This is around the time of season where you hear commercials and advertisements proclaiming this specific time to be the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. And they're right. The Winter Philly Show is, in fact, the most wonderful time of the year. You can get active Phillies AND active Eagles autographs for astronomical prices.
I hadn't been to the Philly Sports Card & Memorabilia show in a few years, due to college and all, but I was overdue for a comeback, especially considering they'd established residency at a new venue in Oaks. So...I made the pilgrimage. And I imagine I'll be making the next few as well. This is a rather large show, but it's not overwhelming. The clientele skews a bit vintage for my tastes, but a number of cool tables were to be found. And, as a budget coordinator, the most I had to spend for one card was 20 cents. Or possibly less, considering said dealer's discount, but I'll get to him soon.
When you go to a card show, you expect a certain number of vendors to have a number of junk-wax-era stuff. That's gonna happen. But it's a nice surprise when you find people with cards from 1998 to 2005. That's a sweet spot that a lot of collectors miss, and there were some cards in that spot. For instance, this was a cool flagship release I didn't have yet. And it technically counts as a Pedro Martinez base card. I'm down with that.
A trio of unusual finds: Robby's from 1997 Fleer EX, which is always a cool find. Eddie Murray comes from 1994 SP, and a cool die cut. And Mo comes from 1997 Select...a set which I had never encountered before. Huh.
A trio of Randys from some wonderful sets. 1998 SP Authentic is a classic, and one that reigns supreme over the subsequent issues. 2001 Gold Label is frigging cool, and I'm glad I could nab this one in addition to a recent group break. And 2005 Diamond Kings, while a bit removed from the brand's glory, is still hella cool, thanks to its expansive base set.
Wasn't thinking I'd get any of these for lower than a buck. All four were part of the same ten cent bin. Lucky me.
Another set you BARELY see anymore: 1998 Fleer EX-2001. Every card has some clear, translucent plastic going on, and the actual design is superimposed over it. These look....really cool. Nabbed four hall of famers and two guys I love collecting.
In addition to those, they had a bunch of cool retired-legends-y sets in that 10-cent bin, from the same era. And...like I'm gonna pass on a Drysdale. He's one of the most underrated HOFers out there.
Some more prevalent sets, but still great cards. Frank's still a legend in Reds colors, and Feller will never not look legendary.
Allen and Ginter may be pretty boilerplate now, but the way it used its legends in early incarnations, especially the 2006 set, was pretty cool. Killer you'd expect, but Maz looks especially dynamic here.
2006 SP Legendary Cuts was always a favorite of mine. These two were musts. The blend of color photography and B&W photography is pretty effective.
An Archives base card. Man, Nellie Fox should get more cards, man...
And a few...boilerplate but creative inserts from '05 DK. Molly was the most recent of the four to land in Cooperstown.
I typically don't buy packs of Panini products due to the logolessness of it all, with the exception of DK and...that frankenset they just put out that I forget the name of. But they had a bunch in these 10 cent bins, so I bit. This Winfield insert is pretty cool. Some of these occasionally work without a logo, and this is one.
These two were my first taste of 2018 Donruss. It's...pretty snappy. I like the design, though I feel like it might work better for retired players. I also love the hook of using nicknames instead of names, like the Ryan Express. That's cool.
All four of these guys are HOF-caliber guys, on one of my favorite Donruss subset ideas of late, the 80s throwback. All of these work, and a lot of them don't...really...NEED logos. They still work. Which is nice.
The Verly, still a Detroit issue, is an Optic Diamond King. The Turner, which looks AWESOME, is this year's DK's Gallery of Stars. Solid content.
Hell, even some 2013 Pinnacle made it in here. These two are still on the HOF ballot, and while Edgar has a better chance than McGriff, they're basic enough, yet stand out.
These, however, I love. Panini just loves using acetate on cards, and even if these don't scan well, they are cool, clear cards. Reynolds', a Swing for the Fences, is a RARE shot of his tenure in Cleveland. Cutch's, a Peak of Success, is the cooler, more fluid, design.
Recent Topps Stuff:
A lot of the stuff I nabbed at this show was recent, Topps-y goodness that I didn't have, or, most of the time, just stood out. I'm not passing up a Bo Jackson insert. Bo Knows good cardboard.
These four were among my first 2018 A&G, and all four are welcome in my collection. The lettering on the Padres uniform is just friggin cool.
I also used this show as an opportunity to field as many Giants cards of Andrew McCutchen as I possibly good. This is a theme.
Some legends highlights from 2016 Gypsy Queen. I really dig the Perez and Maz.
Three HOF inserts from 2017 Gallery, and a base card of a future Hall of Famer. This set feels a lot better when compared to its 2018 companion.
A few 2017 UH. Not a great set, but the ASG photos were some of the highlights.
This was my first taste of this year's Pro Debut. Mostly looked for names I knew. Honeywell and Puk will do well once they escape injury. Mateo and Acevedo are former and current Yankee farmhands. Hicks and Meadows are up in the bigs.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was that I still had set needs from Topps Big League, despite the number of packs I ripped of it. This is a fun, if semi-flawed, set, and one that continues to find new ways to amaze me. Like...look at these photos. These...are cool.
And THESE PHOTOS...might be even cooler. Such fun stuff going on here, especially in that bottom row. Oh...Odubel. What would I do without you?
Some star power, or just some guys I like collecting. I'm glad Zo managed to sneak into this set.
San Fran McCutchen Numero Dos.
Recent Topps Inserts:
The fact that I got all of these for ten cents proves how far down the value of the insert has gone in Topps. These really aren't special anymore, which is pretty sad. Occasionally some are inspired, like this 5 Tool of Seager, or anything featuring Thor, but a lot of them are kinda limp.
Some legends in inserts- Fisk in Free Agent 40, Sutter in Baseball Highlights. Nothing special, but better than somebody that's over heralded in legend-based inserts.
Robbed is a fun one, with some great OF shots. Good to see young, beardless Springer.
And 1st Home Run, while basic, leads to great rookie shots of Killer and Duda. Always great to see a Senators uniform in modern Topps.
Some Salute issues from recent years which, I'll admit, has interesting ideas, like the Jackie Robinson day, or showcasing throwbacks, but...rookie basing some of it is just kinda pointless.
These at least have the advantage of showcasing actual events, and the Verlander having the photo of it is a pretty nice touch. It's also great to see a rare photo of Marichal...which I can't really say for the Aaron photo.
I have a soft spot for this one, though. And nice subjects for it, too.
This one at least has some cool subjects. Halladay is always welcome in my collection, as is an Expos uniform.
I always love some 2017 87T inserts. Funny story- I nabbed the Segura 48 hours before he'd arrive in Philly himself.
The 83T inserts weren't as good, thanks to the card-stock, but they still had some highlights here and there...like the Kimbrel photo.
These...were some much-desired 2016 Archives needs. And they really helped, especially considering how pricey they'd all typically be.
I kinda love the Ryan. So casual.
Of course...I was really here for the 2018 Archives. These, as well as the next product, came from a dealer who had 20 cent cards...but took two dollars off my final tally. So...these all cost, like...18 cents? 17 cents? Idk. They're all cool, though, and these are just the 59 highlights.
77 highlights. These are all kinda basic, but the Lindor and Morris stand out.
And the 81 highlights. Some good stuff in here, especially with player choice, but the Posey photo is just pretty damn cool.
But of course...my main source from this vendor...was Stadium Club.
I'm not going for the set...I'm just going to snag every photo or card I love from this set, and keep it in the binders. And there is a ton to love, especially from these two in greyscale. Just...beautiful.
The legends picks. So much COLOR first of all, but also...in depth photography, VARIED photography, shots we haven't seen, and...so much effort. Plus, that Those is a shot from the end of his tenure in Cleveland, that Ryan's uniform is wonderful, and that Clemente is epically dramatic.
Just....all of these are fantastic. All of these pop. Heyward's laughing. Pujols' grace. Rosario's photos. Altherr's exuberance. I love all of these, and I didn't have any of them.
Even the static shots look cool, like the Bradley just screaming, or Thames smiling. But...that Archer is a contender for card of the year. Because...wow.
Action shots extraordinaire. The Urena is great up-close, the Greinke and Puig are pure fury, and the Cutch...NUMBER THREE.
Some stars. All so graceful, because even without trying this set can be great. That Diaz wouldn't work in any other set, but here it pops.
Some nice horizontals. Simmons' is probably the best, because...that swing...
Three team heroes, though Slamtana just left. Stanton still looks hella cool, though. And CC just looks happy to still be a Yankee.
And we end on a fitting farewell shot for Adrian Beltre. I don't even know if Topps knew this would be Beltre's last season, but this definitely fits, and it definitely serves as a great sunset card for him.
...So that was the Philly Show from my end. I think I did pretty well, though next time I go, I'll try and go a bit more out of the box.