2017-08-17 / Sports

There is excitement in collecting

BASEBALL’S BEST
By LAMAR GARRARD basebal historian

“We all collected baseball cards that came with bubble gum. You could never get the smell of bubble gum off your cards, but you kept your Yankees cards pristine.” ... Penny Marshall, actress and director of the baseball film A League of Their Own.

This past Saturday I took a trip to Charlotte with my long-time baseball friend Milledge Murray. We decided to attend a baseball card, toy, and collectibles show that occurs there three or four times a year. As my alarm awakened me at five in the morning I wondered if the three-hour drive to the show was really going to be worth our effort.

After arriving at around 10 a.m., we discovered that we were in what seemed like a lot of traffic in the vicinity of the card show. Sure enough, we were trying to park across the street from where hundreds of golf fans were parking who were in Charlotte to view the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.

You might think that going to a sports card and memorabilia show would not be adventurous or exciting. But over the years the sports-collecting hobby has become like a big fraternity where collectors and dealers alike get to know each other and become friends. Because the Charlotte show is a regular event, over time you meet many nice people.

Saturday, I ran across an old friend, Kip Ingle from Marietta, Georgia, who is a longtime dealer and collector. Kip is an expert in the hobby and is well known and respected. He also runs the The Golf Auction.Com which has several golf memorabilia auctions each year. Kip is always looking to buy golf collectibles especially anything related to the Masters.

It was also nice to see another long-time friend and dealer from Woodruff, S.C., Wayne Abrams. Wayne is a huge Clemson Tiger fan and sells nice-condition baseball cards at reasonable prices.

At this show there were several toy collectible dealers also. They also are looking to buy vintage toys. You might just find a willing buyer there for some of your older G.I. Joe pieces and for the ladies maybe your childhood Barbie doll collection.

It is fun just to go and see all of the different collectibles that are available. One neat item at the show was a baseball signed by several members of baseball’s 500 home run club. That ball had the signatures of Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Harmon Killebrew, and several other hall of famers. What a nice ball to have.

I am always looking for something different and unusual and at a bargain price of course. Since Mickey Mantle was my boyhood hero, I found a real neat small booklet with Mickey’s picture on the front. It gives tips on how to play the game. I spent a whopping $3 for it and just because it was Mickey I had to have it for my personal collection.

The show is also a great place to go if you have some cards or other baseball items that you want to get an opinion about or find out the value. It was a pleasant experience for me and my friend and we both came away a little wiser and did not break the bank in the process.

Happy collecting to you all.

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