Put on my blue suede shoes,
And I boarded a plane…
OK, in reality a few friends and I rented an SUV and drove to Memphis, Tennessee earlier this month. And for the record, I don’t own any blue suede shoes.
So, you’re probably wondering if I saw any historical Civil War sites, or went to Graceland.
Nope. My friends are more into eating barbecue and drinking beer than going to historical places. And Graceland was crowded because it was Elivs’ “death week,” so we avoided going there.
But I did convince the guys to stop at a card shop near Memphis. The shop didn’t have much hockey, but I found a few odds n’ ends that I wanted for my collection.
1994 Classic Pro Prospects Manon Rheaume Autograph – I love the old Classic sets, and Rheaume was a trailblazer who made history. Cost: $10 (though the dealer pointed out that it had a Beckett Value of $80…guess he had this card since ’94 and was sick of looking at it.)
1994 Signature Rookies Wendell Young Autograph – Wendell Young is shown in a non-licensed NHL set–notice that the Lightning logo has been airbrushed off. Back in the day, Young played for my 2nd favorite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and later played 7 seasons for the minor league Chicago Wolves. I once had the opportunity to have dinner with Mr. Young; it was almost surreal to “talk hockey” with a pro hockey player. Cost of this card: $2
2000-01 Be A Player Josef Marha Autograph – After playing 3 seasons on a crummy Chicago Blackhawks team, Marha has played the last 9 years in Switzerland. Not really high on my priority list, but it is an autograph of a Blackhawks player. Cost: $2.
1998-99 Be A Player Manny Malhotra Autograph – Manny! It’s Manny! This guy did awesome last season. I was actually hoping that he’d sign with the Blackhawks, but that didn’t happen. Anyway, this Mannygraph cost me $3.
1998-99 Be A Player Grant Fuhr Autograph – How could I pass up an autograph of this Hall of Fame goaltender? It was only $7. I think the dealer made a mistake when he looked up this card on the Beckett Online Price Guide, because other than the Rheume card the guy wasn’t really cutting me any real breaks. He was quoting Beckett like it was The Bible. Then again, I was in Tennessee…
2005-06 In the Game Heroes and Prospects John Tavares – Chronologically, this was Tavares’ first hockey card. One day, I hope to have this entire set. Cost: $10.
Jeremy Roenick / Keith Tkachuk Dual Jersey Card – Yes, a jersey card. I usually hate on these things, but this one was particularly nice. Roenick is probably my 2nd favorite player of all-time after Chris Chelios, and I’ve liked Keith Tkachuk ever since he played for the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team. At $14, this was the most expensive card I purchased there.
1997-98 Leaf International Complete Set – At this point, the card dealer’s internet stopped working, so he couldn’t look up any more Beckett prices. He sold this to me for $12. Not sure what this set is “worth,” but a complete set for twelve bucks is a complete set for twelve bucks.And it’s soooooo shiny.
There were a few other cards I would have liked to have purchased, but I wasn’t really “feeling it” at this card shop. The dealer was cordial, but seemed inconvenienced by my presence–especially since he had to look up EVERY SINGLE CARD that I was interested in.
The dealer also wasn’t willing to negotiate on any of his prices. Specifically, I wanted to purchase 2 other cards at $38, but he wanted $45 for the pair. Granted, I was asking him to knock off $7, but then I would have spent an even $100, instead of $62. It seemed like a fair request but the guy wouldn’t budge.
So I decided to spend the other $38 on beer and barbecue.