Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Buy Local!

I live in one of the "cool" metro areas.  Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill-better known as the Triangle-always makes all of those really trendy city lists.  Best places to live, most PhDs per 100,000, sunshine, colleges, pine trees, schools.  Lots to love about living in North Carolina.  Be a trendy, hip, cool city means we have lots of cool things about buying local products, making local products, local business, local, local, local.  Lots of signs like this:

Or perhaps if you live in Durham you might see a sign like this: 

and Raleigh of course has their own cool Buy Local sign too.  Everyone in North Carolina is stuck on local, but I am wondering how its possible for me as a consumer of baseball cards to buy local.  There is one decent card shop in all of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill which is far far away from my house.  The card shop which is closer to my house is not so great.  In fact, I stopped there this weekend to buy a few boxes and remembered quickly why I do not buy cards from them.  

With card shops being difficult to reach, I have been working hard to develop a few connections around Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Burlington, and a few other locales where I can trade and buy baseball cards.  This week I successfully bought a few cards from a local collector stepping out of the hobby.  Guy has some really good pictures too.  

I ended up with four new cards for my collection:

1999 Bowman's Best Scott Rolen Autograph 

First up is a pair of Scott Rolen autographs.  Both cards are from his time with the Phillies, but the autographs are on-card and very clean and clear.  Rolen was a pretty prolific signer as a Phillie, but he dropped off as a Cardinals, and never signed as a Red.  I think there might be a token Blue Jays autograph.  

2000 SPX Scott Rolen Autograph 

The 2000 SPX set was a really cool set.  Lots of autographs including rookies.  Rolen is not a rookie in this set, but the veteran autographs in this set include Canseco, Ivan Rodriguez, Jeter, Manny Ramirez.  Again, really good set. 

2005 Playoff Absolute Rafael Furcal Jersey/Bat/Autograph 

It's hard to believe that this guy is still on the Cardinals roster.  If only he were playing instead of Pete Kozma.  Furcal was a key contributor to the 2011 World Championship Cardinals team which makes his cards desirable for my collection.  Furcal has been a pretty big signer during his career, but this card is limited to just 50.  The card, just like the SPx Rolen, hails from a cool set.  Unfortunately the 2005 set was the final year of this brand.  

2002 SPx Winning Materials Frank Thomas/Magglio Ordonez Dual Jersey

I also picked up one non-Cardinals card.  I really like the dual jersey, multiple relic cards that Upper Deck used in the Winning Materials cards.  This was a pretty long running set for Upper Deck and they almost always made a Winning Materials set.  I did not actually see this card before buying it, but I saw several other prints and liked that most of the Thomas swatches had a pinstripe.  I went for it and got lucky.

Despite not having a local card shop I am going to keep working on buying from local sellers.  It might be a little bit difficult to do at times, but there are plenty of cool baseball cards floating around North Carolina.  It just happens that many of them are not in card shops.  

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