A snow storm has swept through the south this week. Being raised in the North Country and then living in Chicagoland it didn't bother me so much. Driving was a bit tricky. My work let out at noon on Tuesday and then we were closed on Wednesday. School let out Tuesday morning. Just got the call. School is closed again on Friday.
The sun has melted most of the snow on the main roads and getting a bit stir crazy, Caroline went out and ran some errands. What do you know? Trying to find some Topps 2014 was on that list.
Wal-Mart was first on the list. They had cereal boxes and jumbo rack packs, but not the single retail packs I was hoping for. We went on farther down the road to a NASCAR/Autograph store. It was closed and from the looks of things they won't be reopening.
Deeper into Pigeon Forge we went. At traffic light #6 (yes, we use traffic light numbers as points of reference) I turned in and found The Dugout. I knew it was there, I just hadn't been to it in a number of years.
The store was empty of customers but full of cards. And signed memorabilia. And figurines. And graded cards. And supplies. And gnomes. And... Well, you get the idea.
All major sports. Baseball, football, basketball, hockey, racing. I didn't ask about curling.
The owner, Rick Rollar, was very eager to talk, and was very helpful. We exchanged a bit of pleasantries. I asked about 2014 Topps and he was sold out. He got six boxes in and now they're gone. He didn't open any for himself.
After going through my main list of collections he pulled out some interesting items from a box behind the counter. Some press proof sheets for the 1984 Fun Foods pins that several players had signed, including Orel Hershiser.
And then he pulled out these beauts.
1914 B18 Blankets. One Wheat and two Sweeneys. These are in great shape. I've never actually seen them before. A bit smaller than I had imagined. They are 5-1/4" square, but I thought they'd be bigger. I don't know why. He offered me a very good price for the three of them, but I don't need all three. He offered me the Wheat for a very good price as a single piece. I almost bought it but thought I'd take a breath before pulling the trigger. I'm trying to stay away from impulse buying, even if it is a good deal on a good product.
So, if you want a knowledgeable dealer with a well lit and well stocked store, visit Rick at The Dugout
in Pigeon Forge. 22 years of going strong. Traffic Light #6.