About a month ago I found out about a postcard show that would be happening in a town that’s just close enough to be within “What the heck” driving limits. Now I don’t collect postcards, but I thought it might be fun to see what a show was like and I figured I was bound to find something I liked, so I devoted part of this past Saturday afternoon to the quest.
When I walked into the show, it was simultaneously familiar and strange. Like a sports collectibles show, there were numerous folding tables covered with boxes… but that’s where the familiarity ended. I walked up to one of the tables and realized I had no idea of where to start.
After wandering around a while, I found out that most of the dealers had their inventory in two major categories: Location (i.e. “Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ”) and Topic. For the most part, “Topic” is what I focused on. Topics included all sorts of subjects like Flowers, Holidays, Toys, Fire Trucks, Cats, Jokes, Nudes, Celebrities, Restaurants, Presidents, Lighthouses and so forth.
As you would expect, I started out looking for baseball-related postcards. Most of the dealers had cards which featured players – the yellow-bordered Baseball Hall Of Fame postcards were pretty common across the show. There were also a fair number of mid-1980’s TCMA postcards of Mets and Yankees, but I didn’t need any of the Mets and I didn’t want any of the Yankees (I did consider a Willie Randolph postcard, but it was a little more than I’d wanted to spend).
There were also postcards featuring ballparks, but I didn’t see any that I wanted.
About halfway through my time at the show… more or less coinciding with the point where my eyes stopped glazing over… I realized that there were other things I could be looking for.
First off was postcards of Long Island, NY… the “stomping grounds” for much of my first 30 years. I couldn’t resist buying this postcard of Roslyn, a town which isn’t terribly far from the Queens border…
…I’ve yet to figure out when this postcard is from, but I’m pretty confident that Rosyln has never looked even remotely like this during my 52 years on this Earth.
The second potential Topic was the 1964 New York World’s Fair… Not so much the fair itself but some of the structures which have fascinated me since I was a child and looking at them passing by while we drove on the Grand Central Parkway on the way to visit family. For instance, I’ve always loved the Unisphere (as depicted on this Topps Heritage card)…
…but there’s also the Port Authority heliport (currently Terrace On The Park) and the New York State Pavilion (part of which was the “escape vehicle” in the movie “Men In Black”). Unfortunately most of the Worlds Fair postcards I found were of pavilions which didn’t remain after the end of the World’s Fair.
I also found some dealers with “Winter Sports” sections, which I scanned for hockey and curling postcards. I came up empty on curling, but I did find a couple of interesting WHA postcards, but they were kind of expensive, featured players I didn’t know and they didn’t really fit into my collection other than being “neat”.
So what did I buy, other than the Roslyn postcard I already showed you?
Well, I found one dealer who had Cleveland Indians postcards from 1974 and 1975. I bought these two because I really like the uniforms of the time… I started following baseball in 1974 so in my mind the uniforms the Indians wore at that time are the best Indians uniforms ever… Especially the red jerseys.
I was mildly surprised to find out that the Trading Card DB had information on these postcards, but I’m learning that I shouldn’t doubt the mighty tradingcarddb.com. This Jackie Brown postcard and the following postcard are both from the 1975 Cleveland Indians Update set, which also features the “rookie postcard” of Dennis Eckersley. Not surprisingly, I didn’t run across Eck in this box of $1 postcards.
Even if it weren’t for the uniforms, I just love this postcard of pitcher Eric Raich (who I just barely remembered from his 1976 and 1977 Topps cards)…
It’s got a Norman Rockwell-ish vibe about it, especially with the youth of Ohio in the background (Boys who are clearly interested in players who are not Eric Raich… Maybe he’d already signed for them).
One last Indians postcaard, this one from the 1974 team-issued set and featuring George Hendrick:
The final postcard I bought was this 1971 New York Yankees postcard which fills a spot in my modest Fritz Peterson collection.
This is from the 1971 New York Yankees Clinic Day postcard set, and the back features more information than the others, so I’ll share the back from this one:
…actually this gives me opportunity to mention something I thought was interesting… you can see in the upper right that there’s a price and some form of identifying number written there in pencil (more lightly than it looks in my scan). If one did this on a baseball card, you’ve just shot the value to hell, but apparently it’s not completely out of the question in postcard circles, although you’d think they wouldn’t do it on the really valuable ones.
On the whole, the postcard show was fun. It was *different*. I have not been drawn into the world of postcard collecting as a result, but I’ll strongly consider going to this show when it rolls around again next November. At least then I’d have a better idea of what I’m looking for.