Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Trip To Zittels

I like Upper Deck cards. I hate the Topps monopoly. Great card sets like Goudey and Masterpieces have gone bye-bye as a result. I'm kinda pissed at Topps right now. It's not their fault, it's just the way it is.
I was in the Flint Michigan area earlier today. There is one card shop left. Zittlels' Final Score in Grand Blanc.
 When I arrived, the little hand scrawled sign taped to the door read, "Back in 15 minutes". I waited. Not long, about 10 minutes. Once inside, I was greeted by Gary the owner. A welcome and a handshake.
The shop was mostly neat and well organized. I was looking for some Ultra-Pro 50point screw downs. He had a bunch of different sizes, but was sold out of the 50pointers. Gary offered to order some for me. I browsed the showcases. There were sections of all three major sports, and a hockey case too. The pickins were slim for singles, and I didn't see mass quantities of common boxes out on the floor. I think there was a stock room behind the counter. The commons are probably back there where they belong. There was a table set up with grab-bags for the kids. A huge wall was adorned with pennants from all kinds of teams. If I was a pennant collector, this place would have been heaven. Behind the main counter was the new wax. They had a case of Allen & Ginter's, a box of Goodwin, and about 20 to 30 other wax boxes to buy packs from. When I asked for a couple packs of Goodwin and a couple of A&G, he handed me the boxes and let me pick out my packs. I like that. One of my local shops won't let the buyer select his own packs. They charge the most in the area too. Zittels has Ladies Day on Thursdays, 10% off anything. Nice.
The Goodwins were priced at $5 bucks a pack. Five cards per pack at five bucks a pack... yowch!
Here's what I got;
 Two mini's #222 Perez (SSP) and #123 Rudy Valentino
 #156 Lincoln (SP), #40 Aikman, #25 Machado, #150 Corbett
#142 Spitz, #47 Mallinger, #131 Couture, #77 Tavares
I like collecting cards. I don't like logo-less cards so much. I will have to bust a few more packs and maybe a blaster to see if Goodwin grows on me.
I did grab a couple packs of A&G as I mentioned. I didn't get anything earthshaking. I did however, get a card of a germ. No wait a virus. Crap, oh... wait, it's a bacteria. Prokaryotes. Good lord Topps this is a reach.
I also got a mini card of last years A.L. rookie of the year runner-up, Naftali Feliz. Oh, wait, they gifted him the award. 
I also grabbed a few packs of 2011 Heritage. He gave me .50cents off per pack. I got a Mauer Sporting News All-Star card that I needed.
I really hope the small town local card shops in America survive. We NEED to have a place that we can walk into and grab a few packs on a whim. Browsing the web for the best deal is not very rewarding. Having a nice conversation with a guy that cares about the hobby, cares about his customers, and wants to run a business that he obviously enjoys is a pleasure. I hope it's not the Final Score for Zittels and other local shops. 


  1. Here's to hoping all those shops survive. The one in the next town is great, owner is very friendly and family oriented. Asked if my son collected cards yet, I said no, but he loves race cars and Hot Wheels ... he came back with 8 or 10 cards from some NASCAR Element product (had a Heritage look and feel to them) absolutely free and handed them to my son who was thrilled. It's those little customer service things that keep you wanting to go back over and over.

  2. Who sez grab bags are for kids? My guy inserts auto's, relics & short run cards such as 2005 Diamond Kings Press Proof Mike Piazza #/100 in random bags. Have never found any junk wax either!

  3. I have a bad feeling the local shops are eventually going going gone, unless they have online business and make enough there to get by.
    5 years ago, I knew of 4 shops, only 1 of them is left. And I live in the 4th largest city in the US, Houston.
    Now, the problem with this last store - besides being on the complete opposite side of Houston from me and a 30 min. drive and are only open 3 days a week for like 6 hours a day - is the prices. Unfortunately, no matter how badly I want to spend my money in this store and see it prosper - I can't justify going in there and spending $20 for a early 70's minor star card that I can get for $1-2 on checkout my cards or sportlots. It's a shame. But it is always fun to go to a real card shop and talk cards with old timers who love cards and know them like the back of their hands.