Thursday, April 19, 2018

2018 trade package #10: the Collector

It's been long enough--about 13 months--since Chris of the Collector and I had swapped cards that he now has a cool banner image.  I've been doing this for seven-plus years and still can't make that claim--I totally need to get on that!

Anyway, Chris recently promised me that he was sending one of my most wanted cards (as seen in the upper-right corner of this here blog) soon.  That ended up being part of a very productive PWE of cards he grabbed from COMC and then sent my way immediately instead of waiting for package filler.  Boy am I glad he did!

Here's the contents:
We'll start with a 2016 Bowman card of Tigers OF JaCoby Jones which is not a RC, but that's fine since he has cards in 2013 Elite Extra Edition and those don't count either.  The guy the Tigers got from the Pirates for a few months of Joakim Soria in 2015 hasn't done a lot of damage at the plate yet but could be an adequate guy on a rebuilding team.
Now we move on to the star of the show and one of my former most wanted:  Jake Fox's 2007 Bowman Sterling Black Refractor (#13/25).  The final card I needed for the slugger's three-card "rainbow" from that product was one of just two I needed to track down for Fox's small collection.  Believe me when I say it's got plenty of Refractor power even if the scan makes the "black" part look more prevalent.  Here's that trio, by the way:
Not bad at all!

The last card I'm chasing is gonna be much, much tougher to track down, though:  a 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars Signature Quads auto that stars Fox along with teammates Geovany Soto, Derrek Lee, and Micah Hoffpauir.  Just 15 copies were made and I've never seen one, so if you've got a lead on one for sale please let me know!
The other two cards were also PC needs:  a couple 1995 parallels of Hal Morris.  While I was a bit surprised to find that I didn't already have card #2, an Ultra Gold Medallion, the Stadium Club First Day Issue to its left was a no-doubter for me.  Both of these feature nice action shots in the field on excellent borderless designs, but you just can't beat Morris catching the First Day stamp in his glove.  Based on other cards I could find from the set it seems that stamp moved around quite a bit so this very well could have been intentional on Topps' part, which would be awesome.

In any case this pair was very helpful towards my collection as I now sit at 102 cards shy of the 359 I've checklisted for the former Red.

Chris, thanks once again for packing lots of productivity into a Pedestrian (but not pedestrian) PWE!  I really appreciate you taking the time to find those needs on my checklists, especially as you sent a big-time want my way.  Enjoy your well-deserved big box of fun that I already know has arrived to you!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

2018 trade package #9: Bob Walk the Plank

And now for something completely different, here's what Matt from Bob Walk the Plank calls "Some PC needs and some boom!" in his latest trade package:
"BOOM" has become the code word for the high quality stuff we send back and forth, and Matt more than kept up his end of the bargain as usual with three Topps Mini Blank Back 1/1s of a couple of my PC guys, J.J. Putz (2013 and '14) and Clayton Richard (2014).  While you can definitely count these among the cards I wouldn't buy myself I'll happily take them if somebody else is footing the bill!  And leave it to Bob Walk's #1 fan to be the one to do that given some of the craziness he's sent my way in the past, such as a pair of signed Topps contracts.  Wow!

And these have me in a celebratory mood, starting with a minor milestone of 10 1/1s for Putz (and seven for Richard), putting him second only to Rich Hill (18) in my entire collection in that department.  But more importantly these finally got me over the century mark for a new grand total of 102 1/1s!

I like that these Topps-sold slabs hail from those two Mini sets since I found those cards to be fun to collect, maybe a bit closer to the set-building and value characteristics I valued from Topps before they began to cater exclusively to breakers.  Once the prices on boxes and cases crashed people really seemed to enjoy going crazy and pulling fun stuff left and right.  So I definitely have good feels when it comes to these products, besides the fact that I'm thrilled to add even more high-end stuff to those PCs.

And speaking of them being high-end, don't even act like I didn't buy that donut, because I've got the documentation right here:
Oddly enough, the last time I saw these was the aforementioned Topps contracts sent to me by Matt himself!

As incredible as those are, I think Wes has been rubbing off on him a bit because there were two more cards in this envelope (which was barely enough to contain all the awesome), including this gem:
I mean jeez, Matt, it took you long enough to send me another top-notch Al Kaline autograph.  I guess it's the fifth one you've sent me (out of the six I own), but you made me wait more than two years!  All kidding aside, you can't get much more "BOOM" than those three 1/1s and a sick sig of Mr. Tiger numbered 10/25 from 2017 Topps Five Star.  Al's always had an impeccable John Hancock and it looks fantastic here in silver ink.  I really should figure out a way to display some of my best stuff like Matt's Kalines and the many other heavy hitters he's sent--perhaps you've somehow forgotten about the Griffey autograph from last time?  BOOM indeed.

I mentioned there was one other really nice card in this envelope but I'm going to leave you hanging and direct you over to TMM this evening to check it out as it fits squarely in one of my many football PCs.

Thanks again, Matt, for this outstanding volley!  Looking back at past trade posts from you makes me realize how quickly we went from casual trading to lobbing bombs back and forth, making your favorite hashtag all the more appropriate.  I look forward to seeing your reaction to the stuff that made it to you this past weekend while I work on reloading once again!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

4/7/18 card show report: Gold Glove Guys

(Before I get started I'd like to insert a quick note that you should all check out my revamped Player Collections page.  I put in lots of work over the weekend to try to clean it up a bit to make it easier to look at given the large number of players.  I also added 11 new collections:  one from baseball (Brett Adcock, for whom I have zero cards at the moment), eight in football, and two hockey guys.)

Today's post recaps the most recent show I attended a couple weekends ago, back at my usual haunt in Taylor.  I was thrilled to have better-than-usual success in finding PC stuff and trade bait from my favorite seller; besides scoring 120 quarter cards and a few dollar hits I got a rare chance to flip through a higher-end box of his, coming up with two very nice hits for me and two for a future trade.  All that came out to a very reasonable $50 and I left the show in a great mood.

As usual a large chunk of what I picked up is heading out in trade packages (or already has, actually, so watch your mailboxes the next few days!) but I've got plenty of highlight-worthy stuff for you here and over on TMM.  Here's half the damage:
We'll begin with a very nice Griffey base card out of 2001 Upper Deck Gold Glove, a product with an excellent theme.  The Gold Glove stamp in the lower-left corner is a reminder that Junior won that award every year of the 90s, a testament to his five-tool greatness.
Speaking of Gold Gloves, they're the focus of the first of this Greg Maddux insert trio.  A 2003 Bazooka Comic makes light of Maddux winning 13 straight fielding awards (1990-2002), and he went on to pile up five more before retiring!  Card #2 is a 2007 Topps Allen and Ginter Dick Perez sketch, an insert that brings back the glory days of Diamond Kings (even if Mad Dog is in a Padres uni).  Last up is 2016 Topps Hallowed Highlights, a card that commemorates the HOFer needing a ridiculous 76 pitches to finish off the Cubs on July 22, 1997.
While I knew I had a Cal Ripken Jr. 2001 UD Gold Glove card to go with Griffey's, I hadn't realized that all four base cards I picked up of him this time featured the Iron Man in the field until I scanned them together.  That card looks fantastic but card #1 here--2000 Topps Gallery--gets the easy win for best photo and overall design.  Check out that huge bunch of dirt on Cal's uni!  The other two cards here hail from a couple more 2001 Upper Deck products:  SP Authentic and Pros and Prospects.  Definitely a nice quartet of the guy who won AL Gold Glove Awards in '91 and '92 before running into the Omar Vizquel buzz saw.
Last up today I have two Verlanders, which can seem like "many" when you're digging through a quarter box just a few minutes outside of Detroit.  I thought this 2017 Donruss Optic Diamond Kings subset card looked awesome so I had to have it.  The "chromifying" effect that Optic gives the regular cards looks great and I wouldn't mind scoring some of the parallels if I find them.

Wait, I said two Verlanders--where's the other one?
Bingo.  This is one of the cards that bumped up my total a bit but was extremely reasonably priced overall:  a Sepia parallel of one of JV's 2008 Topps Triple Threads triple jerseys (#24/27).  He may have shipped off to Houston last season but his Tigers cards are still plenty in demand here so I wasn't leaving without this one.  A year after his ROY award campaign that included a trip to the World Series, Verlander indeed one-upped himself with 18 wins in 2007, a career high that he's eclipsed twice since.  This surprise addition is my 22nd hit of Mr. Kate Upton, and 12th relic.  Not a bad way to end the day!

As good as this little haul was, the pickups you can see over on TMM this evening are just as nice, so please don't forget to head over there too!  As for posts over here, now that I'm caught up on shows you should see a couple trade packages next, followed by eBay pickups, pending any other surprise additions.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

3/18/18 card show report: Paul and some PCs

Today's show post is a bit of a curveball for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that it was the second one I attended last month, meaning it was also in a different location (Troy instead of Taylor).  It also involved meeting Paul from Scribbled Ink on his home turf as he lives nearby.  As in the other cases where I met fellow bloggers it was a fun meetup and we both posted the results of our in-person trading (his, mine).  Lastly it meant finding cards from a different seller, and let me tell you that was the hardest I've worked at a show to spend $30, but I came back with some fun stuff.  Just 12 cards for me, though (in addition to some trade bait), with the other five viewable on TMM tonight.

Here's part of my small haul:
I generally don't have much luck finding vintage stuff in the cheaper boxes like these--which were either $0.25 or $0.50 apiece before volume discounts--and even when I do it usually isn't the home team.  That made it an easy decision for me to add this pair of '59 Topps issues to my pile.  Maxwell, a native of the western part of the state who went to WMU, was primarily an OF in eight solid seasons in Motown sandwiched by stints with both Sox (and a four-game cameo in Baltimore).  Zernial, meanwhile, was also an outfielder though most of his career was spent with the Philly/KC Athletics and White Sox before ending his career with two seasons in Detroit.

Of course these made for fun additions to my minuscule collection of cards from that decade!
Next I tracked down cards from just a pair of PCs, starting with this fun insert starring Barry Larkin.  Hailing from 2001 Fleer Triple Crown, this Crowning Achievements card honors Barry, Andres Galarraga, and fellow HOFer Craig Biggio in reaching the 2000-hit mark during the previous season.  Larkin would play four more seasons and reach 2340, the Big Cat would finish at 2333 in the same span, and Biggio would last the seven more campaigns he needed to eclipse 3K and finish up with 3060.  Great players on a great insert!
A favorite PC guy on some stuff from a couple decades ago?  Why yes, I do believe I have room for the "90s inserts rule!" tag today.  Here's a fun trio featuring Greg Maddux, starting with 1993 Triple Play League Leaders, which notes Mad Dog and HOF closer Eck as '92's Cy Young winners.  Greg won the first of his four straight while my namesake was good enough to land both the pitching award and MVP as well.

#2 is the 1997 version of one of Upper Deck's more notable redemption/game cards, the Predictor.  For those of you that don't remember, you could redeem these for better cards if the predicted event (which you had to scratch off in this case) occurred.  I'll be leaving this one unscratched, of course, thank you very much.

Last up is a very foil-y insert from 1999 Upper Deck called Immaculate Perception, a solid play on words.  The "Decade Dominators" stamp over his right arm brings me right back to the 90s when UD and Fleer used these various icons to note milestones and achievements instead of making subsets ad nauseum like Topps.
Oh yeah, and here's one more card of his I grabbed, though it wasn't in the cheap boxes, obviously.  I believe $3 or so was good enough to pick up my 14th relic of the pitching legend, a Fleer Sweet Sigs Ballpark Heroes Jersey Silver jersey (#221/224).  When it comes to guys like Maddux I don't mind paying a bit more than I usually would for a relic like this, which was definitely a nice way to cap the show for me, besides meeting Paul, of course.  And now it's his turn to join me in Taylor the next time we can both go!

I've got just one more show to recap now, the one from earlier this month, and then it'll be back to regular programming, including a couple trade packages.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

3/3/18 card show report: Griffey/Gwynn/Maddux/Ripken and...Henson?

March was another good month for shows as I attended two for the first time in a while.  First up was the one I hit pretty much every month in Taylor so I can see my favorite dime/quarter/$0.50/dollar guy.  Looking back at my spending log for this year I see that I managed to drop just $16 this time, so I must have had a harder time finding lots of trade bait or something.  I say that because my haul here (and to a lesser extent, on this evening's TMM post) is pretty good.  I dunno, it was more than a month ago!

Here's my spoils from that show:
As the title suggests you'll see all four of my big PC guys, starting with Junior Griffey.  It was an all base affair, but considering what I came home with, I ain't even mad.  #1 is a checklist from the excellent SP base set made in 1996, meaning I now have both of his cards from that product.  Second is 1999 Upper Deck Century Legends, easily near the top of my list of favorite UD products (and in general).  The other two go hand-in-hand as they form a pair of Panini products from 2014:  Donruss and Classics (out of order for some reason, not the only time I did that in scanning cards for this show).  These new additions give me a fun (and very temporary) total of 666 Griffeys!
Mr. Padre easily outpaced everyone else today as the only player whose haul required two scans.  Group #1 starts with UD's sophomore SP set produced in '94, then moves on to '95 (Bowman's Best and Ultra Gold Medallion) and '96 (Bowman's Best again plus a peeled Finest).  Next is the first of a number of Crown Royale inserts you'll see today, a 1998 insert called Diamond Knights.  Another insert, 2000 SPx's Heart of the Order, follows.  Then we have a nice base pair from 2001 Finest and 2005 Donruss Team Heroes.
The final vertical pair keeps the Donruss hype going with 2008 Threads and 2017 Optic, a particularly nice looking product.  As for the horizontals, a pair of Crown Royale inserts--1998 Pillars of the Game and 2000 Feature Attractions--sandwich a base card from one of the greatest one-per-pack autograph offerings of all time, 1999 SP Signature.  I'll always have a fond place in my heart for that product, of course, after pulling a Griffey auto from the first pack I purchased.
Michigan guy Drew Henson is the combo-breaker today, and I definitely didn't plan to dig out a card of his that I needed.  In fact I grabbed this 2003 Topps Gallery base while pretty sure I already had it, but luckily for me it was the Artist's Proof version that already had a place in my collection.  So hooray for taking a shot while risking very little!
Pitching genius Greg Maddux is up next with a nice five spot.  Up first is one of probably many cards that feature the hurler at the plate, and I mean he did hit five homers over his career!  That's a '99 Aurora Pennant Fever insert, produced during one of the three times Maddux's Braves reached the World Series.  Then I have a couple 2002 issues:  a Donruss Elite base and Fleer Golden Memories insert, both of which look great with their own styles.  Meanwhile, the 2003 Absolute Memorabilia photo and design remind me quite a bit of the card above it. 

Last up is another 1998 Crown Royale Pillars of the Game insert starring Maddux and his fellow Braves rotation HOFers, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz.  This amazing trio won the '95 World Series and combined for seven NL Cy Youngs (1991-1996, and '98), 873 wins, and 154 saves (all Smoltz, of course).  Wow!
The last stop on this PC tour, as it often is, is Cal Ripken Jr.  In his case I found an insert and five base cards to add to his collection-leading total.  First up is the insert, a Die Cut of one of his appearances in 1995's SP Championship set--a checklist that notes his record-breaking streak.  Then cards #2 and 4 put Cal in the company of today's other Junior with a '96 SP Checklist and 1999 UD Century Legends base in a nice pair of beautiful Upper Deck products.  Ripken also appears in a fielding photo on one of many Fleer one-offs, 1999 Fleer Brilliants.  Another all-time favorite, 2001 Studio, makes a cameo, and it's followed by a lone landscape card from 2000 Crown Royale.  It ended up being a good day to find cards from that particular Pacific brand!

That's it for this one, but head over to TMM for the rest of my haul from this show, then stay tuned for my other March show recap!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

2/3/18 card show report: in Spring Training form

With my first 2018 purchase post in the books I'll now move on to the four (so far) shows I've attended this year.  I had to skip January's due to poor road conditions caused by typical winter weather, but once February rolled around I was back to digging through my favorite seller's boxes for PC and trade bait.  I dropped my fairly common total of $30 and got a fun bundle of stuff including a small handful you can see on this evening's TMM post, plus the PC additions below:
Getting over my Detroit-only rule for Granderson has benefited my collection of the former face of the Tigers.  I added to my small group of him as a Yankee with this Liquorfractor from 2011 Topps Update.
It was a good day for Griffey as I found this fun insert trio.  First is '95 Stadium Club Virtual Reality, a set where Topps simulated the strike-cancelled games of '94.  In case you don't remember, Ken was one of the more interesting cases as he'd bashed 40 HR before the games stopped so he had plenty of time left for a shot at Roger Maris' then-record.  They estimated he'd go for another 15, still a fine season.  Three years later he finally got over the 50-dinger mark by hitting 56 in consecutive seasons.

Card #2 is from a 2001 Upper Deck Reserve insert called Royalty.  Any objections to Griffey's inclusion?  Yeah, I didn't think so!

Last up is one of my favorite somewhat recent Pinnacle inserts, Awaiting the Call from 2013.  Of course Junior didn't have to wait long--just the requisite three more seasons until he was first eligible.  Of the 10 players in that set only Fred McGriff and Edgar Martinez haven't been granted admission.  Two other notable members, Jack Morris and Alan Trammell, did this year, though!

Speaking of HOFers here's another 90s great, Tony Gwynn.  This quartet starts with another '95 Stadium Club Virtual Reality, and Mr. Padre is another fun case because he was chasing the .400 batting average mark, a number not seen since Ted Williams in 1941.  At .394 when the games stopped, Topps' simulated season had him eclipse the mark and then falter late, landing at .391 overall.  Wow.

Then we go on a nice run of late 90s/early 00s inserts.  From Upper Deck's insane '99 HoloGrFX product I bring you a possibly Pacific-inspired Future Fame die-cut.  I've got a few of these in my collection and it still surprises me how crazy they are every time I see one.  Next is a not-much-less bonkers SPXcitement insert from UD's 2000 SPx product.  And then we go back to the subtler stylings of 2002 Fleer Tradition and a Diamond Tributes insert to the recently-retired icon.  I may not have loved every design that came from the era but I maintain that the hobby is worse for lacking the creativity and choice of this era.
No point in breaking up this HOFer party just yet!  Here's a fun pair of base cards of Barry Larkin from the same time frame as most of the Gwynns above.  To the left is 1998 Flair Showcase (Row 1), another set that makes me pine for the good old days of 20 years ago.  As long as I can still track stuff like this down I'll be smiling like Barry.  On the right is a base from Topps' 2001 Reserve set.  Yep, Topps and UD both released products called Reserve in '01!  I like the simple, borderless design here.
One of the guys who had the best day was Greg Maddux as I added six new cards of him to reach a milestone-worthy 400.  An early Dufex-type 1993 Select Chase Stars was a great way to start and things rolled from there including a couple more nice issues from the 90s:  '94 Leaf Statistical Standouts and a '95 Stadium Club base.  The aughts were great as well thanks to 2000 SP Authentic Midsummer Classics (one of my favorites on the day), another 2000 SPx SPXcitement (the red works very well with Atlanta's unis) and another solid 2002 Fleer Tradition insert, Grass Roots (although that "green" is not quite the hue I would have gone with).  Nice bunch of Mad Dogs!
This doesn't happen to me that often at shows:  I found a fun oddball card that I needed, this time of Larkin's former teammate Hal Morris.  Meat company Kahn's apparently had these cards made as far back as the 50s and as recently as 2009, and the Reds got their own team sets a nice number of times in the 90s and 2000s.  The one you see above is from '95 and I'd say it looks pretty good for a food issue.
Last up is the Iron Man, the big winner on the day thanks to this fun mix of base, inserts, and a team card.  The latter is card #1, basically an upgraded version of the '97 Score design, which I already liked.  A die-cut 1998 Paramount Team Checklists insert is a particular highlight here and continues to make Paramount's case as one of Pacific's best brands.  Fleer Mystique, Upper Deck MVP, and Leaf Rookies and Stars cards from 1999, 2001, and 2002, respectively, close out that era and are then joined by fun base from 2007 UD Masterpieces (one of several Ripkens in the set) and 2016 Donruss (good to have it back!).  Having recently hit the 700-card mark, Cal maintains his lead over Barry Larkin (for now!).

That's it for this show but the fun doesn't end here since I still have three others to cover at the time of this writing, so look for those recaps soon.

Monday, April 2, 2018

2018 other purchases: Topps sets from ARPSmith #4 (1993)

Way back in January I made a deal with Adam of ARPSmith's Sports Card Obsession to purchase four complete Topps sets from the huge collection he'd acquired.  Now I'm showing those sets off one at a time by highlighting the key RCs, PCs, and Tigers from each.

I'm writing this post while otherwise nervously sitting down and getting up, waiting for a game (game?  What game?) to start even though I probably won't be watching most of it because it's a very late start and not a sport I particularly care for.  It's the final one in this series, and the last set I grabbed from Adam was 1993 Topps.  I'll give you a quick rundown of where these four put me in my collection of Topps flagship sets, but first let's get a look at the star of today's show.

Switching things up from the norm Topps bumped up the number of cards from 792 to 825 with Series II responsible for the 33 extras.  I believe the addition of content starring the expansion Marlins and Rockies is responsible as collectors would want to get their mitts on some MLB history.  The card stock is also seemingly higher quality than earlier versions (and may be similar to the '92 version, I'm not sure).  And then there's one of my favorite changes:  bringing back multiplayer rookies!  Two- and four-player versions exist; a couple of the former are visible in the photo of the set in team bag form below while you'll see an example of the latter later.

Poorly photographed team-bagged set activate!:
Card #1 is Robin Yount so this image starts out strong, though most of the best numbers (ending in 0, etc.) are hidden within.  The McGriff/Frank Thomas All-Stars subset is the best of the rest.  But don't worry, I have plenty of good stuff to show you, starting off as usual with the RCs:
That's right, I said "RCs" as in plural.  1991 suffered from a dearth of good in-hindsight first-years but we get three very good players this time.  Jeter is naturally the best of the best here, and once again Adam was able to keep a copy because I've long since had one.  The one-time future Wolverine that got passed over by five teams in 1992's first round (how'd Phil Nevin work out, Astros fans?) went on to post a 72.4 bWAR that'll land him in Cooperstown soon.

The other two guys aren't exactly slouches either.  Kendall was chosen in that same first round by the Pirates and his 41.7 career bWAR was good for third overall (after Johnny Damon's 56.4).  Most of that value came over his nine seasons in Pittsburgh, though he'd eventually suit up for four other teams.

As for Jimmy Baseball, you'd have to go all the way back to the 1988 7th round to find Edmonds' draft slot.  The talented OF played above that position, though, starting with seven years with the Angels before really breaking out in St. Louis, and finished with a 60.4 bWAR.  The guy had good pop, twice hitting 42 homers and totaling 393, and was fun to watch in the field as well, making highlight catches like this one:

Next we have my player collections, totaling 14 cards:
This first group of nine includes a pair of newbies, and no, the Gwynn isn't one of them, but he does get a cool shot of a nice finish to his swing. 

Larkin, Sabo, and Morris are again a trio of Reds that were Wolverines, and they're joined by pitchers  Kamieniecki and Abbott.  I've long since acquired all of those for their various collections but it doesn't hurt to have them in set form too!

A pensive Lou Whitaker looks off in the distance, maybe wondering where his double play partner in crime is.  Next scan, Lou, next scan.

And that leaves today's pare of n00bs, Griffey and Maddux.  While I'd already picked up their All-Star cards you'll see in the next scan I somehow hadn't gotten around to finding the base versions.  I even have a sample of the Griffey card so it's not like I have any kind of excuse!  Anyway, I like the photos used on both--Griffey post-swing and Maddux with full extension after another pitch.
Ripken and Tram are the remaining regular base cards here: just a pair of horizontal HOF shortstops, one ranging to his right to make a play while still in the midst of his famous streak, and the other in a nice posed shot taken, I have to assume, at old Tiger Stadium.  It's certainly a nice duo.

The remainders are from the All-Star subset and feature the previously-seen Larkin, Griffey, and Maddux.  Tigers SS Travis Fryman joins Larkin as he beat out Cal for the ALers.

And finally, let's look at more Tigers from yet another terrible 90s team:
The '92 Tigers went 75-87, which probably won't surprise you as you look over this motley crew.  Tanana went 13-11 with a barely above 0 bWAR.  Fielder popped 35 homers with 124 RBI to provide a reasonable amount of value.  Tettleton joined Cecil and and Rob Deer in the 32+ homer club that season and tied the inimitable Tony Phillips with 5.0 bWAR.  Of course the three power-hungry guys all went over 131 Ks, which is what I most remember about Deer's game back then.

The rest of the guys aren't that interesting besides Barnes' first name.  Greene was another in a series of wasted first-round picks.
This scan doesn't have a lot going for it but does include a couple highlights.  One of those is not Knudson, Groome, Cuyler, or Hare, who each put up negative or nearly zero value.  Livingstone and his questionable rookie cup, Gullickson and his comedown from 20 wins in 1991, and Munoz, who wasn't awful out of the 'pen, also don't qualify.

That leaves us with the other two cards.  One stars Travis Fryman, who I mentioned earned an All-Star nod thanks to a nice 4.9 bWAR.  The other is the aforementioned four-player Top Prospects card.  I couldn't get enough of these, and this one is actually pretty good, not because of the Tigers representative, Ivan Cruz, obviously, but thanks to Braves/Padres guy Ryan Klesko.  You never knew if one or more of these guys would turn into stars and that made those cards fun.
And mercifully we're looking at the final group.  The first three guys didn't contribute much but you can see that Carreon is one of five cards to feature a throwback uniform in today's post.  Gladden is a guy I always remembered more as a Twin, though he began his career with the Giants.  Kreuter managed to put up a 1.0 bWAR in what little playing time he could get after Tettleton behind the plate.  Doherty and Henneman offered minimal value though the latter contributed 24 saves.  Clark was (stop me if you've heard this one) a wasted first-round pick, this time from way back in '86, and 1992 was his only season in Motown.  Finally, Topps got a bit economical by pairing up the skippers so Sparky is joined by Art Howe, then of the Astros, whose team looks like it should have been worse than Detroit's but bettered their AL counterparts by six games.  The 1990s Tigers, ladies and gentlemen!

Many thanks again to Adam for being great to work with, cutting me a nice deal, and doing a fantastic job of packing and shipping four big-ass complete sets safely to me!

As promised here's a quick rundown on my collection of Topps flagship sets:

  • 1984-88
  • 1991
  • 1993-2010
At some point I'd like to add '89, '90, and '92, and it would be great to have '83 to go with them to give me a nice run starting from my birth year, but there's no rush.

Stay tuned soon for pickups from multiple shows and eBay, and maybe more!