Wednesday, September 26, 2018

2018 trade package #21: Night Owl

Highly decorated and prolific blogger Greg, whom everyone knows better as Night Owl, was nice enough to send me a great little package after I completed a few of his wants a couple months ago.  Getting a Night Owl package is lots of fun because I never have any idea of what I might get.  Oh sure, Tigers will likely be part of the equation, but in what form?

There's no reason for me to keep you in suspense, check them out!:
Mini Miggy, Donruss Miggy, Topps Miggy, Blue Miggy.  Sounds like something you might hear on The Big Bang Theory followed by "Bazinga!" ::laugh track for 10 minutes straight::  That blue Donruss parallel is perfect and I love the throwback to the '84 set.  And no, I don't remember flipping the Topps and Donruss base cards while scanning these.

Recuperating starter Michael Fulmer looks good on the plan-but-solid '18 Donruss design, as does Mr. Tiger on a name variation.  There's also a Topps Rookie History reprint of Kaline that's another reminder that I need to knock that original card off of my collecting bucket list before it gets reprinted 20 more times.

Greg also fired the McCannon a couple times with a pair of inserts.  Naturally I'm especially attracted to the Refractor from 2015 Chrome but the Big League card from this year is no slouch.
Of course I was excited to see two Verlanders among the goodies, especially since one is a true RC:  his 2005 Donruss Throwback Threads base in which he looks every bit of the 13 years younger that he is as pictured.  I say true RC as opposed to the ridiculous "(RC)" designation that lingered for a few years.  Anyway, that's a great card, not to mention generous on Greg's part since JV escaped Detroit's poor coaching and reestablished himself as a top pitcher!

Joining that is a Topps team card from 2015 which is very cool since those don't tend to be easy to track down, at least without having to purchase the whole set.  They're also easy to miss since the photo up front is identical, but the large numbering on the back beginning with "DT-" is very helpful.

I tossed the rest of the modern Tigers in this same scan, and those include another 2015 Chrome Refractor, this time swingman Buck Farmer, a couple base examples of 2018 Big League in the form of Dixon Machado and Jordan Zimmermann, a 2015 flagship Snow Camo ("SNOW CAMO?!") parallel of short time closer Joe Nathan, and a 2018 Opening Day insert of fan favorite mascot Paws.
I said "modern" Tigers above because here's where things got especially interesting.  An '84 Fleer base of Chet Lemon, a guy who was an All-Star that year on a fantastic team, is about as mainstream as it gets.  That's followed by a fun new addition for me, a '94 Ted Williams base of Mark Fidrych.  I neither have many cards of that brand or player, so it's definitely a cool throw-in for me.

Next is a five-spot of old, olllld Tigers from 1992 Conlon, giving me a great opportunity to learn about more players from that era:

  • Shea was with the Tigers from 1927-29 and again in '39.  The backup catcher's career spanned parts of 11 seasons and six teams, and his claim to fame appears to be when he was sent to the Browns by Boston for future HOF catcher Rick Ferrell.
  • Sorrell pitched his entire ten-year career (1928-37) in Detroit and put up decent numbers, including a 92-101 record and 17.0 bWAR.  Unfortunately for him, by the time the 1935 World Series team rolled around he wasn't on the mound much, and sometimes out of the 'pen when he was.
  • In Stoner's case somehow a rapper of the same name did not impede my search results.  The pitcher came from a huge family where pretty much all of the kids seem to have been named after famous people--Ulysses S. Grant in this case--and there's also a story about how he came to have an oddly bent index finger on his pitching hand on his SABR page.  He spent most of his nine year career in Detroit, in 1922 and 1924-29, and went 50-57.
  • Tavener was nicknamed "Rabbit", and why not back then (1921 and 1925-28, plus a year in Cleveland).  The SS was small even for his era at 5-5, small enough that Ty Cobb didn't want him, but he put up a few solid seasons in Motown.  So I guess now we know what it would be like if someone my size played in the Majors in the 20s!
  • Finally, Joyner Clifford "Jo-Jo" White was lucky enough to earn a cool nickname and get a ring with the '35 Tigers.  The OF was with Detroit from 1932-1938, and while it doesn't look like he lit up box scores, he was apparently a solid enough option off the bench to appear in both the '34 and '35 Series.
And now I'm going to borrow one of Night Owl's cooler features (I mean he's got so many), one I don't think he's even used in a while:

For me the best card in the package was definitely the last card you see in that scan, card #61 in a set produced by local paper The Detroit News in 1981 that celebrated 100 years of the Tigers (one that I definitely need to track down now!).  This one honors the World Series champion 1945 squad, and the back helpfully lists who appears:
The biggest names here are Newhouser, who put up a ridiculous 12.1 bWAR that year, longtime Tiger Dizzy Trout, and Rudy York.  Hank Greenberg, returning from three years away due to WWII, isn't pictured for some reason, but he was a big contributor in the win over the Cubs, so I'll at least mention him here.
And then we have the final card in the package, and the only one that doesn't fit the Tigers theme.  It's a 2017 Topps Update base of PC guy Ken Griffey Jr.--a very young Junior Griffey, in fact, working a camera at Comiskey Park.  There's never a bad time to include Griffey in a package of cards heading my way!

Thanks once again for surprising me with all of this great stuff, Greg!  I know we don't trade often but I promise I'll send some more wantlist help and Dodgers so we can do it again!


  1. Ah, yes, What's the Best Card in the Package, the posts that took about 2 hours apiece to create. Funny how I don't do those anymore.

    1. I know that feel, bro, that's why I don't post much anymore, just takes me too long! Fantastic stuff here, thanks again!

  2. Love that Griffey, Jr. card, and that BLUE Donruss Miggy is sweet!

    Good job!

    1. Only the best from the man, the myth, the legend, Night Owl!