It's been a long time since I've walked into a card shop and forever since I've attended a card show, but last week I found myself with a little extra time on my hands after picking up my daughters from school. I've been thinking of ways to create some risers on my shelves to better display some Transformers and other figures as a part of my great toy purge/re-organization and I thought plain white card boxes would work. Problem is, the only card shop in my area that I'm aware of I wasn't sure if they were still in business.
Earlier in the year, I read on Facebook that the owner of Grand Slam in Rock Hill, SC had passed away in April. I had no idea if someone was going to take over the shop or if it would just close. Well I figured I'd take a drive by and see for myself and I was surprised not only to see the shop open, but it was kind of busy inside...in the middle of the afternoon on a Thursday none the less.
After talking to the guy behind the counter for awhile, I learned that the owner's wife has been running the store and actively trying to sell. The landlord has been working with them on the rent, letting them pay month to month, but I fear a multi-year lease is looming in 2017 and I doubt she'll sign a long lease. It's really a shame as it's a good shop, even though I never visited all that often. I hate seeing brick & mortar stores like this fall to the wayside so I'm really hoping she can find a buyer soon that will keep the store open.
After I picked out my boxes, I turned my attention to all of the monster boxes set up on tables in the middle of the store. These have been a fixture in this store for some time. I spotted a box of Pokemon TCG cards that were 10/$1 so I let my girls be occupied with those while searched through some of the other boxes. At 10 cent a card how could I not look?
The boxes usually are just a hodgepodge of cards, with no rhyme or reason to how they are placed in the box. Thankfully though I found groups of cards from the same set so I was able to find some cards of players that I collect, but don't actively search out. The one lone card was the Topps Cracker Jack Mike Matheny. Even though the Panini card aren't fully licensed, I like the look (and feel) of these Donruss Diamond Kings. I stumbled across the Jose Fernandez Bowman card by chance as I really wasn't looking for him, but in light of his tragic death I figured why not pick up a few of his cards here and there.
The 1981 Topps Gary Carter was a nice surprise. Actually there appeared to be a complete set of 1981 Topps in the box so if anyone has a want list for that set let me know and I'll see about going back and getting what I can.
Speaking of Fernandez, I picked up this 2015 Stadium Club card of his. The photo on this card epitomizes his love for the game. Just look at that smile. I was also able to find a small run of 2015 TSC and 2016 Gypsy Queen cards to knock off of my want lists. Total for all the cards I bought, $6. Throw in another $4 for the Pokemon cards my girls picked out and another $10 for the card boxes I bought. Small purchase, but it made me feel good that I was supporting good people that were struggling to keep the business open. As soon as I have some more disposable time I think I'll go back and browse through those monster boxes so more and take a peek in the glass cases to see what else they have.