Tuesday, April 4, 2017

3-31-17 card show report: quarter quell

Happy Tigers opening day! (and third day of baseball to the rest of you.)  Having just finished watching Detroit beat the White Sox, it's time to celebrate with some cards, and I'm happy to report that I'm featuring four different Tigers today.

So a few Sundays ago I went to a VFW hall-style card show I'd attended just once before, and I can safely say I'm never going back--it really was that bad.  The cards were way overpriced, the sellers were pushy, and I nearly got into an argument with a dealer who was preaching the gospel according to Beckett, then realized it was a lost cause and left after grabbing a few trade bait cards from someone else.  It was a shitty experience, to say the least, but fortunately I made up for it by hitting up my usual monthly show in Taylor.

I happened to be off on Friday and checked in to see if my favorite seller was there.  He was, and I spent the next hour or so going quarter box diving.  100 cards and $20 later (not a bad deal!) I was heading out the door in a good mood with some trade bait and fun cards to show off here and on TMM too.

Here's the goods:
First up is Tiger #1, an oddball-ish issue of catching stalwart Bill Freehan (89 cards) from 1988 Pacific Legends.  This design is literally the opposite of Pacific's M.O. from the mid-90s on, and its simplicity makes it a nice pickup.
Going back a bit further in MLB years (but less in card terms), here's another oddball of Tiger #2, Charlie "the Mechanical Man" Gehringer (33 cards), the best 2B in Detroit history.  I'm not sure exactly what year this hails from, but it's part of SSPC's HOF set from the 80s.  The design is kind of fun, plus it's nice to see a Gehringer photo that's new to me as far as I know.
My four big non-Tigers/Wolverines PCs all get in on the action today too.  Ken Griffey Jr. (439 cards) is represented here from the love-it-or-hate-it credit card-themed 1995 Studio set.  I count myself as a fan, but then again it's rare for me to see a version of Studio I don't like.  In this case I kind of enjoy seeing some of the stats up front.  How did Junior sock 40 dingers and plate just 90 runs?  The answer:  this card's stats reflect the strike-shortened '94 season, when he posted those numbers in just 111 games!
That's enough one-card players for a minute, let's take a look at a five-spot of Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn (262 cards).  I scored three inserts from a couple decades ago but unfortunately ran out of room in the tags to include "90s inserts rule".  Whatever, it's the thought that counts.  Those include the shiny Statistical Standouts from 1994 Leaf; the even more credit card-like Gold version of Gwynn's '95 Studio issue;  and a gorgeous foil-and-hologram mashup called Special FX from 1996 SP.  Those are followed by a very classy Faces of the Game insert from 2000 UD, then a much more modern card from the Also Known As set available in the fantastic 2015 Diamond Kings product.  Five new Gwynns equals a pretty nice day!
Speaking of 90s inserts, we go all the way back to '92 for this Fleer All-Stars insert of HOF SS Barry Larkin (353 cards).  1991 saw him appear in his fourth straight Midsummer Classic, and he'd add eight to that total before he retired in 2004.
Greg Maddux (275 cards) was the big winner of this show on the strength of these six cards, the latter four of which are lower-end offerings from 2014-2016 Topps.  The former two come from fairly interesting products, though--these base cards hail from 2003 Topps Pristine and 2004 Diamond Kings.  The second of the pair is from a subset called Flashback and depicts a younger Mad Dog in his first go-round with the Cubbies.  Note that these are sorted chronologically and alphabetically, and they alternate between Atlanta and Chicago unis!
This entry for my final Michigan Baseball PC guy of the day, Hal Morris (107 cards) is admittedly a bit of a stretch--this '94 insert is actually a Montreal Expos Stadium Club Team card.  But Hal features so prominently that I feel justified in including it in his collection even though it doesn't appear on his checklist per Beckett.  What do they know anyway?  Make that tag, Hal!
I always enjoy digging out fun 90s inserts of some of my PC superstars, and happily, Cal Ripken Jr. (405 cards) made a couple appearances this time.  The card on the left is an Extreme Corps subset from '95 Stadium Club.  Remember the 90s, when everything was EXTREME?  To the right is my third example from '95 Studio, in this case Cal's base card.  Like his fellow Junior, Cal had a pretty nice '94 season considering its brevity.
Our final two players are Tigers, a nice way to close out this celebratory post.  First up is Detroit legend and should-be HOFer Alan Trammell (123 cards).  Sorry, I couldn't find a Whitaker to go with it this time!  Those of you with good cardboard educations probably recognize this design instantly:  1981 Fleer.  Tram was just coming off the best season in his young career when this product made its debut, but his legend would truly grow three years later.
Last and most relevant, here's today's opening day winner, some guy you might have heard of.  Justin Verlander (236 cards) piled up 10 strikeouts and earned the win over the division rival White Sox as he looks to put up another excellent season.  It's hard to believe that it was 11 years ago when JV pitched his first full season for Detroit, piling up 17 wins en route to the A.L. ROY and and World Series appearance.  This 2007 Topps Generation Now card highlights the sixth of those victories, and I also have cards for wins #2, 5, 8, and 14.  I may pick up the rest eventually.  Here's hoping Mr. Kate Upton exceeds that total of 17 wins in 2017!

Like I said, this was a nice way to get the bad taste of that terrible other show out of my mouth.  Until next month's, I'm happy to have more trade packages to show off soon!

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