Friday, September 22, 2017

9/2/17 card show report: familiar fall faces

It's time for another monthly card show post!  About three weeks ago I dropped a slightly-above-average $50 at my favorite table and came away with something like 80 quarter cards, five that were a dollar each, and a bigger one he had priced at $30 (meaning he gave me a nice little $5 discount).  As usual, some was trade bait, much of which has already been dispersed (and in some cases posted), a few are over on this evening's TMM post, and the rest are right here!

(Everything you see below cost a quarter apiece.)
Our first familiar face is the guy I'd call the face of the game in the 90s:  Ken Griffey Jr.  The first five give me half of a fun '96 Collector's Choice insert called "Griffey a Cut Above".  UD made good use of their spokesperson and this set is a good example.  Above you're seeing cards #2, 3, 6, 8, and 9, and yes, I'd love to complete this set at some point.

Those are joined by another 90s Upper Deck insert, this one hailing from 1999's Collector's Choice replacement UD Choice.  It's called "Superstars" (and not "Opening Season Superstars" for some reason) and gives you another great look at that sweet swing.
Larkin is another guy that's familiar to all of you, and while you only see one card above, he'll make another appearance in a bit.  Here he is on a beautiful 1994 Score Dream Team insert ("90s inserts rule" is back again!) that's an upgrade of the base subset from previous years.  I love the design and old-school aesthetic, including the vintage uni and glove, and this is a great example of how well inserts evolved in the 90s while Topps' non-Refractor offerings remained uninspiring for a few more years.  Just a beautiful card and easily worth a quarter.
And now here's a buck worth of Maddux inserts which, oddly enough, capture him with all of his former teams.  First up is a 1999 Upper Deck HoloGrFX Future Fame die-cut insert from that acid trip of a product.  Next comes a This Day in History insert from 2004 Fleer Tradition which highlights Mad Dog breaking Cy Young's record of consecutive 15-win seasons with his 16th (on Sept. 21, meaning I should have tried to post this yesterday!), a very cool record even as the stat rightfully loses its importance.

Then we move up a few years to a 2007 Fleer Mini Die Cut, which lists Greg as a member of the Padres even as he's pictured with the Dodgers.  Last up is a 2017 Bowman Chrome '92 Bowman Refractor which I got for the Refractor aspect more than anything.
Hey cool, I wasn't expecting to find this kind of help for my Mike Matheny supercollection in a quarter box!  He's probably the least familiar guy here but I'm guessing most know him as the (embattled) Cardinals manager if nothing else.  It would have been one thing to turn up a rarer base card or something, but instead I scored this 2004 Donruss Team Heroes Showdown Bronze parallel (#126/150), which is a good looking card from a fun product.  I'm a bit over 25% of his run at 58/218 with a bunch of help from Sportlots incoming.
This month marks 22 years since Cal Ripken Jr. hit 2131 consecutive games played and counting, breaking The Streak set by Lou Gehrig, so how about some cardboard to celebrate?

We'll start with a '93 Leaf Gold All-Stars card I thought I had until I looked it up and found that there were two versions:  this one (available in '93 Leaf Update) and the one I do have (found in Series I/II packs).  Also notable:  it marks Barry Larkin's second appearance today:
That's followed by one of Cal's appearances in the Silver Signature parallel from UD's low-end '94 Collector's Choice debut.

The next three hail from a player-centric set produced by '95 Flair, which is listed as "Ripken" by Beckett despite the huge "ENDURING" title on every card.  I found numbers 6, 9, and 13 from the 15-card set (the last five of which came via a wrapper mail-in program) and also intend to chase this set at some point since it looks fantastic.

Closing out this scan is a very Pacific insert called Seismic Force found in their 1999 Invincible product.  Each player appears on a portrait- and action-style card, and in this case I turned up the latter.
And this Junior doubled up the other one with a total of 12 cards, including this second group of six!  From 2002 and the impeccable Fleer Greats set I found a base of Cal on that flawless design with what I'd have to assume is a 1980s photo.

Then we move up to 2005 with a very nice quintet:  Leaf Century, Diamond Kings (oops, not sure how I messed up the order!), Topps Turkey Red, Upper Deck Classics, and UD Past Time Pennants.  I feel like I easily got my money's worth on these $3 of Ripkens especially thanks to this bunch.
And finally, we get to a very familiar player to this here blog, its (second) namesake, Justin Verlander.  We're plenty familiar with him even if he's now plying his trade with the playoff-bound Astros.  From Topps' interesting-yet-goofy 2009 Ticket to Stardom product, here's JV's Perforated parallel, notable for that very characteristic along the card's bottom.

That's it for the September show, but don't forget to head over to TMM for a few more cards, including a young Detroit Red Wing.  Stay tuned for COMC, eBay, and Sportlots posts coming soon!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

2017 trade package #20: the Daily Dimwit

After going about three and a half years between a couple trade packages I only had to wait a few months this time to receive some cards from Sam, the Daily Dimwit.  The nomadic collector of Houston teams and prolific purchaser of wax put in a nice amount of effort to scan his trade bait by team recently.  A card in his Tigers/Royals post caught my eye and we quickly made a deal--boom--just like that, which sounds like a textbook Dimwit deal to me.

So I happily packaged up his cards and some other oddball stuff, and pretty soon I received my desired card, along with a couple more that "fell into the envelope":
Throw-in #1 is this sold relic of Pudge from a 2006 UD relic set called Team Pride.  '06 was Rodriguez's third of four-plus seasons in Motown, and saw his third of four straight All-Star nods (#13 of 14 in his career) and 12th of 13 Gold Glove Awards won.  Of course that's also the year Detroit surprised a lot of people in winning the AL Pennant.  "Team Pride" is apropos of Rodriguez's Tigers tenure as he helped restore some respect to the team; it's been said a lot, but it's true.  So it's nice to have my seventh hit of him in my Tigers PC.
Hey, it's the guy whose name appears in this here blog's title!  This Verlander relic from 2016 A&G was also included in Sam's trade bait post, but I didn't think to ask for it because I didn't want to get greedy after having made a deal I liked for the next card you'll see.  Sam being Sam tossed it in anyway, or was merely a spectator as it jumped into the snap case by itself, if you choose to believe his story.  JV may be with a different team (Sam's favorite team, in fact) in a faraway state, but you'll still see me rooting for him and collecting him right here.  Speaking of that, say hello to Verlander #254 and hit #20.  Milestone!
Ah, there's the showstopper, the card that made me hurry up and respond to Sam's post so I wouldn't miss out on it!  Some of you know that I collect Gehringer especially because of his Michigan Baseball connection, but I also highly respect him as a Tigers legend, and that's why this HOF triple relic, which also includes Greenberg and Goslin, was a must-have.

This group, as highlighted by Panini's 2014 Classics Classic Lineups set, played together from 1934-1937, Goslin's four seasons in Motown towards the end of his career.  Hank was still in Detroit in '41 before sacrificing three years to the war effort, come back for '45 and '46, then spend the final season of his career as a Pirate.  Meanwhile, the Mechanical Man rode out the rest of his playing career, through 1942, as a Tiger.

The team represented by this lineup won 366 games with two AL second-place finishes (the final two years), the '34 pennant (losing to St. Louis) and the '35 World Series (over the Cubs!).  A young-ish Greenberg clobbered more than 100 HR and posted 500+ RBI in those four seasons while winning the '35 AL MVP.  Goslin contributed 50 HR, 345 runs and 371 RBI to go with a .297/.376/.456 batting line.  And old Charlie hit a mere .352 with a .961 OPS, 535 runs, and 447 RBI; he was an All-Star in each campaign and claimed the '37 AL MVP award.

So yeah, you could say I'm pretty excited about getting this cool bat/jersey/bat combo featuring these three players, giving my my first relic of Gehringer and 10th hit of his overall (another milestone!).

Sam, thanks again for a great swap, and I hope we can match up for a deal again soon.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed what I sent you and I look forward to seeing what you post!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

2017 eBay purchase: Howe I completed another rainbow

I've got one more July trade package for you, but I'm enjoying this one-card-at-a-time thing on this lazy holiday weekend, so let's have a look at a couple cards I picked up on eBay at the end of that month.  One of those is Michigan Football-related and can therefore be seen on TMM this evening, and the other is a Michigan Baseball alum, which means I'm posting it here as part of my baseball PCs.

It's pretty likely almost anybody reading this here blog is familiar with the auto-per-pack 1996 Leaf Signature set, a product that caused quite the commotion back when it came out since that kind of thing was pretty much unheard of at the time.  There's a much smaller chance that you were aware that I completed the Bronze/Silver/Gold autograph trifecta for one of my Michigan Baseball PC guys, Mike Matheny (and posted it on my Completed Nameplates and Rainbows page).

Well, I'm happy to announce that I've completed a similar trio:  that of former pitcher Steve Howe:
This Gold auto is the last one I needed, and it became mine for under $7 delivered, which isn't bad considering how much some of these can go for.  As others did, Steve signed a total of 5000 of his cards, broken up into Bronze (3500), Silver (1000), and Gold (500).  Those print runs seem large today but were minuscule by 1996 standards!

Here's all three cards for your viewing pleasure:
With that one out of the way, I currently own 80 of Howe's 81 cards, and just need to track down his 1994 Stadium Club Team First Day Issue parallel.  I've never seen it for sale in any of the usual places I buy cards (or a few others I generally don't) but I'll keep my eyes peeled, and I hope some of you will too!

Friday, September 1, 2017

2017 trade package #19: I Feel Like a Collector Again

You know, I was all set to post this trade package today anyway, but it just so happens that it's now even more appropriate given events that transpired late last night.

Kin of I Feel Like a Collector Again had sent me some Tigers back in May, and he followed those up with a nice little PWE in July, which I'm very efficiently posting September.  Hey, I don't pretend not to be lazy!

Anyway, it's relevant that this one-card trade headed from Texas to Michigan.  And if you can't tell who it is by now, how's life under that rock where you've been hiding?
That's right, brand new Astro and still namesake of this here blog--I don't have any plans to change the name again--Justin Verlander made the reverse journey a couple months ago in the form of this Gold Border Mini from this year's A&G product.  Some times a little Verlander goes a long way--and hopefully that's the case for Houston in this year's playoffs!

Because I'm sure many of you will ask:  yes, I'm bummed to see my favorite Tiger of this generation, a guy that was with the team for 12.8 seasons, head off to greener pastures.  Along the way we enjoyed highlights such as
  • World Series appearances in 2006 and 2012
  • Two no-hitters (2007, Brewers; 2011, Blue Jays)
  • The 2006 AL ROY award
  • The 2011 AL Cy Young and MVP awards
  • Six All-Star appearances
  • 183 wins, almost 2400 strikeouts, and a bWAR of 54.4
  • Lots of goodwill towards the city
  • Getting engaged to Kate Upton
I'm certainly not the first blogger to see my favorite guy (and in some cases, blog namesake!) leave my favorite team, and like many of those others I won't stop collecting him or rooting for him (it's not like he went to the Yankees).  With the Tigers heading towards full-blown rebuild mode, I'm glad he'll head to a better chance at postseason success.  Plus, the haul the Tigers got for him is pretty interesting!

So thanks again for sending another Verlander my way, Kin--it's kind of a bittersweet day, but it's never a bad one when I can find JV in my mailbox.  It's not like I'll ever feel like I have too many!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

2017 trade package #18: Sport Card Collectors

While it would appear that the Yankees and Tigers had some difficulty getting along today,
fans of both of those teams have no such issues.  Take, for example, Sport Card Collectors, who sent me cards for the second time this year (previously:  back in January).  The collector of the Bombers, as well as the football Giants, Rodney Hampton, Ken Griffey Jr., and much more, was kind enough to grace my mailbox with more cardboard representing my hometown team:
Let's start with a six-pack of Miggy, one of the main attractions in today's free-for-all.  The future HOFer having a very down year is represented on 2017 cardboard from Archives (Retro Original), flagship ('87 Topps), Heritage, Opening Day, Stadium Club, and flagship again (Major League Milestones).  The Heritage is a very nice throwback, but I'll give the win to another well done iteration of Stadium Club.  Now that Topps knows I like it, let's see how they f&$k it up.

Speaking of Stadium Club, player #2 in the scan is second-year star pitcher Michael Fulmer out of that very product.  It's an intense shot of a very talented pitcher I'm looking forward to watching for years in Motown.

Our third player is a recent former Tiger, OF J.D. Martinez, who went off to Arizona for a song.  Simply a fun guy to watch at the plate, I'll miss his bat in Detroit, but I've still put together a decent pile of his Tigers cardboard, and SCC chipped in this pair from 2017 Finest and Gypsy Queen ("Get Gypped by Topps year after year!™").
One Tiger who deserves some nice cardboard for his turnaround since the first half of last season is Justin Upton.  The RF's put up some nice numbers this year, furthering my hope that he'll opt out of his expensive contract so the Tigers can get on with rebuilding.  He's seen here on this post's second-to-last '17 Stadium Club piece as well as a Chrome Refractor parallel (#413/568) from this year's Heritage.

On the complete opposite of the spectrum we have Jordan Zimmermann, once again from Stadium Club.  While Upton eventually improved, the pitcher has been a tire fire from the start, with a 16-18 record (that seems like it's been worse) and 5.58 ERA to-date.
Joining J.D. from this year's Finest is JV, a.k.a. this here blog's namesake!  Verlander has been all over the place this year, but he still fits in well in a product called "Finest."  Not only did SCC toss me a base Verlander, the Refractor is there as well!  Yes, the greatest of all Topps inserts.
And to go 16/16 on 2017 cards, here's a pair of Diamond Collection jersey relics of another Tiger from this year, OF JaCoby Jones, plus an encore of J.D. Martinez.  These simple but solid swatches from one of my favorite brands are a nice way to tie a bow on this well-rounded package!

Thanks for a fun bunch of Tigers, SCC--I hope I can return the favor soon!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Feeling Rich anyway

Image result for dodgers suck

No thanks to a pathetic Dodgers offense (seriously, this is the game your bats had to go silent?) and a brutal error by 3B Logan Forsythe, blog #1 favorite of all-time ever Rich Hill threw nine no-hit innings before cruelly losing on a Josh Harrison walk-off homer in the 10th.  Kudos to the former Wolverine for an otherwise historic performance.

Rich Hill awesome card dump activate?  Rich Hill awesome card dump activate:
Dodgers bats:  you go home and think about what you did.  Rich:
Image result for stay awesome

Saturday, August 19, 2017

2017 JustCommons purchase: just the rest

Previously:  Jim AbbottKirk GibsonBarry LarkinHal MorrisChris Sabo, Alan Trammell

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!

I've been busy/lazy/tired/sick since I last posted on this series, but it's long since past time I finished it, so let's get it done!  Today's post includes four players for whom I didn't land enough cards to merit their own posts:

Hey, a new Rich Hill!  This one is another entry in his 2016 Topps/Chrome rainbow, in this case the Chrome Sapphire parallel.  About a year ago these came out in complete set form, limited to just 250 sets, along with tougher parallels--thirteen numbered /5 and a pair of SuperFractors; the "base" cards like this one aren't numbered, though.  The blue is a very nice color for this design, though the fact that there's not much "border" on this card gives you less of it.

My 256th Hill issue keeps me right around the 2/3 mark of his run as he's appeared in a few other products this year, much to my approval.
Former Reds/Astros/Pirates pitcher Ross Powell makes his second appearance on this here blog (and first in about six months) with his RC out of 1994 Topps Traded.  Powell toiled in the minors for Cincy from the point he was drafted in '89 until a 1994 trade to Houston that brought seven-year Reds C Ed Taubensee back to the Reds.

I love me a good update/traded set, and Topps' '94 version is one I don't currently own in its entirety, so it's fun to pick up singles like this once in a while.  It gives me four of his seven cards, all '94 issues, with a couple reinforcements on the way!
Don't worry, not every player in this post is a former Wolverines LHP, but we do have one more to get to.  The two-sport talent Clayton Richard, a former Michigan QB, (as if I haven't mentioned that before) was picked up by the Cubs in 2015, and he went on to appear in 48 games with them between then and 2016, though he was let go before Chicago's World Series run.  Richard landed on his feet, though, with a return to San Diego as a decent innings-eater if nothing else; he remains a possibility for an August waiver claim/trade.

My lone pickup of him here is his 2015 Topps Update base that reflects his new Cubs uniform.  I actually already had the Gold parallel before this one, giving me just the pair from that year's rainbow.  Overall I have 112 of 154 issues of his that I've counted.
Former Tiger Alan Trammell threw out the first pitch for today's game, but it's his double-play partner Lou Whitaker who's starring in this post, outdoing the other guys with four new cards.

First up is the oddball of the bunch, a 1984 Fleer sticker, which happens to be my second of his from that bunch.

Next is a somewhat more mainstream example of a card from Donruss' 1990 Baseball's Best boxed set, in this case the AL version.  You can read more about those cards on BaseballCardPedia.

Then we have a couple parallels, starting with the Silver Signature version of Lou's 1995 Collector's Choice SE base.  SE was a slightly different version of Collector's Choice that included more foil and different photos, but it still included the signature parallels like this one, which includes a cameo of Twins CF Alex Cole trying to steal second.

The last one in the quartet is Whitaker's all gold foil Gold Medallion parallel from 1996 Ultra.  I believe this is the only year Fleer went with this design as the '95 version used a smaller medallion around the brand logo and subsequent versions went away from foil entirely.

With this small haul I moved the needle on Lou's collection up to 242/288 with a lot of toughies remaining (and a bunch of oddballs incoming!).

Whenever I can get back to semi-regular posting, watch for some new trade packages before a huge run of stuff from Sportlots!