A mother and her boys were planted at the table, another guy was browsing around and a couple of guys were chatting next to the table, just about bumping into me - the table wasn’t that busy the last time around, but maybe I was resigned to look somewhere else in the meantime as I lingered idly.
At a neighboring table, I saw a storage bin with smaller, presumably completed insert sets from the mid 1990s and 100-card hand collated base sets from the early 2000s - I was hoping for a little odder stuff like junk wax era minor league team sets, assorted junky wax packs or even retail boxed sets from the 1980s.
Maybe I should have looked closer at the rest of the cards in the bin, but it wasn’t that smorgasbord of misfit toys - I spotted a larger cardboard box labeled 1996 Pinnacle, so presumably it was a hand collated set.
Regardless, I started pawing at the box like this could be buried treasure found - certainly this was year with the cult favorite Bob Hamelin card [#289] and maybe the rest of the cards are just gravy, if the Hamelin was still there.
Breaking the set down through the past week, the rest of the cards were fairly clean all around - I think the cards not being sealed up in packs helped with the natural conditions just a bit, though there was still some unavoidable bricking issues on some random cards plied apart from each other.