Sunday, November 22, 2015

2015 trade package #29: a freezing Fuji envelope

Like many of you out there I was the beneficiary of a fantastic Fuji trade package, one of many he sent out recently.  I can't imagine there's a single person reading this here blog that hasn't heard of the legendary Fuji thanks to his top-notch blog and super generous envelopes.  On this snow-covered Michigan Sunday evening, here's what Mark sent my way:
A perfect page of Tigers!  This nine-spot includes father and son Fielder, Hammerin' Hank, the oft-traded Edwin Jackson, a super rare Kinsler parallel (#d 18/25!), a Refractor of former closer Joe Nathan, a pair of inserts of former ace Scherzer (the latter is #964/999), and a very young JV.  The Kinsler was easily one of the highlights of the whole envelope and I'm excited to have it.
Panini stickers!  Specifically, a six-pack from the 1988 album.  Man, did I ever love putting these together as a kid.  One of these days I'll take some pictures of what I have in terms of the old albums and the stickers stuck in them.  It's nice having "unstuck" versions to keep as well, including Sweet Lou Whitaker.
Hits!  Highlighting the bunch is a pair of Granderson jerseys (yep, he hit both of this here blog's namesakes), and Curtis' World Series performance this season has me more interested than usual in piling up more of his stuff.  Former Tigers prospect Corey Knebel (apparently pronounced "kuh-NAY-bull," who knew?), since flipped to Milwaukee by way of the Rangers, makes an appearance from a 2013 Panini Prizm set; dude has a very nice signature!  Peake is a Rochester, Michigan, native who was Washington's first pick in '91 and actually never played for Detroit, but was instead with the OHL's Detroit Junior Red Wings when this card was made, making it a very cool piece!

Please make sure to check out the rest of the goods over on TMM this evening--let's just say that Mark managed to include something of all three of the namesakes of my pair of blogs in this package.

Thanks again for some great cards, Mark, and don't you worry about a lack of trade bait in the future--I'll be sending more stuff your way anyway!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2015 Sportlots purchases: more than three quarters worth of Sweet Lou

I think it's about time that I finally get around to posting all the Lou Whitakers I landed from some Sportlots packages in the last few weeks:
1984 Donruss;  1985 Leaf;  1987 O-Pee-Chee
1988 Leaf;  1989 Sportflics;  1990 Sportflics
1992 Topps Gold;  1992 Upper Deck Gold Hologram;  1993 O-Pee Chee
Lots of variety here:  vintage, Canadian, holograms, and useless parallels (the UD card has a gold hologram on the back, trust me).  My favorites in the scan are the Diamond King (because duh) and then the Sportflics cards because they're always interesting.
1994 O-Pee-Chee;  1994 Triple Play;  1995 Collector's Choice
1995 Collector's Choice SE Silver Signature;  1995 Donruss;  1995 Emotion
1995 Flair;  1995 Fleer;  1995 Pacific
This is actually kind of a blah group of cards.  I do like the multiple fielding shots, though, and it's kind of fun to see some of the stuff Fleer threw out there in the 90s to see what would stick.  Spoiler alert:  Flair lived on in several incarnations while Emotion pretty much disappeared.  I'll award the Collector's Choice SE insert the best photo with the Emotion card as a reasonably close second.
1995 SP Championship Die-Cuts;  1995 Stadium Club Super Team World Series;  1995 Stadium Club Virtual Reality
1995 Topps D3;  1995 Topps Embossed Golden Idols;  1995 Ultra Gold Medallion
1996 Collector's Choice Silver Signature;  2004 UD Legends Timeless Teams #234 and #271
Now we're back on track, with eight pretty good cards surrounding an absolute turd.  Topps' D3 was their too-late attempt to try to compete with Sportflix, but besides the stupid logo I kind of like how they look.  The Embossed set is one for which I'll never forgive them, though.  Embossed sets rarely look presentable, and this one rates a Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas on the ugliness scale; the gold parallel proves that you can't polish a turd.
I've always enjoyed the "tribute"-type cards UD and Fleer made around this time period, though, especially when that effort resulted in something like the Collector's Choice card above.  And finally, UD's Timeless Teams set was a fantastic idea that was executed very well.  There was never really any question which two teams they'd choose for Sweet Lou, and I hope I can track down the various autographed versions of those two beauts.
1988 Topps Big;  1990 Topps Big;  1991 Topps Micro;  1992 Topps Micro;  1993 Topps Micro;  1994 Fleer Extra Bases
Finally, here are the oddball-sized cards that warranted a scan of their own.  It's fun having all of them on one page since it really messes with your sense of scale--nothing here is a standard size at all!

That's 33 new Whitakers, and adding them to my existing collection gives me a new total of 221/292, good for more than 75%!  A large chunk of those I'm missing are going to be tough-to-find hits so for now I'll take what I can get and see how much I can track down of the stuff made before he retired, but I'll keep plugging away!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

11/8/15 card show report: yes we Ken!

Last Sunday I hit up the usual monthly show in Taylor and had my usual good time digging through boxes for cards for my PCs and some trade bait.  $66 later I had some of both, with the tally leaning more towards PCs this time.

Keeping up the "usual" theme, please check out my other purchases over on TMM this evening.

Here's the cards I purchased relevant to this here blog:

Today's post is about 95% Griffey thanks to a guy who had a 25-cards-for-$10 box with a bunch of Junior inserts!  I didn't really scan them in any particular order and mainly tried to make them more presentable by separating the horizontals and verticals.
Scan #1 has a nice mix that mostly hails from the 90s except for the upper-right Fleer insert.  This is great representative bunch of inserts from that decade ("90s inserts rule" tag deployed) featuring holograms, foil, and more.  If the decade is remembered for one thing it's home runs, and three of these inserts focus on the longball (along with a few others in the next scans), with titles like "Home Run All-Stars," "Power Brokers," and "Bomb Squad."  The latter includes 1994 NL MVP runner-up Matt Williams, who hit 43 dingers in the strike-shortened campaign (Griffey had 40 and also finished second in AL MVP voting).  By the way, I found the Griffey/Lofton/Grissom Dominators card interesting since the theme was their common CF position, but Griffey's game couldn't have been more different than the other two!
More good stuff here.  I'm a sucker for cards that reprint or use the theme of magazine covers, and I may have the actual issue of ESPN pictured on the above insert.  The Metal Universe card is emblematic of that product's run.  And the 2001 Private Stock "parallel" done up on a canvas-like card was another fun insert innovation back when inserts were still cool.
I'm pretty sure there's no such thing as a bad card out of Sportflix (not to be confused with Sportflics), especially when it comes to inserts like the Detonators card above, which continues the power theme along with the "Yard Work" and "Power Rally" issues.  I've always thought that the 2000 Paramount Season in Review set looked great (I previously owned a Nomar Garciaparra) especially thanks to the old-school film motif going on on the left.  Finally, the Memorable Moments insert (one of two from that set in '97) has a cool wavy die-cut thing going on, which is soooo 1990s.

I grabbed one more card from this seller that set me back a few more bucks:
Tony Gwynn 2002 Upper Deck People's Choice Game Jersey jersey
Honestly, how could I turn down a pinstriped early 90s jersey of Mr. Padre?  This is my seventh Gwynn hit, six of which are relics, and of those, five are jerseys.  It wasn't really much longer after these were made that relic swatches were less generous and interesting so I think I did well here.

That's it for this time, but I should have another show post in a few weeks.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Caption contest: putting the "ball" in "football"

Super tiny print:  there is no prize.  This post is here because I'm lazy but don't post enough.  Have fun, though!

While scanning some of my Michigan football rookies I came across the card below.  I know a lot of you are amateur comedians, so have at it and leave me some funny captions in the comments!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

2015 trade package #27 and 28: two-part, two-part trade with SCFtDS

I'm kicking off November with a post highlighting two envelopes from one of my favorite trade partners, Doug of Sports Cards From the Dollar Store.

About two or three weeks ago, I received a nice bubble mailer from Mr. Corti, my neighbor from the northeast (mostly east!).  It included a five-spot of Tigers and a Red Wing:
Price had already made his way to Doug's Jays (congrats again on their fun playoff run!), but the rest are still Detroit mainstays, and the highlight is the V-Mart Refractor from 2012 Topps Chrome.  Nothing against the 2013 Topps Chrome Verlander, though, which was somehow new to my PC!

Young Red Wings star F Tomas Tatar was a nice inclusion as well, and I look forward to finding out if he can build on his excellent second full season of last year.

That was it for this blog's portion of that first envelope, but then a PWE arrived not long after.  Doug had already surprised me by emailing me a Topps redemption code, which I entered immediately, and he was nice enough to toss the physical redemption card into that PWE:
I was pretty excited about this as I didn't have anything yet of McCann, an up-and-coming catcher for the Tigers.  As luck would have it, the card arrived from Topps the same day as Doug's PWE: 
And here it is scanned properly outside of its Topps-loader (see what I did there?):
James McCann 2015 Bowman Chrome Rookie Autographs Refractor auto (#075/499)
Very nice!  A sharp blue ink, on-card signature on a Refractor--what's not to like?  McCann is a catcher out of the U of Arkansas and was Detroit's first pick (second round) in 2011 (after losing a first-rounder for signing V-Mart).  After a nine-game cameo last year, he was solid in 114 games this season with a .264 average and 7 HR plus 5(!) triples.  With former starter Alex Avila likely to depart, James might just be the heir apparent, so I'm thrilled to have a nice hit of his already.

As always, there's plenty more to see (two envelopes' worth!) over at TMM, so don't forget to check those out too.

Thanks again for some fun new additions, Doug!  I've already got a decent start on a return package for you, plus I should be hitting a show next weekend, so some cards should be crossing the border over to you before much longer.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

10/2/2015 card show report: baseball bonanza!

Only more than two weeks late, I'm finally getting around to posting my haul from the monthly Taylor Town Trade Center show I hit up on Friday the second.  I believe I made two purchases, one of which was a lot of base/inserts and the other of which was some nice trade bait hits that have since been sent out.

In contrast to my usual habits, this time I managed to land a bunch of stuff for my own PCs.  Some of that, per usual, is over on TMM today, but with the playoffs in full swing, here's your bonanza of baseball stuff!
Leading off is a cool numbered (to 299) Magglio from UD's 2007 Future Stars product, and that's followed by another former Tiger, manager Sparky Anderson, who's pictured with the Reds on this lovely 1974 Topps issue.  That's as far back as these go, and the next five are all of 90s it kid Ken Griffey Jr.  The shiny Leaf Statistical Standouts is my favorite, but the last card is the Original Backs version of his 2010 Topps Cards Your Mom Threw Out (because she's so fat):
A single Maddux insert from 1994 Stadium Club joins copies of Griffey's and Gwynn's cards, the latter of which you'll see in a second.  Lastly, a nice 90s Gwynn insert kicks off a nice run of his cards in this next scan:
The first six cards are from a 1992 Ultra set devoted to Gwynn, and while the border is huge and tacky, they do feature some nice photos.  I've already got the last four from the set on the way from Sportlots, because why not?  The aforementioned Stadium Club insert is joined by a couple more shining examples of 90s insert goodness--just check out that radical Score logo from '96!

The rest of my haul from this seller was 20(!) mostly oddball cards of Calvin Edwin Ripken Jr.:
There were so many that I just dumped them on my scanner in random order until I could look them up later.  There's a nice mix from the 80s and 90s.
I'm old enough to remember when Rite Aid was Perry Drugs!  In the first two scans we get issues from them as well as Quaker and KMart.  The latter two cards in this scan are from "normal" sets including a fantastic photo from 1992 Score's Dream Team subset.  Iron Man, meet the iron horse!
The last two cards are actually pretty good.  First up is one of the several highlights variations from 2000 Topps Chrome, this one noting Ripken's streak finally ending.  The other is from 1996 Fleer Update, and I love any card that highlights Cal's glove skills.

Oh yeah, I found one other relevant card from the seller that had some nice hits:
Ripken relic, baby!  This single-color swatch is from 2002 Sweet Spot Classics and is my 9th relic (including manupatches) of Cal.  Would you believe it set me back just five bucks?

Back with more stuff soon, maybe!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

2015 trade package #26: in da club with 2x3 Heroes

It's been about a month since I've had a trade package to show off, so I was excited to be the recipient of a Club PWE envelope from plain, white blogger Jeff of 2x3 Heroes.  The king of the PWE sent me a nice mix of Tigers and Wings:
First, the Tigers.  AJax may not be with Detroit anymore, but I have no problem continuing to root for a guy who seems like a good person on and off the diamond, so I was glad to see him join the Cubs.

On an unrelated note, how does Jeff Robinson get a freakin' DK card in '89 Donruss?  I see he went 13-6 in 1988, his second season in Motown, but Matt Nokes, Jack Morris, and Doyle Alexander weren't higher on the list?  Woof.
And the Red Wings, who as of this writing are on pace to run the table and sweep the playoffs.  Abdelkader is actually leading the team in goals thanks to a season-opening hat trick.  He's joined by the injured Datsyuk as the active Wings in this scan, though Filppula (Tampa Bay) and Hossa (Blackhawks) are still in the league.

Crozier is an interesting inclusion here mainly since everyone else was recently on the team.  After being traded from Chicago to Detroit, he played in parts of seven seasons with the Wings, winning a Calder and Conn Smythe trophy as one of the earliest goalies to use the butterfly style.  Hooray for a cool Red Wings history lesson!

Thanks for some great Detroit stuff, Jeff, and I promise I'll return the favor when I acquire enough stuff to put together a PWE for you!