Friday, March 16, 2018

2018 trade package #6: Cards on Cards

Cards on Cards
So as it turns out the mystery sender of the package I mentioned a couple posts ago was Kerry of Cards on Cards, which makes a lot of sense because I've only traded with a couple Oregonians.  What threw me off was the ZIP on the label which didn't quite match his, but Kerry was able to explain that.

So that means I have a nice bunch of stuff to show off from the Cards/Ducks fan for the eighth time on this here blog.  And I do mean a bunch!
Here's the start of a ton of Cabreras Kerry sent me, but by no means is this everything--it'll take portions of three more scans to take care of that!  Almost everything is Topps but you can see a Prizm and Optic appearance in there too.  My favorites are the Topps Chrome, Optic, and Bowman insert as it's numbered (#090/150).
This scan finishes off the vertical Cabreras (hint hint, more to come!) and includes a pretty cool Stadium Club insert from last year.  Then we finally get to look at another player, Nick Castellanos, on a pair of 2016 Topps releases:  Ginter and Heritage.  I hope he can keep his bat going with a move to the OF this season.

"Big Daddy" Cecil Fielder appears on consecutive Bazooka releases from '95 and '96.  I know I had the latter since I own the set but I believe the earlier one is new to me.  And while I'm on the subject of new stuff there's a pair (with more to come) of #1 starter Michael Fulmer via 2017 Chrome and A&G.  Keep sending these to me, guys, I love getting them!
Yep, there's always room in my collection for more of Michael Fulmer, such as his 2016 Heritage base and an insert from last year.  Another pitcher named Mike made the trip in the form of closer Mike Henneman ('93 Flair) and he's joined by an even more famous Tigers fireman, Guillermo Hernandez, on my first Rediscover Topps card (from the '89 set).  Then we begin a very nice run of former Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler, who seemed to rival Miggy in terms of the number of new cards I added thanks to Kerry.  All five that you see here are from 2016 or '17, with the Archives card from last year being the clear highlight.  Turn two, baby!
We'll start this scan by finishing up the vertical Kinslers, and what a start it is with a beautiful Stadium Club card.  May that brand continue as long as I'm collecting!

He's followed by a pair of Martinezes:  the departed J.D. and the thankfully-leaving-soon Victor.  J.D. was a blast to watch after coming to Motown and retooling his swing, and I'm thankful that Detroit's front office is smart enough to recognize good opportunities at least once in a while!

New HOFer Jack Morris stops by with a pair of 80s issues--his '87 Leaf Diamond King (which I'm almost positive I didn't have) and '89 Upper Deck base.  Nice choices!

Brand new Brave Anibal Sanchez closes out this group, and I really wish him well after his Tigers stint that started very well and ended less so for various reasons.
Mickey Tettleton always gets a shoutout here so of course I loved seeing him on a product that itself is always worth noticing:  Sportflix.  He's joined by a surprising six J-Up cards from 2016-17.  The exciting OF, who re-upped with the Angels (and new teammate Ian Kinsler) can be seen on a number of Topps products--including a 2016 Heritage Chrome insert, #d /999--plus Panini's Donruss Optic.
And now we get to the horizontal stuff.  That starts with three more of Miggy from fairly recent Topps releases, including a Toys 'R Us (RIP) Purple parallel and a Heritage insert that pairs him with Pirates legend Roberto Clemente.  That's not a terrible pairing, though Baseball Reference seems to indicate that Frank Robinson or Willie Stargell might be better comparisons.

MLBPA head Tony Clark pops up on a great landscape action card at the plate out of '98 Ultra that you could totally mistake for Stadium Club if not for the font used.  Then Ian Kinsler pops up three more times on some better Topps releases including Stadium Club, an Orange Chrome Refractor, and 2016 Chrome.

Pitchers are then responsible for the final two cards.  Max Scherzer was the player listed with Detroit on the multiplayer Heritage card but David Price joined him soon enough.  And finally, the Stadium Club brand has had much better days than Jordan Zimmermann lately, but maybe he could still put up some decent numbers to make some headway towards justifying his atrocious contract.
This whole scan is devoted to non-standard sized cards and mostly comprises 2014 Topps Mini stuff.  Former Tigers Alex Avila, Doug Fister, and the previously-seen Sanchez are the verticals while a pair of Cabreras were done up lengthwise.  A cool skinny Kaline from last year completes the group.
Here's a bunch of rookie types from Bowman and Heritage sets.  Jimenez and Machado have good chances of making the 2018 squad out of Spring Training while Lobstein is long gone and Farmer is probably almost out of chances.  Some of the rest appear in the club's improving minors system with Manning and Burrows going 3-4 in BA's organizational top 10 and Stewart sitting at #9.  Meanwhile, Funkhouser and Alexander make the grade in MLB's list at #s 8 and 13, respectively.  In that list Manning is #2, Burrows 4, and Stewart 6.  Not a bad bunch!
Kerry hit one into the Upper Deck with this relic and auto from that awesome brand.  The first is a Magglio Ordonez jersey from 2008 Upper Deck Spectrum Spectrum Swatches, a Purple parallel #23/30.  As I think I usually say, I have lots of fond memories of Magglio with the Tigers and am happy to take as many of his cards as people want to send me--no such thing as Too Many Magglios either!  A quick count of him in my Tigers PC comes up with 14 relics (one bat and 13 jerseys) and an autograph.

Joining him is homer-happy flavor of the week Chris Shelton whose beautiful signature is paired with a very nice design.  I'd say the spotlight theme is done well, plus I'm a fan of signature window-type cards in many cases.
Former blog namesake Curtis Granderson made a cameo in this package by hitching a ride on this Miggy card, a Wal Mart Blue parallel from 2013 Topps.  It'll be heading to Grandy's PC, and as a bonus it made me realize I might have the base version in my Cabrera pile.  I did, so that's a two-for-one deal heading to that collection!
The only non-Tiger in today's post is Cal Ripken Jr. on this nice trio.  The A&G insert and Optic base are very nice but the highlight for me was easily the 2013 Pinnacle Team Pinnacle card you see first.  It's a fun callback to the glory days of 90s inserts for sure.  I flipped it over to see who they paired with Cal:
2012 was the one down year (due to injury) in a run of six years, the other five of which were very good campaigns for Tulo, so this was a good choice.  Ripken also has a version where he matches up with Derek Jeter, and each of those has a variation where the front and back players are reversed.

A quick side note:  these put me up to 699 Ripkens in the album!  I'll surely take care of that milestone soon.
And last up is the one and only Mr. Kate Upton, 2017 World Series winner and namesake of this here blog Justin Verlander.  The bunch was so big it was almost too many--almost.  This first group of nine starts with a trio from Panini's Triple Play product from 2012, then moves on to another product from the same manufacturer, 2015 Prizm.  Here you see the base card and Blue Baseball Prizms parallel (wonder why they call it that?).  Very nice use of blue, I think.

The rest of the group is Topps stuff, starting with 2015 and 2016 Ginter (which look almost identical front and back), plus 2016 Archives and Heritage.  Archives did a pretty good job with the '91 design.
And here's another quartet, all but one of which were new.  First is JV's 2016 Topps Opening Day base which I had somehow not managed to track down.  Next is the lone dupe, his 2017 Donruss base; I can't remember if I picked that up in a trade or at a show.  From the same product Kerry tossed in an '83 Retro Variation, which not only looks great but also reminds me of my birth year.  And last up is a '17 Ginter insert called What a Day which celebrates Verlander's second no-hitter, the one against Toronto in 2011.  Needless to say I was thrilled to add this many newbies to Justin's PC.

I was able to cover a large portion of what Kerry sent here but don't think for a second that you see everything he included.  That shouldn't be a surprise since his generosity knows no bounds.  Thanks again, my friend from the left coast, for a fantastic pile of new stuff I'm already enjoying.  I have a show or two on the schedule in the coming weeks and will make sure to dig out some stuff to hit you back!

Speaking of hits, please also make sure to head over to TMM this evening for my penultimate 2017 COMC post which is all football hits.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

2018 trade package #5: Sport Card Collectors

It's only mid-March and I've already received my second PWE this year from Matt of Sport Card Collectors.  Just like last time he sent me a nice little group of Tigers, and in this case he's got me in a spring training state of mind with six cards of four guys who are all on the 2018 squad:
Future HOFer Miguel Cabrera can pretty much bank on having a better season than he did in 2017, which ended with an unthinkable -0.8 bWAR.  His full-season career low was previously 2.7 in 2008 besides a 0.8 mark during a half-season 2003.  Perhaps he'll be healthier and more focused after putting some offseason off-the-field stuff behind him, though it remains to be seen how much he'll contribute to a rebuilding team that's getting younger.

Matt sent me this trio which starts with Miggy's 2017 Bowman's Best base plus--I'm thrilled to say--the Refractor version!  The latter comes across fairly well in the scan but as is always the case, when you have it in-hand you can tell the difference.

Those are joined by Cabrera's base card from Panini's 2017 Chronicles product, which I got to see for myself for the first time thanks to a trade from Paul of Scribbled Ink.  I hope Miggy doesn't go through a prolonged slump this year as the team could use someone like him to keep filling the seats during a down year.
That Refractor is one highlight of this group but my favorite card of the package is this insert of potential future ace Michael Fulmer.  I love getting new cards of him since his future looks very bright, especially if he can stay healthy; his 2017 numbers weren't too far off from those of his Rookie of the Year campaign the previous year, and that's in spite of some health-related ineffectiveness.  By all reports he seems to be healthy now, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him pile up some scoreless streaks, which are the subject of this 2017 Stadium Club insert.  I'll definitely work on getting to some games I know he'll be starting.
V-Mart has been largely useless (or worse!) the last few seasons despite the questionable extension Detroit gave him a couple years ago, but maybe he'll bring something to the table in 2018 as he'll have to earn his way onto the roster.  The DH looks like he's sleeping on this 2017 A&G Mini but he can't afford to let his bat do the same.  Regardless, I hope he doesn't suffer any ill effects from the heart issues he's gone through the last couple seasons.
Last up is starting catcher James McCann, a guy who's been serviceable both behind and at the plate the last few seasons.  He's no catcher of the future but has generally been able to get the job done, including amassing double-digit homers in the past two campaigns.  He handles his position just fine as well as seen in this fun photo on his Gold parallel from 2017 Topps (#0728/2017).

Thanks for sending more Tigers stuff my way, Matt--it's got me looking forward to the upcoming season!  I'll have a return package ready within a few weeks after I reload on stuff I know you'll like at a couple shows.

If you readers are fans of inserts please make sure to check out my post on TMM this evening--it's got numbered stuff, Refractors galore, and more!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

2017 COMC purchase: new Jack city

Before I get to today's card I'm using the beginning of this post to try to solve a quick postal mystery:  who is the anonymous Oregonder (or Oregondor, which makes me think of The Lord of the Rings) who sent me a very nice bubble mailer full of Tigers (and a few Ripkens) from the ZIP of 97204?  I'd very much like to give that Portlander credit when I get around to the accompanying trade posts, and to return the favor while I'm at it.  So if you're the nice trader who sent that envelope on the Oregon Trail (where it did not die of dysentery or break and axle fording the river) all the way to Ann Arbor, please step up and get your kudos by leaving a comment or shooting me an email!

Ok, on to today's card, the last one I have from last year's COMC purchases (though if you want to see more of those, head on over to TMM!).  It doesn't fit in with the player collections guys I posted the other day but will look great with the best I can offer from my Detroit Tigers hits:
From the high-end 2004 Donruss Timelines product ($50 per pack with autographs 1:2, says Beckett) this here is a Recollections Autographs signature (#32/56) of newly minted Hall of Fame pitcher Jack Morris.  This enormous autograph offering includes almost 1600 cards (this one is #923) that are signed buybacks of past Donruss issues that add a "Recollection Collection" foil stamp (and serial numbering on the back) and leave everything else as-is.  Charmingly (or annoyingly, depending on your opinion) that means many are off-center like this one or feature other flaws, but for me that just makes them more fun. 

A quick search shows that Morris signed 18 different Donruss cards from 1981-93, with multiple appearances from a few years.  Print runs vary from 139--one of his 1988 base cards--all the way down to a single copy of his Baseball's Best boxed set issue.  The one you see above, of course, is from Donruss' sophomore product in 1982.

I'm sure buybacks like this are somewhat polarizing, though surely not nearly as much as Jack's induction into the Hall this year.  His was a tough case so I'm just glad to see him get in.  Even if he didn't I'd be happy to continue collecting some of his better stuff like this.  It marks my third auto of the former ace and three-time Series-winner, and I'm always on the hunt for more.

That's it for COMC stuff from last year, finally, so while I catch up on purchases from there over on TMM you can all look forward to a couple trade packages here soon!

Monday, March 5, 2018

2017 COMC purchases: getting into spring form

With all my other 2017 stuff finally posted I'll be bringing you a few posts covering my last round of COMC purchases from late last year, which will amount to something like two here and five over on TMM.  Speaking of the sister blog, you can head over there this evening for more COMC loot!

Meanwhile, over here it's all about my baseball PCs with cards starring eight different players:
As our first player was wont to do beginning with each opening day, we'll come out of the gate hot with this five-spot of Griffeys from the very cool 1996 Collector's Choice Griffey a Cut Above insert.  If the set sounds a bit familiar that's because I picked up the first five at a show I posted about last September, meaning between that show and COMC I picked up the whole set on the cheap.  Look for a complete set post covering that eventually, after I finally get caught up with everything else!
Those weren't the only Griffeys that traveled from Washington state to Ann Arbor, though, as I came up with three more I really liked.  First up is a 2001 Diamond Kings insert from the triumphant return of Donruss baseball after a two-year hiatus.  As always I loved the artwork and design, not to mention the serial numbering (1009/2500 in this case).

Card #2 is one I picked up previously to help bulk up Junior Junkie's Griffey Giving Box after raiding it for quite a bit of stuff.  I liked the look of this 2002 Upper Deck Superstar Summit I (there's a second version) so much that I grabbed one for myself.  The design has aged reasonably well even if the group of players hasn't!

Last up is an extremely cool translucent-style insert called Swing For the Fences from Panini's wonderful revitalization of the Pinnacle brand in 2013.  It calls to mind some of my favorite inserts from the Pinnacle name in the 90s and I knew I had to have it.
In getting the images ready for this post I realized that of the eight players featured today, five appear on just one card, and each of those happen to be PC guys I collect because they played their college ball at Michigan.  Just a weird coincidence.

Anyway, the first of those players is Drew Henson in his first appearance on this here blog since he got roasted by Roy-Z of Plain Gray Swatch in a trade post from Scribbled Ink that included a bat relic of the dual-sport bust.  Here he is on an insert from 2002 Donruss Rookies called Phenoms (#0840/1000) that exemplifies what I loved about inserts from back then--colorful, holographic foil, and serial numbering--and I suppose what others hate.  For me this design is a hit, something Henson could have used more of during his pro baseball career!
Our next guy is blog favorite Rich Hill on just my third card of his from 2017.  The other two also hail from Topps base sets--flagship and Archives--and this one is from the burlap-ified Heritage product.  It happens to be an SP, and that's also the case for his 2018 card that I'm now chasing.  I've largely been treading water or falling behind a bit as Hill has appeared on more and more cardboard and I continue to be glad of that as he more than deserves any hobby love he gets!
Griffey, Maddux, and Ripken are all represented today (you'll see the last two in a minute) but Tony Gwynn is not.  Filling his role as an NL 19+ year veteran of one team HOFer PC guy is Barry Larkin.  Here he is on an insert from 2015 Finest called Generations.  The design didn't really grab me as much as the low price, but I do approve of Barry appearing in products more than a decade after retiring.
And here's one of those guys I just mentioned, Greg Maddux, on two great cards, one of which led me to use one of my favorite tags, "90s inserts rule" (along with a few others, such as those Griffeys above).  The 90s example is one of my favorites, Pinnacle's Starburst parallel.  They changed the name once or twice but no matter the title, these Dufex beauties are still fun to track down.  I now have half of Mad Dog's from the '96 set (I'm short his solo checklist and the six-player version as well).  "Hardball Heroes" is a group to which Maddux certainly belongs.

The other is a slightly newer insert I wasn't aware of until recently despite my enjoyment of Donruss' Diamond Kings product:  a set called DK Evolution that was produced in 2003.  If you can't quite tell from the scan, it's a hologram-like card done in the style of something like Sportflix  When you rotate the card along the horizontal access the image switches from the photo to the artistic version (which I believe is the same one used on the base card) and back again.  It's a very cool looking set and I'm working on tracking down my other PC guys from it!
Here's a weird one for you:  this 2006 Topps Chrome Black Refractor of PC guy Mike Matheny is my third different parallel of his from the six-card rainbow, and I still don't have the base version!  I'm not really sure how I managed to do that.  Besides that the Blue (unnumbered) and Red (/90) versions await.  That's a far cry from the rainbow-chasing experience these days!
I thought I'd already landed this 1995 Score Platinum Team Sets issue of former Reds 1B Hal Morris during my huge Sportlots purchase last year but somehow that wasn't the case.  Luckily COMC stepped up to the plate and filled that hole in my collection.  Maybe I should have just found a full team set considering the number of guys in it that fit my collections.
Last up is a group of four cards from the 1995 Flair Ripken insert set starring, oddly enough, Cal Ripken Jr.  I've pieced together part of the set from various sources and was happy to find good prices on this quartet from COMC.  It's a beautiful looking insert starring one of my favorite players and I'm looking forward to nabbing all 15 (the 10 inserted in that year's Series II product as well as five wrapper redemptions).  As it stands I have numbers 6 and 9 plus the five wrapper cards, #11-15.  Look for a highlight post when I do finish it off!

That's it for today but I do have one more COMC pickup for you over here that you'll see soon, plus a few more over on TMM.  Then I can finally start showing off my 2018 scores.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

2017 Sportlots purchases: a Barry nice finale, part 2

Time to finish up this series so I can move on to bigger and better things (namely pickups from COMC, eBay, and shows)!

Last time I showed off some Larkins from 1988-2000, and today I've got a similarly large chunk of cards that finish off that original run up to 2017 along with horizontal and non-standard sized stuff that spans 1988-2012.  Quite a ride!
First we'll finish off 2000 (after the last post's cliffhanger) with Topps' Opening Day and Upper Deck's totally weird Ionix.  Then you can buckle in for a nice run of 2001s that extends into the next couple scans.  This first bunch has some good lookers in Absolute Memorabilia, Bowman's Best, Donruss Classics, E-X, Finest, and Fleer Authority.  I give the Bowman's Best card a slight nod as my favorite but there's lots to like here.
I guess 2001 was a particularly strong year for Barry's cards because again there's some choice offerings here.  Fleer Premium had a nice design and Showcase looks excellent.  Leaf Limited brings some appeal with its strong foil game.  Private Stock (of one-relic-per-blister-pack fame) had a nice canvas style going on.  UD's SP Authentic and Sweet Spot were simple and solid.  Studio featured one of its top designs and I'm especially fond of this year's version because of the Private Signings 5x7 autos.  Topps Chrome looked quite nice in the upgraded version of the 50th anniversary product.  And then we finish the scan with one of my favorite cards in either post:  the Stadium Club entry from 2001 Topps Fusion.  Stadium Club's just about always a winner, and for some reason this design just really appeals to me.
It takes the first eight cards here to close out 2001.  Topps brings its solid Opening Day and a pretty nice Stars design.  Ultra has the best photo/design combo in the scan and the turn-two image is a big part of that.  Then Upper Deck owns the rest of the real estate with the fairly forgettable Reserve, decent MVP and Pros & Prospects, fun low-end Victory, and very cool Vintage products.  Then 2002 puts the previous year in the rear-view mirror with another cool Absolute Memorabilia design that's associated with an excellent product that's responsible for the cool Signing Bonus framed pieces you may have seen before.
Now we have a Donruss/Fleer one-two punch.  The former was responsible for the first four seen here:  Best of Fan Club, Classics, Fan Club, and Super Estrellas.  Classics looks fantastic as usual while the manufacturer should have chosen one of Fan Club or the Best of versions; Super Estrellas doesn't really do anything for me.

Fleer's offerings--which bleed into the next scan--are a bit of a mixed too.  Flair looks awesome, Maximum and Authentix are pretty good, and Focus Jersey Edition and Genuine are mediocre.  Considering the sheer volume of sets Fleer produced around then it's not a surprise that they weren't all winners.  You'd think I'd like the shininess of Genuine but it just doesn't do it for me.  Luckily Flair's there to raise the bar.
Fleer's 2002 dominance continues with the whole top row here:  the beautiful and artistic Showcase, the rather pedestrian Triple Crown, and Hot Prospects, which is kind of in-between for me.  The Leaf name features on the next two:  another pleasing Certified design and a decent Rookies and Stars (though I still find that brand unnecessary).  Then Upper Deck makes a cameo outside of its usual part of the alphabet with SPx and a design I don't really care for.  The bottom row is quite nice, though, with an excellent and patriotic Studio, vintage-themed Topps 206, and the sort-of-works Topps Ten.
Ultra starts us off here on a design that's not one of my favorites mainly because of the name/team piece.  Then Upper Deck goes on a nice run with UD Authentics (made to look like the '89 version, of course) and its turn-two photo, flagship (and a Griffey Sr. cameo), and the very cool 40-Man.  I don't think I'll ever put the latter together like I did with a couple years of Topps Total, but you never know!

2003 starts off strong once again with Absolute Memorabilia's shiny goodness, and it's joined by a solid Bazooka effort by Topps.  Then it's time to go on a three-card Donruss run with the brand's cool flagship product, the solidly-themed Champions, and the almost always great Elite.  I'll happily collect any '95 MVP cards of Larkin that get made!
Another big Fleer run dominates this scan, but first we start off with Donruss' Team Heroes, another fun product of theirs I like because it also includes some of my favorite 80s Tigers.

The next seven cards continue to illustrate Fleer going bonkers in the early aughts.  In my opinion Flair, Authentix, Genuine, and Rookies and Greats are all good to great while Focus JE and Patchworks were unnecessary, and Splendid Splinters has a weird color scheme thing going on that makes it look nothing like a Fleer product.

A pretty good Prestige design (you know I did that blue!) is a nice way to close out this scan.
Studio continues its strong run (which isn't nearly over!) and I should totally do a post on the lifespan of that brand.  Topps checks in with a nice trio of 205 (keeping things historical) plus Chrome and Opening Day.  Those blue borders on Chrome made for some great Refractors.  The second iteration of 40-Man wasn't as good as the previous one in my opinion, but I'm still glad UD made it.

Jumping ahead to 2004, Barry's final season, we open with a Donruss trio of Diamond Kings, Classics, and World Series.  The DKs look great and I'm glad Donruss was able to vary the designs a bit from year to year.  Classics looks fantastic as always, and I'm glad Larkin appeared in the product as often as he did.  And World Series' design isn't much to look at, though at least the theme is strong.

Fleer Platinum--a bit superfluous when you look at the Tradition card in the next scan--ends things here, but this time it's not the start of a huge run...
...because Tradition (see what I mean?) is the only non-Ultra card here from that year.  Leaf's design is solid enough and I have the Second Edition version of that card as well.  Studio...well, I don't think I have to say how much I love it at this point, right?  Donruss' Throwback Threads was a cool product though it kind of blends in with some of their other offerings from that time.  Topps Chrome featured another nice design as we get near the end of the era where they were good.  Ultra gives us yet another great double-play shot, and Upper Deck mixes things up a bit with what looks to be a stolen base attempt, maybe?

Then we get into 2005 with Upper Deck's Artifacts, a product on my shitlist due to the difficulty in tracking down the football versions from it that I need, plus another nice Donruss flagship design.  I sure do miss the good old days of that product!
The last card in the previous scan was a good omen for this one which is dominated by Donruss/Leaf/Playoff brands, most of which are beauties.  Those include Classics, Elite, Greats, Team Heroes, Leaf Century, Leather and Lumber, Playoff Prestige, and Studio; the only combo-breaker is card #8, another solid look from SP Authentic.

Of the Donruss products here Leather and Lumber is the one whose design I like the least, followed by the look (but not concept) of Leaf Century.  Classics, Greats, and Studio are all A+ for me while Elite, Team Heroes, and Playoff Prestige aren't far behind at all.

By the way, that Studio card is of particular note as it represents the sunset version of that fantastic product.  And that makes me want to show off all 13 of Barry's entries in its run:
Like I said, I may do a post focusing on these in the future!
And at last we reach the end of the verticals.  Solid offerings Throwback Threads from Donruss and Pros and Prospects from UD close out the year in cards 2005.  Then 2006 begins and ends with the beautiful Greats of the Game from Fleer, a product I'd sure love to see again these days.

The next two you see are 2013 Panini products:  Hometown Heroes and Prizm.  I've always thought the phrase "hometown hero" should refer to someone that's at least from that team's state, if not city, like the Cincy-born Larkin, so Barry definitely belongs here.

Two more comprise my 2017 haul:  Topps' Allen and Ginter and Panini's USA Baseball Stars and Stripes.  I have no love for the former while the latter's fun for me as long as it still includes players I care about (like Larkin and Jim Abbott).

And finally, two more went MIA while I was getting everything scanned (there were lots of piles, some of them huge...mistakes were made!) that caused them to end up here:  1995 Zenith and 2011 Gypsy Queen.  Like A&G, GQ can go take a long walk off a short pier for all I care.
The first of 3.5 horizontal scans opens with a '92 Fleer base shared with Twins legend Kirby Puckett and a hologram insert from '93 UD.  Three UD-branded cards including Collector's Choice cover '94.  1995 begins with a great sliding shot from Bowman, another from Sportflix(!), and a Gold parallel of the least popular Studio design.
'95 finishes with the trio of Summit, Topps Cyberstats, and yet another headfirst slide, this time courtesy of Upper Deck.  Summit returns for '96 as the only card from that year, and it's followed by a hit and miss Pinnacle pair from '97:  New Pinnacle--the hit with a nice design and a sliding Ryan Klesko getting doubled up--and XPress, a definite miss in my book.  Then we jump ahead to 1998 with two wildly different products:  Collector's Choice and Pacific's Omega.
Two more UD cards are enough to finish off 1998:  UD3 and a Retro insert called Time Capsule.  I don't think the UD3 design in '98 was as interesting as the debut version from the year before, but it was at least a fun way for Upper Deck to experiment with some crazy designs.  And I loved grabbing a Retro insert on the cheap since that brand was so much fun.  Omega then makes another appearance in the form of its 1999 version (which I thought was a bit of an improvement).

Speaking of looking a bit better, Upper Deck's 2000 HoloGRfX definitely shows signs of progress after the eye-melting 1999 offering, though it still wasn't that great of a set.  Fleer's 2001 Legacy shows plenty of promise but wastes a ton of space on literally nothing.  Upper Deck gives us a 2002 pair that includes a second appearance from the fun 40-Man product (card #1081, to give you an idea of the set's scale) and Vintage.  Then a jump ahead to 2004 brings another USA Baseball-related set, this one from Upper Deck celebrating the program's 25th anniversary.
Just two more "mainstream" horizontal cards here:  a typically strong action shot from 2005 Ultra and a textbook boring Topps insert pairing Larkin and Cleveland SS Asdrubal Cabrera, who I believe was captured mid-mlem (12/10, would bat 8th again).  Then we have a pair of junk wax-era stalwart Topps Bigs from 1988-89.

And now it's time to get into the smaller stuff:  1989 Topps Mini Leaders, 1990 Panini Stickers, 1990 Topps Sticker Backs, and 2001 Private Stock PS-206 Action.  Going even smaller there's a quartet of Topps Micros from 1991 and '92 (two each).

Last up in this scan are a Brass Coin from Pinnacle's crazy 1997 Mint product and a Fleer Hardball disc-like card from 2003.  But that's still not quite everything:
Some of you may recognize this:  an Opening Day Mini Poster from Fleer's 1998 collaboration with Sports Illustrated.  Definitely a fun throw-in in packs, and a useful one too!

And now I can finally say I'm done with this series!  After a crazy amount of cards scanned, edited, labelled, posted, and written about, Barry Larkin was the big winner after seeing his collection boosted by around 275 cards.  Chris, I'm coming for you!  While that probably won't happen in my lifetime, I'm thrilled to count a new total of 688 Larkins in his collection, just five shy of PC leader Cal Ripken Jr.

That was a ton of work and I know it's a lot to look at, so I'll happily take a breather (how will anyone tell given how infrequently I post?) before getting back to showing off more stuff soon!