Sunday, May 3, 2009

San Francisco Tri-Star Show - A Second Chance

A few months after I started this blog, and got back into collecting again, I went to the big semi-annual Tri-Star collectors show at the Cow Palace in Daly City. I was a little disappointed in the show last year, as it was not as nice as I had remembered in being, but I was hoping that this year would be better.

I hadn't been to a show since then (gone are the days where there is one practically every weekend at some nearby Holiday Inn or strip mall), so I decided to give it another chance. My collection had certainly grown since then, as I had 41 post 2001 cards (about when I initially stopped collecting) at the time, and now I have 331!

I trekked the two hours from Sacramento, and after waiting outside in the rain (they refused to open the doors even one minute before 10am), it was time to browse. I know everyone probably has their own strategies for "attacking" a card show, but I like to take a quick look around first, and see if anything jumps out at me. I then go back for a second trip, carefully stopping at each table (unless it's filled with something like Pokemon cards, which really don't belong at these type of shows). This strategy paid off this time, as I was able to snag a pretty cool new Rickey collectible.

This is a 10-piece Rickey Henderson "puzzle" pin set that the A's are currently selling a the Coliseum. The large "pin" at the top is probably about 2" square, with each of the gold circle being individual pins, as well as the four other quadrants and the A's logo in the middle. The name plate at the bottom is even a large pin, which I didn't realize until I took a closer look at it for this post.

Jim over at tastelikedirt actually just e-mailed me a picture of this last week (the first I'd seen of it), which also contained it's $40 price tag. That's a bit pricey for a pin, but I was able to get it for half off at the show, which definitely made it worth the trip.

My next find was the premiere issue (I'm not sure how long it lasted, but probably not very) of Trading Cards magazine from July 1991, which I got for only a buck. Rickey has been on the cover of a lot of a lot of magazines over his approximately 25-year career, and while I don't usually pick up the regular baseball magazines such as Sports Illustrated and Inside Sports, I do like to collect any baseball card related magazines on which he is featured.

This was the other magazines I picked up, and it's actually the current issue of "Beckett Graded Card Investor & Price Guide" (not the most memorable name), which Beckett had available at their booth. I'll feature both of the Rickey articles in these magazines in the near future. The Trading Card magazine also has a few interesting non-Rickey articles, including one on why Fleer and Donruss had to initially include stickers and puzzles in their packs of cards.

Here's two of the seven Rickey cards that I was able to pick up from the show. I was holding out hope that everyone would bring out their Rickey cards, considering this was the first major show in the Bay Area since his HOF induction, but that didn't seem to be the case. The card on the top is a 2004 Leaf Certified Cuts jersey, numbered out of 100. The bottom card is a 2005 Studio Heritage jersey numbered out of 250. The green swatch on the top card is nice, as is the fact that they both feature him playing with the A's.

These next two cards are actually Topps stickers from 1989 and 1990 respectively. The look pretty ordinary from the front, but then you flip them over...

I know that's not the most exciting picture, but both of these stickers are blank backed. They actually started an interesting trend, as the three remaining cards that I picked up also become more interesting when flipped over.

Here's a 2003 Playoff Portraits of Rickey, once again featuring him as an Athletic.

But, flip it over, and it's a dual jersey and bat card numbered to only 25 copies.

This next card is a 2004 Playoff Honors Players Collection jersey, which features a nice black swatch of jersey from his time with the Mariners.

Flip it over, and you'll see that it's numbered 24/25. Cards serial numbered to Rickey's jersey number always sell for a premium, so it's nice to pick one up for a normal price, and then get a nice surprise when flipped over.

Here's what looks to be Rickey's base card from 1999 Skybox Molten Metal. But, flip it over...

And it is also blank backed. It is fairly common to find blank backed and printer error cards from Topps sets in the late 1980's, but anything more recent is usually pretty hard to come by.

So, although there wasn't the deluge of Rickey items that I was hoping for, I still added some great cards to the collection, including some nice oddball pick-ups. Unless things change unexpectedly, there won't be any Sacramento shows in the near future, and I'll find myself in Daly City once again a year from now.


TikiBird said...

And you always claim not to like modern art! Your blank stickers photo reminds me of... :)

I'm glad you braved the rain and had fun at the show.

Steve Gierman said...

Those are some nice pick ups!

Jason Presley said...

Maybe I'm missing something on the "stickers", but those just look like the actual stickers had been peeled off. I've got piles of those from when they came out and I actually stuck the stickers in the sticker albums. Rickey's don't have the little line down the middle that most do because his stickerbacks were paired up with full-size stickers.