Barry Larkin 2004 Leaf Certified Materials Mirror Combo Red jersey-bat (#167/250)
Card number one is today's least interesting, since I usually like to start like that and then work my way up. But when your "worst" card looks as nice as this one you're generally doing pretty well.
One of my COMC purchases was this beautiful Mirror Red jersey/bat relic from Donruss's 2004 Leaf Certified Materials product. The Certified Mirror cards date all the way back to the mid-90s and have resulted in some stunning pieces with various colors being used as parallels. See what we're missing thanks to the Toppsopoly?
Red is the perfect parallel color for a Cincinnati player, and it really goes well with a photo of Larkin in one of my favorite Reds uniforms. The combo of a jersey swatch and bat plus the serial numbering really tie together what ended up being a fantastic hit of the HOF SS.
That's a pretty nice start, so how much could I really improve on it? Try this pair on for size:
Barry Larkin 2015 Immaculate Collection Collegiate Multisport INK auto (#19/25) and 2015 Panini National Treasures Collegiate Multisport Signatures Silver auto (#09/25)
Yes sir/ma'am, my second and third Larkin autographs feature the famous Michigan alum in his Wolverines uniform! Panini put a nice amount of effort into producing some excellent college-themed cards this year and I think the results speak for themselves (other than duplicating the photos--come on, Panini, that's Topps' job!).
As a Michigan alum and fan I was absolutely thrilled to see guys such as Larkin and George Sisler, among others, included in these high-end products, and better yet, I let a couple others take all the risk in breaking, allowing me to get both of these for fairly reasonable prices. The on-card Immaculate version is the real gem so I understood having to pay a premium for it relative to the National Treasures issue when I found the former on COMC, but I'm also glad to report that I scored a nice deal on the latter on eBay (a month ago today, oddly enough): a bit under $25! While you might attribute that to the slightly sketchy stickergraph, the several other offerings I've seen on eBay have that attribute in common and still tended to go for something like $10 more than I paid. Hell, I landed the Immaculate card for just a bit more than that and at least that has an on-card signature.
So I'm over the moon to add two new Larkin autographs to his growing PC with both of them featuring Michigan uni photos. Thank you, Panini, for making cards geared towards collectors like me, regardless of what the naysayers like to complain about. What do you say, fellow collectors of Larkin, Wolverines, and college teams in general?
The next post I get to will probably cover pickups (from Sportlots) of another of my baseball PC guys, this time a Detroit Tiger, so watch for that soon!