Tuesday, October 20, 2020

2020 trade package #31: the Collector

The other day I received an unexpected envelope from Chris over at the Collector, happily tearing it open only to find more surprises in the surprise package: envelopes within an envelope! One PWE held an extra long toploadered card while the other contained a couple of pairs each in their own toploaders, taped together to make another long one. October is a good month for mysteries so let's dig in!
We'll start with the oversized card, which ended up being the '87 Donruss All-Stars Pop-Up of the Iron Man himself, Cal Ripken. These fun oddballs were inserted into packs of the even larger '87 Donruss All-Stars cards, and as the name suggests, you can pop them out and fold a couple tabs to make them stand up, showing them in action against the backdrop of the old Houston Astrodome, site of the '86 Midsummer Classic. I already had one of these (to go along with my lone other example, Lance Parrish, plus an '86 card of Lou Whitaker) so as I don't see it on his TCDB list, I'll likely be sending it over to Jeff, who I know will appreciate it.

Next is a pair of prolific Michigan WRs who enjoyed varying degrees of success in the NFL. Braylon appears on a base card from 2010 Topps Magic, one of the manufacturer's stronger brands in my opinion, (even if it isn't from the all-time great '09 college-themed version!) with a nice design. He's joined by college great, former blog namesaker, and bailer out of gumpy Giants QB Eli: Mario Manningham. This card was a bit of a mystery for me as it's clearly in the style of 2011 Panini Rookies & Stars, but didn't come up on TCDB until I found the checklist and added it myself. It's one of a six-card team set that was produced in conjunction with Pepsi and given away at a Monday Night Football game that year. Very cool!

Lastly, Chris treated me to a pair of cards from a sport we both collect a bit, though him decidedly more than me. Both star sniper Max Pacioretty, who was drafted by Montreal and enjoyed 10 pretty nice seasons with them until moving on to Vegas for the past two. He hit the 30-goal and 60-point marks for the sixth time this past campaign and put up a 5/3/8 line in the playoffs for the Golden Knights. Here you see the former Canadien on some slick Upper Deck cardboard (and more!) from 2015-16 Tim Horton's and 2016-17 Trilogy. Have I mentioned before how much I love it when card-makers print the name of the set on the back so their cards are easier to identify? See what I mean in the next scan.
Here's the backs for completeness. You can see the instructions for Cal's Pop-Up card and what I was just saying about UD's much-appreciated identification on the backs.

Chris, thanks a lot for the fun surprise! I hope you enjoyed the latest package I sent your way and keep piling up the nice pickups from baseballcardstore.ca, which I'm totally gonna try soon.

Friday, October 16, 2020

2020 eBay purchase: Many "M" Minis

Today's post is a quick recap of yet another purchase from my favorite eBay seller, markaguirre22. Among his auctions he tends to list stuff that must have been part of a pretty nice Michigan PC, and those usually start at $1. Also he offers free shipping on everything, which is super rare these days.

This time I kept an eye on four numbered cards that I secured for $1 each plus tax, though my total was less than $4 thanks to eBay bucks. Once again I was quite happy with my haul, which he even shipped in a bubble mailer despite shipping being gratis:

The first four cards you see here are the ones I bought, plus, as has happened before, the seller threw in a nice extra he knew I'd like. The third mini you see of tackling machine David Harris was a bit smaller than the rest so I set it aside, and it happens to be the oldest as it's from 2010 Topps Magic. That product included three small parallels: Mini, Mini Black, and the numbered Mini Pigskin 50, which is what you see above.

The rest of the cards hail from Topps' 2013 Mini product where all of the cards, including base, were printed with smaller dimensions. Harris joins blog favorite PC guy Chad Henne and former blog namesake Mario Manningham (the throw-in card!) out of the Gold parallel, where the cards were numbered /58.

Speaking of Henne and Super Mario, yesterday was the 15th anniversary of one of the best moments in the history of the Big House:

That clip still gets me every time I watch it. Anyway, all those at $1 apiece (plus the free Manningham) were already a nice deal, but then we get to the card I was surprised didn't get a second bid: Harris's Black parallel. While cards numbered /58 don't feel extremely rare these days, ones that had only five copies made certainly do! As the legendary clip says,
That was easily less than $4 well spent. I now count 92 cards of Harris, 308 of Henne, and 221 of Manningham in their respective PCs.
And of course he's the backs for the sake of completeness.

This was another purchase post but coming up next I should have a brand new trade package to show off.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

2020 trade package #30: Wes Moore

A few weeks ago Wes, a.k.a. the Pancake King, held a very cool event on Twitter that he called his Tradeathon. He listed some 160 cards from the major sports and even non-sport stuff, one card at a time. There were HOF RCs, vintage, autos and relics, and even printing plates, plus some cool inserts. You know, basically the stuff he's been known to lob your way in his signature trade war packages.

The rules were simple and few: claim up to five cards, be the first to claim what you wanted, and send him stuff in return but make it a surprise. If that isn't a fun way to get stuff into other collectors' hands while getting cool stuff back, I don't know what is. Judging by tweets from Wes and those that were involved I'd say it was a huge success all around. For my part I flipped him a Leaf auto of wrestler Godfather plus some various Arizona Cardinals and Bama guys.

And now I get to show off what I got back from the flapjack flipper. I somewhat cautiously chose three cards fairly early to keep my options open later, and those were the three I finished with while avoiding being greedy and claiming nicer stuff I already had, such as RCs of Trammell/Molitor and Griffey Jr. I was glad to get what I was hoping for, and Wes was even nice enough to toss a couple extras in the mailer.

Here's what I got:

A little bit of theme going on there, eh? The top two cards here were the "throw-ins" and quite nice ones at that! On the left is a 2005 Elite RC of former stud DB Marlin Jackson, definitely one of the more desired brands for collectors like me that like to chase college cards. To the right is a Blue 2012 Leaf Draft auto of Mike Martin, a DL who was nearly unstoppable and a bright spot on defense during some of Michigan's down years earlier this decade. In typical Wes fashion, even the extras are generous!

As for the rest, I'll go in order as I chose them as opposed to scan order. First up was the horizontal Harbaugh, a Row 0 card from 1998 Flair Showcase. I've long admired the various Showcase iterations and their cool variations. In general I believe Row 0 was the rarest of the regular set, as opposed to 1 and 2. This one is numbered /100 and has a couple nice action photos up front.

Next is a card that interested me because of the guy pictured on the bottom, although his QB counterpart is certainly no slouch. Ordinarily I'd be sending a Steve McNair card over the border, but this 2004 Playoff Honors Class Reunion dual jersey is staying with me because of HOF DB Ty Law and that lovely blue Patriots swatch. Numbered /150 it's just my sixth hit of Law as I continue my quest for an auto of his. By the way, for those interested, McNair went third overall in '95 while Ty went 23 picks later. Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks joined Law as first round HOFers from that class.

Last but not least is a Michigan uni card I was glad to grab as a first hit of a recent alum. QB Shea Patterson had his ups and downs for various reasons, but he was still a big enough name to hit a bunch of pro- and college-themed products (despite a total lack of a draft pedigree), in this case Leaf Metal Draft. It may be heavily airbrushed but it's still a solid new autograph for my collection, and of course I'll have to work on adding more of those. If there was a card tailor made for me to choose in a tradeathon like this, meaning it was something I'd want but probably not want to buy, this was it. Plus it's a good example of some of the variety that was available in the football grouping alone.
And how about some backs since I only had to scan five cards today?

Wes, thanks again for the cool event, an idea I may have to steal (in homage to you, of course!) and the great cards I ended up with. I hope your returns continue to pour in with all kinds of crazy stuff you'll enjoy. Though I'm not sure if or when we'll trade again, I'll definitely be on the lookout for cards for you in the spirit of your cardboard generosity.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

2020 trade package #29: a Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts


Moving on from the last post to this one, we're going from "one of one" to "One of a Kind." More on that in a minute, but first I want to start as usual by introducing today's sender.

Jon who runs A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts decided to celebrate his excellent blog's fifth anniversary a couple weeks ago with a cool one-card PWE giveaway. There was lots of nice stuff to choose from, and my eye caught a player I like to collect, so I happily claimed the card, and not long after I received it:
Here we have former Michigan catcher Mike Matheny on a parallel of his 1998 Stadium Club base card called One of a Kind. While the more familiar First Day Issue versions were available in that year's retail packs, this insert was rarer (#d /150 instead of 200) and available only in Hobby and HTA packs. Besides the numbering you'll find two main differences between these and the base cards: the foil background and logo in the corner. Naturally they don't scan as well as they look in hand but hopefully you get the idea.

I was glad to add a new card of the former Card/Brewer/Giant/Jay, ex-Cards manager, and current skipper of the Royals, because I just don't get to do so that often these days. That it was a rarer numbered 90s parallel was a huge bonus. It marks the 103rd card of Matheny in my collection.

Many thanks to Jon for celebrating a nice achievement with some generosity! Here's to many more years of A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts. I'll do my best to provide some content for him in the form of a return package, possibly a PWE of my own. The rest of you should make sure to follow him if you aren't, and keep an eye out for more posts around the blogosphere celebrating receiving cards from a great member of the community!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

2019 COMC purchase: a 1/1 of #1 from before 1/1

For today's post we're going waaaaaay back to late last December. It was the 28th, smack dab between Christmas and New Year's Eve, days before the calendar would flip, and months before, well, :gestures vaguely to all of this bullshit:. It's been almost nine months so I don't remember exactly why I made this final COMC purchase for the year, a few weeks after having my most recent package shipped from the site. Maybe it was FOMO since this was a fairly nice deal.

Anyway, I'm only showing off that final pickup of 2019 now because I only recently had a few cards shipped from COMC: one for me, which you'll see shortly; one for Paul--the Dionne jersey seen here; and three more that'll probably get posted in the near future by my favorite Canadian trading partner.

Here's what all the fuss was about:

I love me some bunches of Funchess! This 2018 Score Black plate stars the erstwhile wearer of jersey #1 in Ann Arbor, a guy drafted by the Panthers who signed with the Colts, got hurt, signed with Green Bay, then opted out of this season. Before most of that stuff, though, he was enjoying a nice 2017 season, his third in the NFL, with career highs in pretty much every important stat, including targets, catches, yards, and TDs. He's pictured here looking well on his way to padding all of those numbers. The cost for all of this coolness? Less than $5. I'll take that over a questionably edible Subway sandwich any day!

I already had the base card this plate is 25% responsible for, from one of my perennial favorite products, and now count 61 cards of the star WR in my collection, including two plates (2017 Score Cyan) and 14 hits overall. This addition also puts me at an unofficial count of 147 plates & 1/1s, a number that'll change as soon as I can ID a few more and potentially excise one or more fakes/backdoored items.

Obviously COMC is in a state of flux right now as much as any similar seller, so I'm not sure when I'll next have cards from them to post. That makes it even nicer to be able to show one off from the before times!

Up next will be...I don't know. I think I may have one or two things heading my way soon, but in the meantime I may finally buckle down and find a way to show off the two huge TCDB deals I made earlier this year.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

2020 trade package #28: Sport Card Collectors

It's PWE time once again here at TMV, and as is often the case when that acronym for cheap and easy mailing is invoked, it's Matt of Sport Card Collectors who's responsible. According to my trade log this is the 25th time I've posted cards from him, and I believe all but one of those trades came in the plainest and whitest of envelopes. Way to hit the quarter century mark, Matt! Oh, and good news: this didn't take weeks to arrive, which is consistent with the better mail service I've had overall lately.

Here's what he sent this time:
I can't say I smile as much when Miggy comes up to hit these days, but after a rough August he's had a few good games as he continues his climb toward the 3000 hit/500 HR club. He's 144 and 17 short, respectively, and his overall career has been a Masterpiece, just like that 2019 Topps Gallery insert.

The next card, a 2019 Topps Archives base, brings two iconic looks together: the colorful design of 1975 Topps and the man of the 90s, Ken Griffey Jr., with his hat backwards. This is a great new piece in my collection of Junior, which is 950+ items and counting as he races Cal (the likely winner) to be the first member of my 1000-card PC.

Speaking of good looking Topps stuff, how can you go wrong when combining cards with magazine covers? This Barry Larkin insert also came out of last year's Archives and looks like it could have been a reprint of the real thing, though that doesn't appear to be the case. The magazine look worked very well for Fleer and Sports Illustrated (back before the latter became a parody of itself as it is now) and I'd say that Topps succeeded as well.

Matt managed to hit both the Griffey collection we share as well as my blog title guy, and in this case he even sent me two many Verlanders. The first one sticks with the 2019 Topps Theme, in this case a GQ Fortune Teller mini insert. "Mini" is somewhat the opposite of both Verlander and the card thanks to its standard height, as opposed to other inserts of that type. The back predicts that he'll reach the 3000 strikeout mark in 2019, which he did about a year ago. That's joined by a 2020 Panini Prizm Purple Prizm parallel, which looks quite nice in general but annoys me a bit because there's so many different versions that are difficult to tell apart (and some that have ridiculous and/or vague titles). Still, ooooooh, shiny!

Last up today is a somewhat surprising football addition. Devin Bush (Jr. or II, whichever you prefer) was an absolute terror as a sideline-to-sideline LB in Ann Arbor, and the Steelers wisely chose him 10th overall last year. His jersey number on the 2019 Rookies & Stars RC you see above is one off of the 56 worn by another Michigan/Pittsburgh great at the position, LaMarr Woodley, while the rate at which he compiles a certain stat may have me comparing him to former Wolverines/Jets tackling machine David Harris. I count some 20 rookie cards of his I'll need to chase--not too surprising for a first-rounder, even if he plays defense--with this one giving me a total of five.
As I've begun to do with easy-to-scan PWEs, here are the card backs for your enjoyment.

Matt, thanks for trade package 25 and more great cards for me, all of which were new! As I think you're well aware of you have a return from me already on the way, a Giant one with a Michigan twist to it, plus a detour to the Hamptons....

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

2020 trade package #27: All Trade Bait, All the Time

All Trade Bait, All The Time...

Now that I've covered the group break stuff from Colbey, let's take a look at a cool surprise bubble mailer that arrived from mi hermano Oscar of All Trade Bait, All the Time a couple weeks ago.

Besides being a talented artist and beer enthusiast, Oscar's a big Dodgers fan, and that makes it pretty easy to come up with some stuff to send to him on the other side of the country. And means sometimes he sends cards back my way, like he did with this nice bunch of Tigers:

Most of the cards were of guys I still enjoy collecting, starting with this group. Miggy stars on a recent Topps insert that didn't look familiar to me, 2019's Stars of the Game. While he hasn't really been one for a few seasons his body of work speaks for itself. He's followed by a trio of cards of a guy who reached Cabrera's ultimate destination of the HOF way back when it opened, Ty Cobb. They include a fun mix of an 80s Donruss DK-type card, a Topps mini from more than a decade ago, and Panini's Cooperstown product from 2013. Nice!

Pretty much the entire envelope minus the Miggy card is comprised of former Tigers, but that's awesome because there's plenty of guys I still happily collect like Fryman. And of course I'll never have too many Grandersons, even when I can add new ones like Grandy's 2016 Topps Archives base. There's lots of cards of him with other teams people can send me since I didn't really chase them after he was dealt.

A trio of '84 champs is a good way to finish up this scan. Lemon may have spent his first seven years with the White Sox (as a first-round pick!) but I'll always remember him as a Tiger. When Morris' '80 Topps base seen above was made he had just come off his first full season as a starter, going 17-7, a sign of things to come. And '93 was Tanana's sunset season, spent with the Tigers (nice throwback!) and Mets, capping a very nice 21-year career.
Next is a trio of former Tiger favorites: a pair of catchers and a lifer. All three Pudge cards were new to me, which kind of surprised me even though they're all Rangers cards. He was just one of the guys I tended to keep long before he joined the Tigers since he was such a big star. Bonus points for one of Collector's Choice's best--Stick Ums!

And while Pudge was entering his prime years in Texas, former Tigers C Mickey Tettleton was winding down his career there from 1995-97. I definitely remember enjoying Fruit Loops' four years in Motown, though!

Rodriguez's fellow HOFer, and a native Californian, Alan Trammell is a fixture of any Tigers package worth its salt. Especially when they're cards from his excellent 20-year career. Yes, much of that overlapped with the junk wax era, but that doesn't matter when the subject is a bona fide star!
And since you can't have one without the other, here's another Tigers fixture, "Sweet" Lou Whitaker. Thanks for the reminder on your '89 Bowman card--that's some fine writing there, Lou! Twins CF Alex Cole looks to be trying for the steal on that '95 Collector's Choice SE base, but I'd argue that "trying" is the key word. That was probably one of his eight caught stealings of the season.

The hits keep coming with "Big Daddy" Cecil Fielder, seen here on a pair of '95s (which I flipped for some reason). While I already had the nice looking Flair base, which includes a good shot of the slugger's follow-through, I needed the card to its left from the Pinnacle-branded UC3. That product was kind of superfluous thanks to Sportflix but it also had its own thing going, and it was the era of sports card excess, so no complaints here!

I grouped one more Tram card ('97 Pinnacle) with the horizontal cards of Fielder. An anonymous runner might just get tagged out by the SS wearing the throwback Detroit Stars uni!
I grouped these cards into one miscellaneous scan, and again there's an interesting mix. I'll have to see if I have the Fleer sticker card, which is the kind of thing I would have been applying to my card binders in my younger days. Was the late Jose Lima ever that skinny? Jones and the three-player future stars card joined the previously seen Morris from '80 Topps. Jones, a Rule 5 pick, left Detroit for the Royals after the '83 season so he missed out on a ring there (thanks to the Tigers defeating KC in the '84 ALCS), but chipped in a couple of hits in '85 when his new team won it all.

As for the "future stars," we'll start with Chris, who almost had as many first names as he did Major League seasons. The late Greene was a Detroit native who also spent only the '79 season with the Tigers, the sum total of his MLB experience. And Robbins at least lasted into 1980 before washing out. These cards are always really interesting to look back on, especially 40 years in the future.
That's not quite it, though, because these were also in the envelope. What do we have here?
Ooooh, 1986 Donruss All-Stars jumbos of Tram, Sweet Lou, and "free agent" Wade Boggs! These are a cool reminder of some of the less "out there" oddball items from the '80s. By the way, if you're curious, the double-play combo went to the same All-Star games in 1984, 1985, and 1987.

That was definitely a lot of stuff to cover, so thanks once again to my amigo/hermano out in Cali, Oscar! I'm happy to have been included in what looks like a pretty nice group of mailings. I hope you're staying safe out there as you keep posting art/beer review/card videos which I'll be watching. Hasta la proxima, adios!