One of my favorite parts of living in Santa Clarita, California is being really close to a swap meet. The Santa Clarita Swap Meet is literally minutes away from my place of employment as well as my home. Another benefit of this particular shopping bazaar is that it is run three days a week. I have the option of walking around a rundown speedway searching for baseball related items on a weekend or on a Tuesday. The Tuesday event usually has less total vendors and less patrons. The weekend swap meet is really crowded and has many more dealers to scope out. Both days have its benefits but, Tuesdays are more my speed because large crowds make it hard for me to breath sometimes.
I channeled my inner Fuji and made my journey to the swap meet last week. I was on the hunt for some baseball cards, bobble heads or any other interesting item that is baseball related. For some reason, I am always tempted to pick up that random box of '91 Fleer mixed with some '88 Topps. Those types of assorted boxes always call my name but, I choose to hold out and wait for something more worthwhile.
I actually talk back to the '89 Score cards or the '92 Topps cards. This behavior isn't too odd at a swap meet because a fair amount of weirdos that are stranger than me seem to show up at these types of places.
I actually pass on more items than I actually purchase when I go bargain hunting. Sometimes, I just negotiate with a vendor to see how low of a price that I could get. After hearing the vendor mention his price, we go back and forth and then I just walk away. This keeps my haggling skills sharp for when I see an item that I really, really want for my collection.
One such dealer didn't even need to hear my haggling skills. His price was just perfect for me. He had an assorted mix of early to mid nineties packs of baseball and football. I skipped the football and skimmed through his assortment.
I came across a nice smattering of packs from my childhood. I found some '94 Collector's Choice packs. The Collector's Choice sets from back in the day will always have a special place in my heart. The packs were cheap in the nineties and had superb photography. These were the cheaper version of Topps Stadium Club.
Luckily for me, '94 Collector's Choice packs are even cheaper than they were back when I was a younger cardboard hoarder. I picked out a handful of packs and the vendor told me that they were fifty cents each. That is a perfect price and needed no negotiation.
The packs did not disappoint. The photographs used by Upper Deck for this set were fantastic. I really enjoyed all the cards featuring players making headfirst dives. Such dives as Mike Gallego going after a grounder or some nice looking shots of players soaring into a base.
I had two regrets from my latest swap meet adventure. One was not buying the rest of his '94 Collector's Choice packs and then trying to get them at a reduced rate. I was afraid the cards may have some sticking and chipping issues. These cards had very minor issues, some of which is hardly noticeable. The fear of having little white marks on the masterpieces from this pack kept me from buying more.
The second regret that I had was the breakfast burrito I gorged on that I purchased off a food truck. The breakfast burrito didn't make me sick. It just had no flavor and lacked grease dripping from it. Those are two flaws when it comes to food purchasing. I need some flavor and some grease. I had to add a lot of Tapatio just to remind my palate that I had food in my mouth.
I will probably be off to the swap meet again next week in the hopes of more cardboard buys. Maybe I can find some more Collector's Choice or some elusive late nineties cards that I know were produced but, seem hard to find.