Sunday, February 21, 2021

2021 trade package #5: Sports Cards From the Dollar Store

Happy Sunday, everybody! I'm feeling good having been able to get some stuff done this weekend, plus Michigan took down Ohio State in basketball earlier this afternoon, so it's been a pretty good day. How about celebrating with my latest mailer from Sports Cards From the Dollar Store?

Speaking of celebrating, this is package #40 from one of my favorite traders that I'm featuring on this here blog (he got up to 56 on Too Many Manninghams, though there was some overlap there too). Doug managed to stuff a bunch of great cards into the last package he sent me, the one that included a couple sweet 8x10 autos, and somehow he still had enough to fill out a fat bubble mailer.

Thankfully he finally had some cards to show off from me, posting those not long after his birthday on 2/14. But I've got lots of catching up to do, as you'll see after taking a look at what he sent this time:
A Sabo base from the year his Reds won it all is the only baseball content today, but the team's name goes well with the next bunch. The last few years of Red Wings squads are a far cry from the glory days of teams helmed by the likes of Datsyuk, Larionov, and Zetterberg, but with Stevie Y in control, I have a feeling Hockeytown won't have to wait as long to celebrate with the cup as we did when 1997 rolled around. Igor's card is a suuuuper thick numbered base from UD's very high-end The Cup product. Also, I like the die-cutting on Hank's OPC card, but I'll be damned if these aren't a pain in the ass to try to position to scan since there's no straight edges and they spin around on the glass like it's an air hockey table!
Now we'll move on to the team of the hour (or the year?). Coach Juwan Howard, seen twice here, has done an amazing job to get the team where it is today, with just one loss, multiple impressive wins, and a likely 1-seed. The well-travelled Burke is always nice to see, and Grant's appeared in more than a couple Buckstorecards packages. "Sugar" Mills is one of the Pistons I remember from back when I actually used to watch pro basketball (mainly during the Pistons' heyday) and I liked him before I knew he was a former Wolverine.

The hits here are also typically excellent. Just my second LeVert (and Doug also sent me the first one, which is gonna be hard to top!) this Panini Noir looks really nice in-person, with the black & white image popping like crazy. That's a really nice pair of a talented young player. And then there's a very sharp, large two-color swatch featuring Sauce Castillo, hailing from Panini's high-end National Treasures. Nik, who's travelled about as much as Burke, is more common in my collection as this is card #10 in the hit collection (five each of relics and plates, if you can believe it). A hell of a pair from Stauskas' fellow Canadian!
If football wasn't represented by quantity this time the quality made up for it in spades. First is a Funch jersey on a Refractory/Prizmy 2016 Spectra card. Numbered /199, it of course shows him with the team that picked him, Carolina, but we'll see what he does next season after sitting this one out. This is Funchess hit #15 for me, by the way.

He's followed by a guy who probably won't ever see time on an NFL playing field, but that's fine because I love my college cards! Transfer QB Shea Patterson signed this 2020 Leaf Trinity card with a "Go Wolverines" inscription, making this kind of product even better for a collector like me. Just my second hit of Patterson (the other's also an autograph) this looks terrific and now I want to go out and find more Trinity cards of my PC guys!
And as always we'll end another enjoyable SCFtDS post with the Michigan Hockey content, which consists of two scans this evening. Here we have a nice mix of base and inserts. Former Habs teammates Cammalleri and Patch bookend this bunch with some shiny Certified base issues that don't quite reflect how, um, reflective they are, but that's no problem since that means they scanned nicely! Connor is from UD's Artifacts, a brand that's given me trouble in its past football iterations but plenty of nice stuff when it comes to icers. While he's not the lone subject of that Hurricanes team checklist, Wolverine Phil Di Giuseppe's name is prominent on the card so to his collection it'll go. Wolverwing Glendening and D-man Jon Merrill below him hail from a Prizm update set and both are RCs, so I got that going foo me. Hagelin and another Wolverwing, Larkin, highlight the textbook excellence of UD's photograph and design. And lastly, a second Merrill enters the mix--a numbered (/100) OPC black parallel that looks really nice with the rainbow effect plus the border.
Young star Zach Werenski, who's in his fifth season in Columbus (barf) and scored 20 goals last year, is the last subject before we get to the hits, and he appears on a Blue parallel from UD's Overtime product plus the flagship set as well. Remove the logos and you still know you're looking at an Upper Deck hockey card every time.

And then we have three more hits to admire in a package full of them. #1 is a 2016-17 UD AHL autograph of former star C T.J. Hensick, another card that embodies UD's pleasing look. I got to see pretty much his entire college career as a season ticket holder and I can tell you he was one of those guys who was absolutely electric, sometimes taking over a game by himself when the team needed him. Somehow this is only my second hit of his so I definitely value this one highly.

#2 is the undisputed highlight of this package for me. Dylan Larkin is my favorite current Wolverine in the NHL and it doesn't hurt that he happens to play for the Wings as well. As a young star his cards are understandably expensive so I'm glad to score an autograph of his here and there. Getting this UD Credentials signature limited to just 25 copies, then, is absolutely insane! Doug's now responsible for two of the three Larkin autos in my PC, and if that doesn't say something about his generosity then I don't know what does. What a sweet card!

And finally, we head over to his beloved Anthology product, the 2013-14 version. Doug busted a bunch of this stuff in an effort to complete some of the various sets, and to his credit he was able to finish up the dual jersey auto RCs like the Trouba you see above, quite and accomplishment. I believe this one was a dupe for him from a later box break, and I really appreciate him sending it my way since he'd be well within his rights to sell it to recoup some of his investment. Instead, though, he was nice enough to make it my 14th Trouba hit (many of which came from him), half of which feature the young star's signature. It would have been a tall order topping the sick-nasty patch auto he sent me last month, but this is just as high-end as the rest he's sent me over the years.

Doug, once again thank you for sending me some prized new items for my collections! Please feel free to take a breather while I work on paying you back. I'm glad to say I have at least one thing in the works I think you'll like, and I'll keep working on a return. In the meantime, I hope you had a great birthday and that you're having a blast with Mischief!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

2021 purchases: frugal football

After seeing lots of other folks showing off some fun purchases from I finally decided to make one of my own last month, picking up 250 cards from the "Online Dime Box" for $25 (imagine that) plus their flat $4.99 shipping. (Side note: you can use a coupon code on each transaction to have them hold onto your cards until you want them all shipped.)

A few weeks later I received a very well packed and protected box that contained everything I'd ordered (nothing missing!) plus even what I think was a freebie since I ended up with 251 items.

I'm going to break this down into at least two posts--football and baseball--and may even split up the baseball stuff since there's a lot. We'll see.

So tonight I'm showing off the football stuff. My strategy here was simply to search by name and grab everything I could find of each player I collect. And why not, with cards costing just a dime each, not to mention wanting to get good value for the flat shipping cost. Though there's nothing extremely exciting here it was definitely fun adding a bunch of new items to my football PCs on the cheap as a replacement for digging through dime boxes in-person.

Here's what I got:
I like starting out strong with a college uni card, even if it's the only one of the bunch. Former #1 WR Derrick Alexander led the way with nine new cards four of which you see here in vertical format, including Action Packed, a Pro Line set you'll see a few more times, and a shiny Prestige base. A beautiful Black Diamond Biakabutuka is one of three you'll see of the Buckeye-killing RB. And Calloway returns us to the WR position in a bunch of cards that was very offensive (in the best way!).
Carter, a star WR himself, joined the 1000 yard club for three straight seasons, 1988-90, including a career high 1225 in '88. QB Collins' Pacific Invincible base is definitely one of the highlights of the purchase, a fun dime box gem. "Jumbo" Elliott had a very nice 14-year career with the Giants and Jets, so tracking down four new cards of him was a plus. And Funchess's cards (you'll see one more in the next scan) from 2017 were definitely the most recent in the group.
It only feels like I bought the entire '97 Pro Line set. Grbac joins Collins as ex-Wolverine journeyman QBs with awesome cards today, in his case the beautiful 2000 Bowman's Best design. Coach Harbaugh ups the QB count and gets a nice shiny Prestige addition of his own. HOF former Badger/Wolverine "Crazy Legs" Hirsch comes to us from a "baseball" product, Panini's Golden Age, that's about as baseball as A&G and GQ, but that's fine since he's awesome. Heisman winner Howard joins him to continue the run on receivers, and that Classic Images card is so 90s I just did a kickflip on a skateboard while yelling "radical!" and I don't even own a skateboard!
McGee and Riemersma would form a TE pair any Michigan coach would die for. A-Train and Toomer hail from the nice to look at if especially curly 2002 Topps Chrome set. Wheatley's athleticism was certainly a work of art and is captured well on a Pacific Impressions card from 2001. And Super Bowl Champ Woodley doesn't look very happy to be one of just two defenders I could find this time.
Yep, Derrick Alexander definitely had a good day, and here he adds an Ultra insert, Black Diamond base, and a couple of Crown Royales to boot (and he's still not done!). Grbac also got the Crown treatment, and we're not quite done with the die-cut beauties yet. Howard was the #2 player here with five cards including this trio that brought an Ultra Gold Medallion and a somewhat rare Lions appearance.
There's TE McGee again, joining WR alum Howard above in a cool Flair set. Transfer RB Ritchie looks ready to kill a dude on both of his cards. Toomer gets the die-cut treatment from Pacific Atomic and Crown Royale, and the previously seen Wheatley can also be seen on a different version of the latter. Between the two I'm more of a fan of the team die-cuts of Atomic, but you're getting something cool either way!
Last up is the oddly sized stuff. I snagged four players from Fleer's '97 Goudey II throwback product. Collins is by himself near the top of the set while the other three are consecutive, which I thought was cool. Looks like I need to track down Harbaugh, Toomer, and Howard to achieve the team set.

After the Funchess cards you saw earlier, the 2015 Panini stickers you see here at the bottom of Shoelace and Woodson (the day's other defensive representative) were the next most recent. The Robinson foil was a fun throwback to when I'd chase those special stickers to put in Panini's baseball books.

And last up is a trio of cards that both look and scanned better than I'd expected. Those horizontal minis on the right are Open Field holograms from 1996 Playoff Contenders. The one-per-pack insert was broken up into Green, Purple, and Red (which you can discern based on what you see around the player's name), with Green both the most plentiful and easy to pull and Red being the rarest. All three of my players here are Green, as you might imagine since they were a dime each.

I'll be back in the near-ish future with the baseball stuff but first I have a sweet new trade package to dig into, so you'll probably see that next. In the meantime, if you haven't yet I'd recommend giving a look! Browsing's not as nice as I'd like but the prices, accuracy, and shipping are excellent, so if you've been on the fence I'd say go for it.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Some Superb Panini Instant cards

It's Super Bowl Sunday and I actually have some fairly relevant cards to celebrate! While these aren't generally in my wheelhouse, I grabbed a six-pack of Panini Instant football cards to flip a couple to Doug (not like I don't owe him BIGTIME for all the great stuff he's sent my way) because it made more sense to buy the group than to pay crazy shipping for just one card. What made it an even easier decision was the UM connection that three of them offered:

I will say it's pretty sweet to get this Henne, my favorite of the trio, to celebrate his heroics as he stepped in for a potentially injured Mahomes to shepherd the Chiefs over the Browns. A terrible endzone interception by Henne made it necessary after the KC star built up his team's lead, true, but it was still a blast to see Chad come up with a huge barely short of the first down run on third and 14, then execute coach Andy Reid's ballsy fourth and 1 pass to ice the game instead of going the boring, conservative route. Henne joins such Wolverines as Mario Manningham, Desmond Howard, Brandon Graham, Marlin Jackson, and Ty Law in the annals of NFL Playoffs heroics, so this card will definitely have a special place in his PC. (It's also pretty cool that it's the card with the lowest print run of the bunch!)

Of course a Michigan guy who's no stranger to postseason lore is QB Tom Brady, who's leading his new team, the Bucs, into tonight's big game. Tom Terrific threw a pair of scores to teammates Leonard Fournette and Mike Evans and added a third TD with a goal line QB sneak to bring Tampa to the conference championship in a win over a retiring Drew Brees' Saints. While neither guy seen here is particularly likeable these days off the field, they're both legends of the sport, so this matchup of two legends was a good one for the NFL.
And then there's Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, who's become pretty unlikeable for his own reasons, but still ranks up there with the greats of the franchise at his position. Brady and the Discount Double Check guy did indeed meet up with a trip to the Big Game on the line, and though Tom tossed a trio of picks to keep things interesting, the Bucs never trailed, thanks in part to a last-second TD pass by the GOAT to end the first half. The Pack did have a shot at tying things up late but Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur displayed that he is menos macho than Andy Reid and kicked a field goal instead, while Tampa was able to run out the clock. Now Brady's team gets to be the first to attempt to win a Super Bowl on their home field.

I'll certainly be watching with some interest, probably while doing more card-related stuff, since I can watch the one or two good commercials (if any) later and don't care about the halftime stuff. And I'll pretty much be happy for either team to win, given that either way one or more Wolverines will be celebrating tonight. The Chiefs definitely have the edge in numbers with backups/injured/practice squad guys Henne, Mike Danna, Taco Charlton, and Patrick Omameh, plus starting DE Frank Clark (who, it should always be mentioned, left in disgrace), while Brady seeks to add to his GOATness (along with practice squad K Matt Wile).

Here's hoping for a great game helmed by two star QBs at opposite ends of their careers!

Saturday, February 6, 2021

2020 COMC purchases: look at these 'graphs (and more!)

Time to finish up a look at my late-year purchases from COMC so I can close the book on cards I bought in 2020, a year that often felt as bad as a Nickelback song.

I decided to throw all of the football content in one post and just try not to get too verbose about it. That way I can get this stuff put away and move on to other incoming items and stuff I want to post about. I'm showing off 35 cards tonight and the vast majority include signatures, hence today's title and the meme above. Let's get down to business:
The other 34 cards fit nicely into two scans each of nine (vertical cards) and eight (horizontal), so I'll give the only non-hit its own spot here to start. Old Ty joins Amani Toomer (back-to-back in the set, in fact) in my collection of the amazing 2000 Bowman's Best Acetate parallel, which is so cool I scanned both sides for this post!
Ok, on to the (mostly) 'graphs! Many of the cards you'll see were excellent deals that fortified some of my better football PCs. Avant's from the era of shiny stickergraphs and is numbered /125. Breaston did play a couple seasons for the Chiefs, who could repeat as champs tomorrow evening. J-Booty's auto comes on an Optic card, making it shiny in a different way than Avant's. Taco (Michigan uni!) was drafted by Dallas but is now potentially in line for a ring as a bit player for the Chiefs. I continued to bolster Darboh's collection with the three autos you see here (and more in a bit), and Jeff and I have lots of those in common which I noticed while adding them on TCDB. Braylon's huge Browns swatch (/150) was a nice value. And I scored another, uh, signature? of Gary, who had a solid sophomore campaign with the Pack.
Now this is a top three I can get down with: a trio of college uni cards! Gentry's tiny John Hancock graces a Prizm card, Big Mo is one of those acetate cards from Leaf Trinity's Clear line, and I tracked down auto number two of former lineman Trezelle Jenkins. Then it's on to just four out of an absolute bounty of Jake Longs, including a quad jersey/auto, autograph, and not one but two plates (2008 Topps Mayo and 2010 Topps), the first I've acquired of the former #1 overall pick. It's been a while since I've posted a new pickup of former college star DL Mike Martin so why not celebrate his return with a beautiful UD Black signature (/199)? And I enjoy seeing former stars like Toomer get recognized after their careers in Panini's various products, like this Certified jersey (/49) of Amani "It's Not A" Toomer.
Not everything was autographed in this bunch but most was. One of the exceptions was a cool rookie year Avant jersey (/499) where the shininess of the card is better than the swatch. Leaf's cards are fantastic values for college collectors like this sick giant patch/auto of WR Jehu Chesson that cost me less than $3. The three other Darboh cards I found were jersey/autos, two of which came with nice pieces of what's becoming a familiar Seahawks jersey for me as a collector of his cards. Braylon's Topps "patch" isn't terribly impressive but was a cool find for under a buck, and the large jersey number relic card (/25) is even better. Panini's Contenders/Draft products are also outstanding for those pursuing cards of their favorite schools, and here I was glad to find my third signature of former DB David Long.
And the last grouping allows me to end the post with a bang. I was very pleased with my Long haul (pun intended), nine cards for about $33 that also included four jersey/autos and an auto/manupatch. The Gridiron Gear card is one of those where the signed swatch can be pulled out, similar to the Denard that follows the group, though I think in Shoelace's case the signed piece isn't from a jersey. I was thrilled to add another of A-Train's beautiful signatures to my collection. And we'll end on a non-auto, a dual relic of WR Marquise Walker, representing Tom Brady's Bucs in this post.

Once again I had a great time landing some amazing pieces for my collection at pretty nice prices, even if my trade bait purchasing was less than ideal this time around. Just a few quick collection notes: Long zoomed past Braylon thanks to his big day, with the OT hitting 97 to the WR's 93 (Manningham's in between at 95), and threatening to become the second member of my 100-hit club (Henne). Despite his cards being relatively recent, Darboh's already over the 40-mark to 41. And Avant gets to 65 hits, good for sixth overall. Michigan's former WRs feature heavily at the top of my collection with #s 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 12, 14, 16, and 17.

With these finally able to be put away in their boxes I'm not sure where I'll go next: possibly my first order, or perhaps an interesting purchase from a new vendor, not to mention an incoming trade envelope. If I manage to get myself to put up a Super Bowl-related post tomorrow I know which one it'll be, and I'm curious to see reactions to it.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

2021 trade package #4: Scribbled Ink

I was all set to work on my COMC football pickups post having gotten everything scanned and into the post, but then buddy of the blog Paul of Scribbled Ink (or more commonly at this point, Twitter), managed to get a PWE to me just before the month ran out, making it number four for January. Since the PWE requires much less writing, plus I give preference to trade cards over purchases, that's what you'll get to see tonight!
As always, Paul did a perfect job protecting everything in the PWE. In this case he surrounded it with this greeting card. But that's way too tame for a package from him, and he felt the cards required more protection... he made sure they were safe in the embrace of this lovely lady! Besides being one of my favorite trader partners, I think Paul's my favorite recycler.
Oh, yeah, and the cards themselves, let's look at those too:
Along the left side we have a couple items that are new to me. Junior's card comes from a 10-card set produced by Pacific in 2000 that helps to advertise the video game Backyard Baseball. That looks to have been a Windows/Mac only kids game (the series has since moved on to consoles) that included real Major Leaguers. You can get an idea of how kid-friendly it was by the back, which you'll see in a second. This is definitely a fun oddball of one of my favorite PC guys, and it's from a time when Pacific used some very nice designs.

Below him is what I thought for a minute was a dupe of Rich Hill's 2020 Topps Series 2 issue. Then I flipped it over to find that it's the Advanced Stats version, which is distinctive in two ways: standard stats are replaced by numbers like spin rate, FIP, and wOBA, plus the card is serial numbered to 300. This was definitely a need for me and I was happy to add it thanks to Paul.

And last up is one of Paul's hilarious and fun customs, the first he's ever sent me. It's about the thickness of a relic since I believe the background is from a pack decoy. He cut out Hill's image plus part of the border and affixed that to the decoy, on which he drew the background, giving it a bit of a 3D feel when you look at in in person. About that background, though... reference's Rich's awesome nickname bestowed by former Red Sox teammate Brock Holt, "Dick Mountain". Hence the rather phallic shapes in the faraway hills. Out of the stuff that Paul's sent me this might be the funniest--I've heard of NSFW packaging, but NSFW cards?!-- and I promise it'll get a place of honor among the rest of my Hill collection. Here's hoping old Rich brings his Big Dick Energy to whichever team he signs with in 2020!

You also get a good look at the cartoonish Kid and Hill's advanced stats on their respective backs.

Paul, thanks for this awesome surprise PWE and the amazing contents therein. Oh, and also for sending me your Rich Hill cards instead of being a dick!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

2021 eBay purchase: get Rich or die tryin'

I spent a good amount of my time today scanning, which is fun to do once in a while, and the majority of that was getting to my football COMC pickups from late last year. I got everything all cropped and ready to go for a post soon and added all the missing fronts/backs on TCDB. Once you get into doing that you tend to keep it up out of a sense of pride and competition!

Besides, those, though, I also scanned my first eBay purchase of 2021, which ended up costing me a bit more than fifty cents:

Naturally it's a much needed high-end Rich Hill card! The aging lefty appears in both the Winning Materials and Young Stars Signatures sets in Upper Deck's 2007 SPx product, and both of those have printing plate sets. In this case you're looking at the magenta plate from Young Star Signatures which, as you might guess, was an autographed insert:

See the resemblance? This is actually my second plate from the set as I'd previously tracked down the yellow version:
Not bad as it puts me halfway to another Hill plate set! As for the Winning Materials cards, I actually have one of those plates as well (Cyan), but have struck out on trying to find any of the actual cards thus far. No problem, maybe I'll get them eventually.

I now count more than 23 1/1s in my Hill PC, and I say "more than" because I still haven't definitively IDed six 2008 Triple Threads White Whales, which Topps couldn't be arsed to label. If anybody else thinks they have a better collection of Hill than I do (and want to argue about it for some reason), I'd love to see it! My 321 (plus!) cards dwarf all comers on TCDB with the second place member holding all of 55. The Rich get Richer, baby!

Not bad for $10 plus $1.50 shipping plus tax minus some eBay bucks, making this one $11.11.

Stay tuned for the COMC UM Football pickups I mentioned earlier, though with so many cards to talk about I'll probably drag my feet for a bit. And who knows if anything else will pop up in between!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

2021 trade package #3: Sports Cards From the Dollar Store

I'm back tonight with the last January trade package that I have in-hand (so far, at least!), another Canadian special from buddy of the blog Doug of Sports Cards From the Dollar Store. For some reason he's generous enough to keep sending me packages even though I've owed him at least one for a while. Fortunately I just got one on its way to him, so things will start to even out a bit. I didn't hit him in time for Christmas (or anyone else, for that matter) but I think this one will get there before his birthday on 2/14 (send him some cards of guys born that day!).

Anyway, this was another multi-sport bonanza with a few things I knew would be included but mostly some outstanding surprises:
Let's begin with the Wings stuff, a nice red and white quartet. I'm glad the Applicator, a former Spartan, is no longer in Hockeytown, but his base card along with Nielsen's from 2020-21 Upper Deck looks fantastic. I'm glad UD is still around in some capacity because their designs are top notch! Turgeon's still a work in progress but his Upper Deck Ice RC, #d /999, fits in with the comments I just made about the brand's design chops, with Ice being a particularly cool motif. And then there's The Captain, a.k.a. The GM. The star of a Team Canada Juniors card made by--who else?--Upper Deck has his work cut out for him in terms of a rebuild, but what a great moment it would be to see the guy who captained the Wings to their first title after a long drought do the same from the front office!
Switching over to Michigan Basketball stuff, I enjoyed checking out this bevy of recent guys. NCAA tourney legend Jordan Poole leads the way with six cards, finally getting his collection to double digits, and that's thanks to a cool quartet of rookie-year issues, some of which are Panini Chronicles-related, and a nice Contenders college action card. A Nik "Sauce Castillo" Stauskas RC with a bit of a hardwood feel is another cool highlight. 

Then we get to a trio of cool hits. Poole features on a die-cut relic from a Crowne Royale set, a product known for that design feature. The Hoops sweater card where Jordan co-stars with Iggy Brazdeikis had me laughing and was perfect for ugly sweater season. And then there's one more Michigan uni card to enjoy: a Contenders auto (my first card of any kind, in fact) of Kentucky transfer Charles Matthews, who headed north to Ann Arbor for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. Those were coach John Beilein's last two years coaching Michigan and included reaching the title game in '18, losing to Villanova. I'm not the biggest basketball fan but this is a really nice bunch!
The football side of things was less voluminous but no less effective. On the left is LB and #60 overall selection by the Pats last year, Josh Uche. Doug's responsible for sending me my first card of the four-year Wolverine who put up 14.5 sacks his last couple years in Ann Arbor. That would be his RC from last year's Rookies & Stars product. I've never been a fan of that product's design but will definitely overlook its faults since it used a college photo!

The other is my 12th relic (and 35th hit overall) of former UM WR Amara Darboh, and it also hails from Panini's R&S. While he didn't turn into much in the NFL he was lots of fun to watch in college and I continue to enjoy collecting him. Darboh's no longer with Seattle, the team that drafted him, but since pretty much all of his cards were made during his rookie year of 2017, that's who he's pictured with here, and it comes with a nice Seahawks blue swatch.
And now we get to the usual main event: Michigan Hockey. Compher, Hughes, Hyman, and Trouba are all from the previously mentioned '20-'21 Upper Deck product that I'm already in love with, though Trouba's card features one of the funniest miscuts I've ever seen! I only have three cards of former RW David Oliver, but then he doesn't have many to chase, so this 1995-96 O-Pee-Chee card is great. And Patch makes yet another SCFtDS trade appearance out of '19-'20 UD Overtime, with the Vegas winger responsible for three goals in just six games this season.
Hockey hits? Hockey hits! The Ebbett (auto #6, hit #8 overall) is an ITG stickergraph, but the designers did a nice job of hiding that fact by placing it on an image of a rink. Andrew has an outstanding signature and even includes his jersey number, which is always cool. He played four full years in Ann Arbor starting my sophomore year so I believe I got to see every one of his home games and I'm glad to collect cool stuff of his like this auto.

Werenski's a much more recent guy, and the young d-man is fun to watch even if he plays for Columbus. He hit the 20-goal mark last year in his fourth season, and that was in fewer games than the others! This UD Game Jersey includes a very nice royal blue swatch from a Blue Jackets sweater, and I can't think of a better color for the former Wolverine's first hit in my hockey collection!

Last up here is a card Doug teased me with, and for once the scan may actually do it justice. Found in an Upper Deck product called Chronology, it's a gorgeous Jacob Trouba patch auto done up in the style of UD's Masterpieces, with a beautiful red border tying it all together. That goes especially well with his patriotic jersey colors now that he's with the Rangers. Oh, and the gold pen auto isn't bad either. I've got some nice cards of the young star defensemen in my collection, but nothing approaches the sheer brilliance of this one, probably my favorite card in the whole package!

But we're not quite done. He had to send these latest traders in a larger than usual envelope to accommodate one more item he teased, plus another that I believe was a surprise:
Upper Deck's Be a Player product offered a set called Portraits in 2006-07, and the titular items could be found signed by one to four players. One of my favorite PC guys, Brendan Morrison, made the cut for the checklist, and the result is this beautiful 8x10 that features a nice action photo and a dedicated space for a nice, large signature. What a cool item, one that's begging to be put up on the wall in a place of prominence in my card room. Fellow favorite dude Marty Turco can also be found here so his has gone on my wantlist, and I was disappointed to discover that the Frozen Four-winning pair didn't get a dual card to themselves. Anyway, very cool of Doug to both acquire this for me and deal with the logistics of shipping it.

And if he was already doing that, well, in for a penny, in for a pound, right? I was totally surprised to see this awesome signed 8x10 of another guy who starred at Yost Ice Arena for a couple years I had tickets, 2005-06 and '06-'07: Jack Johnson. Jack was a blast to watch during his college days, a major force on the ice, even if he sometimes took stupid penalties. It was no surprise when the #3 overall pick from the '05 draft went pro after a pair of seasons, and he's enjoyed some ups and downs over a long NHL career.

This photo is signed in blue (naturally!) sharpie and is from game action against the Lake Superior State Lakers of the former CCHA, Michigan's longtime pre-Big Ten league.

This information from the back wasn't as helpful as I'd hoped so I'm not sure if it came from one of two '06-'-07 games (2/16/07 @ LSSU, 2/18/07 in Detroit) or a pair of away games in Sault Ste. Marie in November of 2007 the following season. Either way, it's a very cool piece and a nice addition to my collection of Michigan autographed memorabilia!

Doug, thanks again for an extremely cool package of stuff--you always manage to surprise me with some amazing cards, and sometimes other items too! I hope the envelope I just sent you gets there safely and quickly and that you're just as geeked about your latest haul from our ongoing deals!

With all my incoming trades covered for now I think next time you'll be seeing my first eBay pickup of 2021 before I get back to the rest of my 2020 COMC haul.