First up was a trip to the usual monthly show in Taylor. I had a friend with me coming to the game and didn't want to keep them waiting while diving through the boxes for too long (plus I eventually run out of patience anyway) so I wasn't at it as long as usual. Still, I came out with almost 100 cards for a nice even $20--mostly quarter cards except for a few $1 additions.
A number of those are football inserts that I'm showing off on this evening's TMM post, so please sure to head that way when you're done here. As always a large chunk will be going towards trade packages while I've got a few things for you to see right here:
We'll start with this 2008 Topps Moments and Milestones card of former blog namesake Curtis Granderson. Curtis has a few cards in the product, which contains numbered versions highlighting particular stats, such as his 23 homers in 2007--the year he piled up that many triples, as well as 20+ doubles and steals to form a prolific foursome. As you can see here this is card #8 from the home runs subset, but he's got plenty of others to chase.
As it turns out this ended up being interesting foreshadowing for later in the afternoon....
Hooray for 90s inserts! This pair of Tony Gwynn parallels hails from Score's 1998 Rookie/Traded product, which continued the silver foil Showcase insert from the flagship version. Score!Greg Maddux inserts from the early 2000s I liked: 2000 Pacific Invincible's Diamond Aces and 2003 Ultra's Photo Effex. As always, "ace" is an understatement when describing Maddux.
Cal Ripken Jr. with eight (his uniform number, of course) new additions.
We begin in the early 90s with a pair of '92 Topps Gold Winners. I never get sick of that shot of Ripken next to the Gehrig memorial. Sticking with the decade but jumping forward we have high end offerings in the form of 1999 Flair Showcase Row 3 and SPx. Did Showcase ever feature a bad design?
Moving into the early 2000s I came up with another fantastic pair: 2001 Topps HD and 2003 Playoff Portraits. HD was another one of those beautiful Topps products that fell by the wayside so we could instead suffer through the endless garbage they offer today, but at least its light burned bright for a couple years. Portraits, meanwhile, was a very nicely done artistic effort, and I continue to chase my PC guys from that set.
We'll finish up the show recap with some more recent examples: 2016 Diamond Kings and 2017 Stadium Club. Both are fairly recent revivals of classic brands and are each executed very well. Stadium Club's continuing quality proves that all is not lost when it comes to Topps!
With the show out of the way we headed east for the baseball game and a fun giveaway. Because we parked in the structure of one of the nearby casinos--free parking and a short walk to Comerica--we both played the slots for a bit. I threw some cash and free play into one of my favorites of late, the Simpsons, and just a few spins later was rewarded with a win that took care of the day's expenses with a bit left over. Sure is nice to get paid to have fun!
Shortly after we made for the ballpark in hopes of snagging the day's promotional item, one of the main reasons I picked this game. Despite bad luck in the past, the day's good fortune continued and I was able to bring home my prize:
a Bill Freehan bobblehead! The Tigers are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the '68 champs, and the former Wolverine/Tiger is the second of four players to receive this honor. You can see the rest as I decided to scan the four sides of the box for completeness:
Here's my scorecard with a few notes:
- Jeimer Candelario, the prize of last year's Alex Avila/Justin Wilson swap with the Cubs, led off the bottom of the first with a homer, and many of us thought the rout was on. Not so much, though, thanks to Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ's excellent eight strikeout performance.
- Also, Toronto took the lead in the third with a couple doubles and a single.
- New RFer Nicholas Castellanos came up with a clutch two-out double to knot up the score in the bottom half, though!
- Unfortunately, Tigers start Matt Boyd gave up a pair of solo homers in the fifth to put Detroit down again. An impressively large Toronto contingent made a respectable amount of noise throughout the game, especially during this inning.
- He got put in! Curtis Granderson replaced starting Blue Jays LF Teoscar Hernandez after the latter fouled a ball off his foot. The former Tiger favorite struck out twice and couldn't quite haul in what would've been a tough catch. Needless to say I was thrilled to see him back in Motown, even for just a game.
- Castellanos was at it again (as was the very productive-for-this-game bottom of the lineup) in helping to tie the game up in the bottom of the fifth. His bat has certainly responded to the team moving his glove to the outfield.
- Boyd overcame giving up four runs to put up a decent effort by making it through seven innings, better than it looked like he'd do after giving up those two fifth-inning homers.
- The "rally goose" story was all over at least the local sports news a couple weeks ago, and it lead to a fun hype video up on the scoreboard during the Tigers' eighth-inning rally. Of course everyone went nuts--it certainly didn't hurt that it worked!
- Catcher John Hicks was the surprise hero with a huge single during that rally. He'd struck out in each of his previous three ABs, but following a Miguel Cabrera single (after two strikeouts of his own), Victor Martinez ground-rule double (which temporarily prevented a run) and Niko Goodrum intentional walk, the backstop got one to drop into shallow center to plate the game-winner and first of two insurance runs.
- As bad as the Tigers' bullpen can be, relievers Louis Coleman and Joe Jimenez had things on lockdown for that afternoon, throwing two perfect innings and sending everyone home happy.
That was it for my super Saturday, one I hope I can top later this year. In the meantime I have a COMC package arriving possibly as soon as tomorrow, a Sportlots cart that's almost ready (I'll be testing their Box option and report back!), and plenty more. Eat 'em up, Tigers!