Tuesday, November 21, 2017

2017 trade package #21: Bob Walk the Plank

After showing off a trade package from Doug of Sports Cards From the Dollar Store (on TMM), I'm back with another bunch of cards from another of my prolific trade partners, Matt of Bob Walk the Plank.  The West Virginian purchaser of Pirates graced my mailbox with a very, very high-end kind of envelope including three cards you'll see here plus another over on TMM (two-parter!).

Let's check out the goods:
I'm sure most if not all of you are going "WHO?" so I'll give extra credit to Matt for remembering that Christian is one of my many Michigan Baseball alumni-turned PC guys.  The card you see here is his 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects Orange Refractor (#08/25), putting me just two short of his rainbow from that product, and three away from his whole 19-card run.  Jason appears to be out of baseball and only appeared in two products (2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition was the other), so I don't see cards of him I need turn up too often.  Great start!
Remember how I said "high-end" above?  You didn't think a low-numbered Refractor, nice as it is, would be as good as it gets, did you?  This is Matt we're talking about!  Bob Walk's #1 fan really upped the ante with this fantastic triple autograph out of Fleer's 2005 Classic Clippings.  The set is called Diamond Signings Triple Blue and the card, numbered 07/99, includes signatures from Gavin Floyd (Baseball Card Breakdown shoutout!), Scott "Victor Zambrano was totally worth it!" Kazmir, and some fresh-faced kid named Verlander.  That's right, this is a numbered, RC year autograph of Mr. Kate Upton that also includes two other solid pitchers (and a total of 96.5 bWAR, more that half of which can be chalked up to JV).  What a ridiculously great card to get as my sixth auto of the 2017 World Series champ.
And now we've finally reached "Silly, ain't it?" altitude as this package not only included a Verlander signature--I'm also the thrilled recipient of a plate as well!  I rag on Topps' Gypsy Queen product because it (along with A&G) takes their A.D.D.--addled player selection to the extreme by replacing, you know, baseball players, with anything any everything else.  But!  But in the rare instance that Topps teases collectors with a representative of this sport in the product, those framed cards--be they inserts, relics, autographs, or plates like this one--look fantastic.  This JV, generously sent to me by Matt the Mountaineer, is exhibit "A".  As you can see by the back it's a yellow version from last year's product, and the diminutive plate still manages to capture a great look at the delivery of a fierce competitor.

While signatures of Verlander may seem to be relatively scarce in my collection, 1/1s are even more so as this is just my second!  I should also mention that I now count a crazy 89 1/1s across all of my PCs.

Thanks again, Matt!  It's a bit of an understatement to say that I didn't see these coming!  Fortunately I'll be able to keep up my end of the, uh, high-end dealing we've been doing in time for a Merry Morgantown Christmas.  I won't tell you what I have for you or when I'll be sending them, but when they do get to you, you'll know it!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

2017 Sportlots purchases: I was told there would be no Matheny

I promised to get on with showing off recent trade packages in my last post here, and I've done just that--it's just that the first one I posted was all Wolverines (from SCFtDS's Doug), and can therefore be found on TMM this evening.

So I can hopefully drive some traffic that way I thought I'd put up a companion post here, which means it's back to my huge Sportlots haul once again.

Today's subject is Mike Matheny, a former Brewer, Cardinal, and Giant (and Blue Jay, though I don't believe he appeared on any cards with them).  I realize he's not terribly popular with St. Louis fans as their manager, and as the fan of a team that finally dumped their former MLB catcher-turned-overmatched, inexperienced manager I get it.  But I still like the guy and am happy to have the former Wolverine among my PC guys, and as a supercollection at that!

So here's four scans worth of my Matheny pickups from Sportlots this time:
Scan #1 quickly spans seven years since Mike didn't appear on a ton of cardboard from this period (or overall, really).  We begin in 1994 with his Bowman RC, meaning I now own all four of his first-years and am short an Artist's Proof from Sportflics Rookie/Traded to finish the year's checklist.  Just one entry from 1996 too in the form of another Donruss set design I like.  1998 is represented (out of order) by a Pacific Invincible Gems of the Diamond insert (fairly subtle by Pacific Standards) and Collector's Choice.  One of Pacific's best base designs, 1999, is our lone representative for that year, then we skip a year that didn't include any Matheny cards at all.  Then 2001 begins with the quartet of Bowman Heritage, MLB Showdown Unlimited (which I didn't include in my PC checklist), Pacific (quite possibly my favorite base design from that manufacturer) and Topps Chrome.

2001 wasn't Matheny's high water mark for appearances--I just had good luck landing stuff from that year, including the top row of this scan that finishes off the year in Upper Deck style:  Gold Glove, MVP (one of my least favorite looks for the otherwise solid product) and Victory.  Sticking with the trio theme for a second, 2002 is an all Topps affair in the middle row thanks to Heritage, Limited, and Opening Day, with that first set offering a strong showing.  UD then rules the roost for the following year with its 2003 base set as well as 40-Man, the design of which I don't quite like as much as its predecessor.  A very cool and colorful 2004 Donruss base card closes out this scan.
One other '04 Donruss product, Team Heroes, begins this scan by closing out that year.  Then I have a pair of cards from his career-high 57 offerings in 2005:  another appearance in Bowman Heritage, then the Giants version of his Topps Cracker Jack base (as opposed to the St. Louis variation).  A Topps Heritage trio from 2006, 2014, and 2015 (oops, already had it!) end the run of the regular sized vertical cards.  They're joined by a couple 2005 Topps Cracker Jack inserts.  On the left is a Red Mini while a Sticker Mini sits to its right; both of these once again are the Giants versions where Cardinals variations do appear.

Last up is a group of horizontal additions, led by a trio of Stadium Club offerings.  The first two are Mike's base and Silver parallel from 1996 (uh, they might need to build a bigger stadium) and another base example from 1998 that includes a play at the plate, sans 2/3 of the sliding baserunner.  That feat is largely repeated on base and Warning Track parallels from 1999 Fleer Tradition on which about 20% of that player trying to score appears to be getting tagged by the Brewers catcher.

By my count that's 30 new cards for my Matheny collection, including 29 that go toward his supercollection checklist for a new total of 89/217 and 91 overall.  Not a bad bit of progress, really.

Ok, now you can look forward to a trade package right here in my very next post, though it's a two-parter that'll spill over into TMM as well!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

2017 Sportlots purchases: RIP and PCs

An amazing World Series has given way to a rough last few weeks for Major League Baseball after the tragic deaths of retired Blue Jays and Phillies ace Roy Halladay (plan crash) and top Red Sox prospect Daniel Flores (cancer), who was just 17.  Unfortunately, another former player passed unexpectedly a couple weeks ago as well, and this time it affected the Michigan Baseball family and one of my player collections.

Former Wolverines pitcher Ross Powell and his dad were found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in a van they were using for their recently-opened lawn care company.  Ross was just 49 and his dad was 72.  Their tragic passing was on my mind as the baseball world mourned an all-time great in Halladay and a potential future star in Flores.  Needless to say I extend my condolences to the families of each and hope MLB honors each of their contributions to the game.

While I already showed off my Powell pickups from Sportlots in my last post (along with those of another too-soon deceased player in Steve Howe), I do have some items today representing a couple former Wolverine baseballers and PC guys that have long since passed:  Charlie Gehringer (1993) and George Sisler (1973).  I had a great time tracking down a good bunch of cards of each, many of which skew more towards the oddball side, making it even more fun to add them to those collections.  So enjoy these new cards of a couple Hall-of-Famers:
Let's start with the Mechanical Man.  Gehringer's haul begins with a 1980s trio, with a 1983 Donruss HOF Heroes leading off.  Those Dick Perez works of art were just becoming a Donruss staple back then.  Next is a 1986 Sportflics Decade Greats, another fun example of 80s holograms.  That's followed by the very recognizable 1987 Hygrade All-Time Greats, with a great casual shot of ol' Charlie.

The next four hail from the large multi-year Conlon product of the early 90s, with the first two coming out of the 1992 version, the third from '93, and the last from '94.  I love that the second '92 card goes with Charlie's awesome nickname right up front.

Last up is Gehringer's base card from the excellent 1999 Upper Deck Century Legends set.  This product paired classic photos with a beautiful design--so basically, a typical Upper Deck issue.
I also found a couple cards of non-standard size.  On the left is a 2003 Upper Deck Play Ball 1941 Reprint, which is probably as close as I'll get to that card, at least for a while.  The smaller card on the right is a 2011 TRISTAR Obak T212 Mini, and like the Conlon earlier it also has the "Mechanical Man" nickname.

My Gehringer collection remains small, but this ten-spot at least bumps it up to 44.
Now we'll move over to "Gorgeous" George Sisler (don't worry, none of these cards feature that nickname).  Like Gehringer, his first scan begins with three cards from the 1980s.  First is George's card from the 1977-84 Galasso Glossy Greats set (with Sisler's card hailing from the 1980 version focusing on the '20s), an issue that made me look into the name and find out that it was a TCMA product given out to folks that bought complete sets from early dealer Renata Galasso.  Very cool!  That's followed by a Pacific Legends card from the same year, one that features a grinning Sisler in a photo we'll see twice more in this post.  The last of the trio is from a 1985 Woolworth's Topps boxed set that focused on all-time records, in this case George's then-lead in hits in a season (257).

As was also the case with Gehringer, I found four of Sisler's Conlon TSN issues, with these hailing from 1991, 1992, and a pair from '93.  The quartet manages to depict him with two of his three career teams:  St. Louis and Boston (Braves).

The final two cards in this scan are a bit more modern.  The first hails from 2001's version of one of my all-time favorite products, SP Legendary Cuts.  There's that Sisler grin again!  Boy would I love to have a cut signature of this all-time great.  That's joined by one of his two issues in 2010 Topps' Legends of the Games insert set.  This one, showing him as a St. Louis Brown, is from the flagship product while the other, which I don't have yet, came out of 2010 Update and includes a Braves photo instead.
Finishing off 2010, the first card we have here is one of Sisler's two appearances in that year's Topps National Chicle base set; I currently lack the St. Louis Cardinals SP version that can also be found.  Also, that smile looks mighty familiar....  Next is a base card from Panini's excellent 2012 Cooperstown product--a card I surprisingly lacked despite owning two of the very cool colored parallels.  Speaking of 2010s Panini, we'll finish up the regular sized cards with Sisler's base from 2014 Classics, featuring a slightly altered repeat photo from the previous card.

Opting for small ball, we'll end today's post on a pair of 2011 Topps-branded minis.  On the left is one of his four appearances in that year's Gypsy Queen Minis set--he also has a Browns issue, and each of those has an SP version with a different photo.  To its right is the very vintagey looking Kimball Champions insert that was somewhat oddly included in 2011 flagship.

14 new Sislers put his collection at a nice even 80.

I'll be back with more stuff from my huge Sportlots haul soon, but first it's time to show off some new trade packages, so watch out for those soon!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

2017 Sportlots purchases: Rich on the Hill (and other guys)

For a huge number of baseball fans like myself, Christmas came early this past Saturday when the World Series-bound Houston Astros gave us all the gift of Yankees Elimination Day!  Houston celebrated its fifth year in the AL by taking home the pennant, largely thanks to this here blog's namesake, Justin Verlander.

But I don't have any cards of him to show off today, and as a matter of fact I'll be pulling for JV's opponents, the Dodgers, this Series--even though they (rightfully) left former this here blog namesake Curtis Granderson off the roster.  Why?  Just look at L.A.'s starter for game 2--one Rich Hill, he of the incredible comeback a couple seasons ago that culminated in consecutive playoff appearances with his latest team.

In his first taste of the postseason since 2007, Hill went 1-1 in three playoff appearances last year, winning his lone start--game 3--of the NLDS to the eventual champion Cubs.  Now he's taking the mound for the favored Dodgers in game 2 of the Fall Classic--crazy!

That made me do some quick digging to find out the last time a Michigan alum

  • ...made it to the playoffs (Hill, 2016 Dodgers)
  • ...made it to the World Series (Barry Larkin, Hal Morris, Chris Sabo, 1990 Reds)
  • ...won a World Series (that same Reds group)
  • ...participated in the World Series as a pitcher (Steve Howe, 1981 Dodgers)
  • ...won a World Series as a pitcher (Howe, 1981 Dodgers)

So this is a pretty significant game for one of my favorite PC guys and you know I'll be watching!  To celebrate, I have some Sportlots pickups of both Hill and Howe, plus some of a few other guys who came in at four or fewer cards in my enormous 1000-ish card haul from the site:
In grabbing these flagship and Archives issues I finally got my first 2017 cards of Hill, and therefore my first of him in a Dodgers uniform, because why would Topps have done that in last year's Update set?  Or even Series 1 this year?  God I miss those idiots having competition.  I'm back up to around the 2/3 mark of his run though that doesn't include his Chrome Sapphire releases, which I haven't been able to checklist yet.
While filling my cart with loot of the other PC guys you'll see in this series, I dug deep for everyone I collect just in case, hence the appearance of a few guys today such as Dransfeldt, the former Texas farmhand.  I turned up a couple minor league issues from 1999:  Baseball America Diamond Best Gold and Just.  Both were decent products and I've always liked the look of the BA set (not to mention the magazine and its excellent prospect coverage).
Here's the other World Series-winner I mentioned (as a Dodger!), Steve Howe.  Throughout this post and the rest of the series you'll see a good number of oddball items, mainly from the 80s and early 90s, after I let loose and grabbed almost literally everything of my PCs that was $0.20 or under.  Such is the case here as we have a couple 1983 Fleer offerings:  a Star Stamp (you can kind of make out the perforations in the scan) and a Sticker as well.
Getting back to mainstream issues for my supercollections, here's my favorite card of the post:  David Parrish's 2001 Topps Chrome Retrofractor.  A parallel of a RC he shared with fellow catching prospect Scott Heard of the Rangers, this is one of the best Refractor-type cards Topps produced, and that's saying something!  It features the typically excellent parallel finish, which looks great with that shade of green, plus it includes an old-school cardboard texture on the back to give it that "retro" feel.  My 20th card of the son of former Tigers backstop Lance leaves me just two shy of his run!
I belatedly discovered that Powell was a Michigan alum around this time last year, and in the roughly 12 months since, I've tracked down all but one of his seven cards.  The '94 Score Gold Rush parallel on the right was no problem as I could have nabbed it several times if I didn't mind paying more, but the Pinnacle Artist's Proof from the same year is one of those issues I was beginning to think didn't exist!  I was so shocked when it turned up that I immediately made sure to buy it before it disappeared, either in a sale or as a mirage.  Now I'm just left chasing his '94 Score Boys of Summer insert, a copy of which I've seen online so I know it's extant!
Just as I was happy to see Rich Hill finally appear in 2017 flagship Series 2, I was also pleasantly surprised that injured White Sox RP Zach Putnam also gained admittance, his first in a flagship product, not to mention his first mainstream issue since 2010!  I now get to chase his rainbow from that set while I try to lock up the final three cards I need from his earlier cardboard appearances.
By my reckoning Putz is the made the next most recent appearance by a Michigan alum in the playoffs, Arizona's 2011 NLDS loss to the Brewers.  As with Putnam I only tracked down one card of the former closer, a 2014 Topps Wal Mart Blue parallel made the same year as his sunset season.  It's my ninth from that rainbow with a good number of parallels still to go.
Howe's not the only player for whom I went all oddball, all the time.  I'd long since completed the checklist of Sorensen, a late 70s/80s pitcher for seven different teams, when I managed to come up with these fun additions:  another 1983 Fleer Sticker (we're not done with those yet!), another sticker from Topps' 1984 version (shared with Royal Larry Gura), and a standard-sized 1990 Swell Baseball Greats.  Man did people in the 80s look weird....
We'll finish at the end of the alphabet with another pitcher whose checklist I've had completed for a while:  Geoff Zahn.  Another former Dodger, Zahn appeared in the 1982 postseason with an Angels squad that lost to Milwaukee, who'd lose in seven to the Cardinals.  I added three more stickers to my collection in the form of Zahn's entries from 1983 Fleer and Topps and 1985 Topps.  Then I went big--literally--with Geoff's 1985 Donruss Action All Stars, a large 3.5 x 5 inch release from a 60-card set.  Adding these four boosted me to a nice even total of 40 Zahn cards.

And with that I'm off to watch two of my favorite PC pitchers duke it out on baseball's grandest stage!  Good luck to both in what I hope continues to be a classic Series.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

10/7/17 card show report: card show mad libs with Kendy Griffson and friends

Honestly at this point these show posts write themselves:

I went to the monthly show in Taylor A. (date of show) to hit up my favorite dealer's table and spent about an hour and a half combing through his various boxes.  In the end I came out with B. (quantity and type of cards), and the seller gave me a nice little discount by only charging me C. (price).  I had a great time as always picking up some cards for myself and some trade bait for a few of you while I was at it.  You'll see a bunch of the cards below and even more over on TMM!

A. a couple Saturdays ago
B. 50 dime cards, 140 quarters, and a pair from the $0.50 box
C. $30

Sure, the intros to these posts aren't terribly imaginative, but I don't really care since the cards are different every time and that's the point--they are the stars of the posts after all!

Though I didn't set out with this goal in mind, everything I grabbed from this here blog comes from the holy PC quartet of Griffey/Gwynn/Maddux/Ripken.  As an added bonus for me, each player's cards fit on one scan--woohoo!  Less work!  And woohoo for those of you that especially love stuff from the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s:
Let's kick things off with 15 years of Griffey in one scan.  Representing 1992 is Pinnacle's solid Team 2000 insert, better looking than a lot of chase cards at the time.  Jumping ahead to '95 there's one of Junior's Silver Signature parallels from the second Collector's Choice product of that year, SE (Special Edition).  I'm wondering if the records mentioned on the front refer to his home run pace in '94.

Meanwhile, 1998 is represented by four cards:  Flair Showcase Row 2 and 3 (second easiest and easiest to find), half of the Mariners' Pinnacle Inside Stand-Up Guys insert, and Pacific's Revolution.  The former two are stunning and offer ample evidence that Fleer still needs to be producing baseball cards.  The Pinnacle card, however, was a goofy insert from a fun product--when you got the accompanying card and slid the two together along their notches you got a complete look at all four players.  Griffey actually appears on the back, so I threw in the full scan here:
I for one think Kendy Griffson would have given Babe Ruth a run for his pitching/hitting money.  Kenny's power and speed paired with Randy's left arm would have been unstoppable, especially given that this Star Trek transporter accident has the benefit (I'm assuming) of three arms!  Small problem:  no head.  We'll let the scientists figure that one out.

Anyway, Revolution's in-your-face eye-blasting gaudy design is so typical of Pacific's LSD-induced insanity that you can't help but love it!

The bottom third includes a 1999 Skybox Premium Live Bats insert, which is fairly emblematic of Fleer's Skybox stuff at the time; Ken's Magic Moments subset card (#475B) from 2000 Topps, one of the several variations I'm chasing; and a 2007 Fleer Year in Review insert highlighting the Kid matching Reggie Jackson in career homers.  He'd finish his career in 6th place with 630, with Albert Pujols getting close, plus Alex Rodriguez and Jim Thome helping to push Mr. October down to 14th.
Now we'll stick with the letter "G" and look at six cards of Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn.  Again these are mostly from the heyday of inserts, the 90s-early 2000s.  The first two are from one of my favorite years for collecting, 1997:  an unscratched Upper Deck Predictor and Topps Season's Best issue.  That's right, younger collectors:  20 years ago, Upper Deck was still allowed to produce baseball cards and Topps inserts didn't suck!

Moving on to 1999 I grabbed a couple eye-popping (or any other damage you prefer) inserts:  Pacific's Aurora Pennant Fever and Skybox Thunder www.batterz.com.  Gwynn's Padres, of course, won the '98 NL pennant (only to lose to the Yankees in Tony's second and final attempt at a ring), so the Aurora card was plenty relevant.  Meanwhile, don't you love the positively ancient looking web browser design on the Skybox insert?  Almost 20 years later I still think Apple stuff is stupid.

The last two are from 2001 Upper Deck Midsummer Classic Moments and 2010 Topps Cards Your Mom Threw Out (regular, not Original back).  The former highlights Gwynn's day at the 1994 All-Star Game, in which he chipped in two each of runs, hits, and RBI.  After Fred McGriff tied things up in the bottom of the 9th with a two-run bomb, Gwynn singled to lead off the bottom of the 10th and scored the winning run on a Moises Alou double.  The latter is a reprint of his 1986 Topps base and therefore not terribly interesting.
Not only did I nab nine new Griffeys, I repeated the feat with Greg Maddux!  While inserts were generally the story of the day, this scan starts off with a couple base cards from the very nice '94 Stadium Club set.  Then I jumped a head a few years with one of Greg's '97 Ultra Checklist inserts and a parallel I've always admired, 1998 Score Showcase.

After that we move up to Maddux's return to Chicago with some mid-aughts examples:  a Total Topps insert from 2005 Topps Total, 2006 Flair Showcase Hot Numbers, and 2006 Fleer Smooth Leather.  The Total insert isn't bad for as basic as the product was, but the Flair Showcase card looks absolutely fantastic (as the product often did), and even the more subtle Fleer insert looks great.

The last two cover Mad Dog's final two teams in San Diego and L.A.  The first card, a 2007 Topps Trading Places insert, actually includes both franchises, though of course, just as he did with the Cubs, he returned to the Dodgers for a second stint.  The other, exclusively Padres, card is a 2008 Upper Deck 20th Anniversary offering from a four-sport dealer program.  I much prefer the 10th Anniversary cards, but this one's still pretty cool.
Cal Ripken Jr. isn't the player for whom I found the most cards this time, but he is responsible for the largest span between sets today.  That's because I found his '85 Donruss Diamond King subset (still love those to this day!) and base card from the subsequent year.  Then I moved all the way up to his '98 Finest base--not one of my favorite designs for the product, but still solid.

As with Griffey, I also found one of Cal's 2000 Topps Magic Moments subset variations, this one highlighting his 400th   He finished 1999 with 402 then put up 29 more before hanging up his cleats.  Joining that one from the early aughts is a Heroes of Baseball insert that actually hails from the minor league-centric 2002 Upper Deck Prospect Premieres product.

I was then pleasantly surprised to turn up another good example of one of those well done artistically-themed sets in that 2009 Upper Deck Goudey base.  Very cool of UD to bring that classic name back to collecting!  And speaking of bringing things back, this scan comes full circle--with evidence of 30 years of progress--with Cal's 2017 Donruss Optic base.  I at least find it very cool to see the '85 and '86 cards next to the 2017 version!

That's it for this month's show, but please make sure to see the rest of what I found on TMM, then stay tuned for lots of incoming stuff that I'm behind on scanning and posting!

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!

Monday, October 9, 2017

2017 COMC purchases: playoff PCs

It's been a pretty good postseason so far, and as I write this the Red Sox have been eliminated, making the future rounds even more palatable; now if Cleveland could just close out the Yankees!  (That's not looking likely early)  Of course I'm rooting for the evil empire to lose as soon as possible but I do see the other side of the coin where young star Aaron Judge appearing in more October games is great for the sport.

Anyway, I'm here to post some baseball PC additions from my last few months of COMC purchases.  Five of today's eight players have had good-to-great October success, which I'll note as I show off cards of each player:
Tampa OF prospect Jake Cronenworth hasn't experienced MLB playoffs yet, but that's because the 2015 draftee hasn't even risen above AA yet.  Here he is on another issue (my 10th) from his 19-card 2015 Bowman Draft/Chrome rainbow (the entirety of his checklist so far), a Green parallel (#92/99).
I've got only one guy active in the 2017 version of the postseason, and it's amazing turnaround story pitcher Rich Hill, a.k.a. my favorite PC.  The southpaw lost his lone 2007 NLDS start as Arizona swept his Cubs that year, then he had to wait almost another decade to get back to the playoffs, this time with his current team, the Dodgers.  Rich went 0-1 in two 2016 NLDS games against the Nats, losing game 2 and leaving too early for a decision in the decisive game 5, but went on to win NLCS game 3 against his original team, the Cubs, before the eventual champs took the series in six games.  Thus far he's decision-less after going 4.0 innings in NLDS game 2 against the D-Backs, and we'll see if he can come up big should the Dodgers keep up their strong October play.

I've got two things of his to show off here, starting with his 2016 Topps Black parallel (#02/65).  In my opinion other folks are right when they say that these parallels just don't work as well sans borders, and that's coming from a fan of most borderless designs.  I now have nine of his 18 cards in last year's flagship/mini rainbow.

The other is a 1967 Advertising Strip box-topper from last year's Heritage.  These things can be a pain to track down, but at least it doesn't appear as though there's several versions for each player like there were in 2009 (I do have all three Hills from that run).  I got a pretty reasonable deal on this one, which also includes catcher Kurt Suzuki, who signed with Atlanta this past January, and slugger Mark Reynolds, who's still with Colorado.  Now to figure out how best to store something like this....
OF Ryan LaMarre, a former Reds second-rounder, has seen a bit of MLB action with three different teams the past three seasons:  Cincy in 2015, Boston last year, and Oakland this season, though he was released by the latter in June, so it remains to be seen where he plays in 2018.  I snagged this very rare 2016 Topps Mini Blue parallel (#07/10) of his for a song, and it's my seventh of his 19-card rainbow from that set (he has one more than Hill because Series I Framed cards were /16 while Series II's were 1/1s).  As I mentioned with Hill's card, the parallels just don't work as well with this design, but I at least kind of like the blue. 
Before Barry Larkin headed for the Hall he appeared in two postseasons:  1990 and 1995.  While the latter saw his Reds defeat the Dodgers in the NLDS before falling to the eventual champion Braves (no fault of Barry's as he put up some good numbers), the former made him one of three players in today's post to win a ring.  Larkin's stats in the six-game 1990 NLCS triumph over the Pirates were pretty good, he bumped them up in the surprising sweep of Oakland, giving the Reds their first World Series title since 1976.

What better way to honor that than with this beautiful insert set I've long admired?  This one comes from the 1998 version of Leaf's Heading for the Hall and is numbered 2695/3500.  A textbook example of what we're deprived of thanks to today's Toppsopoly, this classy, shiny design brings back great memories of the 90s.
Current (and certainly unpopular) Cardinals manager Mike Matheny can't claim ownership of a World Series ring as either a player or a skipper, but he does have two pennants to his name (one as each), which is pretty cool.  The former catcher saw postseason action with the Cardinals in 2001, 2002, and 2004, the latter of which saw St. Louis get swept by Boston in the Fall Classic, which I understand was a big deal. After retiring he led the same team to the playoffs from 2012-15, including winning the 2013 NL pennant before yielding to...Boston again!

This pair, which puts me at 60 of his 218-card checklist, includes the St. Louis version (one for San Fran also exists) of his 2005 Topps Cracker Jack Mini Stickers, plus a 2016 Bowman Family Tree insert that pairs him with son Tate, a 2015 draftee and prospect for...seriously, the Red Sox?  You can't make this stuff up!
Cincinnati 1B Hal Morris was a teammate of Larkin's for a good chunk of their careers, so his playoff experience mirrors that of the SS, winning it all in 1990 before falling to the '95 Braves.  Hal's numbers weren't as good--like one World Series hit in the four game sweep of Oakland--but he was still a contributor on both October squads.

As you can see, I had a ton of luck finding some of his better-than-low-end stuff I didn't grab from Sportlots, twelve cards in all, mostly of the insert variety.

This group includes 90s gems such as:  1995/96/97 (Silver) Donruss Press Proofs (cards 1, 4, and 6, respectively), '95 Select Certified Mirror Gold, '95 Stadium Club Clear Shots, and '96 Studio Bronze Press Proofs.  I love everything in this bunch as Press Proofs were always highly sought after, and the Stadium Club insert is super cool.
This quartet starts with Hal's '97 Finest base card, from the rarer Silver subset, and the Embossed parallel, which never interested me much, but does come without a protector, which is nice.  Those are joined by his '97 Flair Showcase Row 0 (a.k.a. the "toughest" base card) and his 1999 Pacific Prism Holographic Gold parallel (#413/480), one of two numbered cards of his I picked up (though the Press Proofs above are limited, they're not individually numbered).
And then a pair of horizontal cards:  1995 Stadium Club Virtual Reality Members Only, which was a parallel of the parallel with simulated full 1995 season stats on the back (get all that?) and the Radiance parallel (#2863/4500) from Upper Deck's all-numbered 1998 SPx Finite.  Oddly enough, both Royals cards were numbered!

I'm working towards the midpoint of Hal's roughly 360-card run with 157 in-hand and scanned, plus LOTS more on the way via Sportlots.
Bobby Scales had to wait a decade after being drafted to get cups of coffee with the Cubs in 2009 and 2010, so he never reached the postseason, but it must have at least felt like a validation of all of his hard work that he made it to that level.

As I continue to attack his 31-card checklist, I scored my 22nd in the form of this Blue parallel of his 2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom rookie (#44/99).  That means I lack the Gold parallel and, frustratingly, his numbered card from the base set!  Oh well, I'll track it down eventually.
Sweet Lou Whitaker is today's last player, and I think it's pretty well known that he won a ring with the '84 Tigers before going the Larkin/Morris route and losing his other playoff appearance to the eventual champs (Twins, '87).  Whitaker was a spark plug for the '84 wire-to-wire champs, pairing five hits and four walks with six runs scored in the five-game Series victory against San Diego.

COMC was kind to me once again in letting me land a pretty nice card of his, this 2005 Topps Retired Signature Gold parallel (#467/500).  It's one of those times when Topps combined a modern design with older photography and executed it very well, plus this version has the added bonus of the striking gold look.  It puts me just 45 cards short of his not-quite-300-card run.

Don't forget to check out my last few TMM posts (and next few) for other COMC goodies while I work on getting my enormous Sportlots haul presentable for future posts!