Wednesday, April 27, 2016

2016 COMC purchases: Tigers of yore

While I have a ton of COMC fodder to show off on TMM and it'll take me a while to get through all of it, I'll have no such problem over here--one post will do it.  Here's a few Tigers I picked up:
Charlie Gehringer 2001 SP Legendary Cuts
I usually show off my Gehringer stuff on the other blog since he's one of the most notable Wolverines baseball alumni, but it's not like I'm usually hurting for content over there like I am with this here blog sometimes.  So here's the first of three cards I grabbed of the Mechanical Man.  It's the first of Charlie's base cards from the amazing SP Legendary Cuts product, in this case from 2001.  I believe I now have all of his base issues from those sets, including 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2007.  Out of that group I think this design is my favorite.
Charlie Gehringer 2015 Diamond Kings
Speaking of some classy designs, I think last year's Diamond Kings product looks absolutely amazing.  This may be a Gehringer photo that gets used quite often, (hell, the same one's on the next card!) but the design is just too cool, even without logos.  I wish I had more PC guys to chase in this set, but maybe I'll pick one up if I can ever find it cheap enough.
Charlie Gehringer 2015 Panini Cooperstown Crown Royale
Panini's Cooperstown from the same year is also a pretty solid set, but better yet is this insert version (which actually isn't a parallel since the photos are completely different).  I'm not too surprised they look nice, though, since Crown Royale has a pretty good reputation as far as I'm concerned.  These also have some parallels of their own that I might just have to track down.

My Gehringer collection continues to putter along and I now own 27 different cards of the HOFer.
Kirk Gibson 2006 Greats of the Game Tigers Greats
Now that I think about it, this Gibby keeps up the classy brands theme--Greats of the Game ranks up there with the best, no question.  Fleer tossed Tigers collectors a bone with this 10-card insert set focusing on some notable Detroit players, though for some reason Lou Whitaker got left out; I'm happy Gibson was included, though.  The design is kind of fun thanks to the Tiger Stadium shot on the right.  By the way, if this card looks a bit familiar, it's because I have the jersey version.
Lou Whitaker 1996 Fleer Golden Memories (with Alan Trammell)
And finally, here's a new Whitaker for my supercollection of the iconic Tigers 2B.  Better yet it's another that pairs him with his partner in the best double-play combo of all time, Trammell.  Here's a look at the back courtesy of COMC:
1996 Fleer Golden Memories #10 - Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker - Courtesy of COMC.com
Side note:  I don't think anybody around here ever called them "Trammaker."  Anyway, this was another fun glossy insert from mid-to-late 90s Fleer, and it's my 233rd of 287 Whitaker cards (and 247th overall).  I don't have any others in-hand right now but hope to have more soon.

With these posted I think I may actually get back to trade posts very soon!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

2016 Sportlots purchases: some Sweet PC cards

Some extremely generous traders are filling up my mailbox with content to post, and I promise to get back to those very soon, but I've got some other stuff I've been wanting to post.

Today I have for you an 11-spot of new cards for my Lou Whitaker PC courtesy of Sportlots.  I've put in a bunch of time on the site the past few months, mainly going after cards for my Michigan Football rookies project, but as I add stuff to my cart and get it optimized for price/shipping, I also like to see if any of those sellers can help me out with other PCs.  Hence my success in acquiring the following:

1986 Sportflics Rookies (with Murray, Righetti, Sax, Ripken Jr., and Strawberry)
I'm more of a Sportflix man myself, but the older-school Sportflics cards are cool too.  This six-player card is one of three multi-player cards you can find in the boxed set, and highlights "Six players who were outstanding in their rookie seasons."  Each guy was a ROY between '78 and '83 so this seems like a pretty reasonable list, despite Steve Sax's run-ins with the law.
1989 Bowman Tiffany
I don't have that much to say about this Tiffany parallel of the annoyingly oversized '89 Bowman set because it's not all that interesting, so instead I'll use this space to highlight the fact that I'm just two cards away from having everything of Whitaker from the 70s and 80s ('88 Score Glossy and '89 O-Pee-Chee).
1991 O-Pee-Chee
Speaking of O-Pee-Chee, here's one from '91, when the brand was still basically just English/French versions of that year's Topps.  That was the case until 1993.
1993 Stadium Club Members Only Parallel
Ah, now we get more exciting:  the inimitable Stadium Club, and a Member's Only card at that.  The borderless photo if Sweet Lou turning two is fantastic, and you'd be hard pressed to find a better case for a horizontal card.  Given the mediocrity that Topps flagship has become, I thought I'd imagine what that brand's version of this photo would have been, and I think it might have gone a little something like this:
Just kidding, it would have been zoomed in way more.  Anyway, hooray for Topps' past triumphs, even if they're long gone.
1994 Collector's Choice Gold Signature
For a parallel set from such a low-end product like Collector's Choice, these little bastards sure are a pain in the ass to get.  Fortunately I found a couple sellers that helped me out with the relatively rare inserts I was chasing of Whitaker and others, like this Gold Signature card.
1994 Fleer (#709) (with Alan Trammell)
You know, as ubiquitous as this pair was I feel like I should have a lot more cards of them together than I do.  It looks to me like Fleer went with a Spring Training shot here.  It's always a nice bonus when I can add a card to both Whitaker and Trammell's PCs!
1994 Stadium Club Golden Rainbow and Members Only Parallel
Back to Stadium Club (and parallels) and we get another great shot of Lou turning two!  Looks like he's already forced Brewers IF Juan Bell and has gunned to first for the twin-killing.  The "label-maker" version of Stadium Club was fun, though the Golden Rainbow parallel seems superfluous to me.  Members Only was a nice additional for several years, though.

1995 Collector's Choice Gold Signature
The '95 version of the Gold Signature cards don't come across as obviously as the '94 issues when it comes to scans since they lack the colored border, but the gold effect is more pronounced in-hand.  These are annoying bastards to chase down too!
1996 Donruss Press Proof
"My name is Lou and I like to turn two!"  The high-flying 2B levitates while doubling up another hapless foe.  Since I first encountered press proof parallels back in '95 (though they existed earlier) I've found them interesting, maybe because for those first few years they were relatively scarce and it was a big deal when you pulled one.  '96 Donruss' versions are fun because you not only get the gold stamp, the team name/logo/number box is gilded as well.
1996 Ultra
Last up is a simple base card from '96 Ultra.  Since it's from Series I I didn't previously own it--I have the base set of Series II only.  A late-in-his-career Whitaker readies to record yet another assist.

My updated Whitaker count moves up to 232 courtesy of these additions, and thanks to a bit of checklist adjustment--I've stopped including buyback cards--I'm just 55 short of his entire run and past the 80% mark.  Finishing off his collection would be sweet indeed!

If you're interested in seeing the rest of my Sportlots baseball PC additions, please head over to TMM this evening.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

2016 trade package #10: Fuji's fabulous finds

Everybody's favorite Fuji, (unless you're an old-school WWF fan, maybe?) Mark from the Chronicles of Fuji sent me another great package of cards, marking the second time already he's done so this year.  As many of my favorite trade envelopes are, this one is split up into a two-part post because Fuji included some Wolverines to show off over on TMM as well!

Here's the TMV portion for your viewing pleasure:
This first group comprises Tigers I keep sorted by player in my Detroit box (a monster box that includes the other three teams from the city), meaning they're all guys of whom I'm happy to continue receiving cards (hint hint!).  Miggy's 2014 All-Star insert is done up in the style of Topps' 80s cards honoring those players, a nice throwback.  Clark was a good player in Detroit for long enough that I'm still happy to find stuff of his.  Cobb and his productive grip are no-brainers as well.  Cecil Fielder (a.k.a. the less dysfunctional of the father-son playing duo) is today's big winner with four cards, including a '95 Leaf insert that pairs him up with fellow Tigers stalwart and corner infielder Travis Fryman (hi, "90s inserts rule!" tag).  Finally, erstwhile Tigers outfields Torii Hunter and Ajax appear in the form of 2013 Bowman Gold parallels.
Another erstwhile 2013 Bowman Gold Tiger, Max Scherzer, didn't fit in with the first scan.  A '97 Score Board insert focusing on Detroit makes an obvious selection (Barry Sanders) and two that are very "HUH?" to say the least--Matt Drews (a former Yankees first-round bust traded to Detroit) and Scot Pollard, a forgettable first-rounder that played a season for the Pistons.  Getting in on the insert action are former pitchers John Doherty and Mike Moore from '94 Pinnacle's Museum Collection parallel (another favorite).  Another pitcher (and unfortunate bust) Chad Petty appears on a rare-ish 2001 Topps Gold Label Class 3 version, numbered 106/299, and you don't see too many cards of that level all that often.  Finishing up with oddball stuff, former Detroit catcher Dwight Lowry highlights a strip of 1987 Coca-Cola Tigers card, along with Chet Lemon, Dan Petry, and a checklist part of the mix.  They're joined by 2013 Panini Cooperstown Colgan's Chips discs of a pair of Tigers pitching greats, Jim Bunning and Hal Newhouser.  Very cool!
Mickey Lolich 1970 Topps (#72) (with Sam McDowell and Andy Messersmith)
Mickey Lolich 1972 Topps (#94) (with Vida Blue and Wilbur Wood)
Speaking of older players, how about this sweet pair of multi-player leaders cards featuring '68 World Series hero Mickey Lolich, both of which are heading to my vintage collection.  The '70 card clearly calls out leaders in strikeouts while the '72 card (one of two leader cards on which Lolich appears) showed off the top winners in the junior circuit, with Mickey taking the crown thanks to his 25 victories.  I love getting vintage cards in trades, especially ones I don't have, and especially especially Tigers!
Justin Verlander 2013 Gypsy Queen No-Hitters and 2013 Topps 1972 Topps Mini
And what better way to end another great trade package than showing off two (of many) Verlanders?  Since these came out in 2013 the GQ insert focusing on no-hitters was able to note JV's pair against Milwaukee (2007) and Toronto (2011).  Meanwhile I did my best to show the Mini insert to scale.  Keep sending 'em and I'll keep posting 'em, folks!

Well, technically that's not the end, because I also have to show off Fuji's newest custom, even though you've all surely seen it a ton by now:
What a well-done custom!  But Fuji, next time go with something from another brand, I bet you could do justice to a different set too.  Thanks again for some fantastic cards!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

2016 trade package #9: spring game trading with Jeff

A couple Fridays ago Jeff from My Sports Obsession and I met up in-person for the first time since last year's Michigan Football spring game to swap cards and...take in this year's Michigan Football spring game.  Besides saving a bit of cash on shipping costs, in-person trading is always more fun since it gives you that old-school collecting kind of feel.

Anyway, a good time was had by all, and now I have some great cards to show off.  Since this is Jeff we're talking about, I get to treat y'all to a two-part trade post, with the other goodies available over on TMM.

This time, though, the bulk of the cards I received will show up right here.  Enjoy!

Almost all of this post's cards hail from 2016 Topps.  I got a nice trio of base cards of Castellanos, Kinsler, and Martinez, who's designated as a "Future Star" despite, uh, being a star.  I like the action photos the infielders got, though they suffer from Topps' patented XTREME ZOOM issue along with the interesting design decision of incorporating...a fog machine?  I dunno, man.  I'm digging the borderless thing, though.  Pitcher Daniel Norris, who's working through some back issues, gets in on the act with a Topps sticker that also came out this year.
Justin Verlander 2016 Topps and Gold (#1241/2016)
Hooray, a pair of new Verlanders!  Also from 2016 flagship, here's JV's base card and Gold parallel.  I guess one side effect of going borderless is that the parallels can be a bit more subtle, but the card on the right does carry on the legacy of that venerable insert.

Max Scherzer 2015 Topps Career High Relics jersey
Here's what I considered the first surprise of the package:  my fifth hit of former Tigers ace Max Scherzer.  From 2015 flagship, this card notes Max's career high of 21 wins from his 2013 Cy Young campaign that saw him lose just three decisions.  He's yet to top that since, though we'll see if he can do any better for the Nats this year.

Cal Ripken Jr. 1991 SilverStar Holograms
Going away from Tigers players, here's a fun oddball hologram of Cal Ripken Jr.  As with similar cards it was a little tough to scan, and the result here is pretty hilariously creepy.
Greg Maddux 2001 SP Game Bat Milestone Piece of Action Bound for the Hall bat
And here's the other card that really surprised me:  a bat relic of HOF pitcher Greg Maddux!  Mad Dog was known more for his arm and glove over his career, but he did slug five homers to go with two triples.  What a great addition as my 15th hit of my favorite 90s pitcher.

Thanks again for the great stuff, Jeff!  I had a blast hanging out and I hope you liked your box of cards too.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

2016 trade package #8: Red Barrys from Nachos Grande

Last week fellow Barry Larkin collector Chris from Nachos Grande sent me a nice little package entirely comprising that very player:

  • 1994 Collector's Choice (#171)
  • 1994 Fleer
  • 1994 Fleer All-Stars
  • 1994 Upper Deck (#269)
  • 2001 Leaf Rookies and Stars
  • 2015 Topps High Tek
Not only am I always happy to receive cards from Chris (and everyone else that sends them), I'm happy to say that all six of these are new to me thanks to his due diligence.  It's a nice bunch that includes cards from four different brands--UD, Fleer, Leaf/Donruss, and Topps--and reaches across three decades, from 1994-2015.

The Leaf R&S card is my favorite overall combination of photo and design, but the Collector's Choice has a cool action photo as well.  Fleer's base card calls to mind modern Topps' obsession with super zoomed-in images while the All-Stars insert looks pretty typical for the brand during that era.  Upper Deck's card is an interesting concept though it wastes a ton of space, and Barry's other card in the set looks much better.  Finally, I was relieved to see that Topps' Tek cards weren't as complicated as they could have been and it didn't take me too much work to figure out that this "waves" pattern is Larkin's base version in the set.

Chris, thanks once again for treating me to some new Larkin cardboard, giving me a new total of 329.  I'll soon have a few cards headed your way that should help you out a bit too!

By the way, readers, this isn't my only Michigan-related trade post going up today--please head over to TMM for more goodies.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Let's Go Tigers! 2016 edition

Yeah yeah, I've got tons of cards to post (thanks to several very generous traders!) but it's opening day for the Tigers, coming up in just a bit while I'm writing this post.

1.  Ian Kinsler, 2B
2015 Topps Stadium Club Gold Foil #166 - Ian Kinsler - Courtesy of COMC.com
2.  Justin Upton, LF
2015 Panini Donruss #52 - Justin Upton - Courtesy of COMC.com
3.  Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4.  J.D. Martinez, RF
2015 Topps Update Series All-Star Stitches #STIT-JM - J.D. Martinez - Courtesy of COMC.com
5.  Nick Castellanos, 3B
6.  James McCann, C
7.  Jose Iglesias, SS
2014 Topps Gypsy Queen Glove Stories #GS-JI - Jose Iglesias - Courtesy of COMC.com
8.  Anthony Gose, CF

2015 Topps Heritage High Number #537 - Anthony Gose - Courtesy of COMC.com
9.  Justin Verlander, P

I'm thrilled to see JV taking the hill for Detroit's season-opener, and with a new campaign about to start, hope sprints eternal for the Tigers' ace and his teammates to get back to the playoffs and beyond.
Let's go Tigers!