(Everything you see below cost a quarter apiece.)
Our first familiar face is the guy I'd call the face of the game in the 90s: Ken Griffey Jr. The first five give me half of a fun '96 Collector's Choice insert called "Griffey a Cut Above". UD made good use of their spokesperson and this set is a good example. Above you're seeing cards #2, 3, 6, 8, and 9, and yes, I'd love to complete this set at some point.
Those are joined by another 90s Upper Deck insert, this one hailing from 1999's Collector's Choice replacement UD Choice. It's called "Superstars" (and not "Opening Season Superstars" for some reason) and gives you another great look at that sweet swing.
Larkin is another guy that's familiar to all of you, and while you only see one card above, he'll make another appearance in a bit. Here he is on a beautiful 1994 Score Dream Team insert ("90s inserts rule" is back again!) that's an upgrade of the base subset from previous years. I love the design and old-school aesthetic, including the vintage uni and glove, and this is a great example of how well inserts evolved in the 90s while Topps' non-Refractor offerings remained uninspiring for a few more years. Just a beautiful card and easily worth a quarter.
And now here's a buck worth of Maddux inserts which, oddly enough, capture him with all of his former teams. First up is a 1999 Upper Deck HoloGrFX Future Fame die-cut insert from that acid trip of a product. Next comes a This Day in History insert from 2004 Fleer Tradition which highlights Mad Dog breaking Cy Young's record of consecutive 15-win seasons with his 16th (on Sept. 21, meaning I should have tried to post this yesterday!), a very cool record even as the stat rightfully loses its importance.
Then we move up a few years to a 2007 Fleer Mini Die Cut, which lists Greg as a member of the Padres even as he's pictured with the Dodgers. Last up is a 2017 Bowman Chrome '92 Bowman Refractor which I got for the Refractor aspect more than anything.
Hey cool, I wasn't expecting to find this kind of help for my Mike Matheny supercollection in a quarter box! He's probably the least familiar guy here but I'm guessing most know him as the (embattled) Cardinals manager if nothing else. It would have been one thing to turn up a rarer base card or something, but instead I scored this 2004 Donruss Team Heroes Showdown Bronze parallel (#126/150), which is a good looking card from a fun product. I'm a bit over 25% of his run at 58/218 with a bunch of help from Sportlots incoming.
This month marks 22 years since Cal Ripken Jr. hit 2131 consecutive games played and counting, breaking The Streak set by Lou Gehrig, so how about some cardboard to celebrate?
We'll start with a '93 Leaf Gold All-Stars card I thought I had until I looked it up and found that there were two versions: this one (available in '93 Leaf Update) and the one I do have (found in Series I/II packs). Also notable: it marks Barry Larkin's second appearance today:
That's followed by one of Cal's appearances in the Silver Signature parallel from UD's low-end '94 Collector's Choice debut.
The next three hail from a player-centric set produced by '95 Flair, which is listed as "Ripken" by Beckett despite the huge "ENDURING" title on every card. I found numbers 6, 9, and 13 from the 15-card set (the last five of which came via a wrapper mail-in program) and also intend to chase this set at some point since it looks fantastic.
Closing out this scan is a very Pacific insert called Seismic Force found in their 1999 Invincible product. Each player appears on a portrait- and action-style card, and in this case I turned up the latter.
And this Junior doubled up the other one with a total of 12 cards, including this second group of six! From 2002 and the impeccable Fleer Greats set I found a base of Cal on that flawless design with what I'd have to assume is a 1980s photo.
Then we move up to 2005 with a very nice quintet: Leaf Century, Diamond Kings (oops, not sure how I messed up the order!), Topps Turkey Red, Upper Deck Classics, and UD Past Time Pennants. I feel like I easily got my money's worth on these $3 of Ripkens especially thanks to this bunch.
And finally, we get to a very familiar player to this here blog, its (second) namesake, Justin Verlander. We're plenty familiar with him even if he's now plying his trade with the playoff-bound Astros. From Topps' interesting-yet-goofy 2009 Ticket to Stardom product, here's JV's Perforated parallel, notable for that very characteristic along the card's bottom.
That's it for the September show, but don't forget to head over to TMM for a few more cards, including a young Detroit Red Wing. Stay tuned for COMC, eBay, and Sportlots posts coming soon!