards for $10. Most of it was what you see here: NBA Hoops junkwax basketball, a few hockey, and 2017-2020 Topps. That included a lot of '18 Holiday, '19 Update and '20 Opening Day which was random enough for me. It had been a long time since I'd picked up a box of random like this so I went for it.
A fair amount of cards from sets I've already completed, like '81 and '86 Topps. Some Nolan Ryan's and a Box Jackson from 1990 UD; Some early 80s cards of Gary Carter and Mookie Wilson. All there up for trade.
And lot's of random I probably need, mostly inserts from the past few years. I know I already have that first pitch card of actor Bob Odenkirk, that is up for trade.
For $5 I also picked up a 1986 Fleer miniatures set. I love early '80s Fleer and Night Owl's post the other day reminded me how much fun the photography was even as late as '86. I knew this set had different photos than the base set so this was an easy decision. I'll post more cards from this set later on, but I figured I'd highlight the fantastic Dwight Gooden card that has been on a few other blogs.
But the big treat was being able to go through some quarter boxes of 1970s vintage commons. The cards were sorted by year but not by number, so it took some time to go through each card to find some needs. That included 13 1970 needs, including some high numbers. (Tom Tresh as a Tiger?) But a big treat as I pawed through the '70s was finding some O-Pee-Chee mixed in! I took all those I found, ten in all.
I also found some set needs for '72 (including some high numbers), '73, and three from '74, leaving me with just four needs left for that set - Mike Schmidt, Brooks Robinson, Duffy Dyer and Danny Cater. Help!
Finally, another table with a lot of random stuff, including a lot of 1988 Topps and one small team bag with 21 '67 Topps cards in it. I asked the kid at the table how much. He had to ask his dad (who was just hanging out in his van, beating the heat while the kid worked the table). He said $5. I went through my wantlist and found I only needed two cards. I asked the kid if he could do $0.50 for the two, after all they could then sell the rest to someone for $5. The kid had to ask dad again and came back and said he didn't want to break up the set, but he'd go for $4. For other sets I might not have done it, but '67s are usually pretty easy to trade so I went for it. Available cards: 9, 13, 15, 18, 115, 141, 190, 199, 211, 268, 270, 293, 373, 396, 410, 434, 440, 453, 508
This was a fun morning at the flea market, and certainly scratched that particular itch for a while.


  1. Successful day, and very hot out! Glad you were able to get out there and grab some cool stuff.

  2. Love that 1989 LJN Topps Talk purchase! That's one of my favorite oddball issues from the 80's.

  3. Wow, nice pickups, Bo! I didn't know the '86 Fleer Minis had different photos. I look forward to seeing more from that set.

  4. Man, you're jealous of other flea markets, I'm jealous of THIS. ... Any flea market I go to around here has zero cards.

    I posted about the '86 Fleer minis recently, too.

  5. Can't wait to hit a flea market again. Good post and cards.

  6. Glad you're back out there!
    You can put the extra Matty Talk on my stack...

  7. Nice finds at a flea market. I wish I was able to go to flea markets with cards. Around where I live there just isn't anything.

  8. Looking through that box of cheap vintage must've been really fun for you.