The best Toronto Expo yet (1971 baseball everywhere!)

The blog went dormant for a long time.  There are myriad reasons for this, most notably that I’ve been absurdly busy, but just as important is that for most of this year, I’ve been poking away at the 1971 high series and it just didn’t seem interesting to me to post a 1971, then another, then maybe two – particuarly since this blog is doing it so much better.  I hardly did any hockey this year.

The Toronto Fall Expo, though, was going to change that.  My plan was to do precisely what I had done in the spring, which was to aim for a handful of 1952-53 Parkies, see whether I could find any 1973-74 OPC dark backs to get me closer to my master set, then try for some 1960-61 Topps or maybe a couple of 1969 OPC baseball cards.  There hasn’t been a worthwhile find of 1971s there in years.

So that’s precisely what I did.  Instead of wandering around exploring like I normally do, I went straight to the Parkies guy.  He had four I needed:

Hergesheimer, Stoddard, Lund and Stanley - 1952-53 Parkhurst.

Lousy image quality due to a somewhat dirty phone lens. Still, Hergesheimer, Stoddard, Lund and Stanley – 1952-53 Parkhurst.

I was a little disappointed in that I wanted to nail down the last Hab for the first page of the set, but this was an OK start all the same.  I paid for these, then remembered that in the spring, he’d had some of the 1973-74 OPC off to the side of his booth.  That box wasn’t there.  Instead there was a binder I’d never seen him bring before.  It read:

1971 OPC Baseball

Well, that was different.  What are the odds that there are high numbers in this thing?

high numbers - lots of 'em

Oh. My.

Gold mine.

He wasn’t breaking up a complete set, but what was in there landed directly on my list.  What you see here is a stack of 1971 OPC high numbers, all in outstanding condition.

a big spread

spread out across the floor, as cards are meant to be

The price was what made it even better.  Everything was a fraction of what it normally sees on eBay.  In fairness, this means they were probably priced at around book, but “book” is kind of a fairy tale when it comes to high-numbered 1971 OPC.  In the top row, buried next to Dick Williams, is a Mike Marshall.  The high-series Expos tend to run the better part of $100 (US) online.  That card?  Less than a seventh.

Complete pages abound!

A page of high numbers!

A page of high numbers!

So the set that I once felt would never be finished, and that this year I felt might get done, just not any time soon, now needs just sixteen cards.  A couple are ugly (most notably the Baylor/Baker/Paciorek RC, one of which just finished on eBay at about $65 US for a beat-up copy), but most aren’t too bad.  This could be a 2016 accomplishment.  Never thought I’d be able to say that.

More than happy with what I’d found, I abandoned the notion of more ’50s-60s hockey.  I did grab this, though, which gets me down to 10 remaning on the ’73-74 OPC Master set.

Stackhouse, Worsley, Dupere, Collins, Bucyk - 1973-74 OPC dark backs

That’s the last card of the Gumper, second from left.

I don’t expect that he’ll have my remaining 16 in the spring, but there were a bunch of other binders labeled 1967, 1968 and 1970….



This entry was posted in OPC, Parkhurst, Vintage Baseball, Vintage Hockey and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The best Toronto Expo yet (1971 baseball everywhere!)

  1. shanediaz82 says:

    A drool-worthy post! Great to see you back, I’d been wondering why the blog had gone dormant.

  2. supportingtheminnow says:

    I feel your pain in finding dark back vs light back variations of the 1973-74 OPC. Glad you found some at the show. I picked up some missing Vachon cards (the cake company not the goalie).

  3. Mark hoyle says:

    Congrats on the pike of 71’s. I’m still searching for the Yaz from 71.

  4. Peter A says:

    We collect a lot of the same stuff – you can contact me, we could help each other out

  5. Jeff L says:

    I found 2 dealers who had a lot of vintage baseball at the Fall Expo. Unfortunately as you mentioned they were selling at book, if not more. I passed when I saw their prices. I did manage to pick up some ’70 OPC at a good price. One dealer from Quebec had a mixture of hockey and baseball and stacks of vintage baseball most of which were in less than excellent condition. I picked up the better looking cards of what he had from ’70 OPC. There was another table that had a binder of OPC. When I was at their table there was a couple of guys looking through the binder. Wanting to make sure that I got around the Expo before closing time I made a mental note to return to the table before I left. Sure enough by the time I finished walking around the Expo dealers were closing up and I forgot to go back to this table. I guess there’s always next year.

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