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My favorite GW find–2011

November 7, 2011

Sophie over at Her Library Adventures hosts a weekly link party where folks share their flea market finds.  This week everyone is showing off their favorite find of the year.

A few months ago, I went to a Goodwill that is a little further from my home.   This one is near a more affluent area of St. Louis, and although it was small and very crowded, my little helper and I decided to give it a go.

Of course, I headed straight back to the dishes and glassware, where I found zilch.  Then I noticed there were quite a few folks “dumpster diving” in the big  blue rolling bins, so we joined the fun.  Apparently because the store is so small they keep inventory in these bins.

I pulled out a few nicer purses and some home goods but nothing was that special.  And then I found this:


Yes, that is a real Balenciaga bag.  It was in great condition on the inside, but had a quarter-sized ink mark on the front.  When I got it home and tried to remove the stain, I made a hole in the leather and left most of the stain.  (Why would the leather on a $1,500.oo purse be so fragile? just sayin’).  So I took the leather padding piece from the handle and attached it to the front, covering the stain and feeling quite proud of my mending work.

Guess how much I paid? Yep, the usual GW purse price of three whole dollars.  Now, I know with my “repairs’ it’s not worth anything, really, but boy do I feel fancy schlepping around my coupons and baby wipes in a expensive designer purse!

But that’s not even my favorite find of the year.


That same trip, while excavating haute couture, I also spied a baseball in a protective cube way down in the bottom of a bin.  Seeing the St. Louis cardinal emblem, I grabbed it thinking my boys would like it.  For $2.00, they could play with it in the backyard, even.  I noticed it was signed all over, but didn’t really pay attention, too excited about my purse.

When I started looking at it in the car, though, I noticed right away that it was signed by Tony La Russa.

We moved to St. Louis in 2006, and I have really gotten into Cardinals baseball, but I am not that familiar with older teams or players.  (Unlike my husband, who could tell you who was the New York Yankees bat boy in 1979).  I did see another name I recognized, Jim Edmonds.

Okay, so I am getting excited now.  I show the hubs when we get home, and he tells me to try to match up the team roster to the names to determine what year it is from.  I discover by matching players that it can only be from the 2000 season, and guess who else signed it?

Oh, just Mark McGuire, still beloved in St. Louis (and their current hitting coach).

And look, there’s Rick Ankiel, one of the greatest comeback stories in all of baseball (and my favorite, ’cause he looks just like my first real boyfriend).  He fell apart in great fashion as a pitcher that year, then came back as an outfielder and slugger for the Cards in 2007 and still plays for the Washington Nationals.

That "p" is for pitcher

The Cardinals led their division that year, and won the National League Division Series.  And since then Tony La Russa has led the Cards to two World Series Championships:  2006 (when we first moved here) and of course this year.  My husband and I even deemed this ball the “rally ball” because when I sat it on our mantle during Game 6, the Cards miraculously came back and won, forcing a game 7 and, well, you know the rest.

We haven’t had it authenticated yet, but the signatures are definitely not stamped.  There is even a thumbprint smudge in Tony’s name.  You can tell the pen stops and starts in many of the signatures as well.   Real or not, it means so much to us, coming from the city that adopted us small-town folk.  It will stay a Byrd family treasure.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all my vintage finds (and I love looking at your treasures, as well).  But this baseball is my favorite this year, without a doubt.  And what is more vintage and American and fun than baseball?

Check back later today for the first of the Collecting and Collectibles posts, featuring Ann from Protector of Vintage.

Time is almost up to add your collection to the party!  Go here to check it out.

And while you’re at it, won’t you go and help out this worthy cause.  You could win some great prizes while helping children in need.

Linking up to these fabulous parties this week!

Her Library Adventures

Apron Thrift Girl

Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays

Magpie Mondays

Club Goodwill 

What I Love About the Thrift Store

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 7, 2011 3:18 pm

    Hi Molly!
    What great finds and I just love St. Louis! We visited here about 16 years ago and had a wonderful time! It’s a beautiful city, great food and the Botanical Gardens were superb! Thanks for your comment as well.

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