I’d Buy THAT for a Dollar

I sifted through several dollar boxes when I went to The National.

Usually, I avoid these “haystacks,” as I call them, because going through them is time-consuming and you can easily burn through several hours if you stop every time you see a dime, quarter or dollar box.

But since I went all 5 days to The National, I had time on my side. I could spend an hour or two each day looking through such rummage boxes and still have plenty of time to do everything else (get autographs, wrapper redemption programs, etc.).

However, I make 3 rules when buying dollar cards:

  1. I do not even bother to look if the cards are not sorted by sport. If the dealer won’t make the effort to sort the cards by sport, I won’t reward him with my hard-earned dollars.
  2. I only buy the card if it is from a set I am building, a player that I collect, or a team I collect.
  3. Or the cards has to be something intriguing, or something that I haven’t seen before.

All right, enough preaching! Onto my awesome one-dollar finds!

9 Random Rookie Cards

2003-04 Topps Pristine Eric Staal RC (215 / 699)
2008-09 Artifacts Jordan Hendry RC (72 / 100)
2006-07 Fleer Ultra Shea Weber Gold RC
2009-10 Fleer Ultra Chris Durno RC
2009-10 Fleer Ultra John Scott Gold RC
2003-04 Pacific Invincible Joffrey Lupul RC
2009-10 Black Diamond Matt Hendricks and T.J. Galiardi Triple Diamond Rookie Gems
2008-09 Black Diamond Alex Goligoski Triple Diamond Rookie Gems.

2 1992-93 Bowman Foil Short Prints

Brett Hull and Phil Housley. One day, I will have all the short-print foil cards for this set.

2 1970-71 O-Pee-Chee

Tom Webster and Bobby Hull All-Star. I am slowly building this set. The Hull has a few moderate creases, but I really can’t complain since I paid a dollar for it.

5 2010-11 Artifacts Short Prints

Rule the school! I found five short-prints from the 2010-11 Artifacts set for a buck apiece: Mike Richards (504 / 999) and Steven Stamkos (834 / 999) Star cards; Jean Beliveau (896 / 999) Legends card; Brandon Yip (806 / 999) Artifacts Rookie; and Phillip Larsen (393 / 699) Redemption Rookie.

3 2006-07 Parkhurst Short Prints

Phil Esposito (3387 / 3999), Pierre Pilote (1708 / 3999) and Bill Gadsby (1887 / 3999).

4 1997-98 Upper Deck 3 Star Selects Inserts

Bryan Berard, Niklas Sundstrom, Steve Yzerman and Patrick Roy. I don’t even remember when I started collecting this insert set, but I still have a long way to go.

2002-03 Upper Deck Memorable Seasons SPs

Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe and Mario Lemieux. I’ve been picking up the 2002-03 Upper Deck set a card here and a card there over the past couple of years.

1 Chris Chelios Card

1997-98 Pacific Gold Crown Die-Cuts Chris Chelios. Another card for my “Chris Chelios Collection.”

2 2009-10 Black Diamond Quadruple Diamonds

Shiny cards of Joe Sakic and Bobby Hull (as a Whaler!)

1997-98 Donruss Studio Press Proofs

Sergei Berezin and Dino Ciccarelli. I love the Donruss Studio set, and figured that it was time that I track down all the inserts and parallels for it.

4 Topps Reprint Cards

Topps Chrome reprint of 1988-89 Patrick Roy, Topps Chrome reprint of 1973-74 Billy Smith RC, Topps Heritage reprint of  1957-58 Johnny Bucyk RC and Topps reprint of Brett Hull RC.

And finally…

5 Random Cards

A Russian-made Sergei Fedorov card, some weird Donruss stamp card of Pavel Bure, a nice illustrated Upper Deck card of Mario Lemieux and Heroes and Prospects cards of Sidney Crosby and Guy Lafleur from their QMJHL days.

Going through dollar boxes can be a reward unto itself. You hope to find something great, or something that you need, and then experience a thrill when you find a card ou are looking for. Getting it for cheap is just icing on the cake.


Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

2 thoughts on “I’d Buy THAT for a Dollar”

  1. Hey Sal…if your still in on the mask design contest I got going on make sure you pass that along to me via email sometimes today because I'm announcing the winner tomorrow

  2. More great pick-ups Sal.

    I'm not much of a vintage collector so I spend most of my time going through the dollar boxes at the shows. I couldn't agree more that you have to have a plan before you start searching because you'll never know what you'll find.

    One of the other things I look at before stopping at a table (beside being sorted by sport) is how the cards are stored. If all the cards are in toploaders or penny sleeves I'm good to go. If I see a lot of the cards have no protection I usually don't bother since they are usually all scratched up. There was a vendor at the National than had a ton of cards but they weren't protected so I made it through half a monster box before throwing in the towel due to the condition of the cards.

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