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!


  1. Nice collection. Love the amount of oddballs.

    I really should hate Gibson. Between that home run and the one off of Eck in '88... he sunk both of my favorite teams in the World Series (although technically... I was really a die-hard Padres fan at the time... but I was rooting for them).

  2. Great cards I love Gibby. I have to say I don't enjoy listening to him cast games anymore as he seems unenthusiastic, distracted, and disingenuous. He has lost a little microphone mojo since his Kirk & Josh days in the late '90s in Detroit. Maybe going from broadcaster to MLB Manager back to guest broadcaster is a little disappointing. So sad to hear of his Parkinson's diagnosis. There would be no other left handed hitter I would want with the game on the line than him.

  3. My favorite of all those has to be the 1992 Stadium Club. PIRATES!