Saturday, December 9, 2017

2017 trade package #22: Chronicles of Fuji

I'm back with another November trade package!  Just like he did around a year ago, Mark from the Chronicles of Fuji packed up some Tigers and other cards and sent them clear across the country to my humble abode.

But there was nothing humble about this pile of cards--and I do mean pile here, as the number of scans will attest to.  And that doesn't even include a nice bunch that I posted this evening on TMM!  Yep, it's another two-parter for double the fun.

Here's a look at the Motown-centric portion of the envelope:
We'll start with the ABCs, minus the "A"s, though Fuji definitely brought his A-game again.  Nine-year starter Jeremy Bonderman starts us off with a numbered parallel from UD's 2006 Future Stars.  Then we have a four spot of Miggy including a mini and an example from the definitely-for-kids 2013 Triple Play by Panini.  A 2014 flagship insert of "Blastellanos" reminds me that I'm hoping his bat returns next season.  And lastly we go back to one of the better Tigers from some awful teams, Tony Clark, on a couple 1998 issues including the very cool Pinnacle Performers Big Bang (#0409/2500).
A couple Ty Cobb Topps inserts from the last decade begin the scan by finishing off the letter "C", then those give way to a pair of '88 oddballs of '84 DH/1B Darrell Evans.  While I recognized the Kay-Bee card, it took a quick search for me to learn that the blue-ish Topps offering was a wax box card.  I think that may be my first of those that comes from Topps so that's very cool!

Meanwhile, a golden Embossed Travis Fryman is one of two players representing the letter "F", and you'll see the other in a second.  First we have a couple shortstops in Carlos Guillen (2010 Topps Gold #1035/2010) and the incumbent (for now) Jose Iglesias, plus a SS-turned-C-turned-everything-else Brandon Inge on a 2002 Ultra Gold Medallion.
Fuji sent a "Big Daddy" haul that was so big it got its own scan!  As luck would have it these may all be new to my collection.  That starts with a couple oddballs/food issues in 1991 Post and 1993 Hostess.  This group also includes a Diamond King, Finest insert, and one of Select's super fancy Mirror parallels, this one a Red version from 1996.  Great stuff!
Here's a quartet of Tigers that are long gone but still hold a fond place in my memory from their Detroit tenures.  Austin Jackson, a CF very much in the Granderson style, appears on a pair, including a framed 2013 GQ insert.  Former ace Jack Morris shows up on a card I was sure was from an early Upper Deck product until I flipped it over and saw "SCORE" in big letters.  Next is well-liked OF Magglio Ordonez and a four-spot of Topps-branded inserts and base, including a cool Seasoned Veterans design from 2009 I don't recall seeing.  Finally, the late Tony Phillips, as versatile a guy as you could have found in the 90s, is here on a pair of '95 cards from Stadium Club and Topps Embossed.
And again we get four players here, again all former examples.  Polanco and his enormous head put up five very nice seasons in Detroit after a steal of a deal with Philly, including a career high 6.1 bWAR in 2007.  Sanchez's early Tigers tenure was pretty good before going south the last couple years, and he recently saw his team option for next season declined.  Scherzer's career blossomed after his trade to Detroit and he's continued that momentum with the Nationals having won his second straight NL Cy Young (and third of that award overall), so his five-pack here is well-warranted.  And blog favorite Mickey Tettleton gets the '95 Stadium Club Virtual Reality/Topps Embossed Gold one-two punch just like his former teammate Phillips above.
Moving on to some more random items, this scan starts with six cards from Topps' 1978 team set made in partnership with Burger King.  I feel like these tend to come at a premium when I see them listed at the various places, so this oddball pairing made a very nice addition to this package.  Rozema and Staub are certainly familiar to me while the other three seem like more obscure members of 70s squads that came before my time.

That very cool bunch is joined by a Jim Bunning issue from the excellent 80s Hygrade product, plus a team card from 2007 Topps Opening Day.
I grouped these four together since they were all rookie-related.  The Kapler was especially noteworthy since I was happy to see him get his shot at managing with the Phillies.  He's a guy I would have loved to see stay with the Tigers earlier in his career, but alas he was included in the terrible deal with the Rangers that brought Juan Gonzalez to Detroit.  Good luck to him next season!
Fuji included a whole bunch of great inserts, especially of the parallel persuasion, of Tigers I don't keep sorted by player.  Better yet, a bunch of these are numbered!  The Rivera 2002 Donruss Crusade is the best looking of the bunch and is a nice callback to the variety available back then.
Mark also hit all five of my major Tigers PCs, starting with this pair of Gibbies.  The SI For Kids card is a dupe for me (I used to be a subscriber when I was a kid) but this one is in MUCH better condition than the one I attempted to separate myself back in the day--upgrade!  Meanwhile, the other is one I'd never seen before, a 2002 Fleer Ultra insert called Fall Classic.  Kudos to Fleer for going with a Tigers card instead of the usual Dodgers offering when it comes to a World Series-themed set!
Former blog namesake Curtis Granderson makes a cameo as well on this UD A Piece of History Cut From the Same Cloth insert (#068/799) he shares with the previously-seen Ordonez.  This serves as a nice reminder that, despite the name change, I'll still take all of your Grandersons as I can never have enough (any team is fine).
Next, Tram did the second best of the big five with this bunch of seven cards (one of which is not like the others!).  A few, including the '88 Fleer insert a pair of 1990 Starline Long John Silver oddballs, were part of my huge Sportlots purchase, but I hadn't gotten around to posting them yet so these get dibs.  The 2005 Throwback Threads insert was also new to me though I'm familiar with the insert as I already had Kirk Gibson's version.  By the way, I'm happy to report that these additions pushed my Trammell count over 200!
Since you can't have one without the other, here's Alan's double-play partner "Sweet" Lou Whitaker on an oddball from 1988 Starting Lineup All-Stars.  Why these aren't labeled as "Starting Lineup Talking Baseball" I'll never know.
And that leaves the best for last.  2017 World Series champ and Mr. Kate Upton, Justin Verlander appeared nine times in this package.
Image result for ferris bueller nine times
Nine times.  Various Topps brands from 2009-15, including flagship, GQ, Bowman Chrome, and Bowman Platinum comprise this bunch, including three that reference one or both of his no-hitters.  It definitely feels nice to continue to receive cards of the former Detroit ace despite his formerness!

Thanks for another great early Christmas present, Fuji!  I'll be returning the favor pretty soon, though I'll say up front that you have my blessing to open it as soon as it hits your mailbox instead of stashing it under the tree.


  1. Congratulations on Morris and Trammell getting the call. I was really happy for both of those guys. Glad the package arrived safely. Have a happy holidays!

  2. Always amazed at the Tigers cards I've never seen before.