Monday, March 27, 2017

2017 trade package #7: the Daily Dimwit

It's been a couple weeks since I last posted so I'm probably one of the last to be able to say, "Hey, Dimwit's back!"  I hadn't realized that Sam was going to return to blogging, so that's an excellent positive development for 2017!  In related good news, I received a couple cards from him that I'd been waiting on since we last agreed to a deal.  It took him a bit to get them in the mail thanks to move-related things (we've all been there), but I was happy to find them in my mailbox this month and remember how excited I was to be getting them.

You'll find one of those pickups over on TMM this evening, and the other right here:

From 2015 Topps Archives Signature Series this is an encased auto of one of my favorite PC guys, Jim Abbott.  Topps had Jim sign this copy of his All-Star subset card (#406) from 1992 Topps, then numbered it to 50 copies (mine is #4, which is a bit hard to make out since encased cards are notoriously difficult to scan).

While I won't call myself a fan of every single buyback-type product, I do like the idea of being able to pick up this type of card of a guy like Abbott as it makes for one of the more interest signatures in my collection of the former USA/Michigan/Angels/others hurler.

This fun autograph marks my 119th card of Abbott, not to mention my ninth hit, all of which feature Jim's interesting signature.

Sam, thanks for not forgetting me and for sending me some great cards!  I look forward to flinging some Astros across the country to you once again in the future.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

2017 trade package #6: the (Pedestrian) Collector

A quick note before I get to another great trade package:  Jon from A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts is running a very cool contest celebrating reaching the 200 168-post mark.  (Dude, I haven't even made it to 800 posts here and I've been going for six-plus years!  No worries, you'll get there.)  Leave a comment for your chance to win $15 in COMC cards he'll purchase for you, just a fantastic prize in my opinion.  I'm happy to enter and pimp this contest, plus I'm now following his blog, a fun consolation prize if nothing else as I'm always glad to find new ones to check out.  Head on over and enter!

Ok, on to another trade package as I work to show off the hard work of some great traders and finally get to showing off my unposted Griffey/Gwynn/Maddux/Ripken stuff!

Today's envelope marks my second package from Chris, the (Pedestrian) Collector, who was the first to step up and join my tradeapalooza/giveaway late last year, then was nice enough to send some Tigers my way in December.  That package was 100% Motown Kitties, but this one was more well-rounded; besides the two cards you see below, you can also view a bunch more over on TMM this evening!

The spoils:
Card #235 in my Justin Verlander collection is this old-school league leaders piece from 2013 Heritage.  Card #6 in the set, it's the second such base appearance for Verlander, who also shares #2 with former teammate David Price and current jackass Jered Weaver on the AL ERA leaders card.  Coming off winning the 2011 AL Cy Young and MVP awards, Verlander posted a 17-8 record with a league-leading 239 strikeouts and a sparkling 2.64 ERA for the American League champs.  Another former teammate, Scherzer, appears for taking second with 231 K's a year before his dominant 2013 AL Cy Young campaign.

While I don't currently own the previously-mentioned card #2 in that set, I do have JV's third and final appearance, card #500, which is an SP.  Thanks for a new Verlander, Chris!
The other card I have for you here is a '96-'97 Fleer base of former Russian Red Wing great Vladimir Konstantinov.  Vladdie was a very good D-man after being chosen by Detroit in their outstanding 1989 draft that also landed them future legends Nick Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov, not to mention future NHLers Mike Sillinger, Bob Boughner, and Dallas Drake.  What a haul!

Wings fans remember him as part of the '96-'97 squad that finally brought the cup back to Motown at the start of a very good decade for the club, then was unfortunately severely injured in a limo accident that ended his career.  The team dedicated their repeat Cup win the next year to "Vladdie", and I'll always remember this photo, which is on one of many posters that adorn my walls:

Thanks again for the new cards, Chris!  I know you said I shouldn't feel like I have to send anything in return, but I will anyway because that's how I roll.  But I'll at least try to make sure what I do send fits your collection since I think you mentioned you were trying to clear out unwanted stuff.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

2017 trade package #5: Wrigley Roster Jenga

I'm back today with a couple new trade posts (one here and the other over on TMM this evening) after slacking and/or being without power due to a crazy windstorm (but mostly the former).  While this is the last package I received in January (I think), I'm happy to reveal that I have three more that arrived since then.  Trading season is open!

That final January envelope came from Tony over at Wrigley Roster Jenga.  Tony is another first time trader for me via my tradeapalooza/giveaway from late last year, though I'll also give him credit for leaving comments here pretty regularly too.  A Cubs collector by trade, naturally, Tony sent me a huge stack of my team, the Tigers:
The Killer C's!  We start with a five-spot of Miggy Topps stuff of multiple sizes, including his Holiday Wal-Mart card from last year.  Next is Cabrera's teammate across the diamond, Nick Castellanos, in the form of a 2016 Gold parallel (#0492/2016).  Former Tiger and current MLBPA president Tony Clark appears on his '99 Metal base card.  And legend Ty Cobb rounds out the group an appearance from 1987 Hygrade and what appears to be a reprint of his 1910-11 Turkey Red T3 card.  Very cool!
We get through letters "E" to "S" with nine cards of nine players:
  • Former 2B Damion Easley: MLB Showdown
  • Cecil Fielder:  a '93 Upper Deck hologram
  • Michael Fulmer, the reigning AL ROY:  another snowflake Holiday Wal-Mart card
  • Curtis Granderson:  2009 UD Starquest (no such thing as too many cards of this guy!)
  • "Hammerin'" Hank Greenberg:  a 1985 reprint of Hank's '34 Goudy card
  • J.D. Martinez:  another snowflake card
  • Victor Martinez:  an insert from 2012 Opening Day
  • Max Scherzer:  a 2014 insert that somewhat brings to mind early 2000s-era Topps chase cards
  • Christin Stewart:  a Topps Debut card of Detroit's top 2015 draft pick

Still with me?  Great!  Scan #3 starts off strong thanks to an appearance by one of my favorite 90s Tigers, Mickey Tettleton.  Next to him is OF Justin Upton, who hopefully puts up some numbers reminiscent of Tettleton's Silver Slugger campaigns while in Detroit.  This here blog's namesake made the cut this time as Tony flipped three Verlanders my way, two of which were brand new to me--the "60 Years of Topps" reprint plus the final snowflake card of the package.

Also along for the ride are a few more interesting cards, starting with a '75 Topps of former SS Ed Brinkman, who'd moved on to St. Louis (by way of San Diego) when this card was made.  He's joined by a couple 1979 examples from the esteemed TCMA, catcher Frank House, who was with the Tigers for seven seasons in the 50s and early 60s, and IF Jerry Priddy, who played his final four MLB seasons (1950-53) in Detroit.  I don't believe I had anything of either player so these are great.  Finally, Hughie "Ee-yah" Jennings makes his triumphant return to this blog with a trademark photo of the excitable manager courtesy of 2011 Goodwin Champions.
This group has two themes going for it:  it includes players I don't tend to collect on their own, but will stash in my Tigers inserts collection.  It includes five Topps-branded parallels (Alvarez, Castro (#026/500), Moya, Pena, and Raburn), Gypsy Queen and Heritage inserts of Prince Fielder, and a '96 Fleer Tiffany parallel of former OF Bobby Higginson.  The latter is one of those cases where both the base card and parallel are fantastic.

This final scan includes a bit of oddball and un-categorized stuff.  '92 Bicycle playing cards of pitchers John Doherty and David Haas don't give me a pair of aces but I do get a decent shot at a straight.  Next is a '92 Front Row draft pick card of pitcher David Mysel, a '92 5th-rounder that I can't believe Tony dug up!  I think I included the Pacific card of Curtis here because he's a convicted sex offender who's just a disgusting human being.  The last Tigers offering is a Wacky Packages sticker poking fun at the team's mascot.  And lastly, Tony proved himself to be an observant trader by including a Michigan Football card of former LB (in his Michigan uni, no less!) Shawn Crable.

Tony, thanks again for the fantastic envelope stuffed with Tigers treasures.  I'm looking forward to sending some more Cubs your way in the future!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

2017 trade package #4: The Angels In Order

My next trade package came from Texan Tom of the Angels in Order.  Please note that I'm saying that Tom lives in Texas and I'm not trying to give him an alliterative nickname.

Tom is great to trade with because it's relatively easy to find cards I know he'll want.  Do I have any Angels or Patriots?  Send them to Tom, boom, done.  It also doesn't hurt that he sends fantastic stuff back your way.

In this case he lamented the fact that he didn't have many Tigers to send me, as he wrote on a note inside this package filled with Tigers and more.  Check out the goods:
Three Tigers, all still on this year's team, which is a nice bonus.  I'm always happy to get more cards of Cabrera, but the other two players here are even more useful to me as I have very few of Kinsler, one of my recent Detroit favorites, as a Tiger, and few of Martinez overall.  These three combined for 12.8 total bWAR (4.9, 6.1, and 1.8, respectively) last season, and I hope that number's even higher in 2017, which will likely be the last season they play together.
Here's two more current Tigers and three that were with the team very recently.  It was fun having Maybin back last year but he's since been shipped to the Angels (hey, that's Tom's team!).  Salty couldn't hit his weight last year but did show a bit of pop.  And Soria was one of several recent closers that have since moved on.  Meanwhile, Norris and Rodriguez will have key roles in the rotation and bullpen, with the former showing plenty of promise and the latter owning a reputation of success (at a fairly reasonable price for a closer!).
Sticking with the Tigers but going the oddball route, here's a couple team-related giveaway/contest cards that came out of Post cereals in 1982 and 1983.  I've included front and back scans of both of these, which include the awesome old-school Tigers logo up front and a similar write-up inside.  In my long career of collecting Detroit stuff I'd never seen these, so thanks for sending them my way, Tom!

And now, the player collections section:
Here's the first of three scans worth of Barry Larkin.  Wait, that many cards of Larkin?  HELL YEAH!  This group includes Larkin's card from the 1990 Fleer League Leaders boxed set; one each from 1990 and '91 Score; 1992 cards from Donruss and Fleer; a '93 Panini sticker; and a Hometown Heroes subset from '93 Pinnacle.
This bunch continues from 1993 and gets us into '96:  first up is a '93 Upper Deck insert I don't remember called Clutch Performers; then we have three '95 Ultra inserts:  All-Star, the Gold Medallion parallel of that insert, and one from the main set as well.  Anybody else getting a case of the nostalgias after seeing that familiar gold foil stamp?  Moving on to '96 we start with an excellent horizontal photo of the '95 MVP who won his second of three straight Gold Gloves, as seen in that year's Collector's Choice product.  A Star Power subset issue from '96 Topps finishes up this group.
This last six-card scan spans 20 years!  First we go back to the Ultra brand with a '96 Ultra Stars subset.  Next is the Dan Patrick/Keith Olbermann-centered Big Show insert found in '97 Collector's Choice.  After that is a five-year jump to the beautifully artistic '02 Diamond Kings set.  A couple Upper Deck brands follow:  2002 World Series Heroes (Barry hit .353 with 3 runs scored as the Reds swept the A's in '90) and the 2003 base set that came out a year before his final season.  We finish off his pile with Topps' Bunt set from last year.  For cryin' out loud, dump that crap and bring back Total, you idiots!

This nice bunch gets me to 352 Larkins, a Barry nice total indeed!
The next PC guy Tom sent me was Greg Maddux, and I split his cards into two six-card bunches.  This group includes:  1990 Bowman; 1991 Donruss, Fleer, and Score; and 1992 Triple Play and Upper Deck.  Not sure what's going on in the UD photo....  As you can see, all six of these cards feature Maddux with the Cubs, his team for the first seven seasons of his career.
As luck would have it, the other six showcase Mad Dog with the Braves, the team with whom he enjoyed most of his success--194 wins, three Cy Youngs, and a World Series ring.  The cards you see come from 1995 Emotion; the extremely weird 1995 Topps Embossed; an instructional insert from '95 Ultra called Strikeout Kings; and a '96 Ultra Ultra Stars subset, '97 Collector's Choice Big Show insert, and 2016 Topps Bunt issue as we just saw with Larkin.  I think we should see cards like the Strikeout Kings example above more often as they could possibly get more kids into the game, not to mention collecting.  Don't hold your breath to pull one from Topps' next five-card, $200 product.

Tom's hard work here bumps me up to 269 cards of Maddux, and I have plenty more left to scan and post!
As if all that weren't enough, he also sent me two more scans worth of Cal Ripken Jr. stuff.  Larkin, Maddux, and Ripken?  How generous can you be?  What's great here is that any dupes of Larkin and Ripken I have can go right over to Jeff from My Sports Obsession, and some of these will!  Happily, though, I needed the vast majority of what Tom sent over.

In this scan you can see cards from 1987 Fleer Award Winners; 1992 Stadium Club Dome (the set sold in a tin in the shape of the Skydome); 1993 Leaf;  1994 Topps' Measures of Greatness subset;  a fantastic '94 Upper Deck base card in which he catches some air while turning two;  another subset card called Hitters Inc. from '95 Score; and a trio from 1996 including Leaf Preferred, Topps (celebrating his 2131st straight game played), and once more, Ultra Stars from that year's Ultra product.
This post's last scan includes three Ripkens from last century and three more that are a bit more modern.  First up is the first card in Upper Deck's multi-product '96 Ripken collection.  That's followed by Cal's base card from a set you don't hear much about 20 years later, 1997 Pinnacle X-Press.  To their right is another subset (a major theme for today) out of '98 Donruss called Fan Club.

The three more recent cards are from Topps brands, naturally.  First is Ripken's 2012 Archives issue, done up in the style of '54 Topps.  That's joined by a couple inserts:  a Holofoil parallel of one of his Chasing History inserts from 2013 flagship, and a 3000 Hits Club insert from last year's release.

Needless to say, I also very much appreciate the new stuff here as Tom got me over 400 cards to a new Ripken count of 403!

Once again, Tom, thanks a ton for your generosity in this trade package.  I loved the mix of Tigers and some of my other favorite player collections.  I'll happily pile up some more Los Angeles Angels of Los Angeles And Definitely Not Anaheim But Definitely Los Angeles, and some Patriots as well, so I can return the favor!

Monday, February 27, 2017

I do take requests

...especially when it means less work for me!  I didn't feel like doing the work of putting up a post today, but then Kin of I Feel Like a Collector Again left a comment on my post from yesterday that he wanted to see all eight of my Charlie Gehringer cut autos at once.  Well, Mr. K., that sounds like an easy enough request to fulfill!

For your enjoyment (and anybody else who happens to be reading this), here they are in their scanned and enlarged glory:
2005 SP Legendary Cuts Autograph Cuts (#76/97)
2006 Exquisite Collection Cuts (#06/65)
2006 SP Legendary Cuts A Place in History Cuts (#23/57)
2006 SP Legendary Cuts Legendary Signature Cuts (#67/76)
2006 SP Legendary Cuts When It Was A Game Cuts (#18/64)
2007 SP Legendary Cuts Enshrinement Cuts (#03/65)
2007 SP Legendary Cuts Inside the Numbers Cuts (#52/60)
2011 Donruss Limited Cuts 2 (#25/49)

Thanks for reading and for your comment, Kin!  Readers, please show him some love by heading over to I Feel Like a Collector Again now (or maybe again, if you just came from there.  Even if you already did, go there again.  Now.)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

2017 eBay purchases: high-end eBay time (or, Bringing the HEET)

Now that I'm finally getting caught up on some of my 2017 trade packages, I feel like it's about time that I showed off my eBay purchases for the first two months of this year.

I've spent about $115 over seven total purchases, with the spoils of two of those available over on TMM this evening.

As for what you'll see right here, well, I just hope you're a fan of high-end stuff!  In order of "better" to "best", here's five great cards I bought in January and February:

Rich Hill 2016 Topps Mini Blue (#07/10)
One of my two February purchases, this rare mini of Hill set me back about $7.50, which I believe was not much more than the opening bid plush shipping.  You really can't know what to expect with the prices on these low-numbered parallels, especially when sellers go the BIN route with higher starting prices.  In my case I lucked out and landed my seventh card for Hill's 2016 rainbow, giving me 258 of the 374 cards I have on his checklist, not to mention 275 total.  300 here I come!

Jason Christian 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects Printing Plate Magenta (1/1)
You had to know that when I started with a card limited to 10 copies as my "worst" pickup, things were about to get interesting.  I see I haven't used a tag for Christian's name over here, so I'll just briefly mention that he's another Michigan Baseball PC guy so you're not wondering why I collect cards of a player that's been out of pro baseball since 2013.

This plate, with its reversed image as it was used to make a Chrome card, was my very first purchase of 2017 back on January 2, and I was glad to land it for under $9 shipped.  It's actually my fourth 1/1 (out of 11 I know of) of Christian, and I also have the Black plate and SuperFractor from this set, so I really am a supercollector of his!

J.J. Putz 2009 Topps Printing Plate Yellow (1/1)
And another plate!  I put Putz here since I'm sure many more of you are aware of his career.  The former Michigan pitcher had a few nice seasons as the closer for Seattle and Arizona, though he's seen here as a member of the Mets, the club he pitched for in 2009 after being traded the previous offseason.  He was in New York for just one season but apparently that was long enough for the Mets to be his team on his Series II card, and therefore this yellow plate, which cost me a bit under $10.  It's my seventh such 1/1 of the Trenton, Michigan native and 19th total hit, putting me near a fun little milestone.

Since some of you may not read my TMM post, I'll just mention that with the two plates above and another over there, my Printing Plates and 1/1s collection now stands at a crazy 67 cards!

So those three are pretty nice, but what could be better than a card #d /10 and two 1/1s?  How about not one, but TWO new HOF cuts?:

Charlie Gehringer 2006 SP Legendary Cuts A Place in History Cuts auto (#23/57)

Charlie Gehringer 2007 SP Legendary Cuts Enshrinement Cuts auto (#03/65)
The last couple months I've been tracking down cut signatures of the Mechanical Man with mechanical efficiency, and these two Gehringers are the fruits of my labor.  Would you believe I now have eight different cuts of the HOF 2B for the Tigers?  I know I hardly can.

Up top is my third cut from Upper Deck's 2006 SP Legendary Cuts product (the other two hail from the Legendary Signatures Cuts and When It Was a Game Cuts sets), and this design is immediately one of my favorites because of the fun top half.  As you can see, both cuts come from index cards, so it's important for the top half design to add to the signature and enhance the card, and I feel UD did a bang-up job here with the certificate motif, old-school typewriter font, and inset photo.  For my money, a cut signature's not at its best without a player photo of some sort.

Meanwhile, the other card from the same product is my second from the 2007 set (with the other being an Inside the Numbers Cuts version).  This one looks amazing as well but it's not as easy to tell in a scan because of how reflective the foil is.  This one uses the same photo as the other 2007 card I have but this time places it inside a crest-like shape with a solid dark blue background.  That top half is embellished with some gold foil banners and other decorations, and I like how all of that encroaches on the cut's half a bit to make them feel more connected.

I'd also like to reiterate that Gehringer had a beautiful signature that was mechanically (see what I did there?) consistent, making it even more worth putting the time and money into collecting them.  In terms of the latter consideration, I continue to be surprised at the reasonable prices since I paid about $24 and $39 respectively.

It'll certainly be a challenge to top this bunch of cards in the coming months but I'll happily try to bring you more high-end pickups!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

2017 trade package #3: Bump and Run Football Card Blog

In posting today's trade package I'm thrilled to add another new trade partner to the growing list of those with whom I've swapped cards.  Trevor from the Bump and Run Football Card Blog originally contacted me earlier last year letting me know he could help me with some of my PCs, then claimed some of my fall cleaning/giveaway lots, which finally spurred me into trading with him.

While the majority of the stack was an awesome pile of Wolverines (check them out on TMM this evening!), Trevor hit me up with some excellent Tigers and other PC guys as well:
This first part of the Tigers stack comprises guys I actively collect, including a great 90s Big Daddy insert, a nice addition to my J.D. Martinez collection, and a new Verlander!  While I had JV's 2015 Topps Chrome Refractor I didn't possess the base card until this trade.  Another current Tigers pitcher, Jordan Zimmermann--whose health and performance will hopefully improve in 2017--rounds out the group.
Here's a few more Tigers, starting with Heilmann, a Detroit legend and HOFer you don't really see too often on cardboard these days, out of Panini's excellent Cooperstown product.  It's weird to realize that 2017 will be the fourth MLB season of swingman Buck Farmer.  Gerbe's a Michigan native and a 2006 draft pick that never panned out.  Neither did Schotts, a 2012 third-rounder who warranted an appearance in Panini's Elite Extra Edition set.
Last up for the Motown Kitties is this 2015 Topps Chrome Refractor (yay Refractors!) Rookie auto (#091/499) of Kyle Lobstein, a surprisingly well-traveled pitcher.  According to his BBR page, the 2008 Rays second-rounder has been selected in the Rule 5 draft (Mets, 2012), purchased by another team (Tigers, 2012, and Pirates, 2015), traded (Pirates to Orioles, 2016), and signed as a free agent (Marlins, 2016).  Eventually, though, he's gonna run out of teams in the east and have to head westward!
Besides Verlander's, one of my other PCs Trevor hit was that of Jim Abbott thanks to this '91 Fleer base card.  While the photo of Abbott isn't as interesting as they can sometimes be in depicting his unique delivery, I like the shot of the SS in the background (as well as the large number of empty seats!).  
The other collection he hit is an even better one, Cal Ripken Jr.'s.  When I first saw these I figured I had some doubles on my hands, but all four ended up being new.  For one thing, I managed to overlook the O-Pee-Chee logo in the lower-left corner of the first, and I definitely didn't have that version of Cal's '87 issue.  

Next was one I knew I didn't have, from the oddball-ish '87 Topps Mini Leaders, which notes that Cal finished tied for first in game-winning RBI the previous year with 15.  

From the following year, I figured I had both of Ripken's '88 Score issues, but I figured wrong, so that gap in my collection has been filled.  

Finally, I have a card that was made 20 years ago, an East Meets West subset from '97 New Pinnacle, celebrating some MLB stars touring Japan back then.  I'm happy I was wrong and needed all four of these!

Trevor, thanks a lot for a fantastic first trade, and I'll be happy to do this again soon whenever I can pile up more of your favorite teams!