Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Around this time I decided to start a Sandberg collection. I already had quite a few of his cards from the mid to late 80's. One of my Uncles gave me the $10 to get his 84 Topps card. Now I really wanted his 83 Topps rookie card. Only one of the shops in town had this card. I eyeballed that card for months. If I remember correctly, it was listed in Beckett for around $50 at the time.
This particular shop was also a comic shop and I always picked up my comics there as well. I had a pretty good relationship with the owners. I had done some trading with a few of the other shops in town but never this one. I had always heard through the grapevine that the person who did the trades would never give you higher than half of what Beckett listed. This was pretty normal from my experience though a couple of the shop owners were a little more generous. Well, I really wanted this card. I grabbed a few of my binders of the "good stuff" and went over there.
I waited while the owner started pulling out cards that he wanted. He grabbed the latest Beckett and started adding up what he had pulled out. I was getting pretty excited. I see the numbers on the calculator. Then he does another quick calculation and I am 50 cents short. 50 cents. He starts looking through the binder again but doesn't see anything he wants. I hear his wife saying to just give it to me. The 90 Leaf Frank Thomas that he pulled from my binder would be sold in a week. Same with the Ken Griffey Jr.
Now I know that this is his business. He is there to make money. But 50 cents? I had no cash on me. I went and dug through my car for any spare change. Of course, the one time I need some change, there isn't any. He wasn't budging and I wasn't going to push it. He put my cards back in my binder. I thanked him for his time and I left. I was pretty upset when I left. 50 cents?
I got over it pretty quick and I don't hold grudges. I just never traded at that shop again. They were my go to place for comics and they always had plenty of the newest packs of cards. And I still ended up getting my 83 Topps rookie card. It just took a little longer. I found a little shop on the other side of town one day and he had packs of 83 Topps for $10. On a whim I bought one and inside was the card I had been wanting. I finally had all of Sandberg's Topps cards from 1983 to 1991. The biggest lesson I learned from this at the time was patience. I didn't have to have them all right now.