Sunday, July 23, 2017

2017 JustCommons purchase: just Abbotts

Back in late May I made my largest JustCommons purchase yet:  around 330 cards for about $57.  That total included a few things heading into trade packages, but overall I added almost 300 new cards to some of my baseball PCs.  Over something like seven different posts I'll cover those new cards, player by player!

The first player in this series may prove to be the most popular one among my readers as I know a good number of you collect him either as a PC or because of the teams for which he played.  We're kicking things off alphabetically with Jim Abbott!
I went for quantity over quality with these purchases, so there's a lot of junk wax-type stuff--not that nothing here is interesting.  We begin with a lone 1990 card:  Jim's entry in the Score Rising Stars boxed set.  1991 is represented by the oddball-ish Classic III and Fleer's maiden voyage of Ultra.  We then begin a tour of 1992 with Donruss Triple Play (I keep making that mistake!), Fleer, OPC, Pinnacle, Score, and Abbott's other Topps base card I needed from that year (I already had the one that mirrors the OPC version).
1992 concludes with this scan's first two cards:  the Gold Winner version of the Topps card you just saw, plus Jim's base from the much-improved Ultra offering from that year.  1993 claims the next five cards, including Donruss Triple Play (DAMMIT!), Fleer, OPC Premier, Topps, and Topps Traded.  I always was a sucker for update/traded sets!  We get a brief opening look at 1994 with Donruss' and Fleer's base sets of the new Yankee.  Speaking of that, what's the deal with the Triple Play Boggs card above?
Jim's on the back!  Why Donruss couldn't put together a horizontally-oriented card with both images on the front, I don't know.  As a reminder, Abbott headed to the Bronx before the '93 season in a deal that brought J.T. Snow back to the Angels.  Jim had just put up 5.8 bWAR for the Halos in '92, and though he couldn't live up to that performance with the Yankees, he did make history with his no-hitter late in the '93 campaign.
One card here finishes off the '94 card season:  Triple Play (got it right!) in one of my favorite designs for the product.  That's followed by a lone example from 1995 out of another Donruss base set.  1996 saw Jim's return to an Angels uni on cardboard, and he's shown here on portraits from Pacific (normal Pacific, not LSD Pacific) and Score (doing side-eyes), plus a zoomed-in-like-Topps mound shot from Upper Deck Collector's Choice (sometimes I scan things too quickly for my own good).  We then jump all the way forward to 2013 and Gypsy Queen, plus one I grabbed without realizing I already had it--USA Baseball Champions from the same year; there's another one for Jeff's pile.  Finally, we go back just one year from when I'm posting this and see that Jim was still plenty relevant to be included in the 2016 Archives base set.

That's not quite all I have, though, as I ended up with one more scan of the horizontal cards:
Topps Big cards, like this one from 1990, bug me by being just a bit oversized, but are fun anyway.  Hologram-loving UD put out card #2, a Team MVP Hologram from 1992.  Being a big fan of mid-90s Pinnacle, I grabbed the third card--Jim's base from the '94 set, another card that gives you a fun view of his patented pitching motion.  The photo used on the next card, Abbott's base from Upper Deck's offering from the same year, might make for a good caption contest.  And last but not least, we have another pitching action shot from a different angle courtesy of Score's interesting 1995 set.

For as little as I paid for most of these I came out happy with the variety of years and designs I came up with as I added 30 new cards to my Abbott PC, a collection that now totals 155 items!

Stay tuned for more JustCommons PC additions very soon.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

2017 trade package #17: Sports Cards From the Dollar Store

Pal of the blog Doug of Sports Cards From the Dollar Store just finished showing off the most recent package I sent his way, so I'd say it's high time I get to the one that traveled from his great white north to my mailbox last month.  As is almost always the case this one's a two-parter with the bulk of the envelope posted on TMM this evening and some Detroit/MLB-related content right here:
Miggy came into the 2014 season needing just five hits to reach the milestone on the front of this Topps Update checklist (a Gold parallel, numbered 0668/2014), and a year after earning his second consecutive AL MVP award, he piled up 191 to blow past the mark.  As a matter of fact, as of the day I'm posting this, he's compiled exactly 600 hits since the start of 2014!  This card is also a fun reminder of Torii Hunter's two-year stint in Motown.
Hockey content on this blog?  It happens occasionally, especially when we're talking a (former) Red Wing like Osgood.  Although the three-time Cup-winner (twice as a starter) isn't pictured with Detroit on this 2014 Goodwin Champions Mini--UD appears to have gone with the team he spent the least amount of time with in his career, the Blues, in a move that's very Topps-ian--I'm happy to show this off and remember Ozzie's two separate and successful stints in Hockeytown.

I just showed off a bunch of new Griffeys, so why not one more?  This 2016 Topps flagship insert highlights the start of Junior's amazing 1997 season, with the back pointing out that he socked a pair of homers off the '96 Champion Yankees' David Cone to kick things off.  As a reminder of just how good the (unanimous!) AL MVP was in '97, let me remind you of the numbers:  second in the league (and fourth in MLB) in bWAR at 9.1;  tops in the game with 147 RBI;  best in the AL with .646 SLG, 125 runs, 393 total bases, 56 HR, and 93 XBH.  Oh yeah, and he was named an All-Star and Gold Glover (for the eighth straight season) and won his fifth Silver Slugger award.  So, uh, yeah, he was pretty good!

Thanks for the great TMV throw-ins, Doug!

Folks, please head on over to Too Many Manninghams after reading this so you can catch up on some Michigan Basketball, Football, and Hockey, plus a big surprise too!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

2017 trade package #16: the Griffey Box

I think this trade post may be the first of its kind for me on this here blog:  today's cards arrived in a box started by one collector, had cards added and removed by others, and was sent to me in a larger package by another collector.
Image result for tropic thunder i'm a dude
Coming along for the ride in the large box I just posted from Gavin of Baseball Card Breakdown, it's the Griffey Box!
Also known as the Griffey Generosity Project, this box was conceived by T.J., the Junior Junkie late last year.  In one of the great "Aha! moments of card collecting and blogging, T.J. stuffed a fairly large box full of his numerous dupes of his #1 (and #2 and...) player collection--apparently 500 cards--and sent it out into the wild, with the intention that its recipient would take some cards, add some new ones, and keep it moving around the country.  The idea is both simple and brilliant and I think it's great.

Not only am I getting some cards that came from the Junior Junkie, but I'm likely also picking up a few from the first three logged benefactors of the box:

I had a blast going through the whole box and flipping through cards of one of my all-time favorite players.  As you might expect, a good chunk of the box is heavy on junk wax (and dupes thereof), though I'm happy to say there's a ton of great interesting stuff as well.  For my part, I was able to fill in a lot of holes from 1991-97, especially the first four years of that run.

Since I didn't have a lot to replace those with, being almost completely out of extra Griffeys, I stuck mostly to cards with lots of dupes so I wouldn't feel so selfish.  I did manage to pretty much make up for the instances where I took the only copy of a card, so while the box saw a net loss, I was at least able to to keep it roughly as diverse if nothing else.

My other contribution, since I couldn't add much in the way of cards, was a bit of maintenance on the box itself.  Most of the cards were already in penny sleeves but I made sure that anything that wasn't went into one of those for more protection.  Also, in the process of flipping through the stacks and figuring out what I needed, I sorted everything by year, set, and insert, so hopefully my time and effort are in the spirit of the box if not the ratio of what I took to what I put back in.

With Gavin's help I've identified the box's next destination, though I'll be keeping it a surprise for that person since it was so much fun for me when I had no idea it was heading my way.  I know this person as a good trader and a fellow Griffey collector so I have no concerns about them appreciating the project and keeping it going successfully.

Ok, enough wall of text, let's check out some Griffeys!
Everything in this scan hails from 1991 except for card #8, which is actually from '92 Stadium Club Dome.  Oops.  I wasn't really collecting at this point in my young life so it was great looking over the designs from the year and adding a bunch of them to my collection.  The first two hail from '91 Donruss--and I'll never understand why cards like the second were green while the rest were blue.  The '91 Leaf hails from the two year period of Leaf designs I didn't care for before getting back on track in '93.  The next four are all part of Score's flagship set from that year, and they're all subsets, not even his "regular" card.  That's something I remember a lot of from the late 90s with players of Ken's popularity.  Last up is a headshot from the first year of one of my favorite products, Studio.

This group starts with three more '91s:  the premiere of Ultra and a pair from Upper Deck's Final Edition update product, both celebrating Griffey at that year's All-Star Game.  From '92 there's another pair of Donruss cards (on another design I kind of liked) plus a couple more base entries out of Fleer, and even a Fleer-Branded Citgo oddball issue.  Last up is another product debut--Pinnacle--and this card interested me because the uniform colors in the picture keep making me think of the Dodgers more than the M's.
As we keep going, the designs get even more diverse and interesting.  We close out 1992 with a the second year of Ultra, and a nice improvement over the debut, plus another family card, this time from Upper Deck.  1993 is represented by just two cards, Leaf and Stadium Club, but both look great, especially the second of my four Stadium Club additions.  The 1994 contingent starts with Donruss and Leaf--more designs I like--and a pair of Score issues, including a subset card highlighting Junior bashing homers in a record-tying eight straight games.  '94 Stadium Club's label-maker set and a great action photo close out this scan.
With this group of six we finish off the year of '94 with Studio and Upper Deck.  The former is a little strange with its locker room backgrounds, but I've always enjoyed how vibrant the colors look on that design.  And UD opted for a traditionally excellent photo of an acrobatic catch at the wall.  We go right back to the Upper Deck well for my only 1995 pickup with another fantastic photo.  Batting practice?  Home Run Derby?  Looks great either way.  Then we move on to 1996 with another Donruss design I like (awkwardly-placed foil box aside) and two entries from another typically simple and likable Score effort. 
And here we have the last of the vertically-oriented cards.  First up is a funny photo on the always fun '96 Upper Deck design; I really should pick up that set someday.  In stark contrast to that is yet another simple Score release I didn't have, though I did already own the Premium Stock version.  Joining it is one other '97 release, a subset card from that year's Upper Deck flagship set.  If you're counting, I added new UD cards from 1991-97 except for '93, not bad!  

Two relatively newer cards finish things up here.  First is Junior's Class 2 version from 2001 Topps Gold Label--that's real Gold Label, thick card stock and all, not the crap Topps tried to pass off recently.  The other is one of Griffey's two appearances in the 2007 UD Masterpieces base set, which is perfect since I just added the other recently.  These are examples of "only copies" I grabbed because I simply couldn't let them go!
We're getting towards the end of the stack with these great horizontal cards, most of which hail from Upper Deck, oddly enough.  #1 is Ken's base from Stadium Club's auspicious debut in '91, and I'm a fan of the photo of a young Junior hanging by the bat rack, not to mention the brand overall.  From the following year's UD flagship I grabbed this cool base featuring a fun multi-exposure photo, a feature several brands have used over the years with varying degrees of success.

Going oddball for a minute, I grabbed all three of the Looney Tunes-themed '92 UD Comic Ball cards of Griffey in the box.  This trio also happens to include Griffey Sr. and better yet (for me), another PC guy, Jim Abbott!  Speaking of Abbott and Comic Ball, I was happy to find one more card featuring the pitcher in a solo appearance:

Definitely a nice bonus for me!

Back to the rest of the cards from above, the next two cards came from '94 Upper Deck, and both are subsets:  "The Future Is Now" and "Home Field Advantage".  They each have a cool special feature, the former's foil and the latter's focus on Griffey's (original) home field.  Those are joined by one last "sideways" (or "right way" if you prefer) example.  This '96 Summit card features a great photo from Seattle's 1995 ALDS game 5 win over the Yankees and the celebration that ensued after Griffey's winning run--the play that spawned a video game title!

That's all the "licensed" cards I grabbed, but there was some bonus content to select from as well.  As I've mentioned, Gavin was the last person to have this box in his hands, and in the spirit of keeping it interesting, he tossed in multiple copies of some of his best custom work to-date:
The Simpsons-inspired cards (and their magnet equivalents I already had) are my favorites, but the framed-like art piece and minis are very cool as well.  And since Gavin went to all the trouble, here's the backs for your viewing pleasure:
"Griffey Box Exclusive"?  F*#k yeah!  Should you be a lucky future recipient of this box, you may have the option of adding these to your collection as well.

I don't know that there's much else I can say that I didn't already, but I'll try.  This amazing, brilliant, and generous idea added 46 new Griffeys to my collection (631, but still second to Ripken's 674), and I had a blast sorting through and poring over this huge box.

Many thanks to:
  • T.J. for starting the project and putting enough effort into it to make it fun and successful.  You get the "100% awesome" tag today, and I promise I'll try to find at least a few new cards of KGJ for you in the future since it's the least I can do
  • SCC and @RyanSawyer for all the cards they contributed, including any that I grabbed
  • Gavin for his own additions, including the customs, plus selecting me as a box bro
I promise to send the box out to its next target soon, though I may take a little more time to see if I can finagle a few more cards to add so I don't feel like such a freeloader.

So what does everyone think?  Does anybody else have so many extras of one of their PCs that they'd like to do something similar?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

2017 trade package #15: Baseball Card Breakdown

Baseball Card Breakdown

Tigers inserts and base

Bill Freehan in a case
Chewing gum that's thrown in


Black, gold, green, and red

This Clayton Richard bobblehead
Packages heavier than sin

New cards of J.V.
Alan Trammell x3

That defgav is full of win
And Gwynnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

Many, many thanks to Gavin of Baseball Card Breakdown for a truly fun mammoth trade package, one that warrants a mysterious part 2, coming to a Verlander-centric blog near you!  This one saw a ton of great stuff get added to my collections, from Tigers to Tonys, Mr. Padre and a former Padre (including a bobblehead!), 11 Verlanders, three Trams, and did I mention Gwynnnns?  From the fat stack Gavin sent I happily added 44 new ones to his PC, including a beautiful pair of early Stadium Clubs, that gorgeous Gallery of Greats, Masterpieces, and more!
And I love Gavin too!
Here's to trade packages!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

6/3/2017 card show report: a GGMR sampler and more

About a month ago I hit up my usual monthly show, visited my usual seller, and left with my usual bunch of cards having spent my usual $20-$40 (right in the sweet spot at $30 this time).  Nothing at all unusual, but that was a good thing because I was finally able to sew up a few trade packages (pretty much all of which have been posted, I think) and add a handful of PC cards for myself.  There's seven to look at right below where you're reading (if you're still reading this) and another eight of the football variety on TMM if you like that sort of thing.

I'm glad I got my Griffey/Gwynn/Maddux/Ripken scanning project pretty much done for many reasons, and for tonight's post it was timely because I scored at least one card for each of them, plus one of another guy:
Hi, I'm "another guy".  This Jim Abbott is from an insert set out of 1993 Upper Deck called On Deck.  Jim's first in the 25-card set as it's sorted alphabetically by last name, which makes me irrationally happy.  While the design is pretty standard for the time, the gold foil facsimile autograph is interesting--I hadn't realized UD utilized this feature before '94 Collector's Choice's signature parallels.
As always when it comes to this Upper Deck product, "Masterpieces" couldn't be more apt!  This here is one of Griffey's two appearances from the maiden (and, sadly, penultimate) voyage of this product that arrived in 2007.  I don't have the other to show off just yet, but here's a great look at the finish to my favorite swing in baseball history.  I'm betting Junior is admiring another bomb while wearing that awesome Reds uni--and while another former slugger, Adam Dunn, looks on.
This Gwynn, which hails from 1987 Donruss Opening Day, is definitely the oldest card in the post, as if you couldn't tell by looking at Tony's hilarious old hairstyle.  Those of you not quite as familiar with 80s stuff should note that the dark red borders give away that the card belongs to that oddball-ish box set and not the black-bordered base set.  The back includes career stats through the '86 season but note if they player did anything notable on--you guessed it--opening day, 2017.
I obviously had the most luck with Maddux this time as his haul equaled the other three major PC guys' alone.  The bookends of this image are a pair of shiny early 2000s base cards from products that ran for a decent number of years:  Fleer's 2000 E-X and Donruss/Playoff's 2004 Leaf Certified Materials.  Dead center is a fun insert from 2002 Upper Deck Series II called Superstar Summit.  While the Series I version included six players, (five of which made it into this one--all but Mark McGwire) II's got bumped up to 15.  It looks like the cards were put into three groups of five players, so for example that same quintet of Maddux/Griffey/Helton/Ichiro/Sosa shows up on each player's card.  That interested me enough to add it to this trio!
I couldn't leave without a Ripken after finding the other three guys right?  RIGHT?!  No problem, I dug out this '95 SP Championship Series Die-Cut of the Iron Man.  This is the die-cut version of one of his four base card appearances in the set, and it's actually the first one of Ripken from that product entirely.  It puts me just a bit closer to the 700-card mark, and maybe a couple more shows will put me over the top.

Please don't forget to check out the football content over on TMM if that interests you!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Cal-osing the book on this project

Previously:  Ken Griffey Jr.Tony Gwynn, Greg Maddux
Image result for lord of the rings it's doneImage result for homestar runner it's over
It took me longer than it probably should have to finish up my Griffey/Gwynn/Maddux/Ripken scanning project, but now I can finally say it's done!  (Well, except for a few odd items I've mentioned a couple times, but those fall outside of the scope of this project).  Today's post features yet another player many of you collect just like I do:  Cal Ripken Jr.  Roughly 25 years of buying and trading have made Ripken my largest PC at almost 700 unique items, including the more than 200 I scanned for this project alone.  It's no surprise that that count puts him head and shoulders above the other three players, so I had a ton to choose from to show off to you today, assuming you give a Rip (ha!).

So have a look at some more cardboard greatness, most of which hails from the golden days of the 90s that celebrated creativity and choice over monopolies and "meh"!:
A few favorite sets:

Great photos and designs:

Putting the "ball" in "oddball":


The Streak:
With this project finally in the books I'll certainly have an easier time determining whether or not I need anything of any of those players while digging through boxes at shows!  Also, I can now return to trade packages as well as large purchases from COMC and JustCommons.  Stay tuned for more PC-Palooza!