Friday, May 20, 2016

2015 Tigers stadium giveaway team set

One of my favorite co-workers, a lady I've worked with for more than 10 years (and a fellow Tigers fan) is married to a guy that does some work at Comerica Park.  He brings home all kinds of goodies, as you might imagine, and the lady's not interested in a lot of it so some of that swag ends up in my hands.  I haven't really shown any of that off, but today I'm going to because I have the perfect thing to post:  a complete set of last year's team cards!

This set was sponsored by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan and appears to have been given out to kids under 14 last April 19, a Sunday win over the White Sox.  The 30 unnumbered cards include 27 players, manager Brad Ausmus, mascot Paws, and a header card.  I had fun flipping through these to see who made the cut and who was still around one season later.

The design is pretty good for a giveaway set.  Fronts include nice action photos with a brick wall-type border on the bottom and a triangular grandstand beam look on the left.  Meanwhile, the backs have the players' numbers in the upper-left in a large, white font, their name and position next to that, and then a smaller portrait photo in the upper-right.  You get one year of stats (2014's) as well as career numbers, and then the bottom is dominated by baseball-related health tips and pencil sketches.

Here's all 30 cards for your viewing pleasure:

I didn't feel like scanning all the backs, but here's JV's:

Verlander, by the way, recently became just the second Tigers pitcher to reach the 2,000 strikeout mark (Denny McLain is the other).  This is my 203rd card of the guy we'll soon be calling "the other Justin Upton."

While I'm trying to be at least sort of a completist, here's a look at the back of the header card:

Get some exercise, you little punks!  But not on my lawn!  Get off Facespace and pull up those pants!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

202 many Verlanders!

Thanks to having a bit of extra free time on this rainy Saturday I was finally able to finish getting another player collection completely scanned, labelled, and uploaded.  Having previously completed this project for Kirk Gibson, Curtis Granderson, Alan Trammell, and Lou Whitaker, my next target was blog namesake Justin Verlander.
In addition to what I'd previously uploaded to JV's Picasa album, I had a bunch more cards scanned and cropped on my hard drive for quite a while--since some point last year, I believe--waiting to be labelled and added to that album.  This afternoon I finally got around to that, adding more than 100 cards I'd acquired as parts of complete sets or singles via purchases and (mainly) trades.  The best part about finishing up besides having this work out of the way?  I discovered I own more than 200 Verlanders; in fact, the count now stands at 202!  Naturally that made for a great title for this post.
I'm not really going to show off anything I added today in this post since pretty much everything I added has appeared in previous posts in some form, but I will happily direct you to Verlander's album to have a gander at all 202 cards to-date.  And hopefully soon I'll have even more to show off.  Whenever I do, I'll be adding them to the album right away instead of adding lots of work for myself later.  That way you'll have an idea of what I already own, not that I mind doubles, but if you know another Tigers/Verlander collector at least you'll know if I have something you were going to send to me that can go elsewhere.  Regardless, please do keep sending them my way as I love collecting Verlander, if you couldn't already tell!
Next up is the crazy quartet of Griffey/Gwynn/Maddux/Ripken.  I've managed to scan quite a few of each but I'm still not done getting everything of them from my complete sets, then I have a buttload of singles for each that'll take quite a while longer.  I hope to make some headway on those this spring and summer, though, so maybe I'll have those posts up before you know it!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

2016 trade package #12: USPS can go to Hoyle

My final envelope from April arrived from one of the more prolific non-blogging traders out there:  Mark Hoyle.  If you've ever been lucky enough to get cards from Mark you know that he's a generous source of vintage and oddballs, among other things.  I got a good idea of that the last time I showed off cards from him on this here blog back in January of last year.

Mr. Hoyle followed that up last month with a fun PWE that mostly featured Tigers.  But first, let's have a look at another example of USPS's reliable, gentle treatment of the things we pay them to transport for us:
All I have to say to that is
That being said, Mark packaged the cards up well enough that everything arrived in what was probably the same condition they were in when he sent them.

Here's what was inside:
A nine-spot of Tigers!  The first seven cards represent guys I keep sorted by player in my Detroit box, and they comprise a very nice group of past Tigers, including '84 Series winners (Sparky, Gibby, and Morris), the previous team leader in saves (Henneman), a slugger that was one of the brighter spots in the 90s (Palmer), a future HOFer that brought Detroit back to respectability (Pudge), and a pitcher that won 240 career games (Tanana).  I seem to have an irrational affinity for Palmer cards given that he wasn't with Detroit for long.
More Tigers!  Specifically PC guys.  Don't ask me why I didn't throw Gibby in with this group, I just forgot or something.  The '87 Fleer and '91 Leaf Trammells were new to me as was JV's 2016 Heritage base card.
Oddball Tigers!  Moseby's card is from 1990 Topps Big, and that's nicely juxtaposed with a 1962 Topps stamp of outfielder Bill Bruton, a Milwaukee Brave that spent the last four years of his career with Detroit in the early 60s.  Besides the difference in size these two items show the crazy range of stuff Mark digs up to send out.
Last up from the baseball side of things is this Harry Heilman photo from an old magazine called the Sports Hobbyist.  I know that thanks to Mark introducing these to me when he sent a Charlie Gehringer from the same set last time and then explained a bit about them in the comments of that post.  A great photo of a Tigers great!
And finally, moving on to the Detroit hockey club, here's a 1974-75 Topps leaders card featuring former Wings player and current TV guy Mickey Redmond.  Mick had some nice years in Detroit over the latter half of his career in the 70s, putting up 50-plus goals two years in a row, including the '73-'74 season this card covers.  An excellent 21 of his 51 scores that season came on the power play, easily leading both divisions; #2 was Rod Gilbert of the Rangers with 16.  I don't have a whole ton of Red Wings vintage, so this is definitely a fun add for me!

Mark, thanks for the unexpected and much appreciated PWE of goodness!  I might just have some interesting stuff of your guys to send out before long as a thank you.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing moms out there, especially the ones that enable(d) our favorite hobby!  Make sure to remember yours today!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

2016 trade package #11: Sports Cards Ate My Scanner

Finally, on to April trade packages!  The first one up absolutely dwarfs all comers and came from Scott (and his amazing avatar) from Sports Cards Ate My Brain.  I believe Scott and I had only traded once before, just before Christmas in 2014, so I was quite surprised to find a flat-rate box packed to the gills (but very professionally packaged!) with cards that hit pretty much every area of my PC.

There was so much great stuff that I didn't want to further hold up the proceedings while I got everything scanned/labelled/uploaded, so I won't go into too much depth here, but at least you'll get an idea of the amazing quality/quantity one-two punch Scott sent my way, including...
...Tigers, and lots of good ones!  The Cobb and Kaline die-cuts are great, and Iglesias' parallel is numbered to 500, but the big get--and it's a big one indeed--is the 2014 Update Black parallel of Miggy, numbered to 53.  Nice!
More Tigers.  Take me down to the parallel city!  There was a nice selection of oddball in this package (you'll see more shortly) including the Kaline and Parrish cards to go along with some nicer current stuff.
The way I scanned these, Upton was the odd man out so I decided to give the new Tiger (who needs to start hitting more!) the spotlight.  I had been sending my Uptons to My Cardboard Mistress but it looks like he may be in Motown for a bit so maybe I'll keep a few like this one for myself.
And the last of the Tigers (OR ARE THEY?), with a pair of Shelton relics to go with former top prospect Juan Encarnacion.  For those who don't remember 10 years and a month ago, Shelton, a.k.a. "Red Pop", was 2006's version of Trevor Storey, and then completely fell off the map.

And now it's time for the baseball PC guys, starting with...
...Junior Griffey.  Scott sent me a ton of everybody's' favorite 90s player, including this nice mix of earlier stuff.  Just about everything was new to me, especially the oddball stuff.
When I say tons, I mean tons, if not literally.  Scan #2 features some outstanding 90s inserts (which rule!, as the tag says), especially Pinnacle's dufex-y Spellbound and a pair of '98 Donruss-branded inserts--Diamond Kings and Hit Parade--numbered to 10,000 and 5,000 (with REAL numbering), respectively.
Finishing out the tons of Griffeys are these five from the 2000s, including shots of him back with Seattle.  I can't wait to add these to his collection soon!
Alphabetically next is a pair of Mr. Padres, Tony Gwynn.  There's another superb late-90s Pinnacle insert to go with UD's super-classy SP Legendary Cuts.
A Michigan/MLB favorite, Barry Larkin also checks in with a pair of cards, including the double-sided "Passing Through Time" subset from 2005 Leaf (with the back being Barry's '95 Leaf front).
Pitching immortal Greg Maddux was the other player to get the honor of two scans, including this starting nine that includes an oddball, some Pacific, and a few more gem inserts straight out of the 90s, such as the Refractor-like Stadium Club Extreme right down the middle.
The back nine also has some nice stuff, including even more Pacific, but the big-time highlight for me was the clear credit card-like Studio Stars insert, which kind of makes me want to chase that set.
Another blog favorite, Cal Ripken Jr., gets in on the action with three oddballs and a nice 2008 UD Heroes parallel dual with the previously-mentioned Gwynn.  I love getting cards pairing up the two all-time greats that played for one team and entered the Hall together.
And swinging back to Motown, here's a trio of oddball Trammells along with an '89 Fleer insert AND an oddball of his double-play partner Lou Whitaker.  That Nestle set gets a lot of run in this post, so I hope I can score some advertising bucks!
Last up for the baseball haul is six many Verlanders, three of which are rookies.  I believe the most notable here is the Flair Showcase as it's one of the higher-end first-years you can get of the future Mr. Kate Upton, but I'd be happy with any out of this trio.  The newer inserts and Heritage base are much appreciated as well, especially the UD Heroes parallel.

Keeping up the Motown theme, here's some Red Wings Scott generously included as well:
Here's some vintage-like items I certainly wasn't expecting, such as a '68-'69 O-Pee-Chee of D-Man Kent Douglas, some 1970s issues including notable Marcel Dionne, a trio of 80s guys (Oates and Probert!) and a 1990 OPC insert of Wings legend Sergei Fedorov, who we'll see again in a minute.
The newer stuff was dominated by modern Wings legends Nick Lidstrom (love the numbered Holo-Gold card!) and Steve Yzerman, with some top-notch cards like the die-cut from Pacific, plus a mini of Pavel Datsyuk, whose run with the team likely ended this year.  Nothing can top the gorgeous Gold Label Bullion featuring the explosive offensive trio of Yzerman, Shanahan, and Fedorov, easily my favorite squad from NHL Open Ice, the hockey equivalent of NBA Jam.  Wow!
Speaking of wow, how about an O-Pee-Chee RC of HOFer Brett Hull?  I already had the Topps version, but I believe the OPCs like this one are usually more sought-after.  Anyway, I'm thrilled to have both.  The offensive beast played in Detroit from 2001 to 2004 and helped bring the Cup back to Hockeytown in 2002.  I'm happily adding this to my Wings PC.
Speaking of that collection, here's a very cool hit to add to it: an autograph of 1950s-70s center Norm Ullman, who played most of his career with Detroit (13 seasons) and Toronto (eight), and made his way to the Hockey Hall in 1982.  His excellent signature rests on this card from 2008 Donruss Americana Sports Legends, and I'm happily adding this to my Wings collection as well.

Amazingly enough, that's not even everything!  Please head over to TMM to see more goodies, including Jim Abbott, plenty of vintage, a couple autographs, and more!

Scott, I can't thank you enough for the insane bounty you sent my way, but I'll try.  Although I know you're not asking for anything in return I may try to send you a few things I think you'll like that won't take up too much space.  Either way, your generosity and attention to detail when it comes to who and what I collect were amazing and I really appreciate it!

Stay tuned for another trade post once my scanner recovers from overheating.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

2016 COMC purchases: Tigers of yore

While I have a ton of COMC fodder to show off on TMM and it'll take me a while to get through all of it, I'll have no such problem over here--one post will do it.  Here's a few Tigers I picked up:
Charlie Gehringer 2001 SP Legendary Cuts
I usually show off my Gehringer stuff on the other blog since he's one of the most notable Wolverines baseball alumni, but it's not like I'm usually hurting for content over there like I am with this here blog sometimes.  So here's the first of three cards I grabbed of the Mechanical Man.  It's the first of Charlie's base cards from the amazing SP Legendary Cuts product, in this case from 2001.  I believe I now have all of his base issues from those sets, including 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2007.  Out of that group I think this design is my favorite.
Charlie Gehringer 2015 Diamond Kings
Speaking of some classy designs, I think last year's Diamond Kings product looks absolutely amazing.  This may be a Gehringer photo that gets used quite often, (hell, the same one's on the next card!) but the design is just too cool, even without logos.  I wish I had more PC guys to chase in this set, but maybe I'll pick one up if I can ever find it cheap enough.
Charlie Gehringer 2015 Panini Cooperstown Crown Royale
Panini's Cooperstown from the same year is also a pretty solid set, but better yet is this insert version (which actually isn't a parallel since the photos are completely different).  I'm not too surprised they look nice, though, since Crown Royale has a pretty good reputation as far as I'm concerned.  These also have some parallels of their own that I might just have to track down.

My Gehringer collection continues to putter along and I now own 27 different cards of the HOFer.
Kirk Gibson 2006 Greats of the Game Tigers Greats
Now that I think about it, this Gibby keeps up the classy brands theme--Greats of the Game ranks up there with the best, no question.  Fleer tossed Tigers collectors a bone with this 10-card insert set focusing on some notable Detroit players, though for some reason Lou Whitaker got left out; I'm happy Gibson was included, though.  The design is kind of fun thanks to the Tiger Stadium shot on the right.  By the way, if this card looks a bit familiar, it's because I have the jersey version.
Lou Whitaker 1996 Fleer Golden Memories (with Alan Trammell)
And finally, here's a new Whitaker for my supercollection of the iconic Tigers 2B.  Better yet it's another that pairs him with his partner in the best double-play combo of all time, Trammell.  Here's a look at the back courtesy of COMC:
1996 Fleer Golden Memories #10 - Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker - Courtesy of
Side note:  I don't think anybody around here ever called them "Trammaker."  Anyway, this was another fun glossy insert from mid-to-late 90s Fleer, and it's my 233rd of 287 Whitaker cards (and 247th overall).  I don't have any others in-hand right now but hope to have more soon.

With these posted I think I may actually get back to trade posts very soon!