Sunday, November 10, 2019

2019 Sportlots purchases: the Core of the Roar in '84

It's been more than 35 years since the '84 Tigers went wire to wire and won it all, and while I was still in diapers when that happened, I love that team and many of its players to this day.  That made me think of a fun way to show off another group of Sportlots pickups featuring some of my favorite Tigers PCs.
No, I didn't grab these from Sportlots--they've all been in my collection for years.  But a great way to kick things off today is to point out how successful some of Detroit's drafts were in the 70s, with choices that gave the Tigers many of the key players that starred for them the following decade.  1978 Topps just happens to have highlighted most of these guys on its multiplayer prospect cards!  Let's take a quick look at some of those drafts before we get to the cards:

1974:  Detroit takes future catcher and slugger Lance Parrish at #16 overall.  Lance hit more than 200 homers for the Tigers and made six All-Star teams before leaving as a free agent.  In '84 he posted a career-best 33 homers, won  Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards, and chipped in two homers and five RBI in the postseason.  By the way, the 10th round of this draft saw the Tigers select a high school pitcher named Mark Fidrych.

1975:  OF Jason Thompson was Detroit's 4th-rounder and he went on to a decent career, though he was gone before '84.  A guy who did stick around, for 19 seasons, was 2B Lou Whitaker, selected one round later.  The should-be HOFer formed an iconic double play pairing with SS Alan Trammell, won the 1978 AL ROY, and was an All-Star from 1983-87.  In 1984 he matched Parrish's feat, winning his second Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, and in the playoffs he accounted for nine runs, six of them in the World Series, serving as a reliable table-setter.

1976:  Detroit's most successful draft included a second round SS from San Diego named Alan Trammell, whose 20 years in Detroit were finally recognized by HOF voters.  Six All-Star appearances, four Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers, and the left half of one of the best double play pairs of all time will do that.  So will posting one of your career best regular seasons before going off in the playoffs for 13 hits, 3 HR, 7 R, and 9 RBI on your way to being named MVP of the World Series.

A couple rounds later the Tigers selected another high school pitcher from California, righty Dan Petry, who'd be a reliable part of the '84 rotation along with the ace they took next, BYU righty Jack Morris.  Morris won nearly 200 games for Detroit, and in 1984 he went off for 19 victories, including a memorable no-hitter, then won all three of his postseason starts, including two complete games in the main event.  He padded his HOF resume with rings in '91 and '92, with the former being considered one of the greatest performances in the history of the game.

Oh yeah, and two rounds later Detroit selected another SS (its third of four in eight rounds) out of Cal-Poly named Ozzie Smith.  He wouldn't sign and was instead chosen by the Padres in the fourth round the next year.  I wonder whatever happened to him?

1978:  The final piece of the puzzle wasn't pictured with the guys above because he was drafted the same year those cards were made.  Detroit used the 12th overall pick this year on Michigan State baseball/football star Kirk Gibson, and he rewarded the team with some outstanding play in the mid-80s, with 1984 the start of a nice five-year run that culminated in one of the greatest World Series homers ever.  But first he would be named MVP of the '84 ALCS against the Royals, then pop a pair of long balls ("He don't wanna walk you!  He don't wanna walk you!") in the game 5 clincher.

So as you can see, four drafts in a five year span in the 70s were the key to Detroit winning it all 35 years ago.  Now let's look at some new cards of that talented core:
These three players only had one or two cards each so we'll get to them first.  Both Gibby items are of him as a Dodger, but that's cool given how iconic his '88 game 1 homer was.  Up top is the gorgeous 2002 Topps Tribute (a base card, if you can believe it) while a 2002 Fleer Fall Classics insert called Series of Champions sits below.  I definitely need more of the older Topps Tribute in my life.

I repeated the vertical/horizontal pairing with Tram.  Both hail from 2005 Donruss brands with the top being a Donruss Greats Souvenirs insert and the bottom being the first of his two base appearances in Donruss Champions (#204).  I'm not sure why they made non-relic versions of the Souvenirs card since the name makes less sense without one, but whatever.

Sweet Lou is one of my supercollections, so I was glad to notice at some point that his 1986 Sportflics Decade Greats appearance wasn't on my checklist.
I was able to fix that and pick up the card, which he shares with Cal Ripken Jr. and Robin Yount in the infielders group of "Best of the '80s."  What a fun set!  A smiling Yount is the easiest to see in my scan but you can also make out Lou in the field, but not a sleepy Cal in the dugout.

While those three guys have player collections and albums here, I haven't done the same for the other two because I don't chase them as much, so it was easier tracking down new stuff I was interested in.  One of those players was Morris, whom I managed to get over the century mark (107 cards) thanks to this purchase.
You know I love me some Sportflics--I think I scored 12 total this time--so I was thrilled to find four cards starring Jack:  two from '86 and one each from the following two years.  Nolan Ryan graces the second card which highlights three players with no-hitters:  Morris' from '84, Ryan's four up to that point, and Dave Righetti's from 1983.

With the stuff made during his career out of the way the rest are a nice mix of sets that focus on or include retired players:  2001 Topps American Pie, 2003 and 2004 Donruss Team Heroes, 2004 Absolute Memorabilia (the rainbow foil hobby version, numbered to 1349), and 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game.  Go ahead, pick your favorite Fleer Greats/Greats of the Game design, there's no wrong answer!
The rest of the Morris stuff includes four cards from 2005 Diamond Kings:  base, Black and White parallel, Gallery of Stars, and Heritage Collection.  Like Fleer Greats you'd be hard pressed to find a bad DK design!  Speaking of Greats, I found Morris' card from my favorite version--the 2000 product that was the first "Fleer Greats of the Game" after the name was used in a Sports Illustrated set in '99.  The last base card is the only one today of Jack with a different team, 2005 UD Classics.  And the other two you see here are from Panini's 2013 Pinnacle Awaiting the Call insert--regular and Die-Cut--which I appreciate more now that Morris and Tram are no longer "awaiting" anything!
Last up today is Parrish, whose five new cards are a mix of big and small.  On the larger end are Donruss Action All-Stars jumbos from 1983 and '85, skirting the year I'm highlighting today.  Then again, they present stats from the previous year and earlier, so it ends up working out quite nicely.  Lance made the AL All-Star team in 1980 and '82-'86, and in '84 he joined Whitaker, Chet Lemon, Tram, Morris, and Guillermo Hernandez in repping the Tigers.

The other trio brings back Sportflics one more time, one from 1986 and two that were made the following year.  The second from the latter is a "Best in Baseball" subset offering that highlights catchers in the AL, which also includes Don Slaught (with the Rangers at the time, though I remember him more with the Pirates) and the Red Sox's Rich Gedman.  I could have added one or two more Sportflics cards of Parrish but stuck with the ones of him as a Tiger, at least for now.

That's it for the '84 Tigers this time, but I still have four more posts left that'll celebrate some more Tigers favorites!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

2019 Sportlots purchases: Rookie Blue on a Bye

The boys in Maize & Blue may be on a bye week but that doesn't mean I can't have my own Michigan Football Saturday.  Today I'm covering 62 new cards for my Rookie Blue project where I'm chasing every RC of each guy to suit up for Michigan (excluding autograph and relic cards).  Since this is a chase I started when I was still posting on Too Many Manninghams, the checklist I'm working from is currently here while the album containing what I've picked up so far can be found here.

And now on to the new stuff for today.  In the past I've generally shied away from buying these RCs on Sportlots because most of my spending leans toward the $0.18 site minimum price.  This time, though, I finally bit on some that were in the $0.45-$0.75 range, especially from one seller who had a bunch I needed, many of them numbered.  My overall spending has been down this year and this purchase was very productive so it was pretty easy for me to justify it, especially after surveying the damage to that checklist I mentioned above.

So here's the main event:  62 new RCs of 35 former Wolverines!:
2008 draftee and PC guy Arrington's numbered '08 Stadium Club RC is my 17th of his 19.  Former OL Baas only has five to chase but they've been tough sledding, and the UD pair above gives me three.  Touchdown Tim gets his 30th of 32 thanks to '96 Score Board Lasers, a card I hadn't caught for my checklist until recently.  Michigan-to-W. Illinois LB transfer Bowens had just one card for me to chase:  that 2005 Topps Total.  Alan Branch (who kills QBs) gets numbered '07 Gridiron Gear Retail (ugh) and Select first-years to put me one short of his 26 RCs.  Finally, you can see two Butts (hehe) out of three in this post, in this case '17 Playoff and Rookies & Stars.
Campbell's '99 Fleer Focus was a huge add for me here because that numbered RC was impossible for me to find for under $1 until recently on Sportlots, and now I've tracked down all three of his cards.  Former Cowboy Charlton, who's doing pretty well when he, you know, actually gets playing time, gets within one card of halfway to his 20 after the '17 Select you see.  You'll also see Chesson again below, and for now Rookies & Stars and Prizm from 2017 are above, followed by fellow '17 guy Darboh's own R&S.  Darden's '74 Topps fixes an earlier misstep when I thought his '75 was the RC for some reason, and I'm glad to have that fixed, not to mention a new vintage add!  And then we have three out of a five-card run of transfer RB Fargas:  2003 Bowman Chrome plus Fleer Authentix and Focus (the latter of which are numbered).  Some of you might recall that that "Rookie Authentix" piece in the middle can be removed, another goofy Fleer innovation of the time.
This scan begins with the other two Fargas RCs, Mystique and UD's Honor Roll, which are also numbered, and I'm now half way to his 22.  Gold is a guy from 2000 so his stuff can get a bit of a Brady bump, but the Playoff Momentum above, my 7th of his 9, wasn't bad.  Fellow '07 draftees and PC guys Hall and Harris appear on numbered cards from Select and SP Authentic, and while I need three more of Hall's 23, the Harris is the 24th and final RC of the former tackling machine, sewing up another player.  Here-and-gone dual-sport guy Henson gets a nice trio highlighted by '04 Fleer Greats along with Playoff Honors and the college-themed Prestige for 18 of his 37.  And lesser known 2017 DB Delano Hill marks the first of three appearances of Panini Phoenix with one of his two rookie issues.
PC guy Marlin Jackson's 25th of 30 first-years is from '05 Ultimate Collection like Baas's above, and we'll see that product (different year) in a couple more scans.  '97 Ultra (and its great design!) was the last of three I needed for transfer TE Damon Jones.  Speaking of that position, I landed a couple more for Bennie Joppru:  the gorgeous '04 Donruss Classics plus Fleer's Avant, both numbered, which get me to 25/32.  I'm short just one of WR Marcus Knight's 15 rookies thanks to this 2000 trio of Fleer Showcase and Leaf Certified (both numbered) plus Playoff's Absolute (surprisingly not numbered!).  And I was thrilled to knock off a beautiful pair of numbered college uni RCs starring '04 DB Jeremy LeSueur--Classics and Elite, which leave me three short of his nine.
CB Jourdan Lewis is 2017 Panini Phoenix guy #2, which is also RC #2 in his collection.  Former #1 overall pick Long joins Arrington from '08 Stadium Club for his 19th of 22 rookies.  Transfer QB Mallett gets a big boost with six cards, all from 2011 Topps brands, to get him up to 8/10.  And we get the first of a pair starring another QB, John Navarre.  This one's from 2004 Fleer Platinum, and I was surprised that it was a numbered card given the brand's history.
Navarre's other issue is from the previously mentioned Ultimate Collection, and his pair puts him at 13/25, as his stuff continues to be a thorn in my side.  Do-everything dude Jabrill Peppers is '17 Phoenix player #3, and the 8th of his 21 RCs is from a product that's grown on me a bit.  Next you can see two of the three Jon Ritchies I found, representing another backfield guy that transferred from Michigan and ended up with the Raiders.  These are from '98 Bowman Chrome and Skybox Premium.  Aaron Shea is yet another 2000 draftee and here you see him on a shiny and numbered Pacific Prism Prospects card (his 11th of 15) which is a good reminder that the Brady from this set and others will be super expensive.  I happily checked off another player by adding RC #9 of 1999 WR Tai Streets from Leaf Certified.  Toomer joined Biakabutuka above from the '96 Score Board Lasers set and I now need just two of his 23.  And finally this scan includes a numbered pair of LB standout LaMarr Woodley--2007 Donruss Classics and Leaf Certified Materials--that go nicely with a third card below.
This mostly horizontal scan starts with a trio from the love-it-or-hate-it 2017 Panini Unparalleled set, including the previously seen Butt (7/14) and Chesson (8/13) plus the lone RC of DT Ryan Glasgow, part of the amazing walk-on family at the school.  The well-traveled Dhani Jones has two RCs and you can see one above, which he shares with a couple other Giants in 2003 Topps Total.  Another Giant follows as transfer CB Will Peterson (#2 of 4) appears on his numbered 2001 Titanium Post Season that uses a kick-ass die-cut design.  Ritchie's third card is also a die-cut from '98 Crown Royale, and gets me to 7 of his 12.  WR David Terrell looks a bit lonely without fellow Bears draftee Anthony Thomas on a 2001 Fleer Legacy RC that puts him at 27/53 rookies and 149 cards overall, one short of his RB counterpart.  And lastly, we have one more vertical card that didn't fit in a group of nine:  Woodley's numbered 2007 Topps Performance base, which puts him at 20/26.

This post plus some fun results on the field today definitely made this a fun college football Saturday for me.  And for those of you who prefer the diamond, I'm now done posting football pickups and should have something like five baseball posts to close out this series.  Thanks for reading and GO BLUE!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

2019 Sportlots purchases: Thanking Hank Thursday

As promised in my last post, today's is much more manageable at just 19 cards of a single player, a guy who certainly deserves his own post.  That would be one Henry Benjamin Greenberg.

The "Hebrew Hammer" and original "Hammerin' Hank" (though Mr. Aaron rightfully gets that nickname now), Greenberg plied his trade in Detroit for "12" of his "13" Major League seasons.  Quotation marks are definitely required here as he got all of 1 AB in 1930, and that season plus 1936, '41, and '45 added up to a measly 110 games split between four seasons.

But when he was on, boy was he on!  He piled up 150 or more RBI three times in his career, socked 58 homers in 1938--and piled up 331 dingers in just 1394 games--won MVPs in '35 and '40, and helped bring Motown its first two World Series titled in '35 and '45.  Oh yeah, and he missed large chunks or the entirety of 1941-45 due to military service.  Yeah, I'd say he was Hall-worthy.

Here's the nice selection of his cards I found on Sportlots to add to my small collection of one of the team's all-time greats:
Here's a mix of the usual suspects you've seen so far plus some new ones, some of which may pop up again in this series.  Hank was indeed an honorary captain for the '84 All-Star Game, played a couple years before his death, and that was a good sign for the team that went on to win it all that year.  Sportflics Decades Greats is back and Greenberg's run in the 30s is honored here.  You'll see a few more from Pacific Legends soon and maybe the raised surface of Action Packed a bit more, plus the always fun Conlon, besides what you see here.

Card #6 in this scan, honoring Hank's military service (one of two of those today) is from UD's Baseball:  the American Epic set made in '94.  Then there's a trio that's a sight for my sore eyes:  the comfortingly familiar 2002 Greats of the Game and Sweet Spot Classics and '03 Flair Greats.  I sure wish we still had products that looked like these, but at least I can enjoy going back and chasing what does exist, especially as it builds up some of my Tigers collections.
Round 2 brings a few more familiar looks:  2003 Fleer Fall Classics--a great reminder that Greenberg played in four World Series--plus 2004 SP Legendary Cuts and Sweet Spot Classics, with different designs using the same photo.  The newcomers here start with a 2003 Topps Record Breakers insert that highlights that 58-bomb campaign in '38, making him one of just nine players to reach that mark.  Also from 2003 is an Upper Deck Play Ball 1941 Reprint, which is probably as close as I'll ever get to owning the original.  And then there's one last vintage/modern mashup:  a 2010 Triple Threads base that has a newer design but a super cool old-school photo of the legend.
These last four hail from Panini brands so some of you have probably gone off to read something else, but for those have stayed, check out some pretty cool stuff!  Up first is another card that gives due credit to Hank's military service:  2012 Cooperstown With Honors.  The back does a great job of explaining just how much of his career he gave up for his country:
A rare non-player card is next in the form of a 2013 Cooperstown Museum Pieces insert.  Panini did a great job of showcasing some of the Hall's most interesting artifacts, such as Hank's 300th home run ball.  Given a fuller career of something like 15-18 full seasons, he likely would have been a member of the 500 club.  A pair of 2014 Classics cards capture that:  the base plus an insert called, yep, Home Run Heroes.  The back of the latter notes that Hank was just the fourth player to get to 58 round-trippers, and he still leads the franchise 80+ years later, with Cecil Fielder's 51 in 1990 (hit over the course of four extra games) getting the closest.

I hope you all enjoyed some cardboard of another Tigers legend.  I have a few more players to feature here and would love to get them all done in plenty of time to show off what's sure to be lots of COMC Black Friday/Cyber Monday loot when it arrives next month.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

2019 Sportlots purchases: twelve for Tuesday

As I keep rolling along on these Sportlots posts I'm back today with one of the bigger ones you'll see in this latest series, covering all of the Michigan Baseball guys whose cards I nabbed this time.  Scanning/editing/captioning/cataloging/uploading everything took me a while, which is why I haven't posted in a couple days, and I'm really starting to lean closer to transitioning to use TCDB both for cataloging/checklisting and scans.  I've been meaning to overhaul my collection links here anyway, so maybe I'll put in some effort before the end of the year to make things easier on myself.

In the meantime, here's a fun deluge of new cards!
#1 today--and in pretty much any post where he features--is Jim Abbott.  I'm pretty happy with the mix I found here, opening with a Starting Lineup card, mixing in some inserts, and going a bit oddball with a Topps/Coke Commanders of the Hill card from '93 plus '94 Fleer Extra bases.  The bottom-left card represents the last of Jim's '94 Score issues I needed--the Gold Rush parallel of his highlights subset appearance in the base set, the one that honors his amazing no-hitter.
Also among pitchers getting in on the action today is #1 PC dude Rich Hill.  For fun I added his base card from the goofy 2017 Honus Bonus product, then knocked seven cards off his checklist.  The one outlier is a Upper Deck Rookie Foil Silver (#250/399) parallel while the rest hail from Topps products made in 2017-19.  In that pile you'll find two each of Limited Edition versions, All-Star Game-stamped cards, and ("On-Demand") Minis I needed.  I'm slowly marching toward hitting 300 of his checklist cards I'm chasing and am at around 63% of his total at the moment.  Here's hoping the free agent lefty finds a nice home with a legit contender (e.g. one that won't waste his talent) over the off-season!
For a relatively underappreciated HOFer, Barry Larkin's prices often tend toward those belonging to bigger stars, so I'm always glad when I can add quality stuff like this on the cheap.  Up top I have a couple early/mid-90s inserts along with a great double-dip from UD's 1995 Special Edition product.  You know I love me some Fleer/Sports Illustrated mashups like the one you see here from '97.  The trio of '98 Topps Stars cards--base, Bronze, and Silver--were cheaper than I expected considering they're all numbered.  So were the two '99 Flair Showcase cards that end this scan, and what a beautiful product that was!  The hobby is worse off without manufacturers like Fleer.
Here's a couple more Larkins that get their own scan.  I may be in the minority but I absolutely love 2001 Topps Fusion as it combines three of the best iterations Bowman's Best, Gallery (seen here), and Stadium Club, in those products' entire runs.  And I couldn't resist another UM uniform card, in this case the second of a pair of his variations from 2017 Contenders Draft.  I've now completed his runs of base cards in both products seen here.
Almost everyone else here is a supercollection of mine, including new Royals manager Mike Matheny.  TCDB helped me realize that the first card seen here, a checklist from '94 Ultra (which also includes Mike's RC) existed since Beckett ignores the player depicted.  Score another one for that excellent site!  The other four needs were from 2002 Topps Chrome and UD Victory, '04 Topps Total Silver, and '05 Bowman Heritage Mahogany.  A nice five-card day gives me exactly 100 of the 218 cards of him I'm currently chasing, with more possible now that he's managing again!
When it came to one William Harold Morris it was a tale of low end and high, with pretty much nothing in-between.  I knocked off his '93 Pacific Spanish base along with both Topps Inaugural factory set cards honoring the Marlins and Rockies that year, and Stadium Club Members Only parallels from '95 and '96.  After those I upped the ante with '97 Flair Showcase (Row 2) and asking price with a '97 Bowman Chrome International Refractor and 1999 Pacific Prism Holographic Purple (#215/320).  That effort paid off as I hit the 75% mark of his checklist on the nose with 270/360!
Here's one of three new PC guys you'll meet today.  Ray Ricken is another one of those guys whose name was unfamiliar to me, but thankfully he came up as I searched through TCDB for Wolverines I was missing.  The Yanks took him in the 5th round in '94, and he bounced between minor league levels with them as well as the Padres before ending his career in indy ball in 2002.  The pitcher appears on cards from '94 Stadium Club Draft Picks, '96 and '97 Bowman, and '96 Topps--the one base I already had.  The above haul got me to six of his 11 issues, plus I added a couple minors cards from Best and Fleer/Excel.  Three autographs from '97 Bowman will make him a bit difficult to chase, but I'm sure I'll get there eventually.
Hey, it's Spuds!  Here you can see I tracked down seven needs from Sabo's checklist plus a fun oddball--one of his 1990 Starting Lineup cards variations.  I also knocked off an early need in his '88 Topps Traded Tiffany, grabbed yet another appearance from '94 Fleer Extra Bases (I think this is the last one), and came up with a 2014 Topps Update World Series Heroes insert.  Hey, the dude went off in the '90 World Series!  To those I got a nice little 1993 run:  Pacific Spanish and Pinnacle (not sure how I didn't have that already) plus, like Morris above, the Topps Inaugural Marlins/Rockies cards.  And I almost matched the feat I did for Hal, getting Sabo to about 74%.  That's lots of Reds cardboard!
I bunched these four guys together because they formed a perfect nine card scan, and the first two players are today's other n00bs, players that also came up in my TCDB search.  Russ Brock was a pitcher drafted by Oakland in the second round in '91 while Flannelly, a 3B, was yet another Wolverine picked by the Yankees, in the third round the same year.  Neither made it to the pros but both were included in the '92 Stadium Club Dome set, which featured some of the same goofy photography of prospects found in that year's Bowman product.  Those are their only mainstream issues but each has some minors cards I might chase, like Brock's '93-'94 Fleer Excel card above.

For the sake of brevity I can also lump Putnam and Richard together.  As with Rich Hill, I found some recent Topps flagship versions of them I needed.  Zach's cards are the 2017 All-Star Game and Limited factory set versions while Clayton's hail from 2018 (All-Star Game and Gold /2018) and 2019 (base and All-Star Game).
We'll end this post with a HOFer in George Sisler, who's nearing the century mark.  I landed a second card of him but found out it was a dupe after it arrived, so for Gorgeous George it'll just be this 2011 GQ Framed Green parallel of his first of two cards in the base set.  In case you're curious, I have both of those base cards--the other depicts him with the Braves--plus three versions of card #2 including, nicely enough, the same green parallel.  Hopefully soon I can go on a nice little Sisler spree and cross the 100-card mark.

Next time I post you can probably look forward to something shorter with fewer items to gawk at.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

11/1/19 card show report: keepin' it real (cheap)

I once again took a Friday off yesterday with the express purpose of getting over to the monthly show in Taylor as I would be home today on a Michigan Football Saturday.  Speaking of the Wolverines, they looked just fine while thumping Maryland 38-7, and now they get to head into a bye before welcoming the Michigan State Penitentiary Spartans.  I don't know what I'll do during the bye but I'll figure it out.

As for the show, it was one of those where I didn't spend a whole lot or come home with much as the kind of stuff I generally like was few and far between.  But that's fine since I like hanging out there and digging through bunches of boxes for hidden gems.

The $15 I spent can be broken down as follows:  40 dime cards at 20/$1; 30 quarter cards at five/$1; eight $0.50 cards; and three $1 cards.  Most of those will be heading for trade packages, but I have a small group of fun stuff to show off:
We'll start as usual with the baseball side.  I was pretty happy with this trio of Tony Gwynns, all of which were $0.50 or under, I think.  #1 is a '95 Zenith All Star Salute insert, which lists him as "All-Star Hit Man" on the bottom of the difficult-to-read scan.  An apt title, Panini!  Upping the ante and bringing out my beloved "90s inserts rule" tag is 1996 Upper Deck Hot Commodities.  While the '97 version looked kind of cool, the orange foil die-cut original from a year earlier can't be beat!  Last up is the second year of Topps Chrome, 1997, which parallels one of my all-time favorite Topps designs, though I appear to be in the minority on that.

Next up is a duo of Barry Larkins:  his '92 Bowman foil base card, on which he's defying gravity while turning a twin killing against the Cubs, and a 2011 Gypsy Queen Framed Paper parallel (#234/999).  I have no idea why this version was called "paper" so I'll just chalk it up to Topps' goofiness.

Greg Maddux keeps the insert-heavy theme going with 2001 Ultra Decade of Dominance and a 2013 Hometown Heroes States parallel.  Greg's dominant decade included four straight Cy Young awards and a World Series ring in '95.  He was actually born in Texas but the Hometown Heroes product doesn't interpret the term literally.

Last up is an interesting pair.  One is a Pudge insert from 1997 UD called Rock Solid Foundation that I remember quite well.  The rainbow foil design looks great and between that and the fact that Rodriguez is a HOFer and former Tiger, I happily grabbed this card.  And then we have the one $1 card I kept for myself--an IP auto of former Michigan P and PC guy Heath Murray on his '97 Topps issue.  What was I gonna do, spend just $14 and leave this one at the show?  No way!
The football side of things was also largely a celebration of all things insertsHarbaugh is the only exception--as shiny as that pair is, they're actually a different version of '96 Summit called Premium Stock, which is a bit thicker than the regular set and featuring foilboard fronts.  Funchess's appropriately colored parallel is a 2018 Donruss Blue Press Proof.  While I tend to prefer that insert to be numbered, I think this one was only a dime or quarter, and the color's certainly a plus.  Navarre, a guy I don't add too often since he's either hard to find or prices are too high, can be seen on a Rookie Gold version of UD's goofy 2004 Diamond Prosigs set (#004/249).  Denard is much more common around here, and there he is on a 2013 Prestige Prestigious Picks Gold insert, which is apparently named for the foil color of the insert title since the background is silver.

Switching over to the horizontals we have two more numbered cards.  One of those is tackling machine David Harris, who shares a 2007 Playoff Contenders Draft Class insert (#0144/1000) with fellow '07 pick Darrelle Revis.  That's quite a productive pair!  By the way, here's a reminder that outstanding Wolverines LaMarr Woodley and Harris went back-to-back in the second round three picks after the Lions opted for MSU QB Drew Stanton.  This is why you suck, Lions.  Speaking of QB busts, million dollar arm/ten cent head signal-caller Ryan Mallett popped up on a 2011 Absolute Memorabilia War Room insert, and I'll be fine continuing to add stuff of the transfer as long as he's pictured in a pro uni--e.g., nothing with Arkansas.  He's joined by a fellow transfer, RB Jon Ritchie, who's today's last card:  a 2001 Ultra Gold Medallion (#131/250).  I was surprised because I didn't recall that parallel being numbered.

That's it for this month's usual show, though there's a small chance I may hit up one more before my attention turns to COMC around Black Friday/Cyber Monday.  Until then it'll be back to the well with Sportlots until I get all of those posted.

2019 Michigan Gameday #9: at Maryland

We've now rolled the calendar over to November and the weather here is responding accordingly.  Fortunately for my Wolverines the forecast in Maryland looks quite nice for a noon matchup against the Terps.
This will be the ninth game in the series, and the sixth since Maryland and Rutgers joined the Big Ten Conference in a deal that fans rue to this day.  The lone blemish for Michigan was that conference debut in 2014, which was mercifully the last season for idiot AD Dave Brandon and overmatched HC Brady Hoke.  Since then the Wolverines have won by a 164-34 margin, with the closest being last year's 42-21 victory I was able to take in in person thanks to Jeff.

While Maryland is riding a three-game losing streak after a dynamic pair of season-opening wins, #14 Michigan is 6-2 and coming off a statement win in obliterating a Notre Dame team that had be ranked in the top 10.  The Wolverines are a different team since the second half of the Penn State game, and opponents would do well to fear them if they've finally got it all figured out.

As if the Wolverines needed any additional motivation this afternoon, new OC Josh Gattis spurned new Maryland HC Mike Locksley to join Jim Harbaugh's staff, leading to some bad blood between the two.  Just as it did last Saturday, respectful competition may take a back seat to running up the score, and we may finally see significant garbage time action for the rest of the depth chart.

Things can always go haywire--that's why they play the game--but I'm looking for Michigan to continue the momentum of the last few weeks before enjoying a bye that should help them prepare to face Mark Dantonio's tire fire out of East Lansing.  Harbaugh's guys should build more confidence today on offense and keep things rolling on D to get November started on a positive note.  Some kids may like turtles, but I'll take Wolverines any day.

Friday, November 1, 2019

2019 eBay purchases: celebrating 1000 one 1/1 at a time

My very first post on this blog was published on Saturday, August 28, 2010.  I explained the origins of the then-title, "Too Many Grandersons," then teased some upcoming box breaks after I went crazy online buying boxes I promised to show off and review.

It's crazy how much can change in nine-plus years.  I don't tend to mark this blog's birthday because I almost always forget, but today's a big enough occasion to celebrate:  I've finally hit post #1,000!

If any of you are like "It's been 3500 days since your first post and you're just now getting to 1K?" I get it.  I'm lazy and I don't know how so many of you post nearly every day, so I give you all the credit in the world for doing so.  Then again, I do have one excuse in my pocket:  I started up my sister blog Too Many Manninghams on New Year's Day in 2012 and got to 800+ posts over there.

Anyway, 1,000 posts seems like a fun thing to celebrate tonight since it's evidence that I've stuck with this blog long enough to reach that mark, and generally had fun doing it.  Better yet, I'd say that it's changed my collecting style for the positive; No more throwing away money on boxes and packs, way more focus on what I want to collect, and so many friends made trading.  Thank you all that have kept me going for this long, and here's to 1,000 more!

So, with all that said, how am I celebrating?  Well, I'm finally going to reveal some eBay purchases I made over the last few months about which I've been very secretive.  I'll explain why it took so long in a bit, but we've gone long enough in this post without you seeing cards, which is why you're here, so let's get to it--a whole mess of 1/1s!
Everything you see in today's post except one card--I'll point it out--came from my favorite eBay seller, a former Michigan supercollector.  He began clearing stuff out and I benefited from that bigtime.  We're starting with a trio of oddball-ish 1/1s.  This Clayton Richard (1/1 #8 for him) is the only one of the three I actually paid for, and it took all of a paltry $1.25 (free shipping) to get it.  

Some of you might be aware of the goofy buyback 1/1s Topps made to celebrate stuff like their 65th anniversary or those opulent Transcendent parties.  This one represents the former, taking a 2014 Topps 1st Edition set card and giving it 65th Anniversary and 1/1 stamps (the latter to the left of his hat) to mark the occasion.  I wasn't gonna throw much money at an auction like this since I don't overpay for 1/1s as it is, and less so for non-standard ones.  The price was definitely right in this case.
I've said multiple times that I love buying from this seller, not only because his prices are great and he offers free shipping, but on a few occasions he's even thrown in free cards--and I don't mean some '88 Donruss puzzle pieces for protection, I'm talking real-ass cards!  Both of the Rich Hills here were included that way, one of which came with the above Richard, I believe.  That's insane since I already said I paid him $1.25 for it!
Anyway, both of these were prizes for 2018 Topps Transcendent VIP Party attendees and made their way into my hands eventually.  Up top is a stamped 2017 Topps Chrome Sapphire base while below you see a 2018 Topps Preview that got the same treatment.  The former's 1/1 numbering is difficult to see in my scan, in the bottom-right corner, while the latter's scan looks much better.
That wasn't it as far as Hill 1/1s go as I also came away with a regular Yellow Plate card from 2017 Topps, at a cost of about $13 shipped from a different seller.  $10+shipping is a price I'm generally willing to pay for my favorite baseball PC guy so this worked out nicely.
And now we're back to the original seller, which is where some of the confusion came in.  I won a total of five other auctions of his where he was selling Hill 1/1s from 2008 Triple Threads, each setting me back from about $20-$25.  While I thought I had a handle on all of the versions I was dead wrong.  At least I was able to identify this one as the Platinum parallel of the variation of his appearance (you can tell by the "CHC" pattern instead of three stars), which looks similar to the base versions but includes holographic foil and a 1/1 stamp up front.  So far, so good.
In the meantime he also posted these White Whales one at a time, and with a couple already in hand I got excited at the prospect of owning all of them.  My puzzlement started when he put a second "MLB" patterned card up.  I thought there was only one White Whale per version?  Also, there was a new pattern, the one with the sport's logo, not used on the regular cards.  How many of these were made?!

I'm currently awaiting some help from someone else on the Blowout Cards Forums who collected some of these but the consensus seems to be that all four plate colors exist for each White Whale, which is not how they're currently cataloged on TCDB or Beckett's OPG.  Until I can get all the versions of the White Whales I have cleared up I'm not officially adding these four to my count just yet, but I'm looking forward to getting an accurate checklist and chasing the rest.  In the meantime it was a coup to add so many high-end Hills!

Again, thanks to all of you who've stuck around for 1,000 posts.  #1,001 tomorrow will be the usual Saturday Michigan Gameday post, and then I'll either return to Sportlots pickups or do a quick write-up of the monthly show I hit today, all as I slowly march to my next 1,000 posts.  Have a great weekend, everyone!