Something I've wanted to do since I moved here a few years ago has been to go to the York Paper Fair. This event is held twice a year and is supposed to be a large number of dealers in books and ephemera. Being held in central Pennsylvania, I've always hoped and expected that I would be able to find local baseball items there and if I happen across some baseball books, too, well, wouldn't that be a shame?
My schedule and memory have always prevented me from going. Either I forget when it is or when I remember, I already have something conflicting. This past weekend, though, I was finally able to make it. On top of it, the York Emporium, who I think puts on the show, was wrapping up a three day sale on that Saturday. Paper fair AND discount used books. Surely a day of awesomeness was in store.
Awesome disappointment was what was in store for me at the Paper Fair. What a bizarre show. The entryway was almost entirely used records. Phonograph records, not old business records or something like that. Vinyl, not paper. The one notable exception was a guy dealing in vintage men's magazines.
Those kinds of magazines seemed to be a predominate feature of the show. That and sci-fi paperbacks. Then you had oddball specializations. One guy had religious texts. Another dealt only in Civil War era books. There was someone who specialized in Fraktur. One that dealt in vintage homosexual literature. Baseball specialists? Zero. What baseball items I found were almost entirely booklets issued in newspapers or by gas stations which you could pick up on eBay for a few bucks if you had the inclination or spend triple that at this show.
No baseball cards, no programs, no books, no photos, no postcards that I could find. It was almost like they went out of the way not to appeal to me. Wanting to get something, I rooted around in this bin one dealer had that was filled primarily with old membership cards from random organizations. There were some oddball things here and there and as I was sifting, I saw a guy in catcher's gear. Pulled it out and saw the player had dark skin. Given the apparent age of the card, I thought it might be something from the Negro Leagues. Flipped it over and the text was in German. Here it is:
It was a few bucks so I grabbed it. Turns out it is part of a set that a German margarine manufacturer, Sanella, issued in the 1930's. This is one of just two baseball cards in the set. The other is Babe Ruth which goes for $75-100. My card goes for right around what I paid for it. Something different. I like it.
Then it was on to the York Emporium. I was overwhelmed when I was there last time but now I knew where everything was which made my visit a little shorter. Sticking with the Japanese theme, I found a book I had passed on last year. It was 60% off so I snatched it up this time around.
I'm normally a lot more particular on condition but it turns out this isn't an easy book to find in better condition and the price was fantastic. I picked up five other books, including three on Dave Winfield:
Anytime you can buy three books on a Hall of Famer for six bucks, I think you have to do it. Instant Winfield collection. They had the paperback revised edition of Dropping the Ball there and I was sorely tempted to get it just to get four Winfield books but I was being goofy enough as it was.
All in all, nothing really remarkable. Didn't spend much which is always a good thing, especially when getting nothing really remarkable. I won't do the York Paper Fair again but I will visit the York Emporium again. Check it out if you're ever in York.
And if you've read the Winfield books or any other baseball books, make sure you join us this weekend for the fantasy baseball book draft. It'll be fun.