1956 Topps set at the local second-hand shop.

I've been very busy with a freelance project but on the way back from downtown I just decided to stop at the second-hand shop near our favorite breakfast place. You never know when they'll have something nifty.

At the front counter was a pleasant older woman, and nearby were two shoeboxes filled with....baseball cards. "Mind if I look at these?" I asked.

"Oh, certainly, dear, they just came in. I haven't priced them yet."

The boxes were filled with neatly stacked piles of these 1956 Topps cards. Not reprints. I decided to count them. It took a while, but gave me a chance to carefully assess every card. There were 340.

"Do you have any idea when these might be available?" I asked.

"I guess when I can find someone to help me get a sense of how much they cost. What would you be willing to pay?"

Because there were so many smile cards, not to mention quite a few midair moments, plus the card didn't have many dinged corners, and since this was a charity outfit and I didn't want to feel guilty, I said, "Well, what are you asking?" Often, people accuse me of being extravagant, but mainly I wanted to be fair.

The woman was clearly interested in a transaction. She had many contributions to process, and perhaps wanted to get rid of these two boxes of baseball cards that were kind of in her way.

"Baseball cards don't sell very well here. How about 10 cents per card?"

"I'd pay that for them, but I'm not saying that's what they're worth. I bet some are worth a lot more. But my eight-year-old daughter would like these. They're like little pieces of art. I'll take them."

She seemed pleased, and even asked if I needed help getting the boxes out to the car. "Oh no, I'm fine," I said.

This turned out to be a bad decision, because as I opened the back of the van, the two boxes fell to the ground, and just then, one of those enormous gusts of New Mexico dust devil wind came along, and the cards were carried aloft. I considered trying to find some of them, but really had to get home.

Easy come, easy go, I guess. But even for those few minutes, I enjoyed owning a complete set of 1956 Topps cards.


capewood said...

No really, they all blew away?

That's horrible!

Hey, did you hear that the Dodgers signed Barry Bonds today for a million bucks?

night owl said...

Oh, don't even joke about the Dodgers and Barry Bonds.

Come to think of it, joking about a full set of '56s blowing away in the wind isn't funny either.

Who made up this "holiday," anyway?

AlbuqwirkE said...

Guess what! That chindee dropped most of those cards here in Albuquerque. It was raining 56's this evening as I walked from the ballpark to my truck.

dayf said...


And congrats, you were the first one today to dupe an increasingly jaded and cautious me. If only for a moment.

dayf said...

And don't think these things can't actually happen, I got most of a complete run of Alan Moore era Swamp Thing comics from a library sale for a dime a pop. Not quite a '56 Clemente, but nice in its own right.

This is That Was Great said...

I must say,I bet ol' Don Mossi, flew away the fastest.

timrooks said...

Yeah, you had me hook, line, and sinker all the way until the end. Well done.

tastelikedirt said...