Sunday, December 4, 2016

Dime-Boxing at Valley Sports Cards

The day before Thanksgiving I was going to travel from my house in Ventura County down to my in-laws house in Orange County.  However, it seemed like everyone else in the state had the same idea.  The freeways were PACKED.  I would either have to suck it up and sit in traffic going through LA, or find some way to kill time until the roads were less busy.  Kill time?  How about a card shop!


Valley Sports Cards in Tarzana is technically my "Local" card shop since there aren't any closer, but even on a good day, it's still 30 minutes away, so I don't get there often.  I think it had been about a year and a half since my last trip there.  However, it's right off the 101, so it made a perfect pit stop while I waited out my fellow travelers.
This is not a big shop...and part of their space is used-up by their picture framing business, but one thing that I knew they had in abundance last time I was there was DIME BOXES, and that was my goal when I walked in.   As I entered the shop, the place where the dime boxes had been before was now a basketball cards display.  Not to fear, the dime boxes had been relocated to the back corner.  There were probably twenty of the 3,200-count boxes packed to the gills with baseball, football, basketball, and some assorted sports (hockey, golf, MMA, etc.).  

So was I able to kill time here?  Yep.  Three hours.  The end result of that was 225 dime-box cards, plus a few from the quarter and dollar boxes.  Take a look:


There is my stack of cards that I was keeping for myself....that's not the whole 225, since many of them were to trade away.


As part of my quest to collect guys with great mustaches, I felt I had to go for these Craig Stadler cards.  Ian Woosnam had some neat plaid pants, so I grabbed that one, too.

Here are some vintage Kickers and Punters that were no-brainers for ten cents.
A few other vintage goodies.  There were six Chuck Muncie cards in a row in one of the boxes.  He and I essentially wear the same style of glasses.  So I knew I would need to grab my spectacle-buddy.

Here's three for my "Spoiled Wide Receivers" collection.

And three more for my PC...Kurt Warner and Troy Davis (Iowa State alum).

Two of the 3,200-count boxes were full of old Allen and Ginter commons, going back to 2006-2012.  As you can see from the middle, I grabbed a big stack of them, and am showing some of my favorites here.  I FINALLY got my paws on the Revolving Door card -- which is probably my favorite Ginter card ever.  I had never seen the Groundhog card before, but could not resist a face like that.

Here's a sampling of the Royals that I picked up.  I loved the Gaylord Perry in a KC uniform, and another copy of the Sluggerrr card (even though I had it already).

I mentioned that several of the dime boxes were basketball.  I only collect a FEW basketball players...mostly Kyle Korver and guys who went to Iowa State.  Because of this, I wasn't going to waste my time on the basketball boxes.  However, as I was putting away one of the football boxes, my arm brushed across the top of a row of basketball, and it opened up to this card:
That's a rookie of my favorite Cyclone player from my early youth.  That I didn't have.  In a dime box I didn't want to look through.   :-)  It's just so freakin' cool to me.

Here's several stacks of miscellaneous cards I pulled out for other traders and friends/relatives of mine.  The Carolina Panthers stack is large enough to cast its own shadow. 

After the dimeboxes were done, I looked through the quarter and dollar boxes.  Here were two of my favorite pulls from there.  The George Brett was only a quarter for a Panini Black Friday exclusive from last year.  I'll take that!  The Bo Jackson was a little weird...mostly because I had never seen one, so was asking myself WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THIS CARD?  Apparently "Ames" was a discount/department store in the Northeast, and this card was part of a boxed set that was made exclusively for them.  I didn't know if a dollar was a good price for it, but if I have learned anything from "American Pickers" it's that the time to buy something unusual is when you see it!
Mike and Frank approve of me buying the Bo.
As they were getting ready to close up the store (yes...I was closing them down), I noticed they had boxes behind the counter of various years from the '50s, '60s, and '70s.  I figured this would be a good chance to make a dent in my "vintage Royals" (only going back to 1969...is that vintage?) needs, and asked for the '69 box.  I was able to quickly pull out 12 that I needed before the clock struck 7:00 PM:

All of those, plus some more quarter-box stuff I didn't show, plus a discount for paying cash means I got everything for $30 even.  I was a happy camper!  And by the time I left, traffic was smooth sailing all the way down to the OC.  :-)

What say you -- have you ever stopped at a card shop to avoid traffic?  What about to avoid your family?  :-)


17 comments:

  1. i've been on the 405 the day before thanksgiving, so i know your pain! and, there were a couple of times that i stopped in at a card shop in san diego to kill time while in town to visit the in-laws.

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    1. Yes...both the 405 and the 5 were awful during the afternoon.

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  2. you're funny. A whole 30 minutes away, hey? In Calgary there are four shops, the nearest being 30 minutes away and the furthest about 75-80 minutes drive. (light traffic)
    The nearest Safeway is over 20 minutes away... and work is an hours drive (light traffic) each way.
    Try living in the big city!

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    1. 15-years-ago, there were two separate shops out here in the burbs. Both of them closed about 5-6 years ago. So that's why the required travel is a bit frustrating. There are still a fair number of shops in L.A. that I haven't been to, but it's just a matter of remembering to stop when I am out in those parts of town. With traffic, it's often not worth it to make a special trip.

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  3. Ames was a decent little store back in the day. I remember going to a few in Massachusetts.

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    1. Being strictly a Central/West-dweller, I have never come across an Ames store. We had "Pamida", but that sounds similarly-regional.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamida

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  4. If I recall, Ames used to own Zayre, which was one of the first stores to go 24 hours during the holiday season. I would be bored and roam a Zayre at 3am around Christmas, cuz why not.

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    1. Growing up, my dad always told me, "Nothing good happens after midnight." Your mileage may vary. :-)

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  5. Those Walrus cards are awesome! Don't see many golf cards in the shops here in Omaha.

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    1. I only had one Stadler before, so this septupled my collection-size. :-) I was in Omaha in April for a wedding and hit up "Omaha Sports Cards" while I was there. Didn't see any golf there, either. :-)

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    2. If you ever make it back out, do two things. Hit me up. and go to The Card Shop (about a mile from OSC).

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  6. Not only have I pulled over at a shop to avoid traffic, I have pulled over at that shop. I have spent a couple hours digging through those dime boxes as well. Looks like you got a nice haul.

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    1. Indeed I did! I recently pulled up a map of various LA shops (Northridge, Beverly Hills, South Bay, Anaheim) and will try to hit a few more on my next trip down, depending on which route I take.

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  7. Man - I almost never find vintage football in dime boxes. Looks like a helluva way to kill some time!

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    1. Sure was! Treasure-hunting at its finest.

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  8. Vintage cardboard inside dime boxes? You and dime box Nick have all the luck. Nice pickups.

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    1. Reading Nick's recent post on that "garage sale" he stopped at makes me think he edges me out on the "luck" meter. :-)

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