View Full Version : A nice find at an antique mall

09-01-2019, 11:41 AM
Finding sports cards at antique malls generally amounts to just junk-era stuff that is almost always WAY overpriced. On Friday I had one of my better finds in a while: rubber-banded stacks of 1970s cards for $3-6 per stack. Each stack was a little different in size and appeared to range between 25 to 150 cards each. There were also plus some 400-count boxes of 1972-74 cards (that I assumed were all commons) for $10 per box.

Each of the bundled stacks had a "star card" on top and I figured they did this to bait people into buying the stack, while filling the rest of the bundle with commons.

I'm building some early '70s sets and while I figured that a lot of these cards would have soft corners and/or creases, I thought it'd be fun to just sort through them.

I decided to buy almost everything they had. I passed on the 400-count boxes of '73s and '74s and I passed on the small rubber-banded stacks of '71s (they looked pretty beat up). I grabbed the 400-ct box of '72s because I'm far from finishing that set and I thought this bulk lot would get me a lot closer to completion.

I have only sorted through a stack of the Ď77s and '72s so far and some are really nice, some have a ding or two on the corners and a few are in rough shape. But for the most part theyíre fine for the sets I'm building.

I have been very pleasantly surprised that the stacks I've sorted so far are NOT just a bunch of beat up commons. There are star cards throughout.

Looking forward to finish sorting them this weekend and I'll post some pics as I go along. (Unfortunately, the top card on one of the stacks of '77s is a Nolan Ryan cloth sticker that appears to have suffered damage due to the rubber bands.)

09-01-2019, 11:44 AM
Nice pickup!!

09-01-2019, 11:49 AM
Your persistence paid off

09-01-2019, 12:08 PM
Here are the various piles after I separated them when I got home Friday night.

09-01-2019, 12:12 PM
I was a bit stunned by the results of the first two bundles I went through.

The first stack was 1972 and it had a Rod Carew card on top. Of the 55 cards in the bundle, it yielded 14 Hall of Famers plus a 3rd-year card of Thurman Munson. It also had another Carew in the bundle and TWO Nolan Ryans.

The '77 stack had the Ryan cloth sticker on top (kinda beat up), but in the middle it had a nice Eck, George Brett, Jim Rice, etc. Didn't have as many HOFers as the first stack, but I am pleased!

Mike D.
09-01-2019, 02:43 PM
Nice find! Hope it helps you along on your set building! What was your total spend on the lots?

09-01-2019, 04:21 PM
Nice find! Hope it helps you along on your set building! What was your total spend on the lots?

Thanks, Mike -- the total for the lots came out to $77, but I asked if they could give a slight discount since I was buying almost everything they had. They asked me if $60 would work and I was very pleased with that total.

09-01-2019, 04:44 PM
WOW! good for you and thanks for sharing!

09-01-2019, 04:46 PM
I flipped through the 400-count box of '72s and my assumption was wrong - it's not pure commons. Has several stars and HOF players, including another Munson, but the best part is the 45 or so high numbers.

Now on to the '73s...

09-01-2019, 05:07 PM
The two stacks of '73s produced two each of Clemente, Yaz, Rose and Sutton. Also has a 2nd-year Fisk. A few soft corners here and there, but as my grandfather would say, "good enough for who it's for."

09-01-2019, 05:22 PM
A bit of a mixed bag with the '74s. Not a ton of star power, but there is a Mike Schmidt second year and a Dave Parker rookie. Lots of league leader and All-Star cards and a miscut Reggie.

Also, the second stack had a '74 Hank Aaron #1 (home run king) on top, but that turned out to be the only '74 card in the bundle. Everything else is 1976.

09-01-2019, 05:46 PM
The '75s are in pretty good condition overall but a little light on star power. Some of the stars (Gibson and F. Robinson especially) have significant edge and corner wear. I already have these cards anyway, so not a big deal. No major rookies in this bunch.

09-01-2019, 06:02 PM
The second stack of '76s revealed an obligatory Dick Pole and Pete LaCock, along with the Kurt Bevacqua bubble blowing champ card.

09-01-2019, 07:32 PM
1975 Brooks has to be one of the best cards ever made visually

09-01-2019, 10:13 PM
Very nice. I would have made the same purchase. And had the same thrill going through them as you did. Like going back to the '70s and opening packs - you don't know who you'll get.

Fun times.

09-01-2019, 10:33 PM
The second stack of '77s was in great condition, but it was most notable for having a '76 card within it that happened to be a Ron Guidry RC (albeit a smudged one).

I always loved that '77 Jim Palmer card, with the light and dark contrast in the background.

09-01-2019, 10:35 PM
Was it fun? if so, a great way to spend $60 on 70s 'unopened'.

09-01-2019, 10:45 PM
For the most part, the '78s are in great shape. Again, the top card in the bundle (Reggie World Series card) is beat up, but overall this stack of approx. 125 cards might be the best quality top to bottom. This includes a very nice Eddie Murray rookie which is great except for a small ding in the upper left corner. I already have the '78 set, so these will be used for trades or as upgrades for my current set.

09-01-2019, 10:53 PM
Was it fun? if so, a great way to spend $60 on 70s 'unopened'.

Yes - a blast! I was surprised when I saw the stacks in the mall in the first place and then when I saw the price tags on each stack I didn't really hesitate. Just started grabbing all of them and carrying them to the counter.

But I've just been really stunned at the cards that were included. Don't get me wrong -- these aren't mint-condition, high-dollar cards, but there are dozens of stars and Hall of Famers (I didn't even put all of the good ones in my pictures). And for a collector like me, they're perfect.

I plan to go back this week and try to grab the remaining boxes of '73 and '74.

09-01-2019, 11:01 PM
One of the smallest stacks is 1980. I didn't even realize I grabbed it until after I sorted the stacks when I got home.

Really good condition overall but there are some centering issues. There are only about 30-ish cards and not much as far as stars. The top card in the bundle - Tom Seaver - took heavy damage due to the rubber band.

09-01-2019, 11:28 PM
Not much to say about this stack. Another small lot - just 29 and 4/5th cards to be exact...

And easily the worst condition of all the lots. Not sure why I grabbed this bundle, but oh well. These cards could really only be used as temporary fillers for a set or as something to balance out an uneven table leg.

The best highlight is either the print-defect Skip Lockwood card or the 80% Walt "No Neck" Williams card. That's about all I can say about this one.

09-01-2019, 11:30 PM
I remember getting a shoebox of 1970s cards long time ago. Going through the box was great so I can imagine the thrill of finding gems. Well done.

09-02-2019, 09:37 AM
Loving this thread. Congrats on a great score!

09-02-2019, 09:54 AM
Great find and write up. This was moved from the correct, post war forum, to the front page so more folks can share some hobby goodness. We need more goodness. :)
BTW, I remember collecting those 1970s out of the packs.

09-02-2019, 10:00 AM
Good find!
Was it a local antique mall? My wife has a booth at The Queen of Hearts in Marietta.
Please don't tell me you found them there.:eek:

09-02-2019, 10:34 AM
Great find!

I have all those sets, but have bought similar lots just for the fun of looking through them and seeing what was there.

BTW, if you are building 50/60/70s sets, not too fussy on condition and have a lot of dups, check out OBC www.oldbaseball.com

09-02-2019, 10:49 AM
That is a great find. Funny how time flies- until not too long ago, cards from the seventies were considered modern. Now they're not too far from clocking in at half a century old.

09-02-2019, 11:15 AM
You did great with that purchase! That is one sweet looking '78 Murray. One on my all time favorite card..

09-02-2019, 11:36 AM

09-02-2019, 11:45 AM
Such a cool find for these days. I chuckled when I saw the rubber bands. Thank you for sharing that. Brings back some fun memories.

09-02-2019, 12:21 PM
That's a top flght find these days. I was in an antique mall a few weeks ago. The seller had a 1990 Fleer Cal Ripken for sale for $25.00. Next to it was a 1963 Topps Hall Reniff for $100.00.

Man, how much eBay has changed the world of idiots. ;)

09-02-2019, 12:29 PM
Cool. Starpower.

I like this thread. Reminds me of what collecting is about.

09-02-2019, 02:56 PM
brad h-
please permit me to "pile on."
can't tell you how heartwarming it has been to SEE your pix & READ this thread!
I fear sometimes we tend to forget what this great hobby is REALLY all about.
thank you, as well leon, for moving this so we can all revisit the joy of collecting! :)

09-02-2019, 04:37 PM
Great find! Reminds me of my antique store find of 75ís. Thanks for sharing!

09-02-2019, 04:59 PM
One will never know what treasure can be found in an Antique Mall until you look--reminds me of the time years ago when I was drawn to a old antique dresser and peeked into a half open drawer-!

09-02-2019, 05:49 PM
Great! looked like a lot of fun going through all those cards for a price like that.


09-02-2019, 09:07 PM
I had the same type of find earlier this summer at a flea market... Bunch if $5 800 count boxes and wedged in one box between some 91 Donruss and 91 Fleer were about 500 high quality 72's with Mays Aaron, Clemente with both action and regular with doubles. Plenty of high numbers... now I am obligated to finishing the set.... smh...

Other $5 pickups were 80-83 Fleer, Topps and Donruss complete sets!

09-02-2019, 09:13 PM
Nice find! There is still good stuff out there. The thrill of the hunt is what keeps me going!

09-02-2019, 09:54 PM
I could seriously read posts like this all day and be perfectly happy.

09-02-2019, 10:17 PM
Reminds me of the T213-1 Coupon Engle I found a couple years back. $30 later and it was mine!

09-06-2019, 09:02 AM
I've been out for a few days and just returned to see the nice comments - thank you to everyone and to Leon for moving the threading.

This was a purchase that Iíll remember for a long time and it far exceeded my expectations. I thought I was getting a good deal but it turned out to be a GREAT deal. And not for the amount of dollars spent vs. cards received - It was a great deal for the collecting fun it gave me, just like in the ďold days.Ē

Iíve received a few PMs and emails asking about availability of some cards. The only sorting Iíve done so far was to pull out some stars for the photos I posted. Iíll go through them this weekend to see what I need for my sets. After that, Iím happy to send cards to anyone who needs them, but will do so in the order that the requests have been received.

For those who are statistically minded, the purchase came out to 4-1/2 cents per card - about 1,400 cards for $63 (w/tax).

Aside from the entertainment value, here are my favorite highlights from the purchase:

1) The quantity and quality of the 1972 high numbers. Turned out to be 44 of them with just one duplicate and theyíre generally in great shape. I know Iíll need most of them for my set.

2) The Eddie Murray Ď78 RC in this lot is way better than the Murray in my NM-MT Ď78 set thatís in a binder. This is a nice upgrade.

3) The two Ď72 Nolan Ryans are nice. One is a little better than the other and I need it for my set. The other is promised to a fellow collector.

4) Dick Pole.

09-07-2019, 12:56 PM
I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately, because of the actions of some greedy people, there are so many other distractions. But it is always great to read about stories like this, they are few and far between.

I could seriously read posts like this all day and be perfectly happy.