Monday, July 15, 2019

Complete sets: 2019 Topps Detroit Tigers 1984 Topps 35th Anniversary

Thanks to some lucky timing, today's post is even a bit more relevant.  As I mentioned in yesterday's trade recap covering the cards (and book!) Paul from Scribbled Ink gave me a couple Saturdays ago, we met up at that day's Tigers game since he had a ticket with my name on it.

Make sure to check out his post from this afternoon where he gives another quick recap of our rain delay experiences (and shows off the stuff I brought him, as well as some eBay and TCDB envelopes!).  That includes a quick look at the Topps '84 Tigers team set I nabbed for each of us using a gift card I got for Christmas last year.  Paul mentioned how difficult these were to find--he struck out at a previous game and we had to check multiple fan shops in the park multiple times before we lucked out and he spotted the last two we could find in the whole stadium.
This is a 10-card set starring members of that amazing '84 title-winning team, though unfortunately it lacks obvious choices like Lou Whitaker and Sparky Anderson (licensing issue or just Topps being Topps?).  That was enough for Paul to leave his sealed for now, but I was happy to bust mine open to post them here and add a checklist and scans on TCDB.
The sets are $12 apiece at the park (if you can find them) or $13 if you go to the team's shop on, and they're sold in taped plastic cases.
They're based on Topps' 1984 design, naturally, but appear to have different photos, which is nice.
These are also super, super glossy, which is kind of a nice touch--though at this price it's the least they can do!
As for the backs, they fit as many years of each player's stats as they can, a bit tricky since a few enjoyed long careers.  The only guy that gets the original set's "Dateline" blurb is P Dave Rozema, whose career was short enough to allow plenty of room (so, again, why is he included?).
Questionable checklist aside, most of the players here are guys I love to collect, especially Gibby and Tram, not to mention C Lance Parrish, OF Larry Herndon, SP Jack Morris, and '84 AL Cy/MVP Willie Hernandez.
Tram and Morris are recent HOFers that had their numbers retired by the team so their inclusion here makes all kinds of sense.
Berenguer was a decent piece of the rotation that year but it still escapes me how you could omit Trammell's double play partner Whitaker, or the first manager to win the Series in both leagues.
Given Topps' love of all things reprints I'm glad these are numbered "DT-#" so they're easy to tell apart.
CF Chet Lemon is also an annoying omission, but I can't argue with his outfield partner Larry Herndon making the cut--he had a good Series at the plate and caught the final out in game 5.
While $12 per set sounds a bit steep--I thought so too--I figured these would be difficult to find online at least for a while, plus I had a gift card, so I wasn't spending my own money.  Plus, it's hard to go wrong with anything celebrating Detroit's most recent Series win.

Next time you can look forward to a hot-out-of-the-mailbox trade package from Seward's Folly!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

2019 trade package #21: Scribbled Ink

A couple Saturdays ago I got to do another fun in-person trade with fellow Michigander Paul of Scribbled Ink while we attended that day's Tigers/Red Sox game.  He had an extra ticket available and I jumped at the chance to get to a game for free since I hadn't been yet this year, mostly owing to the team's awful roster and performance.

Despite some extremely persistent rain that caused a four-hour delay I had lots of fun even taking into account starter Jordan Zimmermann's trademark ineffectiveness.  Mookie Betts and birthday boy Andrew Benintendi put on a show for the visitors while the Tigers rallied to make it interesting.  Meanwhile, Paul was somehow able to sell both of our giveaway items--Miguel Cabrera bobblehead picture frames--and I used a gift card to buy both of us a 10-card set commemorating the '84 champs.  More on that in a future post.

Anyway, I'm always glad to trade with Paul, especially in-person so we save the shipping cost and risk of USPS destruction.  Also, he's always good for stuff I know I'll need since he's a TCDB wizard.  Here's what he brought me this time:
First up is a 2005 Bazooka 4-in-1 sticker starring PC guy Ken Griffey Jr. and a supporting cast of Bartolo Colon, Manny Ramirez, and Dontrelle Willis.  Who would have thought that 14 years later Colon would still be active?!  Also, I wonder if any of my readers are young enough that they don't remember how much of a sensation Willis was with the Marlins?

Junior's fellow HOF "G"-man Tony Gwynn is next, in the form of a sweet, uh, Sweet Spot base from '03, plus a rare baseball entry from Press Pass Fusion (2009).  The latter is a college-themed product that includes baseball, basketball, and football, plus less sporty things like poker and racing.

Paul may not be a college collector like I am but he definitely knows which one I collect, and that explains the next four cards of former Michigan diamond stars Drew Henson, Rich Hill, and Barry Larkin.  Henson obviously flamed out, but I'm glad that "Dick Mountain" is still going--at least somewhat, since he's still on the IL.  He's the other two-card guy today with Topps flagship base issues from 2017 and '19, giving me 298 unique Hill items.  Almost milestone time again!  Larkin, meanwhile, pops up on one of his Donruss Originals appearances from 2002, a fun reminder of a set I really enjoy.

One good Junior is worth another so why not have Cal tag along?  The throwback SS looks right at home on the vintage-y 2014 GQ N174 insert, which I'm assuming is a reference to one of the many old-old-old school sets cataloged by Jefferson Burdick.

And finally, Paul covered his bases (pun not intended) with a new Verlander insert for me.  I initially mistook this 2018 Topps Chrome parallel for an X-Fractor because that's where my aging collector's mind goes when it sees this pattern, but eventually I believe I correctly pinned it down as a Prism Refractor.  Refractors are awesome, JV is awesome, this card is awesome, end of story.

That marks the end of the card items but Paul had another surprise in store:

A super glossy paperback book made around the time Ripken broke Gehrig's Iron Man streak.  He said he found this at a garage sale, and hearing that makes me think I should make more of an effort to check them out once in a while.  There's a ton to enjoy here and I'll likely get down to reading it soon, but for now here's a look inside:

You can see the top cover is embossed or raised while the inside cover is glossy like the rest of the book.

There are sections on different topics by a number of authors, discussing his offense and defense, comparing him to Gehrig, highlighting his family, etc.  I grabbed a shot of this two-page spread because of the sweet six-panel action photo at the bottom.

Besides the articles there's a number of one- and two-page photos like this one of Cal waiting on-deck at Camden yards.  This is very much a visually appealing book!

Lastly I'm including a look at the book's final section (other than an appendix with an interview), a career timeline.  I like how each page covers a year while the timeline below goes into specific events and includes examples of his baseball cards and magazines, among others.
While paging through the book I also came across this fold-out poster advertising cards from the 2006 season.  Paul mentioned he had a bunch of these from a previous retail job and was thoughtful enough to include it.  Each team is represented (Pudge for the Tigers, in this case), with a card from Fleer, Upper Deck, or Topps.  Cool!

Paul, thanks again especially for inviting me to the game, and for all of this great stuff.  I know you don't have much time for blogging anymore thanks to TDCBing, but I'm looking forward to your next summary post!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

2019 trade package #20: Bump and Run Football Card Blog

A fun blast from the (relative) past hit my mailbox a week or two ago when I received a surprise PWE from Trevor of the excellently named Bump and Run Football Card Blog.  The first (and only other) time I showed off cards from him was way back in February of 2017, so this was a fun surprise indeed, plus what he sent was terrific:
The baseball portion was appropriately 100% Tigers, starting with a George Kell Archives base from 2016.  That leads to two horizontal inserts.  Ernie Harwell's 2013 Panini Cooperstown Voices of Summer appearance is the first card that caught my eye as I was opening the envelope and one I'm excited to have, especially since my collection of the legendary announcer is scant.  The Hall of Famer's voice was synonymous with Tigers baseball for generations of fans so I love this insert with a photo of him from much earlier in his career.

And the classic Tigers celebration didn't end there thanks to a 2017 Topps Update Postseason Celebration Red insert (#228/250) that honors the '68 Tigers, a team that gets lots of love from Detroit collectors. Winning pitcher and Series MVP Mickey Lolich (#29) can be seen hugging catcher Bill Freehan way in the back as the rest of the team converges to celebrate in St. Louis.  What a cool photo!
And now we get to the main purpose of this envelope as Trevor noted he'd "been saving up some Wolverines" to send my way.  The great news is that all were new to me except the Charlton RC, which I'm sure will have a happy home after one more trip via USPS to Jeff.

Other than that it's a RB/TE/WR bunch with some excellent college uni action.  #1 is power back Jarrod Bunch on his '93 Fleer base.  The reverse notes that he acted as a FB in '92, blocking for some 1,000-yard rusher named Rodney Hampton, which would be cool if I knew anybody that collected him.

Then there's a pair of Xtra Points Red parallels from Panini's 2017 Prestige:  TE Jake Butt and WR Amara Darboh.  I couldn't even tell you the last time I disliked a Prestige design, and as always the product kills it with beautiful college photos, with the nice bonus of the foil finish here.  Darboh makes a second appearance on another 2017 Panini-branded parallel:  Classics' Timeless Tributes Gold.  That's another outstanding design upgraded by a color variation, plus it's numbered 99/99 (last one!).

And now we return to the power backs.  Leroy Hoard was coming off his second NFL season with Cleveland when the '92 Ultra card you see above was made.  While his rushing TD total only went up by three to five in '91, he went off for nine more scores as a receiver, good for more than half his career output in that category.  I'll bet he wasn't brought down by the arm tackle, or even the airborne player in the very upper-left corner (check that out!).

Finally, campus legend Tyrone Wheatley gets in on the foil-y college uni insert trend with a Superior Pix Instant Impact card from his draft year of 1995.  I'm not sure if the obvious horizontal line going through the RB is a printing defect or just part of the process--I believe less obvious lines were common among Refractors--but it's the only flaw on an interesting card from the brand.  Considering how many similar cards suffer from airbrushing I'm glad to get the full uniform effect plus the iconic helmet--with stickers!

Thanks for thinking of me with this great group of Wolverines and Tigers, Trevor!  I'm getting close to sending you a return mailer that reflects your own eclectic PCs so I'm looking forward to returning the favor.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

2019 trade package #19: Parts of My Past

Time sure flies, doesn't it?  Especially when you're lazy about posting new stuff?  I can hardly believe that this evening's post marks the 15th time I'm showing off a trade package from Matt over at Parts of My Past!  As was the case in May, May again, April, and April again, I was treated to a PWE from my fellow 90s collecting bro.

Here's the goods:
Yesterday's post included a card of OF Daz Cameron, one of the prospects that came over from Houston in the Verlander trade.  Today's includes a 2019 Bowman Chrome Scouts Top 100 insert of pitcher Franklin Perez, initially thought to be the biggest get for the Tigers in that deal.  He indeed remains a top 100 guy but needs to get healthy and stay that way to have a shot at success in the Majors.

Next to him was a surprise autograph of a guy that serves as a possible outcome for Perez:  Seth Greisinger.  The '96 first-rounder--#6 overall, ahead of guys like Mark Kotsay, Eric Chavez, and R.A. Dickey--made 21 stars with the '98 Tigers, lost a pair of seasons to injury, then appeared in just 21 more games in 2002 and '04-'05.  He's got a nice signature, though, and that's a highlight of the Best autograph you see above.

Then we get into Matt's wheelhouse with a trio of Griffey cards, all of which are new to me.  The Griffey dupe exodus continued its monthly journey from Vermont to my mailbox, landing me a sweet UD trio:  base cards from 2002 flagship (another from Junior's subset) and 2007 Goudey, plus a '92 Team MVP Hologram (also flagship), which was definitely my favorite from the envelope.  If you found a hologram card (non-lenticular category, like Sportflix) you loved in the 90s, chances are the good folks at Upper Deck were responsible!  Ken continues to work toward #1 PC guy Ripken with 864 cards.

Speaking of Cal, who rules the roost with 909 items and counting, he's here too, on a 2017 Topps Memorable Moments insert (one of two Ripkens in that set) that highlights his MVP nod in the All-Star Game played during his sunset season 18 years ago.  Timely content!

Last up is another All-Star in blog namesake guy Justin Verlander on a textbook Topps Heritage insert from last year:  New Age Performers.  Mr. Upton continues to be a performer all right, with a 10-4 record and 3.7 bWAR at the break.  He still needs more than 150 wins and ~44 bWAR to equal his output with his original team, though!

Matt, once again, thanks for a fun surprise PWE!  I nabbed a few more Giants items at the show this past Saturday and will put together a return when I have a bit more to fill a mailer.  Meanwhile, keep those PWEs flying out of the northeast so the rest of us can keep having a blast opening them!

Monday, July 8, 2019

2019 trade package #18: Cards on Cards

Cards on Cards
Michigan Baseball's magical run to the College World Series ended in defeat after opening the three-game finals with a victory over Vanderbilt.  Still, it was an amazing season with some fun wins over heavily favored teams, and a terrific job by a northern team to exceed expectations.  Here's hoping that momentum carries over next year and beyond!

Speaking of baseball and Michigan, I've got lots of great stuff to show off from Kerry of Cards on Cards, focusing heavily on that sport and the state's MLB team, the Tigers.  Kerry's another of my favorites to deal with as we're fellow MLB/college collectors, so he has a great idea of what to send, and as usual he killed it with a surprise package I finally scanned to show off today:
Miggy gets his own corner here with a 2018 Pink Refractor the star of the group.  Cecil Fielder's '95 Finest insert makes for another strong corner, and his 319 career homers (245 with Detroit) make him a natural fit in a set called "Wrecking Crew".  Chipper definitely outperformed Fryman, who had a solid career of his own, so the pair looks pretty decent on Bowman's Best's '94 debut.  The Fulmer trio will make for nice additions to his collections, including the birthday Refractor.
Iglesias and McCann are hitters starring for other teams now that they don't have Lloyd "hack at everything" McClendon sabotaging their swings, and the former appears on a GQ parallel numbered /250.  Mr. Tiger is more than welcome to hitch a ride in any trade package that heads my way.  Thompson was an interesting prospect that couldn't overcome injury.  The next few youngsters could very well become stars, though:  Cameron (who came over in the Verlander trade), Lugo (J.D. Martinez), to a lesser extent, and 2016 #9 overall pick Manning, plus current LF Christin Stewart, who's certainly had his ups and downs.
Here's a few more prospect types and misc. players.  Jeimer homered twice in the game I made it to with Paul this past Saturday/Sunday (more on that later, probably).  I'd have taken the Juan Gonzalez you see above over the crabby vet any day.  I hope some of you caught Jones' terrific catch on the highlight reels a couple weeks ago.  Zimmermann started that Saturday game I just mentioned, and it went exactly the way you'd expect.
Impending former Tiger and defense-ophobic RF Nicholas Castellanos gets his own scan since Kerry hit me up with so much new stuff of him.  The Archives and Big League stuff is cool, but you can't go wrong with the bookends!  One is a 2018 Refractor (those keep popping up today!) and the other is a new jersey relic from last year's Topps flagship.  I give him plenty of crap but I know I'll miss him when he leaves, especially since he'll immediately start hitting like gangbusters for whoever acquires him.
Now that the Tigers have (mostly) been covered, let's check out the bunch of player collections Kerry hit in this huge stack of cards.  First up is Jim Abbott on a 2011 Panini Limited card (#133/299) and 2013 GQ Black Mini (#070/199).  I actually already have the autographed version of the Limited card so it'll be cool to keep them side-by-side.  By the way, Abbott is quietly marching his way to 300 cards with a new total of 269.
Maybe it's a good thing I took so long to write up this post because it's All-Star week, and who better to represent the Midsummer Classic than Griffey?  The first in this duo is a 1992 Score/Proctor & Gamble dual effort while the other is a surprisingly cool manurelic, a medallion offered in 2015 Topps factory sets (one of several you could find).  Both focus on Junior starring in the '92 AL/NL matchup, in which he was named MVP after going 3-3 with a double and solo homer, off Greg Maddux, no less!  The AL roasted the senior circuit 13-6, and now I have another reminder of Griffey's contribution to that game.
Here's another perennial All-Star and the most well represented guy in the envelope, Cal Ripken Jr.  There's lots of new stuff here for me to enjoy, especially the '95 Score Summit trio up top.  The '98 Fleer subset right down the middle and Topps Gold Label base bring back good memories of some excellent designs.  And that Donruss/Optic trio on the bottom corners looks pretty sharp too!
The pair of 2018 Topps-branded issues here are nice enough, but I absolutely love the two horizontal inserts that were made 20 years apart.  "Etch-a-Sketch" was a fun idea for an insert made up of pieces created on the iconic toy by a very talented (and/or bored) dude, inserted in 1998 flagship.  I think I may have one other card from this set in my collection (Maddux), so this was a direct hit for Kerry.  It's joined by 2018 Stadium Club's return to one of that name's best looks:  Chrome.  I thought the standalone products were amazing and think they need to come back immediately, other than the fact that Topps would continue to price collectors like me out of buying it.  That's ok, I'll enjoy what I have like this one thanks to this package.
Still here?  Great, we're almost done!  The last of the baseball portion is this sextet of this guy I used to watch pitch for the Tigers.  Intentionally or not Kerry gave me a nice split of Panini and Topps, with the former well represented by Diamond Kings and a Red flagship parallel, and the latter helmed by the other relic in this balanced and effective envelope:  a Verlander jersey from 2018 Topps Update.  Coincidentally enough, that one also celebrates the All-Star Game, which Justin will attend tomorrow for the eighth time.  Some quick math has me thinking that's Verlander hit #28 for me, which, while not too many, is a pretty nice number!
I felt like I had to use the word "balanced" to describe this generous envelope of stuff because Kerry already hit both my Tigers collection and other baseball PCs, then piled on some Michigan Football stuff as well.  Better yet, six of these eight are Michigan uniform cards!

Former #1 WR Derrick Alexander stars on a sweet Fleer insert where he appears to be outrunning Armageddon.  DB Leon Hall--who I can't believe is still hanging around the NFL--gets a Stan Lee-like four cameos thanks to Press Pass and Topps Draft, with the last card you see being a Chrome Bronze parallel found in the latter.  Fellow defensive star LaMarr Woodley also appears on a RC courtesy of the same product.  

I was excited to see current coach Jim Harbaugh on a '98 Collector's Edge Masters base because I'll happily take anything of the former gunslinger, but especially a foil-heavy numbered card (#0233/5000) from my favorite decade.  And last but certainly not least is probably my biggest surprise of the bunch:  a Braylon Edwards auto from Panini's 2011 Playbook (#87/99).  That's how you score some major brownie points with me, I'll tell you what.  His 82nd hit (and 15th that includes a signature) puts him back in a tie with Jake Long for third place in my football hits collection, and I'm definitely thrilled to boost the number of autographs in that group!

Kerry, thanks a ton for this spectacular mix of cardboard, fabric, ink, and other assorted materials--it's truly one of the best I've received this year!  Fortunately I found a couple things for you at this past Saturday's show, so maybe I'll be able to respond in kind soon.

Y'all should stay tuned for a few more trade packages (seriously, I can't keep up with them because you're all awesome, plus I'm lazy), plus show pickups and COMC loot.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

2019 eBay purchases: 1 + 1 = 1/1

Michigan Baseball is due to play in just a bit in its biggest game since I've been alive (and then some!) so I'm going with a shorter post today, plus I haven't gotten around to scanning the contents of the last two trade packages I received.

So here's a look at the two eBay purchases I made the last couple months:
A bit more than a month ago I went chasing after this 2006 SP Legendary Cuts yellow printing plate of former Wolverine/Tiger baseballer Charlie Gehringer, and I was surprised to win it for a bit under $15 shipped.  I love collecting him when I can because he played for my favorite college and pro teams, but since he's a HOFer his cards can carry a premium, so I thought the price tag was reasonable here, especially since it represents my first plate or 1/1 of any kind of the Mechanical Man (and 45th card overall).  Beggars can't be choosers but I'm also thrilled that the one I landed is from UD's iconic SP Legendary Cuts brand!
Flash forward to a couple weeks ago and I'd won my second Tigers plate in as many months, this one of blog namesake dude (and future HOFer) Justin Verlander, for about $12.50.  As you can see on the back it's one of Topps' Gypsy Queen Framed Mini plates, specifically the Black version from 2014.  Oddly enough, Matt of Bob Walk the Plank sent me the Yellow plate from the 2016 product back in 2017, so I can enjoy both and compare them.  While I prefer the newer version's red border to whatever you call this, the plate is the important part and it looks terrific.  That makes three 1/1s of Mr. Upton, and 370 cards total.

And in case you were wondering, my plate/1-1 collection now stands at a crazy 121!

I'll probably be back with those trade packages in the next few days.  Until then, GO BLUE tonight!  (And tomorrow, if necessary, but hopefully it's not necessary)

Sunday, June 23, 2019

2019 trade package #17: Sports Cards From the Dollar Store

It's been quite the nice weekend here in Ann Arbor.  The weather finally turned from rain 24/7 to sunny and 70s.  Michigan Baseball blew through its opponents to reach the College World Series finals for the first time since 1962, gaining the team a ton of new fans (maybe more on that soon!).  And I got to take in my second viewing of the terrific Spiderman:  Into the Spiderverse at the Big House last night.

So why not celebrate the good times with the most recent trade package I got from Doug of Sports Cards From the Dollar StoreThe one he sent me back in May was awesome, but I'd venture to say that this one was a cut above.  This June mailer certainly puts a nice bow on a great weekend in June:
Let's start with a nice bunch of Wings.  The numbered '12-'13 Dominion base cards--which are dummy thicc!--are the highlights for me as they star two of the best players in team history in Datsyuk and new GM Yzerman.  The late Dineen (NHLer Kevin's dad) spent most of his five NHL seasons in Detroit and won a pair of Cups in the 50s before becoming a pretty successful coach.  Kelly was an even bigger star in Detroit and Toronto and won a crazy four cups for each franchise!  The HOFer passed away just a couple months ago, but he and Dineen look great from their playing days on Parkhurst cards from 12 years ago.  Kozlov and McCarty were of course mainstays on multiple Cup-winners.
This group of rookies is headlined by a trio of cards from UD's Synergy brand, one I wasn't familiar with until now.  The blue cards are #d /799 and the back of the red (excellent choice!) has a scratch-off code that I believe you'd redeem as a full set for an upgraded version.  I know little of these four guys but they all appear to be in the organization still, and hopefully one or more of them will join some of Yzerman's draftees to make the team competitive again.
Moving on to basketball, we'll start with a 2010-11 Limited card that doesn't star former Michigan legend Cazzie Russell, but instead Michael Campanella "Campy" Russell (no relation, just an error here).  Then we can move on to one of this post's seven delicious hits:  a jersey/auto/RC of Caris LeVert from 2016 National Treasures (#24/49).  It takes a lot for a relic swatch to have any effect on me these days but this tri-color maize & blue jersey more than does the trick!  Pair that with an autograph that includes an inscription and you've got a beast of a card.  Not a bad way to start my collection of the young Brooklyn Nets SF!
Doug let me know in advance that he had my back when it came to some RCs from probably my favorite yearly football release, Score, but I wasn't expecting some useful veteran base as well.  I love the throwback design here, and the backs look quite nice as well, especially the super colorful reverses on printing plates:
I realize plenty of collectors dislike having the same photo appear on the front and back but that doesn't matter at all to me.  And more importantly I'm happy to have some new cards of Michigan's NFL stars of the gridiron, including PC guy Tom Brady.  If Clark ever stops acting like a dumbass maybe I'll enjoy collecting him as well (and Lewan has had his moments, too).  Peppers' card includes a great photo, though I'll soon see him on cardboard in a different uniform.

Then there's the fun trio of college-uniformed RCs:  Bush, Gary, and Higdon.  All three were a blast to watch with the Wolverines and I hope they add to Michigan's count of successful pro players.
I mentioned Lewan when pointing out his base card above and he also made a second appearance in this envelope on a 2014 Leaf Metal Draft Prismatic Blue auto (#39/50).  Again, nice choice of color.  The airbrushing is annoying as usual but when getting past that this is a fun second version of Lewan's auto in this product (I own the base) and my 14th overall hit of the Titans OT.
As usual hockey is the star of the post, starting with this base/insert mix, which includes the return of the Hockey Mikes (oops, no room for the tag!):  Cammalleri, Comrie, Knuble (Wolverwing RC!), and Komisarek.  Madden's card is one of the coolest of the bunch, an artistic piece that surprisingly doesn't come from Topps Gallery or UD Masterpieces.  We'll see familiar guys Montoya and Patch again in just a minute.  And the Turco Game Breakers insert (from 2006-07 UD Victory) is a new entry for his PC.
And the rest of the hit parade, of the sick/nasty variety.  Seriously this is some bad-ass hockey cardboard (and other materials).

#1 is an eye-popping patch of C Andrew Ebbett.  This one hails from 2007-08 ITG Heroes and Prospects' Emblems, and it's pretty obvious that we're seeing parts of the "A" and "T" from the Binghamton Senators jersey he's wearing.  I took a quick look at the team's history and found that they were affiliated with Doug's Sens until 2017.  That was his first team out of college before moving on to Anaheim and elsewhere.  What a sick patch for hit #7!

Second up is my favorite somewhat recent Michigan guy in the NHL, Wolverwing Dylan Larkin.  My fifth hit of his out of just 23 cards--with Doug responsible for four of those five, I believe--is a beautiful red jersey swatch from 2018-19 Upper Deck Trilogy's Green parallel, #d /242 to match his career number of games played in at that point.  That included 80 each in his first two campaigns and 82 more in '17-'18.  More Larkin stuff, please!

You probably don't hear much about Oklahoma-born defenseman Jon Merrill outside of my blogs, but the autograph you see above, from UD's 2015-16 Artifacts, is actually my 8th hit of his (again, largely thanks to Doug's generosity).  He's spent the last two seasons with Vegas after his first four with the pictured Devils.

I promised more of Montoya and now I'll deliver on that, thanks to Doug's delivery!  After a much hyped college career he was a pretty good prospect so it's no surprise to see Inigo's cousin in a product like ITG's Between the Pipes from 2006-07.  One of the relics is obviously a jersey swatch but the other is unique to the sport:  a goalie's catching glove.  It's fun getting different pieces like this thanks to collecting multiple sports (and knowing a guy who can fill up your hockey box like whoa).  Alvaro is now up to seven hits and he appears on enough that I don't think I'll have a problem growing that number.

While that Ebbett we just talked about is super cool, I don't think anything else tops the final card today, a Max Pacioretty 2016-17 UD Black Lustrous INK auto (#075/175).  The Black brand is one of UD's higher-end offerings and it certainly takes its name to heart, which results in some stunning cards when paired with autos like you see here (and I'll also note that the signature is in much better shape than the scan would indicate).  This is a super thick issue that includes three little windows around the Upper Deck logo:  a see-through image and two pieces designed to look like parts of a sweater.  That thickness makes it tough to get a completely clear scan, but I don't have to care about that because I can look at the card in person whenever I want to, which I may just do more often than any other card of Max in my collection (six of which are now hits).

Doug, thanks again for this outstanding follow-up to your kick-ass May envelope.  I'm looking forward to hitting you back in a few weeks when I have a few eBay purchases and likely show adds in-hand and ready to send over the border!