Wednesday, October 25, 2017

2017 Sportlots purchases: Rich on the Hill (and other guys)

For a huge number of baseball fans like myself, Christmas came early this past Saturday when the World Series-bound Houston Astros gave us all the gift of Yankees Elimination Day!  Houston celebrated its fifth year in the AL by taking home the pennant, largely thanks to this here blog's namesake, Justin Verlander.

But I don't have any cards of him to show off today, and as a matter of fact I'll be pulling for JV's opponents, the Dodgers, this Series--even though they (rightfully) left former this here blog namesake Curtis Granderson off the roster.  Why?  Just look at L.A.'s starter for game 2--one Rich Hill, he of the incredible comeback a couple seasons ago that culminated in consecutive playoff appearances with his latest team.

In his first taste of the postseason since 2007, Hill went 1-1 in three playoff appearances last year, winning his lone start--game 3--of the NLDS to the eventual champion Cubs.  Now he's taking the mound for the favored Dodgers in game 2 of the Fall Classic--crazy!

That made me do some quick digging to find out the last time a Michigan alum

  • ...made it to the playoffs (Hill, 2016 Dodgers)
  • ...made it to the World Series (Barry Larkin, Hal Morris, Chris Sabo, 1990 Reds)
  • ...won a World Series (that same Reds group)
  • ...participated in the World Series as a pitcher (Steve Howe, 1981 Dodgers)
  • ...won a World Series as a pitcher (Howe, 1981 Dodgers)

So this is a pretty significant game for one of my favorite PC guys and you know I'll be watching!  To celebrate, I have some Sportlots pickups of both Hill and Howe, plus some of a few other guys who came in at four or fewer cards in my enormous 1000-ish card haul from the site:
In grabbing these flagship and Archives issues I finally got my first 2017 cards of Hill, and therefore my first of him in a Dodgers uniform, because why would Topps have done that in last year's Update set?  Or even Series 1 this year?  God I miss those idiots having competition.  I'm back up to around the 2/3 mark of his run though that doesn't include his Chrome Sapphire releases, which I haven't been able to checklist yet.
While filling my cart with loot of the other PC guys you'll see in this series, I dug deep for everyone I collect just in case, hence the appearance of a few guys today such as Dransfeldt, the former Texas farmhand.  I turned up a couple minor league issues from 1999:  Baseball America Diamond Best Gold and Just.  Both were decent products and I've always liked the look of the BA set (not to mention the magazine and its excellent prospect coverage).
Here's the other World Series-winner I mentioned (as a Dodger!), Steve Howe.  Throughout this post and the rest of the series you'll see a good number of oddball items, mainly from the 80s and early 90s, after I let loose and grabbed almost literally everything of my PCs that was $0.20 or under.  Such is the case here as we have a couple 1983 Fleer offerings:  a Star Stamp (you can kind of make out the perforations in the scan) and a Sticker as well.
Getting back to mainstream issues for my supercollections, here's my favorite card of the post:  David Parrish's 2001 Topps Chrome Retrofractor.  A parallel of a RC he shared with fellow catching prospect Scott Heard of the Rangers, this is one of the best Refractor-type cards Topps produced, and that's saying something!  It features the typically excellent parallel finish, which looks great with that shade of green, plus it includes an old-school cardboard texture on the back to give it that "retro" feel.  My 20th card of the son of former Tigers backstop Lance leaves me just two shy of his run!
I belatedly discovered that Powell was a Michigan alum around this time last year, and in the roughly 12 months since, I've tracked down all but one of his seven cards.  The '94 Score Gold Rush parallel on the right was no problem as I could have nabbed it several times if I didn't mind paying more, but the Pinnacle Artist's Proof from the same year is one of those issues I was beginning to think didn't exist!  I was so shocked when it turned up that I immediately made sure to buy it before it disappeared, either in a sale or as a mirage.  Now I'm just left chasing his '94 Score Boys of Summer insert, a copy of which I've seen online so I know it's extant!
Just as I was happy to see Rich Hill finally appear in 2017 flagship Series 2, I was also pleasantly surprised that injured White Sox RP Zach Putnam also gained admittance, his first in a flagship product, not to mention his first mainstream issue since 2010!  I now get to chase his rainbow from that set while I try to lock up the final three cards I need from his earlier cardboard appearances.
By my reckoning Putz is the made the next most recent appearance by a Michigan alum in the playoffs, Arizona's 2011 NLDS loss to the Brewers.  As with Putnam I only tracked down one card of the former closer, a 2014 Topps Wal Mart Blue parallel made the same year as his sunset season.  It's my ninth from that rainbow with a good number of parallels still to go.
Howe's not the only player for whom I went all oddball, all the time.  I'd long since completed the checklist of Sorensen, a late 70s/80s pitcher for seven different teams, when I managed to come up with these fun additions:  another 1983 Fleer Sticker (we're not done with those yet!), another sticker from Topps' 1984 version (shared with Royal Larry Gura), and a standard-sized 1990 Swell Baseball Greats.  Man did people in the 80s look weird....
We'll finish at the end of the alphabet with another pitcher whose checklist I've had completed for a while:  Geoff Zahn.  Another former Dodger, Zahn appeared in the 1982 postseason with an Angels squad that lost to Milwaukee, who'd lose in seven to the Cardinals.  I added three more stickers to my collection in the form of Zahn's entries from 1983 Fleer and Topps and 1985 Topps.  Then I went big--literally--with Geoff's 1985 Donruss Action All Stars, a large 3.5 x 5 inch release from a 60-card set.  Adding these four boosted me to a nice even total of 40 Zahn cards.

And with that I'm off to watch two of my favorite PC pitchers duke it out on baseball's grandest stage!  Good luck to both in what I hope continues to be a classic Series.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

10/7/17 card show report: card show mad libs with Kendy Griffson and friends

Honestly at this point these show posts write themselves:

I went to the monthly show in Taylor A. (date of show) to hit up my favorite dealer's table and spent about an hour and a half combing through his various boxes.  In the end I came out with B. (quantity and type of cards), and the seller gave me a nice little discount by only charging me C. (price).  I had a great time as always picking up some cards for myself and some trade bait for a few of you while I was at it.  You'll see a bunch of the cards below and even more over on TMM!

A. a couple Saturdays ago
B. 50 dime cards, 140 quarters, and a pair from the $0.50 box
C. $30

Sure, the intros to these posts aren't terribly imaginative, but I don't really care since the cards are different every time and that's the point--they are the stars of the posts after all!

Though I didn't set out with this goal in mind, everything I grabbed from this here blog comes from the holy PC quartet of Griffey/Gwynn/Maddux/Ripken.  As an added bonus for me, each player's cards fit on one scan--woohoo!  Less work!  And woohoo for those of you that especially love stuff from the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s:
Let's kick things off with 15 years of Griffey in one scan.  Representing 1992 is Pinnacle's solid Team 2000 insert, better looking than a lot of chase cards at the time.  Jumping ahead to '95 there's one of Junior's Silver Signature parallels from the second Collector's Choice product of that year, SE (Special Edition).  I'm wondering if the records mentioned on the front refer to his home run pace in '94.

Meanwhile, 1998 is represented by four cards:  Flair Showcase Row 2 and 3 (second easiest and easiest to find), half of the Mariners' Pinnacle Inside Stand-Up Guys insert, and Pacific's Revolution.  The former two are stunning and offer ample evidence that Fleer still needs to be producing baseball cards.  The Pinnacle card, however, was a goofy insert from a fun product--when you got the accompanying card and slid the two together along their notches you got a complete look at all four players.  Griffey actually appears on the back, so I threw in the full scan here:
I for one think Kendy Griffson would have given Babe Ruth a run for his pitching/hitting money.  Kenny's power and speed paired with Randy's left arm would have been unstoppable, especially given that this Star Trek transporter accident has the benefit (I'm assuming) of three arms!  Small problem:  no head.  We'll let the scientists figure that one out.

Anyway, Revolution's in-your-face eye-blasting gaudy design is so typical of Pacific's LSD-induced insanity that you can't help but love it!

The bottom third includes a 1999 Skybox Premium Live Bats insert, which is fairly emblematic of Fleer's Skybox stuff at the time; Ken's Magic Moments subset card (#475B) from 2000 Topps, one of the several variations I'm chasing; and a 2007 Fleer Year in Review insert highlighting the Kid matching Reggie Jackson in career homers.  He'd finish his career in 6th place with 630, with Albert Pujols getting close, plus Alex Rodriguez and Jim Thome helping to push Mr. October down to 14th.
Now we'll stick with the letter "G" and look at six cards of Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn.  Again these are mostly from the heyday of inserts, the 90s-early 2000s.  The first two are from one of my favorite years for collecting, 1997:  an unscratched Upper Deck Predictor and Topps Season's Best issue.  That's right, younger collectors:  20 years ago, Upper Deck was still allowed to produce baseball cards and Topps inserts didn't suck!

Moving on to 1999 I grabbed a couple eye-popping (or any other damage you prefer) inserts:  Pacific's Aurora Pennant Fever and Skybox Thunder www.batterz.com.  Gwynn's Padres, of course, won the '98 NL pennant (only to lose to the Yankees in Tony's second and final attempt at a ring), so the Aurora card was plenty relevant.  Meanwhile, don't you love the positively ancient looking web browser design on the Skybox insert?  Almost 20 years later I still think Apple stuff is stupid.

The last two are from 2001 Upper Deck Midsummer Classic Moments and 2010 Topps Cards Your Mom Threw Out (regular, not Original back).  The former highlights Gwynn's day at the 1994 All-Star Game, in which he chipped in two each of runs, hits, and RBI.  After Fred McGriff tied things up in the bottom of the 9th with a two-run bomb, Gwynn singled to lead off the bottom of the 10th and scored the winning run on a Moises Alou double.  The latter is a reprint of his 1986 Topps base and therefore not terribly interesting.
Not only did I nab nine new Griffeys, I repeated the feat with Greg Maddux!  While inserts were generally the story of the day, this scan starts off with a couple base cards from the very nice '94 Stadium Club set.  Then I jumped a head a few years with one of Greg's '97 Ultra Checklist inserts and a parallel I've always admired, 1998 Score Showcase.

After that we move up to Maddux's return to Chicago with some mid-aughts examples:  a Total Topps insert from 2005 Topps Total, 2006 Flair Showcase Hot Numbers, and 2006 Fleer Smooth Leather.  The Total insert isn't bad for as basic as the product was, but the Flair Showcase card looks absolutely fantastic (as the product often did), and even the more subtle Fleer insert looks great.

The last two cover Mad Dog's final two teams in San Diego and L.A.  The first card, a 2007 Topps Trading Places insert, actually includes both franchises, though of course, just as he did with the Cubs, he returned to the Dodgers for a second stint.  The other, exclusively Padres, card is a 2008 Upper Deck 20th Anniversary offering from a four-sport dealer program.  I much prefer the 10th Anniversary cards, but this one's still pretty cool.
Cal Ripken Jr. isn't the player for whom I found the most cards this time, but he is responsible for the largest span between sets today.  That's because I found his '85 Donruss Diamond King subset (still love those to this day!) and base card from the subsequent year.  Then I moved all the way up to his '98 Finest base--not one of my favorite designs for the product, but still solid.

As with Griffey, I also found one of Cal's 2000 Topps Magic Moments subset variations, this one highlighting his 400th   He finished 1999 with 402 then put up 29 more before hanging up his cleats.  Joining that one from the early aughts is a Heroes of Baseball insert that actually hails from the minor league-centric 2002 Upper Deck Prospect Premieres product.

I was then pleasantly surprised to turn up another good example of one of those well done artistically-themed sets in that 2009 Upper Deck Goudey base.  Very cool of UD to bring that classic name back to collecting!  And speaking of bringing things back, this scan comes full circle--with evidence of 30 years of progress--with Cal's 2017 Donruss Optic base.  I at least find it very cool to see the '85 and '86 cards next to the 2017 version!

That's it for this month's show, but please make sure to see the rest of what I found on TMM, then stay tuned for lots of incoming stuff that I'm behind on scanning and posting!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

2017 Sportlots purchases: on this day in '84 he roared

I was all set to post my purchases from last Saturday's show before I caught this in my Twitter feed:
33 years ago today the Tigers completed one of their best seasons in franchise history with an 8-4 Game 5 victory over San Diego to win their fourth (and most recent) World Series title.  ALCS MVP Kirk Gibson opened the scoring with a first-inning two-run bomb off of Padres starter Mark Thurmond, but when he came to the plate in the bottom of the 8th, Detroit was holding onto a one-run lead with 3B Marty Castillo and 2B Lou Whitaker on third and second and one out.

Hall of Fame Padres manager Dick Williams visited his Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage on the mound to discuss walking Gibson with first base open and setting up an inning-ending double play.  Ever the competitor, Gossage talked his skipper into going after Gibby, prompting a scene captured on video for posterity in which Hall of Fame Tigers manager Sparky Anderson noted to Gibson, "He don't wanna walk you!  He don't wanna walk you!"

Gibson made him pay by absolutely tattooing a no-doubter to the right field upper deck, giving the Tigers a four-run cushion they wouldn't relinquish:1984 AL Cy Young and MVP Award-winner Willie Hernandez needed just four batters to get the final three outs, and ended things by getting Hall of Fame Padre Tony Gwynn to fly out to left.  (By the way, I'm mentioning all these HOFers since none of the players on that Detroit team ever gained election.)

I was too young to enjoy the victory at the time but fortunately my family made sure I grew up remembering that '84 team.

So, flash forward to 2017.  I made my biggest combined Sportlots purchase to-date, grabbing more than 1,000 cards, a few of which went out in trade packages, but most of which have remained with me.  Everything is scanned but it'll take me a while to get each card cropped, labelled, and ready for posting.  However, as I mentioned, Detroit's earlier tweet inspired me, so today marks the first day of the great Sportslotting of 2017, starring one Kirk Gibson:
Since I already had a pretty good portion of Gibson's regular issue stuff from products that came out during his career (and a few after), get ready to see lots of oddball stuff, especially stickers, things from boxed sets, coins, and other miscellany.

This scan includes cards from 1982 (Drake's), '84 (Donruss and Fleer), '85 (Drake's again), and '86 (Fleer Limited Edition, Fleer Star Stickers, Leaf, Topps Glossy Send-Ins, and True Value).  Definitely some interesting stuff with just a couple regular base cards.
This group is pretty similar to the last one.  We start with 1987 (Fleer Game Winners, Fleer Limited Edition, and Topps Tiffany), make a longer stop in '88 (Fleer Glossy, Fleer Star Stickers, Score Rookie/Traded, Sportflics, and Topps Tiffany) and finish with the start of '89 (Bazooka).  Almost everything here is from a boxed set, and of course 1989 begins the run on his Dodgers cards.
This scan proves two things:  I found a ton of '89 stuff (almost everything here is from that year), and Fleer produced a buttload of sets that year!  In order we have these Fleer products:  Baseball All Stars, Baseball MVP's, Exciting Stars, Glossy, Heroes of Baseball, League Leaders, Superstars, and Wax Box Cards.  It's almost as if he did something in '88 to merit all the attention.  An oddball Kay-Bee issue (from the usual partnership with Topps) breaks the brand monopoly, though the Wax Box card, cut from the bottom of a box, is probably the coolest get here.  I may just have another to show you in a future post!
We'll finish up 1989 in this scan with the first eight cards you see:  Score Hottest 100 Stars, Sportflics, Topps Ames 20/20 Club, Topps Cap'n Crunch, Topps Glossy Send-Ins, Topps Hills Team MVP's, and a pair from a Woolworth's/Topps collaboration.  Then we begin the new decade with another Topps/Ames partnership, this one covering All-Stars.

This scan mostly closes the book on the store and retail issues (you might see more in a bit!) but my focus was on the second of my old-school Sportflics pickups.  While the more modern versions were always going to look better, these hologram cards were super cool in the 80s.
Now we get into the 90s and much more mainstream stuff, though first up is an oddball from the 1991 Classic Game set (purple?  Really?)  Gibby's Dodgers issue from the same year's UD set follows.  Then we get a pair of '92s:  the Stadium Club Pirates card (which I think is the last I needed of him with that team) and Topps Gold, the second and final Royals appearance.  After those come a pair of '94s in Leaf and Collector's Choice Silver Signature (not sure how those got out of order).  The final three cards begin a nice run of '95s:  Collector's Choice SE Silver Signature, Donruss Top of the Order, and Emotion.

1995 was pretty much the last year Kirk appeared on cardboard while he was playing  as his career ended after that season; His only '96s are three Collector's Choice issues.  Thankfully, '95 was a good year to be collecting the OF that reunited with his original team.
This scan starts with five more for '95:  Score Gold Rush, Select Certified, SP Championship and its die-cut parallel, and Upper Deck Electric Diamond.  Then all of a sudden we jump ahead to 2002 with Fleer Fall Classics, a Topps American Pie base card and Red Sluggers insert, and Upper Deck World Series Heroes.  No oddballs here, just plenty of Tigers cardboard and cards once again celebrating Gibby's iconic 1988 Game 1 homer.
This last group of vertical regular issues is all playoffs, all the time.  From 2004 I grabbed one of Kirk's Donruss World Series Blue cards, plus both of his Tigers entries from that year's fantastic UD Legends Timeless Teams product.  Last up is a 2013 Hometown Heroes Curtain Call insert--take a stab at which home run that highlights, why don't you.  As you might guess, the Tigers-centric Timeless Teams cards are my favorite here, and they remind me that I really should try to see if I can finish up a team set at some point.
Just three horizontal cards this time:  1989 Topps Big, 1989 Fleer Glossy World Series, and 1995 UC3.  I've always considered the latter to be superfluous because of Pinnacle's Sportflix brand, but while that had a hologram kind of style, I guess UC3 shoots for a 3D look.
And now we start heading away from standard card formats and spin in circles instead.  Here you see Topps Coins from 1987 and 1989 plus a 1990 King B Disc.  You may just see similar items in future Sportlots posts!
This final scan covers all of the smaller stuff, mainly stickers and minis.  Items 1 and 3-5 are Topps Stickers from 1981, '82, '83, and '87, respectively.  Between the '81 and '82 Topps Stickers is a Fleer Stamp from 1982.

The next four stickers hail from Panini's 1989 sticker book, including a pair highlighting the Dodgers' World Series win.  Three more Topps items then continue the 1989 run:  Mini Leaders, Topps/O-Pee-Chee Sticker Backs, and Stickers.

Moving on to the bottom, items 1 and 3 are Panini stickers from 1990 and '95.  I must not have been collecting the latter because they don't look familiar to me at all.  In between those we have a tiny Topps Micro offering, something seen here fairly often when it comes to my PCs, and this one was made in 1992.

Closing out this post is a horizontally-oriented sticker that appropriately enough was made in 1984 by Topps.  Gibby's is the half I care about, but he shares this dual-player offering with former Red Sox (and still brother of Trevor) Glenn Hoffmann.

That's an awesome 80 new cards and oddball issues added to my Gibson PC, which ends the day at 282, just a couple short of his career stolen base total, oddly enough.

I'm looking forward to showing y'all the rest of my huge Sportlots purchase soon, though I'll likely try to get a few other things posted first.  I may not have them all done by the time we have a World Series champion, but while I'm working I'll be happily thinking about the from 33 years ago!

Monday, October 9, 2017

2017 COMC purchases: playoff PCs

It's been a pretty good postseason so far, and as I write this the Red Sox have been eliminated, making the future rounds even more palatable; now if Cleveland could just close out the Yankees!  (That's not looking likely early)  Of course I'm rooting for the evil empire to lose as soon as possible but I do see the other side of the coin where young star Aaron Judge appearing in more October games is great for the sport.

Anyway, I'm here to post some baseball PC additions from my last few months of COMC purchases.  Five of today's eight players have had good-to-great October success, which I'll note as I show off cards of each player:
Tampa OF prospect Jake Cronenworth hasn't experienced MLB playoffs yet, but that's because the 2015 draftee hasn't even risen above AA yet.  Here he is on another issue (my 10th) from his 19-card 2015 Bowman Draft/Chrome rainbow (the entirety of his checklist so far), a Green parallel (#92/99).
I've got only one guy active in the 2017 version of the postseason, and it's amazing turnaround story pitcher Rich Hill, a.k.a. my favorite PC.  The southpaw lost his lone 2007 NLDS start as Arizona swept his Cubs that year, then he had to wait almost another decade to get back to the playoffs, this time with his current team, the Dodgers.  Rich went 0-1 in two 2016 NLDS games against the Nats, losing game 2 and leaving too early for a decision in the decisive game 5, but went on to win NLCS game 3 against his original team, the Cubs, before the eventual champs took the series in six games.  Thus far he's decision-less after going 4.0 innings in NLDS game 2 against the D-Backs, and we'll see if he can come up big should the Dodgers keep up their strong October play.

I've got two things of his to show off here, starting with his 2016 Topps Black parallel (#02/65).  In my opinion other folks are right when they say that these parallels just don't work as well sans borders, and that's coming from a fan of most borderless designs.  I now have nine of his 18 cards in last year's flagship/mini rainbow.

The other is a 1967 Advertising Strip box-topper from last year's Heritage.  These things can be a pain to track down, but at least it doesn't appear as though there's several versions for each player like there were in 2009 (I do have all three Hills from that run).  I got a pretty reasonable deal on this one, which also includes catcher Kurt Suzuki, who signed with Atlanta this past January, and slugger Mark Reynolds, who's still with Colorado.  Now to figure out how best to store something like this....
OF Ryan LaMarre, a former Reds second-rounder, has seen a bit of MLB action with three different teams the past three seasons:  Cincy in 2015, Boston last year, and Oakland this season, though he was released by the latter in June, so it remains to be seen where he plays in 2018.  I snagged this very rare 2016 Topps Mini Blue parallel (#07/10) of his for a song, and it's my seventh of his 19-card rainbow from that set (he has one more than Hill because Series I Framed cards were /16 while Series II's were 1/1s).  As I mentioned with Hill's card, the parallels just don't work as well with this design, but I at least kind of like the blue. 
Before Barry Larkin headed for the Hall he appeared in two postseasons:  1990 and 1995.  While the latter saw his Reds defeat the Dodgers in the NLDS before falling to the eventual champion Braves (no fault of Barry's as he put up some good numbers), the former made him one of three players in today's post to win a ring.  Larkin's stats in the six-game 1990 NLCS triumph over the Pirates were pretty good, he bumped them up in the surprising sweep of Oakland, giving the Reds their first World Series title since 1976.

What better way to honor that than with this beautiful insert set I've long admired?  This one comes from the 1998 version of Leaf's Heading for the Hall and is numbered 2695/3500.  A textbook example of what we're deprived of thanks to today's Toppsopoly, this classy, shiny design brings back great memories of the 90s.
Current (and certainly unpopular) Cardinals manager Mike Matheny can't claim ownership of a World Series ring as either a player or a skipper, but he does have two pennants to his name (one as each), which is pretty cool.  The former catcher saw postseason action with the Cardinals in 2001, 2002, and 2004, the latter of which saw St. Louis get swept by Boston in the Fall Classic, which I understand was a big deal. After retiring he led the same team to the playoffs from 2012-15, including winning the 2013 NL pennant before yielding to...Boston again!

This pair, which puts me at 60 of his 218-card checklist, includes the St. Louis version (one for San Fran also exists) of his 2005 Topps Cracker Jack Mini Stickers, plus a 2016 Bowman Family Tree insert that pairs him with son Tate, a 2015 draftee and prospect for...seriously, the Red Sox?  You can't make this stuff up!
Cincinnati 1B Hal Morris was a teammate of Larkin's for a good chunk of their careers, so his playoff experience mirrors that of the SS, winning it all in 1990 before falling to the '95 Braves.  Hal's numbers weren't as good--like one World Series hit in the four game sweep of Oakland--but he was still a contributor on both October squads.

As you can see, I had a ton of luck finding some of his better-than-low-end stuff I didn't grab from Sportlots, twelve cards in all, mostly of the insert variety.

This group includes 90s gems such as:  1995/96/97 (Silver) Donruss Press Proofs (cards 1, 4, and 6, respectively), '95 Select Certified Mirror Gold, '95 Stadium Club Clear Shots, and '96 Studio Bronze Press Proofs.  I love everything in this bunch as Press Proofs were always highly sought after, and the Stadium Club insert is super cool.
This quartet starts with Hal's '97 Finest base card, from the rarer Silver subset, and the Embossed parallel, which never interested me much, but does come without a protector, which is nice.  Those are joined by his '97 Flair Showcase Row 0 (a.k.a. the "toughest" base card) and his 1999 Pacific Prism Holographic Gold parallel (#413/480), one of two numbered cards of his I picked up (though the Press Proofs above are limited, they're not individually numbered).
And then a pair of horizontal cards:  1995 Stadium Club Virtual Reality Members Only, which was a parallel of the parallel with simulated full 1995 season stats on the back (get all that?) and the Radiance parallel (#2863/4500) from Upper Deck's all-numbered 1998 SPx Finite.  Oddly enough, both Royals cards were numbered!

I'm working towards the midpoint of Hal's roughly 360-card run with 157 in-hand and scanned, plus LOTS more on the way via Sportlots.
Bobby Scales had to wait a decade after being drafted to get cups of coffee with the Cubs in 2009 and 2010, so he never reached the postseason, but it must have at least felt like a validation of all of his hard work that he made it to that level.

As I continue to attack his 31-card checklist, I scored my 22nd in the form of this Blue parallel of his 2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom rookie (#44/99).  That means I lack the Gold parallel and, frustratingly, his numbered card from the base set!  Oh well, I'll track it down eventually.
Sweet Lou Whitaker is today's last player, and I think it's pretty well known that he won a ring with the '84 Tigers before going the Larkin/Morris route and losing his other playoff appearance to the eventual champs (Twins, '87).  Whitaker was a spark plug for the '84 wire-to-wire champs, pairing five hits and four walks with six runs scored in the five-game Series victory against San Diego.

COMC was kind to me once again in letting me land a pretty nice card of his, this 2005 Topps Retired Signature Gold parallel (#467/500).  It's one of those times when Topps combined a modern design with older photography and executed it very well, plus this version has the added bonus of the striking gold look.  It puts me just 45 cards short of his not-quite-300-card run.

Don't forget to check out my last few TMM posts (and next few) for other COMC goodies while I work on getting my enormous Sportlots haul presentable for future posts!