Saturday, September 23, 2023

The Philly Show 9/23/23 Part One: Conventionality

In this period of career limbo I've found myself, I haven't quite had a lot of time or resources to devote to buying new cards. I'd been enjoying newer products through the Online Dime Box, which has now completely reinvented itself [and me in mid-order as well]. But I haven't exactly been going out to Target or whatever and getting new product, mostly because either it isn't there or there's not a lot that wows me that's out right now.

I did find myself in a good place this week, and with the Philly Show this weekend, it was perfect timing. I hadn't been in over a year, and owed myself a stroll down the dime boxes. 

The show seems to have settled in Oaks. I'm still a purist for the Valley Forge location, mostly because it's easier to grab a bite afterwards, but the Oaks convention center does have its charm, and it's a lot easier to demark where you've been and where you're headed. I'm fine if it stays there, honestly. 

I didn't pay more than 13 cents for a card all day, and came home with hundreds of spoils from throughout the show. There was a varied output from recent stuff to the sort of wild dime box fodder I've come to expect.

[Apologies if the scans are in poor quality for the first part of this, I had the scanner on the wrong setting for several of these].

Dealer #1: The Latest and Greatest [?]

I didn't get a ton from this first dealer, but there was a lot of recent product. There was an entire sleeve of 2023 Topps Chrome, and everything else spanned anywhere from 2018 to 2021. Lots of Bowman. I'm not really a Bowman guy, so I had to wedge around that and find the stuff that was more my speed. I forget if I had this Fernando Rodney A's card from 2019 Heritage or not, but it just seemed like something I needed either way.

A lot of the Heritage in these were from late-2010s High Numbers, which is nice, because I only got so much of those sets. This included some quick stops for Rich Hill and Wade Miley, and a very early Connor Joe. 

I'm not really a Topps Fire collector, but if it comes my way and there's guys I collect, I'll bite. This was the 2020 design, it's pretty cool I guess.

This was the first I'd seen of the 2021 Finest tribute set, which threw it back to the early 90s. I mostly stuck to team collections here. Even if Didi Gregorius didn't really pan out in Philly, I still love finding cards of him from there.

I'm not really a Bowman guy, but occasionally Bowman inserts catch my eye. It helps that all 3 of these guys did make the majors. 

And some Bowman rookie selections- many of these were either zero-year or teams that were documented ever-so-briefly before a trade; Soderstrom's here because he may pan out eventually.

Dealer #2: Literally a Stone's Throw Away

A lot of dime boxes were spread out, like I'd have to mine aisles of vintage and overpriced wax and dollar bins just to get to a dime box. This one was only a few feet from Dealer #1. So that was awfully convenient. 

It kind of made sense, because the output at this one was relatively similar to the first- lots of recent product, lots of modern commons, things like that. Some of the products were more unusual, though; you got your share of A&G inserts, like a very cool Ginter Greats of Rickey Henderson from a few years ago.

There were only one or two real deep pulls out of the last 5 or so years, and so I had to go for 'em. Always down for a new Larry Walker.

But yes, I did mostly use this box to catch up on a lot of the sets I'd only gotten choice cards from in recent years. That Verdugo is a great card, and that Banks is a beautiful shot we haven't seen before.

A smattering of Panini products in there, including a rare glimpse at Kyle Schwarber's Boston months, an insert of Ryne Sandberg, and some of those DK Team Heroes inserts I always enjoy.

A good number of 2022 Heritage ones that stuck out to me, including a bunch of the Braves WS highlights, which now reads like a list of ex-Braves mostly. I love the shots that both the Cease and Castillo cards use. 

I hadn't seen a lick of 2022 Gallery yet. Honestly, I'm not wild about this one, because the filtering and texture that made these cards true to the original Gallery series is gone, and now it's just closely cropped photographs. As you can see, I'm building a small 'Trea Turner pre-Philly collection'.

Two other sets that were new to me, both from 2022. The top row is the return of Topps Pristine. It feels a ton less special than the original Pristine. The bottom row is Topps Cosmic Chrome I believe. Yeah, not sure why we needed it, but it looks cool.

I also filled up on a ton of 2021 Chrome Heritage, which, I assume, is just a recurring thing now and is gonna keep going for far too long. Fine adding these Yanks though.

These were my favorite legends ones I found. These checklists are perhaps too big, but there's a ton of room for out-of-the-box picks like Maz, Sutter and Kell.

Dealer #3: Return of the 8 for a Buck Boxes:

This guy I'd encountered before. I think once at a White Plains show? Don't quote me on that, it's all kind of a blur, but definitely at multiple Philly shows. His 8-for-1 boxes are legendary because they're filled with all sorts of unfiltered spoils from just-released product, with some odder classic stuff thrown in. A 2023 Finest card from this box gave me my first glimpse, on cardboard, of Mets hero Michael Conforto in Giants colors.

Like the last box, only a fleeting instance of older stuff, but I was fine with all 3 of these. I like whenever I get to find 2000 Ultra in the wild.

There were some sensible finds here and there, like a NTCD card of the reigning Cy Young winner, and a Chrome version of Luis Castillo's 88T insert.

Some 2022 Update stuff I didn't have. Diaz and Kwan's rookies are important finds.

Two 2023 Topps base cards I hadn't happened upon, and two very important ones. Look how happy Cutch is to be back home.

Last year's Heritage. Kinda awful that we're rounding what could be the last curve of Joey Votto's career. Part of me kinda hopes he keeps going.

A few from this year's Heritage that I didn't have. That Nimmo card is awesome.

Now to the stuff I'd barely seen any of: 2023 Big League, which never made it to my shelves. I think this set's honestly run its course, and they clearly don't know what made it great to start, but it is occasionally capable of cool things.

Three extremely cool recent Mosaic inserts. You never see Larry Doby and Monte Irvin inserts often at all.

This guy had a TON of 2022 Chrome Heritage, which just came out [I know, Topps...could be doing things a lot better right now]. Hoyt Wilhelm, man! You know they're doing something right when Hoyt Wilhelm shows up!

I'd already seen some 2023 Donruss thanks to a Nachos Grande group break, but I wanted to get some other stuff that didn't correspond to my teams. Jack Leiter's maybe 2 years away from MLB action at this point, but he's probably gonna be awesome. PCAjust came up and is probably gonna blow everybody away. Plus, now I can say someone actually made a PCA card during his 2023 rookie season.

Like Chrome Heritage, an excellent selection of legends. Joe Morgan as an Astro! 1992-era Gary Carter! Even without current players, Donruss still does a lot right.

And a smattering from my upbringing, including two different Randy Johnsons and an Astros Bobby Abreu, which would ultimately be a theme this show.

That's a good amount for one post. The other two dealers I visited today made for a lot stranger stuff than some of the more conventional stuff in this post. So check that out tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. I agree about last year's Gallery--what's the point if it's photos? No wonder the set isn't back this year. That said, I really like the Lindor from that set, which I picked up at the NJ show last weekend. Sadly, couldn't find that Heritage Nimmo, which is indeed very nice, and no one had any of that Chrome Platinum Anniversary, or even the new Donruss, that I saw.