Wednesday, October 18, 2017

10/7/17 card show report: card show mad libs with Kendy Griffson and friends

Honestly at this point these show posts write themselves:

I went to the monthly show in Taylor A. (date of show) to hit up my favorite dealer's table and spent about an hour and a half combing through his various boxes.  In the end I came out with B. (quantity and type of cards), and the seller gave me a nice little discount by only charging me C. (price).  I had a great time as always picking up some cards for myself and some trade bait for a few of you while I was at it.  You'll see a bunch of the cards below and even more over on TMM!

A. a couple Saturdays ago
B. 50 dime cards, 140 quarters, and a pair from the $0.50 box
C. $30

Sure, the intros to these posts aren't terribly imaginative, but I don't really care since the cards are different every time and that's the point--they are the stars of the posts after all!

Though I didn't set out with this goal in mind, everything I grabbed from this here blog comes from the holy PC quartet of Griffey/Gwynn/Maddux/Ripken.  As an added bonus for me, each player's cards fit on one scan--woohoo!  Less work!  And woohoo for those of you that especially love stuff from the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s:
Let's kick things off with 15 years of Griffey in one scan.  Representing 1992 is Pinnacle's solid Team 2000 insert, better looking than a lot of chase cards at the time.  Jumping ahead to '95 there's one of Junior's Silver Signature parallels from the second Collector's Choice product of that year, SE (Special Edition).  I'm wondering if the records mentioned on the front refer to his home run pace in '94.

Meanwhile, 1998 is represented by four cards:  Flair Showcase Row 2 and 3 (second easiest and easiest to find), half of the Mariners' Pinnacle Inside Stand-Up Guys insert, and Pacific's Revolution.  The former two are stunning and offer ample evidence that Fleer still needs to be producing baseball cards.  The Pinnacle card, however, was a goofy insert from a fun product--when you got the accompanying card and slid the two together along their notches you got a complete look at all four players.  Griffey actually appears on the back, so I threw in the full scan here:
I for one think Kendy Griffson would have given Babe Ruth a run for his pitching/hitting money.  Kenny's power and speed paired with Randy's left arm would have been unstoppable, especially given that this Star Trek transporter accident has the benefit (I'm assuming) of three arms!  Small problem:  no head.  We'll let the scientists figure that one out.

Anyway, Revolution's in-your-face eye-blasting gaudy design is so typical of Pacific's LSD-induced insanity that you can't help but love it!

The bottom third includes a 1999 Skybox Premium Live Bats insert, which is fairly emblematic of Fleer's Skybox stuff at the time; Ken's Magic Moments subset card (#475B) from 2000 Topps, one of the several variations I'm chasing; and a 2007 Fleer Year in Review insert highlighting the Kid matching Reggie Jackson in career homers.  He'd finish his career in 6th place with 630, with Albert Pujols getting close, plus Alex Rodriguez and Jim Thome helping to push Mr. October down to 14th.
Now we'll stick with the letter "G" and look at six cards of Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn.  Again these are mostly from the heyday of inserts, the 90s-early 2000s.  The first two are from one of my favorite years for collecting, 1997:  an unscratched Upper Deck Predictor and Topps Season's Best issue.  That's right, younger collectors:  20 years ago, Upper Deck was still allowed to produce baseball cards and Topps inserts didn't suck!

Moving on to 1999 I grabbed a couple eye-popping (or any other damage you prefer) inserts:  Pacific's Aurora Pennant Fever and Skybox Thunder www.batterz.com.  Gwynn's Padres, of course, won the '98 NL pennant (only to lose to the Yankees in Tony's second and final attempt at a ring), so the Aurora card was plenty relevant.  Meanwhile, don't you love the positively ancient looking web browser design on the Skybox insert?  Almost 20 years later I still think Apple stuff is stupid.

The last two are from 2001 Upper Deck Midsummer Classic Moments and 2010 Topps Cards Your Mom Threw Out (regular, not Original back).  The former highlights Gwynn's day at the 1994 All-Star Game, in which he chipped in two each of runs, hits, and RBI.  After Fred McGriff tied things up in the bottom of the 9th with a two-run bomb, Gwynn singled to lead off the bottom of the 10th and scored the winning run on a Moises Alou double.  The latter is a reprint of his 1986 Topps base and therefore not terribly interesting.
Not only did I nab nine new Griffeys, I repeated the feat with Greg Maddux!  While inserts were generally the story of the day, this scan starts off with a couple base cards from the very nice '94 Stadium Club set.  Then I jumped a head a few years with one of Greg's '97 Ultra Checklist inserts and a parallel I've always admired, 1998 Score Showcase.

After that we move up to Maddux's return to Chicago with some mid-aughts examples:  a Total Topps insert from 2005 Topps Total, 2006 Flair Showcase Hot Numbers, and 2006 Fleer Smooth Leather.  The Total insert isn't bad for as basic as the product was, but the Flair Showcase card looks absolutely fantastic (as the product often did), and even the more subtle Fleer insert looks great.

The last two cover Mad Dog's final two teams in San Diego and L.A.  The first card, a 2007 Topps Trading Places insert, actually includes both franchises, though of course, just as he did with the Cubs, he returned to the Dodgers for a second stint.  The other, exclusively Padres, card is a 2008 Upper Deck 20th Anniversary offering from a four-sport dealer program.  I much prefer the 10th Anniversary cards, but this one's still pretty cool.
Cal Ripken Jr. isn't the player for whom I found the most cards this time, but he is responsible for the largest span between sets today.  That's because I found his '85 Donruss Diamond King subset (still love those to this day!) and base card from the subsequent year.  Then I moved all the way up to his '98 Finest base--not one of my favorite designs for the product, but still solid.

As with Griffey, I also found one of Cal's 2000 Topps Magic Moments subset variations, this one highlighting his 400th   He finished 1999 with 402 then put up 29 more before hanging up his cleats.  Joining that one from the early aughts is a Heroes of Baseball insert that actually hails from the minor league-centric 2002 Upper Deck Prospect Premieres product.

I was then pleasantly surprised to turn up another good example of one of those well done artistically-themed sets in that 2009 Upper Deck Goudey base.  Very cool of UD to bring that classic name back to collecting!  And speaking of bringing things back, this scan comes full circle--with evidence of 30 years of progress--with Cal's 2017 Donruss Optic base.  I at least find it very cool to see the '85 and '86 cards next to the 2017 version!

That's it for this month's show, but please make sure to see the rest of what I found on TMM, then stay tuned for lots of incoming stuff that I'm behind on scanning and posting!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

2017 Sportlots purchases: on this day in '84 he roared

I was all set to post my purchases from last Saturday's show before I caught this in my Twitter feed:
33 years ago today the Tigers completed one of their best seasons in franchise history with an 8-4 Game 5 victory over San Diego to win their fourth (and most recent) World Series title.  ALCS MVP Kirk Gibson opened the scoring with a first-inning two-run bomb off of Padres starter Mark Thurmond, but when he came to the plate in the bottom of the 8th, Detroit was holding onto a one-run lead with 3B Marty Castillo and 2B Lou Whitaker on third and second and one out.

Hall of Fame Padres manager Dick Williams visited his Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage on the mound to discuss walking Gibson with first base open and setting up an inning-ending double play.  Ever the competitor, Gossage talked his skipper into going after Gibby, prompting a scene captured on video for posterity in which Hall of Fame Tigers manager Sparky Anderson noted to Gibson, "He don't wanna walk you!  He don't wanna walk you!"

Gibson made him pay by absolutely tattooing a no-doubter to the right field upper deck, giving the Tigers a four-run cushion they wouldn't relinquish:1984 AL Cy Young and MVP Award-winner Willie Hernandez needed just four batters to get the final three outs, and ended things by getting Hall of Fame Padre Tony Gwynn to fly out to left.  (By the way, I'm mentioning all these HOFers since none of the players on that Detroit team ever gained election.)

I was too young to enjoy the victory at the time but fortunately my family made sure I grew up remembering that '84 team.

So, flash forward to 2017.  I made my biggest combined Sportlots purchase to-date, grabbing more than 1,000 cards, a few of which went out in trade packages, but most of which have remained with me.  Everything is scanned but it'll take me a while to get each card cropped, labelled, and ready for posting.  However, as I mentioned, Detroit's earlier tweet inspired me, so today marks the first day of the great Sportslotting of 2017, starring one Kirk Gibson:
Since I already had a pretty good portion of Gibson's regular issue stuff from products that came out during his career (and a few after), get ready to see lots of oddball stuff, especially stickers, things from boxed sets, coins, and other miscellany.

This scan includes cards from 1982 (Drake's), '84 (Donruss and Fleer), '85 (Drake's again), and '86 (Fleer Limited Edition, Fleer Star Stickers, Leaf, Topps Glossy Send-Ins, and True Value).  Definitely some interesting stuff with just a couple regular base cards.
This group is pretty similar to the last one.  We start with 1987 (Fleer Game Winners, Fleer Limited Edition, and Topps Tiffany), make a longer stop in '88 (Fleer Glossy, Fleer Star Stickers, Score Rookie/Traded, Sportflics, and Topps Tiffany) and finish with the start of '89 (Bazooka).  Almost everything here is from a boxed set, and of course 1989 begins the run on his Dodgers cards.
This scan proves two things:  I found a ton of '89 stuff (almost everything here is from that year), and Fleer produced a buttload of sets that year!  In order we have these Fleer products:  Baseball All Stars, Baseball MVP's, Exciting Stars, Glossy, Heroes of Baseball, League Leaders, Superstars, and Wax Box Cards.  It's almost as if he did something in '88 to merit all the attention.  An oddball Kay-Bee issue (from the usual partnership with Topps) breaks the brand monopoly, though the Wax Box card, cut from the bottom of a box, is probably the coolest get here.  I may just have another to show you in a future post!
We'll finish up 1989 in this scan with the first eight cards you see:  Score Hottest 100 Stars, Sportflics, Topps Ames 20/20 Club, Topps Cap'n Crunch, Topps Glossy Send-Ins, Topps Hills Team MVP's, and a pair from a Woolworth's/Topps collaboration.  Then we begin the new decade with another Topps/Ames partnership, this one covering All-Stars.

This scan mostly closes the book on the store and retail issues (you might see more in a bit!) but my focus was on the second of my old-school Sportflics pickups.  While the more modern versions were always going to look better, these hologram cards were super cool in the 80s.
Now we get into the 90s and much more mainstream stuff, though first up is an oddball from the 1991 Classic Game set (purple?  Really?)  Gibby's Dodgers issue from the same year's UD set follows.  Then we get a pair of '92s:  the Stadium Club Pirates card (which I think is the last I needed of him with that team) and Topps Gold, the second and final Royals appearance.  After those come a pair of '94s in Leaf and Collector's Choice Silver Signature (not sure how those got out of order).  The final three cards begin a nice run of '95s:  Collector's Choice SE Silver Signature, Donruss Top of the Order, and Emotion.

1995 was pretty much the last year Kirk appeared on cardboard while he was playing  as his career ended after that season; His only '96s are three Collector's Choice issues.  Thankfully, '95 was a good year to be collecting the OF that reunited with his original team.
This scan starts with five more for '95:  Score Gold Rush, Select Certified, SP Championship and its die-cut parallel, and Upper Deck Electric Diamond.  Then all of a sudden we jump ahead to 2002 with Fleer Fall Classics, a Topps American Pie base card and Red Sluggers insert, and Upper Deck World Series Heroes.  No oddballs here, just plenty of Tigers cardboard and cards once again celebrating Gibby's iconic 1988 Game 1 homer.
This last group of vertical regular issues is all playoffs, all the time.  From 2004 I grabbed one of Kirk's Donruss World Series Blue cards, plus both of his Tigers entries from that year's fantastic UD Legends Timeless Teams product.  Last up is a 2013 Hometown Heroes Curtain Call insert--take a stab at which home run that highlights, why don't you.  As you might guess, the Tigers-centric Timeless Teams cards are my favorite here, and they remind me that I really should try to see if I can finish up a team set at some point.
Just three horizontal cards this time:  1989 Topps Big, 1989 Fleer Glossy World Series, and 1995 UC3.  I've always considered the latter to be superfluous because of Pinnacle's Sportflix brand, but while that had a hologram kind of style, I guess UC3 shoots for a 3D look.
And now we start heading away from standard card formats and spin in circles instead.  Here you see Topps Coins from 1987 and 1989 plus a 1990 King B Disc.  You may just see similar items in future Sportlots posts!
This final scan covers all of the smaller stuff, mainly stickers and minis.  Items 1 and 3-5 are Topps Stickers from 1981, '82, '83, and '87, respectively.  Between the '81 and '82 Topps Stickers is a Fleer Stamp from 1982.

The next four stickers hail from Panini's 1989 sticker book, including a pair highlighting the Dodgers' World Series win.  Three more Topps items then continue the 1989 run:  Mini Leaders, Topps/O-Pee-Chee Sticker Backs, and Stickers.

Moving on to the bottom, items 1 and 3 are Panini stickers from 1990 and '95.  I must not have been collecting the latter because they don't look familiar to me at all.  In between those we have a tiny Topps Micro offering, something seen here fairly often when it comes to my PCs, and this one was made in 1992.

Closing out this post is a horizontally-oriented sticker that appropriately enough was made in 1984 by Topps.  Gibby's is the half I care about, but he shares this dual-player offering with former Red Sox (and still brother of Trevor) Glenn Hoffmann.

That's an awesome 80 new cards and oddball issues added to my Gibson PC, which ends the day at 282, just a couple short of his career stolen base total, oddly enough.

I'm looking forward to showing y'all the rest of my huge Sportlots purchase soon, though I'll likely try to get a few other things posted first.  I may not have them all done by the time we have a World Series champion, but while I'm working I'll be happily thinking about the from 33 years ago!

Monday, October 9, 2017

2017 COMC purchases: playoff PCs

It's been a pretty good postseason so far, and as I write this the Red Sox have been eliminated, making the future rounds even more palatable; now if Cleveland could just close out the Yankees!  (That's not looking likely early)  Of course I'm rooting for the evil empire to lose as soon as possible but I do see the other side of the coin where young star Aaron Judge appearing in more October games is great for the sport.

Anyway, I'm here to post some baseball PC additions from my last few months of COMC purchases.  Five of today's eight players have had good-to-great October success, which I'll note as I show off cards of each player:
Tampa OF prospect Jake Cronenworth hasn't experienced MLB playoffs yet, but that's because the 2015 draftee hasn't even risen above AA yet.  Here he is on another issue (my 10th) from his 19-card 2015 Bowman Draft/Chrome rainbow (the entirety of his checklist so far), a Green parallel (#92/99).
I've got only one guy active in the 2017 version of the postseason, and it's amazing turnaround story pitcher Rich Hill, a.k.a. my favorite PC.  The southpaw lost his lone 2007 NLDS start as Arizona swept his Cubs that year, then he had to wait almost another decade to get back to the playoffs, this time with his current team, the Dodgers.  Rich went 0-1 in two 2016 NLDS games against the Nats, losing game 2 and leaving too early for a decision in the decisive game 5, but went on to win NLCS game 3 against his original team, the Cubs, before the eventual champs took the series in six games.  Thus far he's decision-less after going 4.0 innings in NLDS game 2 against the D-Backs, and we'll see if he can come up big should the Dodgers keep up their strong October play.

I've got two things of his to show off here, starting with his 2016 Topps Black parallel (#02/65).  In my opinion other folks are right when they say that these parallels just don't work as well sans borders, and that's coming from a fan of most borderless designs.  I now have nine of his 18 cards in last year's flagship/mini rainbow.

The other is a 1967 Advertising Strip box-topper from last year's Heritage.  These things can be a pain to track down, but at least it doesn't appear as though there's several versions for each player like there were in 2009 (I do have all three Hills from that run).  I got a pretty reasonable deal on this one, which also includes catcher Kurt Suzuki, who signed with Atlanta this past January, and slugger Mark Reynolds, who's still with Colorado.  Now to figure out how best to store something like this....
OF Ryan LaMarre, a former Reds second-rounder, has seen a bit of MLB action with three different teams the past three seasons:  Cincy in 2015, Boston last year, and Oakland this season, though he was released by the latter in June, so it remains to be seen where he plays in 2018.  I snagged this very rare 2016 Topps Mini Blue parallel (#07/10) of his for a song, and it's my seventh of his 19-card rainbow from that set (he has one more than Hill because Series I Framed cards were /16 while Series II's were 1/1s).  As I mentioned with Hill's card, the parallels just don't work as well with this design, but I at least kind of like the blue. 
Before Barry Larkin headed for the Hall he appeared in two postseasons:  1990 and 1995.  While the latter saw his Reds defeat the Dodgers in the NLDS before falling to the eventual champion Braves (no fault of Barry's as he put up some good numbers), the former made him one of three players in today's post to win a ring.  Larkin's stats in the six-game 1990 NLCS triumph over the Pirates were pretty good, he bumped them up in the surprising sweep of Oakland, giving the Reds their first World Series title since 1976.

What better way to honor that than with this beautiful insert set I've long admired?  This one comes from the 1998 version of Leaf's Heading for the Hall and is numbered 2695/3500.  A textbook example of what we're deprived of thanks to today's Toppsopoly, this classy, shiny design brings back great memories of the 90s.
Current (and certainly unpopular) Cardinals manager Mike Matheny can't claim ownership of a World Series ring as either a player or a skipper, but he does have two pennants to his name (one as each), which is pretty cool.  The former catcher saw postseason action with the Cardinals in 2001, 2002, and 2004, the latter of which saw St. Louis get swept by Boston in the Fall Classic, which I understand was a big deal. After retiring he led the same team to the playoffs from 2012-15, including winning the 2013 NL pennant before yielding to...Boston again!

This pair, which puts me at 60 of his 218-card checklist, includes the St. Louis version (one for San Fran also exists) of his 2005 Topps Cracker Jack Mini Stickers, plus a 2016 Bowman Family Tree insert that pairs him with son Tate, a 2015 draftee and prospect for...seriously, the Red Sox?  You can't make this stuff up!
Cincinnati 1B Hal Morris was a teammate of Larkin's for a good chunk of their careers, so his playoff experience mirrors that of the SS, winning it all in 1990 before falling to the '95 Braves.  Hal's numbers weren't as good--like one World Series hit in the four game sweep of Oakland--but he was still a contributor on both October squads.

As you can see, I had a ton of luck finding some of his better-than-low-end stuff I didn't grab from Sportlots, twelve cards in all, mostly of the insert variety.

This group includes 90s gems such as:  1995/96/97 (Silver) Donruss Press Proofs (cards 1, 4, and 6, respectively), '95 Select Certified Mirror Gold, '95 Stadium Club Clear Shots, and '96 Studio Bronze Press Proofs.  I love everything in this bunch as Press Proofs were always highly sought after, and the Stadium Club insert is super cool.
This quartet starts with Hal's '97 Finest base card, from the rarer Silver subset, and the Embossed parallel, which never interested me much, but does come without a protector, which is nice.  Those are joined by his '97 Flair Showcase Row 0 (a.k.a. the "toughest" base card) and his 1999 Pacific Prism Holographic Gold parallel (#413/480), one of two numbered cards of his I picked up (though the Press Proofs above are limited, they're not individually numbered).
And then a pair of horizontal cards:  1995 Stadium Club Virtual Reality Members Only, which was a parallel of the parallel with simulated full 1995 season stats on the back (get all that?) and the Radiance parallel (#2863/4500) from Upper Deck's all-numbered 1998 SPx Finite.  Oddly enough, both Royals cards were numbered!

I'm working towards the midpoint of Hal's roughly 360-card run with 157 in-hand and scanned, plus LOTS more on the way via Sportlots.
Bobby Scales had to wait a decade after being drafted to get cups of coffee with the Cubs in 2009 and 2010, so he never reached the postseason, but it must have at least felt like a validation of all of his hard work that he made it to that level.

As I continue to attack his 31-card checklist, I scored my 22nd in the form of this Blue parallel of his 2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom rookie (#44/99).  That means I lack the Gold parallel and, frustratingly, his numbered card from the base set!  Oh well, I'll track it down eventually.
Sweet Lou Whitaker is today's last player, and I think it's pretty well known that he won a ring with the '84 Tigers before going the Larkin/Morris route and losing his other playoff appearance to the eventual champs (Twins, '87).  Whitaker was a spark plug for the '84 wire-to-wire champs, pairing five hits and four walks with six runs scored in the five-game Series victory against San Diego.

COMC was kind to me once again in letting me land a pretty nice card of his, this 2005 Topps Retired Signature Gold parallel (#467/500).  It's one of those times when Topps combined a modern design with older photography and executed it very well, plus this version has the added bonus of the striking gold look.  It puts me just 45 cards short of his not-quite-300-card run.

Don't forget to check out my last few TMM posts (and next few) for other COMC goodies while I work on getting my enormous Sportlots haul presentable for future posts!

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 today...in 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!