A Last Minute Trip to the Card Show and a Bag Full of Cubbies

Sunday morning was spent fulfilling more eBay and Sportlots orders, as well as sorting cards to complete a couple outstanding trades. Suddenly, a light bulb went off. I wonder if there’s a card show in Madison today? I went to the Beckett card show calendar, and lo and behold, the Clarion hotel was the site of the monthly card show…TODAY!


I showered and told my wife I was heading to the show. She was less than amused, even after telling her I have about 60 outgoing packages filled with cards. “You have two million cards down there. That’s not enough packages.” She’s very tolerant.

Card Show Review
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this was the first card show trip in Madison in the four years of residency here. Some weekends haven’t worked out, several weekends I attempted to reserve a table and it was extremely difficult to even find the correct contact leaving me with a sour taste in my mouth. One of my LCS owners did not have many good things to say about the local shows, so I never made a point to attend.

Lately, I’ve seen so many on Twitter showing off their card show goodies, sifting through dime and quarter boxes, and I’ve had the itch.


Based on the first paragraph, I set my expectations on this show very low. I walked into the Clarion hotel and there was clear signage directing you to the conference room holding the show.

The entry fee is $1.50, which I am okay with. They do have several door prizes and raffles, so there’s a little incentive. The room was jam packed with dealers. It was a small room, so there were probably only 15 dealers. My only knock is that the tables are jammed into this room leaving very little room to meander from table to table. If two people were talking to dealers on each side, there was not room for a third person to squeeze through.

My biggest pet peeve at card shows is something without a price tag. Maybe it’s because these tend to be the dealers that want to “check the Beckett,” so I don’t even bother. If you set up at a card show, PRICE your cards. I’m not the only person that will skip your table if cards are not marked.

I purchased from five different dealers, and all were great and engaging. There were a couple dealers that didn’t look up when I browsed their table. That’s a turn off. All in all, I would give this show 4 out of 5 stars, and it would have been perfect if there was more walking space between dealers.


The Junk Pile (Dealer One)
My first purchase was a few dealers into the room. It was the first table that had quarter boxes. This dealer had a lot of vintage, both high end, middle of the road, and garbage. The garbage was banged up, written on, off center, etc. I bought a 1961 Topps Moe Thacker, 1964 Topps Paul Toth, 1964 Topps Jim Schaeffer, and 1964 Topps Rookie Stars John Boccabella and Billy Cowan for $1 each. His 1970’s misfit cards were a dime a piece, so I pulled all the Cubs.

Dealer 1 Total: 28 cards
Dealer 1 Cost: $7.00


The Broadcaster (Dealer Two)
As I stepped up to the next table, the dealer asked me about the polo I was wearing (IHSA – Illinois High School Association). I said that I do some contract broadcasting and statistics work for their state finals. He mentioned he broadcasts high school sports as well as Clarke College athletics in Dubuque, Iowa. We chatted for several minutes before he saw my Cubs hat. He picked up a media guide offering it up. At first, I was going to say I’m just looking for cards as it doesn’t fit my collection. Truth be told, anything Cubs fits my collection at the right price. His 1967 Cubs media guide for $3 was certainly the right price for me.

The broadcaster had a potpourri of Cubs options. He had $1 boxes, quarter boxes, nickel boxes, and even a PENNY box. By the time I reached the penny box, I was a bit tired of standing in the same place, and felt I didn’t need to sift through a penny box. Maybe next time. The nickel box did present me with one new Cubs card for my collection: 2008 Tri-Star Projections Tyler Colvin.

I was able to snag two Javier Baez cards out of his current cards quarter box.

And he also had a quarter vintage box. Don’t ask me why I thought I need 13 different copies of the George Mitterwald 1974 Topps Traded card.

Dealer 2 Total: 44 cards and 1 media guide
Dealer 2 Total: $10.00


The 40 for 5 Table (Dealer 3)
At the next table, I immediately found a card I needed. 2017 Topps Gallery green border 105/250 Javier Baez. For two bucks, why not! And for another $2 I grabbed the Eloy Jimenez 2016 Elite Extra Edition 925/999.

Then the mother lode. A quarter box offering a generous volume discount. Forty cards for $5. And there was some good stuff in here and several cards needed. A Javier Baez Topps 1983 35th anniversary for 12.5 cents. Thank you! New cards to the collection include: 2017 Topps Chrome Sepia Refractor Jon Lester, 2017 Topps Chrome Prism Refractor Willson Conteras, 2015 Topps Chrome Prism Refractor Jon Lester, 2015 Bowman Silver Ice Starlin Castro, 2011 Elite Extra Edition Starlin Castro Rated Rookie, 2015 Bowman Draft Chrome refractors of Preston Morrison and Carson Sands, and a 2014 Bowman Draft Chrome refractor Mark Zagunis.

Dealer 3 Total: 44 cards
Dealer 3 Cost: $9.00


Color Refractors and Trade Bait (Dealer 4)
Across the way, a couple guys had a bunch of cheap color refractors. There were four Cubs in all. They said $1 each, but they’ll give a discount on multiple cards. I found four Cubs refractors: 2017 Bowman Chrome Green Trevor Clifton 18/99, 2017 Bowman Chrome Blue Trevor Clifton 155/200, 2017 Bowman Chrome Purple Cory Abbott 29/250, and 2017 Bowman Orange Peyton Remy 18/25. I also picked up five Steelers autos and relics for a trade with Ron.

Dealer 4 Total: 4 cards
Dealer 4 Total: $3.00


The Old Card Guy (Dealer 5)
On the way out, one last table to peruse. The old card guy (that’s what his business card says) had plenty of vintage. I sifted through his cheap piles and found a trio of cards: 1953 Bowman Harry Chiti, 1954 Topps Paul Minner, and 1962 Topps Dick Ellsworth.

Dealer 5 Total: 3 cards
Dealer 5 Total: $9.00

My card show budget today was $40. I spent $38.00 on Cubs cards, and $1.50 admission. Not too bad. Instead of backtracking and buying a couple quarter cards, I’ll save the fifty cents for a rainy day.

Note: On Saturday, I picked up some retail, and also unearthed a small pile of Cubs cards while doing some Saturday evening sorting. Those cards are included in the weekend count.


One Million Cubs Project Stats
Weekend (8/25/18 and 8/26/18) Cards: 146
Weekend (8/25/18 and 8/26/18) Packages: 0 (retail boxes and card show)

Weekly Count: 229
Total Count: 149,848

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