Saturday, June 27, 2015

2015 trade package #17: 3x3x3 Heroes, Red Wings-style

I don't think it gets said often enough, but Jeff from 2x3 Heroes is a classy guy.  Hey, stop laughing and get back here!  Or at least get back here.

For reals, though, he's a good person known for being very generous, especially when it comes to sending out PWEs.  He's even willing to send me his unwanted Red Wings even though his team is our hated rival, the Blackhawks.  To be fair, though, the 2014-15 champs are a very well-run organization (just like the Wings!) and have won multiple cups in a short span of time (just like the Wings!) and I have to give them their due for knowing how to put together a team...

...just like Jeff knows how to put together a PWE!  I like the Wings, I like cards in multiples of nine that scan easily, and I loved this stuff that he sent my way:
Page 1 includes:

  • Justin Abdelkaer -- BOOOOO, a Spartan, though a good contributor for the Wings
  • Jimmy Carson -- the guy traded in the deal that brought Paul Coffey to Detroit
  • Chris "Chev" Chelios
  • Dino Ciccarelli x2
  • Paul Coffey x 3 -- the HOF defenseman who was traded to Hartford in the deal that brought Brendan Shanahan (and multiple cups!) to Detroit
  • Matthieu Dandenault -- another multiple Cup-winner with the Wings

Page 2 includes:

  • Sergei Fedorov -- if you don't know who he is, you weren't watching hockey in the 90s
  • Glen Hanlon -- a former goalie who went on to coach the Caps
  • Gordie Howe -- I dunno, some old guy
  • Greg Johnson -- a former standout at North Dakota
  • Slava Kozlov -- one of the members of the Russian Five!
  • Martin Lapointe -- had an excellent career with the Wings, Bruins, and...HAWKS!
  • Nick Lidstrom x 2 -- the best defenseman of my era and one of the greatest at the position of all time
  • Chris Osgood -- well-known Wings goalie won three Cups and was a great return story in 2008

Page 3 includes:

  • Xavier Ouellet -- a recent D prospect drafted in 2011
  • Keith Primeau -- 3rd overall pick in '90, he never won a Cup with the Wings but was a force for his entire Detroit tenure (and was part of the deal for Shanahan)
  • Yves Racine -- Wings first-rounder in '87, he went on to have a long pro career
  • Brendan Shanahan -- huge part of Wings resurgence in the 90s is now Toronto's president and hired Mike Babcock away from his old team!
  • Brendan Smith -- former Hobey Baker finalist at Wisconsin is now a regular on Detroit's blue line
  • Steve Yzerman -- I'm pretty sure that "C" on his sweater stands for "Champion"
  • Steve Chiasson -- (whoops, he should have been in the first scan!) former D-man sadly died after driving drunk in 1999.  His son was a senior at Michigan last year
  • Henrik Zetterberg x2 -- late-round Swedish gem hasn't been as much of a force since the late aughts but was a key component on Detroit's last Cup-winning team in '08
Thanks again, Jeff!  I actually have a few things set aside for you and I'll shoot them your way sometime soon.  In the meantime, enjoy your revels in the afterglow of another Chicago Cup!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Happy rainbow day!

On a day where millions of Americans are celebrating overturning gay marriage bans in all 50 states--a victory over ignorance, injustice, and the ridiculous use of religion in politics--I thought I'd celebrate in my own way with a rainbow in the best way I know how:  with cards!

Most of you know I'm a big player collector, but most of those players get featured over on TMM since my supercollections outside of Lou Whitaker are all Wolverines, so I don't know how many of you have seen my Completed Nameplates and Rainbows page over there, not that I've added to it in quite a while.

Well, I finally have another rainbow to show off, and it's one I completed way back in October of last year:
These are the nine cards comprising Chris Getz's 2013 Topps Update rainbow (which features one of my favorite all-time Getz photos):

  • Base
  • Black (#09/62)
  • Camo (#15/99)
  • Emerald
  • Gold (#0771/2013)
  • Pink (#30/50)
  • Sapphire (#02/25)
  • Target Red
  • Walmart Blue
It may not exactly be ROYGBIV but I'll take a one-scan rainbow any day!

Once again, congratulations to those who fought so hard for equal rights and above all, a very good cause:  love.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

6/6/15 card show report: PC pickups large and small

A couple Saturdays ago I hit up the monthly card show in Taylor for my usual PC/trade bait spending spree and had another productive day for less than $50.  Here's what I landed this time:
I'm a broken record but, while I can't stand Denny's, the cards they produced in the 90s are still fun.  For less than $1--I got this with other $1 items at a nice discount--I landed this set of Denny's Holograms from 1992.  It would have been cool enough grabbing the cards for that much so I was pleased to get the album as well.  The '92 set's cards are all hologram on the front, as you can see here,
and focus on players with at least one career grand slam.  Jack Clark (9) and Kent Hrbek (7) pace the group which does include more universal star power in Barry Bonds, Ryne Sandberg, and Cal Ripken Jr. to balance out guys like Kal Daniels and Luis Polonia.  I'll show off the set in its entirety in a future post since I need to scan the Ripken anyway.

And now some PC guys:
First up is this Kirk Gibson die-cut parallel of one of his base cards from '95 SP Championship.  His three years of postseason play noted at the top were 1984, 1987, and 1988.  Gibby of course made it to the Series in '84 and '88 and was a winner each time. 
Next is a fun trio of Griffeys:  1990 Sportflix, 1995 SP, and 1996 Ultra.  I chose these because holograms are always cool, the SP has a gorgeous design and shows Junior celebrating winning the '95 ALDS over the Yanks with his winning run, and I love the shot of a grinning, backwards-hatted Kid on the Ultra.
I found just one Tony Gwynn for his collection this time, but even one at a time is fine.  This Hot Commodities insert from 1997 UD has a very cool (hot?) design featuring big flames in the background surrounded by a smoky black border.  The previous year's version was great in its own right and I'll have to grab my PC guys from those as well! 
You might say I had a bit more luck with Greg Maddux at this show thanks to these eight newbies:  1987 Fleer Update and Topps Traded XRCs, 1996 Score Dugout Collection and 1997 Score Showcase Series parallels, 2001 Topps HD, 1998 Topps Etch-a-Sketch, and 1998 UD All-Star Credentials.  There's a lot to like here, from Mad Dog's young mug on a pair of '87 cards, to the gimmicky but cool HD base card, to a couple fun fun inserts from the late 90s.  By the way, that's not all I grabbed:
One of my favorite sellers, from whom I grabbed the Denny's set above, also had this '93 Stadium Club Master Photo of Maddux in his $1 pile.  Who can pass these up?!  There's a chance I have this very base card and just haven't scanned it, so maybe I'll get around to it eventually.  Hooray for nine new cards for the best pitcher of my time! 
Finally, I found a very nice total of six new Ripkens for his collection.  Like Griffey earlier I found his '90 Sportflics base, and to that I added a 1995 Donruss Dominators insert that includes fellow HOFer Barry Larkin(!) and...Wil Cordero.  To be fair, Cordero had a very nice strike-shortened '94 with the upstart Expos.  Next is 1996 Upper Deck #1, which celebrates the top moment of 1995.  (Out of order) we then have a '99 UD View to a Thrill insert, Cal's Class 1 base card from 1998 Topps Gold Label, and his 2010 Topps Turkey Red insert.  It was a good day to be a (cheap) Ripken collector!

Don't think I completely ignored my Tigers, though, as I picked up each of the next three cards for just a buck apiece:
From 2013 Topps flagship and Gypsy Queen, here's a pair of jersey relics of former Tiger Austin Jackson.  The seller had a few copies of each, most of which had the usual plain white swatch, but I found these which were a bit more interesting.  Although I'm no fan of the GQ base set I do love that it includes Topps' ubiquitous framed hits, so the mini is my favorite of the pair, though I'm happy to add both.  I now have seven AJax hits, and though he's a Mariner, I'd be glad to add more of him during his Tigers tenure.
And lastly, I picked up this Rick Leach IP auto (of his '84 Topps base card) because I collect him and I have no reason to believe this was faked given how much Leach has signed in the area recently.  It's fun collecting him as a Wolverine/Tiger double-dipper, and for $1 you just can't go wrong.

Though my haul there isn't quite as plentiful, please make sure to check out tonight's TMM post as it includes a few other things I purchased from this show!

Friday, June 12, 2015

2015 trade package #16: these Tigers from Bob Walk the Plank are a perfect 10!

A few weeks ago I received the latest package in an ongoing trade with TMV kindred collector Matt over at Bob Walk the Plank, and not that I want to detract from all of the other great stuff he's sent me, but boy was this envelope loaded!  I'm talking 100% hits, and some really good ones at that.

Matt noted that this time he was going in a bit of a different direction (kind of like I did with the last package I sent him), and he did so in two ways:  sending me mostly Tigers (and just one Wolverine card, on display tonight on TMM), and finding many of those from newer sets I hadn't touched yet.  The result was pretty mind-blowing:
Nick Castellanos 2014 Topps Supreme Autographs Green auto (#SANC) (#31/45)
Nick Castellanos 2015 Diamond Kings DK Signature Materials Silver dual jersey auto (#34/99)
Not terribly interesting fact:  I now have three hits of Castellanos, all of which include autographs, in my Tigers PC.  Very cool fact:  all three of them came from Matt in the form of these two plus another he sent my way back in January.  Verdict:  team trading gets a big thumbs up from me!  The Supreme card is numbered pretty low and is great to have now before his prices blow up should he become a bit more consistent at the plate.  And the Diamond Kings card gives me all the nostalgia feels of the classic Donruss subset/brand, plus it's a sweet auto/dual jersey card!  What's got two thumbs and doesn't care about the lack of MLB logos?  THIS guy.
Derek Hill 2014 Leaf Trinity auto
And now for something completely different....  Trinity is a very cool set that included some fun cards like this one which comes with an interesting inscription.  Don't get me wrong--autographs that are "just" autographs are great, but that's what makes cards like this a fun treat.  Leaf let the players have a bunch of space to sign their names and make a personal mark as well.  An outfielder, Hill was indeed Detroit's first-rounder last year (#23 overall), and while his stats so far aren't terribly exciting, he's young and filled with potential, good enough to be ranked #3 in Baseball America's pre-season organizational top 10.  Not only am I thrilled to have a card of his, I'm geeked that it's one as fun as this one is!
Brandon Inge 2007 Upper Deck Spectrum Swatches jersey (#015/199)
BInge!  My nickname for the former Tigers C/3B/wherever the hell he was useful is also a good description of my activities this weekend vis a vis Orange is the New Black.  Unlike that show, which is celebrating its third season, this card marks my first of Brandon in the Tigers collection, an oversight I somehow allowed until Matt rectified it!
Magglio Ordonez 2006 Upper Deck Star Attractions Swatches jersey
Magglio Ordonez 2008 SPx Winning Materials Team Initials 99 jersey (#52/99)
Magglio Ordonez 2009 Topps Allen and Ginter Relics jersey
Magglio?  More like Mag-THREE-o, amirite?  I now own 12 hits of Maggs, and they often seem to come in bunches like these for whatever reason.  Fine by me since I loved the guy during his Detroit tenure (2005-2011) which included the 2006 World Series appearance that resulted from his game 4, 2-out, walkoff three-run homer against the A's in the ALCS.
Ivan Rodriguez 2008 SPx Winning Materials Limited Patch SPx patch (#88/99)
Speaking of Magglio and his teammates, here's another guy that played on that 2006 pennant-winning squad, and in patch form no less!  For once the "patch" label actually applies with a lovely two-colored white/blue swatch with stitching in the middle.  This is my fourth Pudge hit, and though I haven't necessarily done this on purpose, all of them come from his time with the Tigers, which is pretty cool.
Max Scherzer 2014 Topps Supreme Supreme Styling Autographs Green auto (#26/45)
If you didn't think this was a high-end trade before, well hold onto your hats, bros.  Prof. Charles Xavier's favorite pitcher Max Scherzer is certainly styling here on a card that got a successful trim from a shark with a frickin' laser beam on its head.  The green and gold make for a nice combination, but the signature and crazy low numbering make this a winner, not to mention a card I wouldn't have expected to get in a trade in a million years.  Expect the unexpected when you trade with the proprietor of Bob Walk the Plank!
Alan Trammell 2003 Sweet Spot Classics Autographs Black Ink auto (#096/173)
You'd think he'd stop there, unless of course you've traded with him in which case at this point you're like "Yeah, there's probably still something great you haven't shown us yet."  Right you are--peep this gorgeous Sweet Spot auto of classic Tigers SS Trammell.  I've been fortunate to pick up some nice stuff of the '84 Series MVP, but all of that has some stiff competition in the form of this signature stunner.  My fourth auto (out of eight hits) has me hungry for more.  What a great way to close out an incredible bunch of cards!

Thanks again for raising the bar in our ongoing trade once again, Matt.  I'm already hard at work assembling items worthy of a response while I look forward to the next envelope of awesomeness you send my way!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

2015 eBay purchase: this Kid is just 'Pee-Chee

It's not every day that I can add something nice to my collection of significant baseball RCs these days, though it's not for lack of trying.  Still, I was finally able to procure a fun new item on eBay last month, one that actually kills two birds with one stone:
Gary Carter 1975 O-Pee-Chee RC
Those who follow TMM, especially this evening's post, know I picked this up mainly for my Leon Roberts collection, which this card actually completes.  But those of you who read this blog will likely be more excited about the guy in the upper-left, and that's certainly reasonable!  Gary Carter's 19-year career, mostly with Montreal and the Mets, justifiably led to his 2003 Hall of Fame enshrinement--11 All-Star appearances, a World Series ring, and some excellent stats put up playing a remarkable 90% of his games behind the plate will do that.  It's nothing but a shame that he died too young to enjoy those accomplishments as long as he should have been able to.

Anyway, this card also completes one of my favorite player trios:  the '75 trifecta of OPC/Topps/Topps Mini, a feat I've now managed five times, hopefully with more to come.  I was able to nab it for a very reasonable $12 delivered on a best offer from a Canadian seller.  This is a card I can now appreciate for many reasons--it's vintage, includes a pair of Tigers, completes my Roberts collection.  But the fact that it's another RC of one of the greatest catchers to play the game is a nice bonus too.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

2015 trade package #15: All Tigers Bait All the Time from ATBAtT!

A week or two ago I received my first trade package from Stealing Home who runs All Trade Bait All the Time.  He'd contacted me to let me know a PWE was on my way (pending getting my address), and a few days later I was happy to find the following in my mailbox:
Hey, Tigers--I collect those!  Aside from Dirks (who at least gets a fantastic photo on his insert) this is a top-notch group of Tigers.  I was especially happy to see cards of a couple PC guys in Gibby and Verlander alongside favorites like Miggy, Cobb, Morris, and Magglio.  Also, I may not have liked Prince much after his Tigers tenure but he's back to being a beast at the plate, on and off the field I'm sure.

So those were plenty interesting, but then I pulled out these four:
The first three are from the ubiquitous Conlon sets of the early 90s while the fourth hails from 1975 SSPC.  Here's some quick notes about each subject:
  • Bridges pitched his entire career for the Tigers from 1930-46 (with a year off for military service in '44).  He won nearly 200 games in that span and was on Detroit's first two World Series winners in '35 and '45; he won games 2 and 6, the clincher in 1935.
  • Fothergill was an OF for Detroit for the first nine of his 12 seasons (1922-1933) before playing for both Sox.  There doesn't seem to be too much about him that's terribly interesting to someone like me, but his high (for the time) weight led to the nickname "fats" and he was a pretty good PH that finished with a nice career average of .325.
  • Walker (whose first name was Gerald) also played OF for Detroit, in his case for the first seven years of his 15-year career (1931-45).  That means he was part of Bridges' squad that won the Tigers' first ring in '35.  While in Detroit he hit at a nice clip and was pretty good at stealing bases.  Later he made stops with the White Sox, Sens, Indians, and Reds.
  • Ralph Houk is the unnamed person on the SSPC card.  He appeared in 91 career games as a catcher in eight seasons for the Yankees (1947-54).  Houk managed the Bombers from 1961-63 and won the pennant all three years and rings the first two.  He then moved up to the GM position when Yogi Berra took the reins in '64.  Berra was fired after one season, as was his replacement, Johnny Keane, and Houk returned to the dugout for eight uninteresting seasons (1966-73).  His next stop the following year was with the Tigers, whom he managed for five seasons through 1978 before "retiring" (since he returned for four more campaigns with the Red Sox, 1981-84).

It was fun looking up each of these guys and learning more about them!

There was also a hit among the other cards:
Out of 1996 Leaf Signature (Bronze) came an autograph of OF Curtis Pride, who spent 1996 and part of '97 in Detroit.  Known for making it to the big leagues despite being deaf, Pride managed to appear in parts of 11 seasons, which was pretty impressive.  He has a great signature here on one of the hobby's most well-known autographed sets!

Oh yeah, there was one more card in the package as well:
And it just so happened to be a RC of HOFer and Michigan Man Barry Larkin!  A very nice choice to close out the package indeed.

Thanks a ton for a fun PWE, Mr. Stealing Home, and I'll try to respond in kind with some Dodgers and/or vintage soon!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

2015 trade package #14: Tigers on stickers and cards from Cards on Cards

Everyone's favorite Cardinals/Ducks collector Kerry from Cards on Cards sent another generous trade package southeast all the way across the country and to my mailbox a couple weeks ago, so now I get to have fun showing it off.  Here's the impressive stack of stuff he sent:
The package comprised about 99% Tigers, which was fine by me.  Here's a bunch of guys I like to collect, including current Tigs Avila, Cabrera, Castellanos, and Davis.  The Sean Casey reminded me that I wanted to move his small collection over to my Tigers box thanks to good memories of his time here.  And though he doesn't pitch for us anymore I hope Fister gets healed up soon!
Remember how I said this was just about all Tigers?  It's also almost entirely Topps brands, with a few exceptions.  Iglesias, Kinsler, and V-Mart are the only current players, but they're surrounded by some of my favorites of the past in Guillen, Hunter, A-Jax, and of course, Kaline, in the form of a nice duo!
Down to just two current guys in V-Mart (again) and Anibal, but the other guys are definitely memorable, including the large-headed Polanco, new 2015 Red Sox starter Porcello, 2006 veteran ace Rogers, heterochromia enthusiast Scherzer, Rays up-and-comer Smyly, and power-hitting Delmon (the Young brother I actually liked on the Tigers).
To wrap up the Topps Tigers, here's a quartet of Heritage cards (with two variations?) bookending a trio of Topps/Opening Day inserts from this year, including OF prospect Steven Moya and ghoulish (but talented!) Michigan native Jack White.
The main non-Topps items:  these 1990 Panini stickers!  These are from an era where I actively sought to complete Panini's sticker books so I may have them in that form (which might make for an interesting future post), but definitely not in unstuck condition, so these are great!  The Tram and Sweet Lou go towards their PCs, and this one just happens to be Whitaker's 150th different item, so hooray for that!
Speaking of hitting my PCs, Kerry hit a couple others, including former blog namesake Granderson, seen here on a 2009 Heritage issue, along with...
SIX cards of current blog title honoree Justin Verlander!  These are from (chronologically, not scanologically) 2011 Topps A&G, Attax and Chrome, 2012 Topps Heritage, and 2012 Triple Play.
And finally, the Cardinals fan sent me a card of his favorite team's current skipper, though it turns out to be a Brewer on a card--Michigan Man(ager) Mike Matheny.  That's #56 in my collection of the catcher-turned-manager and features a great photo on yet another garish Pacific design!

Thanks a ton for, uh, a ton of great stuff, Kerry!  I've put together a few new things to send your way and will likely do so pretty soon after an upcoming show.