Just like so many places around the country this past weekend, Rochester had a sports card show, with two dozen vendors setting up shop in a Party House, which in Rochester means a banquet center for catered affairs. I think that these, if not unique to Western New York, are something of a more common sight here. At least it used to be. You could throw a stone anywhere and usually hit one.
In any event, I was able to pick up more of my sets, mostly 2007 Topps 52 Rookies and a few Heritage and Finest cards, including a couple of short prints:
I got a few autographs and relics, too:
I love the Parker. He was one of my favorites. I can still see, in my mind's eye, the play during the All-Star Game in Seattle when he gunned down a runner at home plate with a throw that, on the fly, didn't go much over 9 or 10 feet off the ground. What an amazing throw!
In addition, a Buffalo semi-legend was at the show, signing autographs for just the price of admission, which was only $4.
Donnie Green, a member of the famous Electric Company offensive line that paved the way for O.J. Simpson in his hayday, was very friendly and spent quite a bit of time talking to me and a few other people standing in line. There weren't that many people at the show, so I went over to one vendor who had the 70's football cards, bought these two for 50¢ apiece, and had him sign them. Pretty cool! We then talked about his teammates, his opponents, and who he keeps up with. He said that he really doesn't speak too much to Ralph Wilson, the owner of the Bills since it's inception and a new Hall of Fame electee. Joe Ferguson was mentioned prominently as one he needs to call, especially since Joe had cancer and has since recovered.
As for the best lineman he played with? Joe Delamielleure. He said that he wasn't that big, but he would blow Jack Lambert ten feet back into the defensive backfield! Pure power and technique. No wonder he is in the Hall of Fame. And the best defensive lineman? Not Deacon Jones, whom he said was near the end of his career when he played against him. Not L.C. Greenwood, who he said he never had any trouble with. (L.C. was quiet, and Mean Joe Greene was the one who did all the trash-talking, according to Donnie.) He did mention both Merlin Olsen of the Rams and Jim Marshall of the Vikings.
I think, though, that in this show, the best things I bought were some of the 2009 Heritage 1960 buybacks. I had read on someone's blog that you could read through the wrapper to see who was inside, so I picked out these three, with the vendor's blessing:
Two things you'll notice right away about these original 1960 cards: 1) the cards are printed on different color stock, not just gray or white, but cream white and tannish white; 2) everyone agrees that the cards would be much more desirable without the "50th Anniversary" stamp that they put on all the buybacks. Some of the vendors were discussing the value of actual versus stamped buybacks, and a good Killebrew would go for $15-20, whereas this buyback is probably $2 or so.
However much it costs, I still really like them and wish I had pulled these from my boxes instead of the ad panels. But for $1 apiece, I think I got a bargain.
This is the second Bobby Avila I have from 1960 and previous. I might start a 1950's Bobby Avila collection. He was one of my father's favorites.