Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Topps Tiger Fan-Favorites!

Well, Tigers collectors, anyway.  As I usually do several times a week, I was on the always-awesome Cardboard Connection yesterday and the title of an article caught my eye:  "2013 Topps Archives Baseball Fan Favorites Autographs Spotlight 1980s and 90s."  "Cool!" I thought, "A lot of my favorite players, even the guys that weren't stars, are from the 80s and 90s."  I proceeded to check out the checklist for names that would interest me, and two caught my eye.

One was former Tigers SS Travis Fryman.  I think Travis is a great fit in a set devoted to "fan-favorite" players--guys who weren't really sought after nationally, but certainly appreciated by their own fans.  I have managed to pick up one of his few certified autos, this 1996 Leaf Signature Bronze version,
which is an excellent on-card issue from his second-to-last season in Detroit, his fourth of five All-Star campaigns.  I'm especially glad to see Fryman get a new certified auto because his current run is 10 different cards:  the above card, plus Silver and Gold versions from '96 Leaf Signature; a 2005 Topps Retired Signature issue (which I totally need to find), a Refractor version of that, plus four autographed plates; and a cut auto from 2012 Leaf History of Baseball.  What I'm getting at here is that it's a fairly big deal for Tigers/Fryman collectors that he's got a new autograph coming out!

Well that's all well and good for Tigers collectors, but one's never enough.  That's why I was so excited to see this in the checklist:  "FFA-MT Mickey Tettleton, Detroit Tigers."  Sweet!  One of my all-time favorites, he of this batting stance,
has had VERY few certified autos.  In fact, as I was verifying the current total, which I knew included this one from my PC,
I hadn't even realized that he actually does have a second issue from 2012 Leaf History of Baseball.  Unfortunately, like Fryman's, that's numbered to just 10 copies.  So getting another shot at a Tettleton graph is pretty exciting!

I know this year's Archives are incorporating another four past designs, from 1972, 1982, 1985, and 1990, so I'm curious which design each player will get.  Regardless, I'll be pretty with whatever they get.  Since this is a Topps product, I won't play the lottery and try to pull these, and I know as usual I'll have to wait until the initial hype dies down, but I'm sure I'll be able to buy or trade for each.

As a sidenote, former '68 champ Denny McLain also appears on the checklist, but he's a jackass and I won't be pursuing him.  Still, a few other former Tigers will be available as well, albeit in different uniforms.  Those players include:  Darrell Evans (Braves), Dan Gladden (Twins), Eric Davis (Reds), Fred Lynn (Red Sox), Greg Jefferies (Mets), Howard Johnson (Mets), Hal Morris (Reds), Juan Samuel (Phillies), Lloyd Moseby (Blue Jays), Ray Knight (Reds), and Ruben Sierra (Rangers).  Not a terrible group!

So hopefully you'll be seeing Fryman's and Tettleton's 2013 Archives autographs over here within a few months.  And I also hope that you collectors end up with your fan-favorites as well!

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