Back in the late fall of 2002, when I was still going to card shows (not so now after I discovered ebay), I went looking for a 2002-03 Topps Yao Ming rookie card. I had just seen Yao make something like 11 of 12 shots against Shawn Bradley and he was shooting something like .800 from the lane for the season. I wanted his rookie card. I went to a card show.
I went to all of the booths at the card show but no one had his Topps rookie card. I just paid like 3 or 4 bucks for admission, drove about 20 miles and his card was not even here.
Then when I was at some dealer’s table I looked to my left and I saw some collector standing there and low and behold in his hand in a hard plastic sleeve was a 2002-03 Topps Yao Ming.
I did not know what to do next or react, so I just kind of listened to the conversation between the collector and dealer. I could not believe what I was hearing, the collector was trying to sell the dealer some of the cards that he had in his hand.
I waited until the conversation was over and then I pounced. Just as the collector left the table, I approached him. “Hey Buddy”, “You looking to sell that card” Me pointing to Ming.
At that time, I hoped that the collector did not notice the look in my eyes. The look that no I did not want to have that Ming rookie card, but the look that I HAD TO HAVE THAT MING ROOKIE CARD. The look that said I would have given my first born or a yacht for that card.
Luckily, He did not notice the look, so in the dark dusty corner of that large auditorium away from all other patrons and dealers, the deal went down. My few dollars for his Ming rookie card. Wow! It was they only time I ever bought cards from another collector at a card show. Somehow the whole thing felt dirty and until this day I get shivers down my back thinking about the transaction. (At least it made going to the card show worth it).