Today's post will cover a nifty Tigers insert package from Daniel of It's Like Having My Own Card Shop. Daniel claimed the D-Backs when I was giving away fall cleaning lots, and he was nice enough to send some stuff I CAN use back my way. This is actually the first time we've traded, so once again, the fall cleaning effort paid off in ways other than freeing up space, and I'm sure we'll be able to work out more deals in the future. For now, though, here's what he sent me:
- The Maybin is from the 2008 Topps Dick Perez insert set. Perez, of course, is famous for his work with Donruss Diamond Kings, and if Topps was going to rip off yet another idea from someone, at least they stole a great one. It's amazing how young Maybin looks here, in the days before his notable inclusion in the deal that brought Miguel Cabrera to Detroit. This is an awesome card and I'm holding onto it despite the fact that he's no longer a Tiger.
- Anderson and Encarnacion were considered rising stars at one point, as funny as that seems now. The Tigers blew their #1 overall pick on Anderson, a fireballing closer, in 1997. Players the Tigers passed on that year (again, for a CLOSER) include: J.D. Drew, Troy Glaus, Michael Cuddyer, Lance Berkman, and Chase Utley, to name a few.
Encarnacion looked like Detroit's best hope for a five-tool player in the 90s, but while he showed a bit of promise, rest assured that never happened. Still, he was a somewhat useful OF when the Tigers traded him to the Reds for ineffective malcontent Dmitri Young, just one of MANY awful decisions that were symptomatic of the horrible Tigers teams of the 90s. A freak eye injury thanks to being hit in the face by a foul ball while on the on-deck circle sadly ended his career, but I'll still remember him as a decent, if not star, player.
- This pair of Tony Clark serial #d inserts is great! I have a couple others of the Hit Parade insert from 1998 Studio, a set I collected a bit, and that one's #d 3727 out of a scant 500. The 1998 Leaf Rookies & Stars HR Derby Insert is a set I'd somehow never seen before, so that's even better. The back plays up Clark's participation in "an upcoming" home run derby. Yeah, that never happened, but Clark was still one of the few useful players on the aforementioned awful 90s Tigers teams. The #2 overall pick in 1990, his numbers are deceptively good, including more than 250 HR, and he actually compares best to Justin Morneau, which I wouldn't have guessed. Would I have preferred that the Tigers had taken Mike Mussina that year? Of course. But all the same, Clark was essentially the face of the Tigers for a few years, and I think many Detroit fans will remember him fondly.
- Munson was another of Detroit's blown top-10 picks, going 3rd overall in 1999 out of USC. He was certainly thought of as a great prospect, but even at the time I remember considering him a reach. He somehow managed to eke out a nine-year career despite awful stats.
This card, though, does hail from a set I recall enjoying very much: 2000 Black Diamond. While I much preferred the base cards, the rookies from this set are pretty cool, and definitely of the shiny variety, as you can see here.
- Justin Verlander is a little-known Tiger pitcher who may yet establish himself as a solid pro. Experts peg him as a low-speed, control pitcher with fourth starter upside.
I don't believe I had either of these inserts, both of which look fantastic. Verlander's 2006 Rookie of the Year campaign more than justifies his inclusion in an All-Star Rookie-themed set.
Thanks again, Daniel, for the trade! I look forward to making more deals with you, especially if you're going to be this good of a source of Tigers for me. Everyone should read and follow It's Like Having My Own Card Shop immediately