Saturday, January 27, 2018

2017 Sportlots purchases: I got you Tram

I'm still in a bit of an unmotivated state in terms of posting despite having lots of great cards scanned and ready to show off, and a death in the family will further take away from what little focus I have here in the next week or so, but at least for today I'm finally getting off my ass and getting down to business.

With my last Sportlots post centering on Tigers legend Lou Whitaker I bet you're all not too surprised about today's start, brand new Hall of Fame member Alan Trammell.  As you might expect, his name came up a lot in terms of availability from the sellers already in my cart because his cards mostly hail from the junk wax and 90s era that may be the most representative on the site.

Because I picked up so many cards (a number still dwarfed by the final player in this series), I'll probably be a bit more concise in my summaries for each scan.  Besides, in most cases the cardboard can speak for itself!
We open with lots of 80s goodness that's mostly represented by Donruss base cards (1981-85, including an error DK from the second-year version) as well as flagship versions of Topps ('82) and Fleer ('84).  Those are joined by Fleer Star Stickers from 1981 and '86, providing a quick look at the evolution of their designs.
Here I'll highlight the first card, an '86 Sportflics base that also includes Reggie Jackson and Rick Dempsey.  The theme:  World Series MVPs--Trammell ('84), Jackson ('73, Oakland and '77, New York), Dempsey ('83, Baltimore).  Just about everything else is a Fleer base ('88), insert, sticker, or boxed set card from '87 and '88 except for a Topps Tiffany parallel from 1987.
Everything you see here is from 1988, starting with a Fleer Glossy parallel (one of a couple featuring Tram in the set) and another five boxed set issues.  Man did Fleer love pumping those out during this era!  The bottom trio comprises three different brands:  Leaf, Sportflics, and Topps (Glossy Send-Ins).  One thing you should notice in this group of cards (the previous scan through the next two) is how many times Trammell was referred to as an "MVP", "leader", and "star/all-star".  It may be easy for younger fans to dismiss him as a "hall of very good" player, but he was among the best of his position in his generation.
As we finish up '88 with a Rite Aid/Topps pairing and then delve into 1989, here's more superlatives such as "exciting", "hero", and "superstar".  The latter year includes another large bunch of Fleer boxed stuff, and even more interesting, a box bottom card from that brand (which we also saw earlier in this series with Kirk Gibson).  Another Topps retail pairing, this time with toy store Kay-Bee (which I totally remember from my youth!) and a Score boxed set entry (Hottest 100 Stars) close out this scan.
Here an '89 Topps base (once again, yes, I needed it, and I really should just grab a set when I can find it cheap enough) leads into a little run on that brand including more pair-ups (Ames, Cap'n Crunch, Hills) and another Glossy Send-In.  The 90s open with Classic, Sportflics (the third one already!) and a pair from Starline Long John Silver.  Those last two are among a few I previously showed off thanks to a great trade package from Fuji back in December.
Now we have a quick look at three years--1991 to '93--with some familiar faces:  Bowman, Studio, Topps Gold Winners, Flair, Fleer, OPC.  There's also a few that aren't quite as well-known--a Score boxed set and UD Silver Slugger insert from '91, plus Topps Kids from the following year.  The casual out-of-uniform shot used on Studio's second-year product is a bit jarring, to say the least.
1993 continues with the low point of Pacific (which thankfully was largely better over the years) but the debut of Upper Deck's SP makes up for it.  Considering so many of the photos used in the cards you see today are batting shots I like that baserunning and fielding are mixed in a bit here.  Also, 1994, which stars here with Bowman, is around the time designs really got to be more interesting.
One last Sportflics from '94 is joined by some other designs I really like here, like Studio from the same year, plus Leaf and SP Championship from 1995.  While I don't love '95's fleer design, the Pacific offering shows signs of improvement over the 1993 disaster.
The 1995-96 trio that leads off this scan portends the fun stuff from more recent years that follows.  A second '95 SP Championship base features one of the best photos in this whole post, while Fleer's 1996 flagship and Ultra designs are highlights from those products' runs.  A couple 2002 Fleer (Fall Classics and Greats of the Game) and 2003 Donruss/Panini (Champions and Team Heroes) are a nice segue into stuff from the last decade, with Fleer's efforts particularly appealing.  The hobby sure could use something like Greats of the Game to replace one or more of Topps' stale products these days.
Here's more Fleer and Donruss brands from 2003 and '04.  My favorite design is the Team Heroes card while I love the older photos seen on that one, Leather & Lumber, and Playoff Honors.  Considering how bad things got for Tigers fans in the 90s it's nice to remember how good we had it in the 80s for a bit.
This 2004-06 group is the last of the standard size vertical stuff.  Upper Deck's iconic SP Legendary Cuts product is represented twice (2004 and 2006) along with another of their best, 2004 Legends Timeless Teams.  Naturally Tram represents the '84 Champs and '87 AL East-winning teams on the latter, and I'd love to track down the autographed versions of these.
These eight horizontal cards span 1989 (Topps...sigh) to 2005 (Donruss Champions).  In between there's a fun mix that includes 1994 Stadium Club, 1995's unnecessary UC3, and a sunset '97 Score.
As we near the end I have one oversized card, another example from 1985's Donruss Action All-Stars.  You already saw versions of those starring Lou Whitaker and Geoff Zahn (in a post from the end of last October.  Man have I been dragging my feet on posting!).
Last up is a fun mix of undersized cards, stickers, stamps, and more.  Besides Fleer stamps and Minis, Topps stickers and Micros, and other fairly recognizable stuff there's a few interesting items of note.  The first thing on the bottom row is a 1981 Topps Scratch-Off, and I think that's the first of those in my collection.  Next to it is an '89 Topps Coin, though we've seen a few of those already.  And possibly the most interesting item of all is the first you see in the second row:  a 1984 Topps Rub-Down that Tram shares with fellow stars Dave Parker of the Pirates and Steve Henderson of the Mariners.  I'm pretty sure that's another first for me, plus I'm betting a few of your Pirates fans who don't have a copy are already opening a new tab to track one down!

In the end I added over 100 Trammell cards thanks to this purchase giving me a milestone-passing total of 315 of the HOF SS.  I'm thrilled to both pad and diversify my PC of one of the all-time great Tigers, a guy whose career I enjoyed very much.

With this post in the books I have one more player to get to, and he'll require two separate posts due to the sheer volume of incoming items.  I don't know when I'll be putting those up but I do look forward to sharing them with you.  Until then, congratulations to Trammell and the other deserving members of the 2018 MLB Hall of Fame class!


  1. You Trammed a lot into this post good adds!

  2. Some guys look better on cards than others, and Trammell is definitely on the better side.

    1. I know what you mean, Rob. Thanks for reading!

  3. 80s cards were so awesome...I need to organize all my Tigers cards better, especially Trammell and Morris.

    1. Some of them sure were, at least! I highly recommend organizing, especially since getting everything scanned has enabled me to see what I have and make it easier to tell if I need something new. I don't know if I'll do a Morris PC at some point (maybe if I get a bunch more), but the '84 Tigers sure do have lots of players that deserve it!

  4. Great stuff. Surprised that Trammell doesn't have more cards where he's showcasing those awesome flip up glasses.

    1. Now THERE's a very specific kind of card to search for that I definitely won't spend a ton of time on, not at all, nosiree

  5. ICYMI: I posted the first of a few posts about that great package of Beckett mags you sent out to me. Thanks so much! Here's the link:

    1. I did catch that, thanks! Glad you liked 'em.