Thursday, February 2, 2023

2022 Sportlots purchases: the Michigan stuff

We've hit February and I've got a show to get to in a couple days so tonight I've decided to start covering the Sportlots cards I purchased at the end of 2022. I've split them up into three groups so I don't drag out getting them posted for too long, and tonight you get to see the Michigan Baseball and Football PC cards I nabbed from there:

Scan #1 starts with my 12th different Jeff Criswell. You also see four of the six Cronenworths I picked up there (with two way down below), from a few different variations of '21 and '22 Topps. At some point I should compare how many Drew Henson baseball cards I have versus football, out of the 100+ in his collection. And it feels like I pick up lower-end cards of Hill far less often than I should be able to, so these two and the pair in the next scan felt like a win for me.
The other two Hill cards joined the Rainbow Foil parallel out of '20 Update, and those are Royal Blue and Yellow inserts. Also, as you can see, I definitely didn't neglect my Larkin collection (930 cards strong!) with the seven cards you see here to go with three more near the bottom. Sometimes I think '96 Topps Chrome doesn't get as much love as it deserves compared to the initial version of Finest but maybe that's just a nostalgia thing for me. Speaking of loving Chrome, the '21 Stadium Club card looks excellent as a perfect combo of the two.
Sportlots has been a good source for parallel versions that seem overly expensive elsewhere, like the Topps Limited and First Edition cards of Matheny above. Hal Morris demonstrates some fun options we had back in the 90s out of Leaf Fractal Matrix, Pacific Online (Web Card! Yep, the ones with the codes), and the Gold version of '99 Topps Stars, #d /2299. Putz's sickly green parallel came out of the 2014 product. And Clayton Richard gets in on the parallel fun with Rainbow Foil, Limited, and 582 Montgomery Collection cards, plus another one in the next scan.
Another Richard parallel and another team too as the Blue Jay appears in Topps' 150th Anniversary insert. Meanwhile, my collection of Branch Rickey is very small at just eight cards, but it was much smaller before these additions so I was glad to bolster the collection of the former Wolverine and innovator of the game. How could you possibly go wrong with products like SP Legendary Cuts and TCMA?

There ends the regular sized vertical stuff but I added a few oddball items as well, and I'm happy to report you'll see similar items scattered across the other two posts. To Larkin's collection I added an '89 Panini Sticker, which I probably pulled from a pack and stuck in the album when I was about six, plus a couple tiny Topps Micro cards. Then I got full-on oddball with a 1984 7-11 Coin of Ted "Simba" Simmons. While I'm much more familiar with the most recent offerings from the convenience store, namely the 2000 set, I have just a few of the coins from the 80s so I love adding fun pieces like this one!

The baseball group is complete with this six-pack of horizontals. My tiny collection of Bourque increases by one thanks to another Rainbow Foil parallel. A shared Padres card that includes Cronenworth gets a couple appearances thanks to 582 Club and Star versions. My Tommy Henry PC nears double digits with a Heritage Minors issue from 2020. It's pretty rare to find new items of Ryan LaMarre that I need right now, but I did track down a '17 Topps All-Star Game factory set version. And Rickey gets one last look on a classic UD card depicting him with recent birthday boy and monumental baseball innovator Jackie Robinson.
To those I added nine football cards, all of which are rookies except for the Collins, which I must have added by mistake since his '22 Prestige card would be a second-year (but is still much appreciated). Other than that, let's pretend I scanned the rest in order. QB Scott Dreisbach has four RCs I'm chasing and I picked up my first two out of '99 Leaf Rookies & Stars and Score Supplemental, so I'm happy to welcome him to the Rookie Blue project. Floyd's Playoff Momentum Retail is the 10th card in his collection and seventh of eight first-years that I need. Fellow '98 guy Griese is down to just five missing rookies out of 39 with the addition of the shiny Upper Deck Encore you see above.

Bengals rookie DB Dax Hill is the first of two Michigan uni cards, and his '22 Panini Legacy RC is my second such card of a guy who just missed out on a rookie-year Super Bowl appearance. Transfer RB Jon Ritchie is yet another '98 guy and I'm chasing four of his 12 rookies after picking up his '98 UD base. Saints OL Ruiz is the other college uni guy tonight, and the '20 Playoff of #51 is the third of seven cards I need, which is actually a decent number for an offensive lineman! Finally, Pats LB Josh Uche, who had two three-sack games this season, sees a '20 Donruss Optic RC added to his bunch, number five of the 13 I need to complete his run.

I'm quite happy with the variety I picked up that you see before you this evening and I'm looking forward to seeing what people think of the other two groups as well, so watch for those soon!

Sunday, January 29, 2023

1/7/23 card show report: sure, January

This post which will probably be my last one of the month will cover the show I made it out to three weekends ago. That's the opposite of what happened at that time last year when some circumstances, largely the weather, made a trip to Taylor a no-go. I was happy to get this year in show-going off on the right foot!

On one hand I felt like this trip was a bit less successful than usual because for the roughly two hours I spent there digging through boxes I didn't come home with a ton, having spent "only" $45. However, the dearth of stuff I wanted in the higher-end boxes made me spend more time in the dime boxes, which I was very happy to see. I never ignore these because I know how many gems can be pulled from them, if not in value at least in sets and designs I appreciate.

My cost breakdown that Saturday from my usual seller was as follows:

  • 70 dime cards
  • 10 $1 cards
  • 6 that were 3/$5
He knocked the price down a couple bucks to $25. While I was waiting for him to get back from one of his smoke breaks (gross habit but it never affects his cards so it's fine) I looked through the box of stuff owned by a guy who sometimes splits a table with him. His prices tended to be on the higher side but he was open to negotiation, so I grabbed cards he had labeled for $10 and $15 and offered him $20, which he accepted. One of those went out in a trade package and you'll see the other below momentarily.

First up is the trade bait that didn't get mailed out or set aside:

A '95 Pinnacle Artist Proof in a dime box? Yes please! That's former Padres pitcher Joey Hamilton practicing bunting in the cage. Ex-Giants bopper Matt Williams is next with a '95 Donruss Long Ball Leaders insert that was also just ten cents. That was the case as well for former UNC WR Brandon Tate's 2009 Bowman Draft Blue parallel (#051/199). Should any of these interest you, please feel free to comment below or make an offer for them on TCDB.

Next is the small amount of baseball I picked up for myself:
Mr. Padre features on a 2020 Diamond Kings All-Time Diamond Kings insert, which is merely a shadow of the good old days of the insert, but still nice to see all the same. I was a bit surprised I didn't have Maddux's 2000 Topps All Topps insert, but I didn't mind the risk of a double for just a dime.

And the big pickup this time from the second seller I mentioned is Cal's 1996 Leaf Limited Lumberjacks insert. I believe this was the second year the original instance of Leaf released these super cool chase cards that had a real wood feel to them and that were numbered to 5000 copies. I'm always on the lookout for amazing 90s inserts like these so I didn't feel bad about throwing down $10 for it, even if that ended up being a bit of an overpay compared to eBay. It's not like I spent a crazy amount on my other pickups that day, plus, as everyone knows, 90s inserts rule!

Meanwhile, my football pickups were relatively more plentiful:
Most of them came from the dime box as well, and Texans WR Nico Collins was the big winner with six additions to his PC (currently 31 cards). Five of those are base or Pink parallels from 2021 Panini Chronicles (base, Legacy, Panini, Prestige) and the one that set me back a buck is a very sharp 2022 Donruss Elite Status parallel that's a beautiful blue and numbered /499.

Joining the latter in the dollar box was a pair of QB J.J. McCarthy's Bowman University base from last year. My first cards of the stud signal-caller who led Michigan back to the NCAA playoff may be airbrushed due to licensing issues, but it's not the end of the world, and I'm sure I'll get some "real" college uni cards soon. For now I'm excited to have a start to his collection.

And last up is one more dime card that I couldn't resist. Out of '22 Panini Illusions it's Charles Woodson's appearance in the Clear Shots set. These acetate inserts are both colorful and see-through so they're fun to look at. I love seeing the GOAT DB continue to pop up in products like this years after his retirement.

Barring unforeseen circumstances I should be back in action in Taylor next Saturday so hopefully I'll have another show recap for you in the next couple weeks. Until then I expect to be covering my Sportlots package from late last year (which arrived earlier this month), one or two new eBay buys, and at least one new TCDB deal.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

2023 trade package #2: a Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts

Jon of a Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts was the sender of my second trade package of 2023, and I'd say the contents are worth coining the phrase "small things come in good packages." Check out all the cool stuff, some of which is of diminutive stature, in this envelope:
I teased the tiny stuff but I'm starting with standard sized cards. Gwynn is a Refractory Chrome insert from 2019. Mr. Tiger's shiny parallel was inserted into Topps' solid 2011 Lineage product. His longtime teammate Mickey Lolich's item in spot #3 is from 2001 Topps Archives Reserve, a beautiful Chrome Refractor version of the excellent base set.

Below those are a pair of 2014 Panini Golden Age sticker cards, each with four players. The first is awesome since it includes Kaline and another '68 teammate, Willie Horton, who's gotten a bit of love in some of these throwback sets (plus the excellent Catfish Hunter and Yaz). The big draw for me on the second is Michigan Heisman-winner Tom Harmon, but Detroit boxer Joe Louis is a huge plus. Naturally I'm happy to see The Man as the third subject, and the youngest DiMaggio is no slouch either. Ty Cobb (who won a car for splitting the batting average crown with Nap Lajoie, sort of) wraps up the baseball content in the scan.

The last regular sized card in the bunch is a rookie year insert of Charles Woodson out of 1998 Skybox Premium. The reigning Heisman winner made the D'Stroyers set by obliterating offenses with his ball-hawking ways first in college, then the pros. As a reminder, he accumulated 65 INTs (with 11 leading to TDs) and forced 33 fumbles (and returned a couple of those for scores as well).
Ah yes, the much-hyped small stuff! Let's start with a nice stack of Minis. The first three are 1999 Pacific Private Stock PS-206 cards featuring PC guys Tony Gwynn, Greg Maddux, and Dean Palmer. Yes, that's a funny combination, but I have lots of player collections! These look nice though I tend to think of the 2001 set more often.

The others are from Panini Golden Age products. Gehringer is from 2012 and is the Red Candy back. Fellow Wolverine and to a lesser degree ex-president Gerry Ford is from the 2013 set's Carolina Brights backs. Also from the UM football team we have Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch and a double-dose of the previously-seen Harmon from 2014. Hirsch and the first Harmon are Hindu backs while the other Harmon is a Mono back.

And all by himself from 2014 Ginter's Black Bordered set is Sparky Anderson. It sure is fun adding stuff of him since managers don't appear on nearly as many cards as their players do, understandably. I love the image of the pensive skipper, probably wondering if he should live up to his nickname of "Captain Hook" or leave Jack Morris in.

Everything else in this scan and the next one is a sticker, and boy is there some great variety here! The first two you see, Chet Lemon and Larry Herndon, hail from 1981 Topps Stickers, and those of course are pre-Tigers items but still 100% welcome for me. Everything else with the exception of the 1983 Ripken seen in the final image is from the '82 set, and there you see Lance Parrish, Herndon again, Jack Morris, Darrell Evans, Lemon again, and Morris along with Denny Martinez/Steve McCatty/Pete Vuckovich. The rookie-year sticker of Cal is very cool, and it's one of his two appearances in that set.
And here we have the final six stickers, once again with a mostly Tigers lean broken up by another Ripken cameo, which happens to be the second '83 sticker I just mentioned. That's because these are all also from that very set. Evans makes his second Giants appearance, Herndon makes his first as a Tiger, and Dan "Peaches" Petry joins in the fun. After the Ripken we have a pair of Lance Parrishes that form a full image of the apparently disinterested subject.

This was a very fun and diverse group of new additions to my collections and I have to thank Jon for all the effort he put into identifying and sending cards I could use, especially mini and sticker types that I often don't tend to buy for myself for various reasons. I also appreciate when folks like him go the extra mile to send items of, say, Tigers players in different uniforms, and especially Wolverines of any type. So this was a fantastic second package that kept up the momentum from the first one I showed off earlier.

I'm happy to report that Jon has already been handsomely rewarded for this bounty with a fat stack of cards of some of his own player collections that I had fun rounding up on Sportlots, and I look forward to his reaction to those when he has time!

As for me, I'll likely try to recap this month's show before January is over, both because not doing so would be pretty lazy, plus the February one is right around the corner. Until then, go check out Jon at http://pennysleevethoughts.blogspot.com!

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

2023 trade package #1: Scribbled Ink

I've been slacking long enough in 2023, so let's start looking at cards that are new to me this year! Tonight I have this year's first trade package courtesy of buddy of the blog Paul, of the defunct Scribbled Ink, who can still be found tweeting at @Scribble4me.

A bit earlier this month he let me know to expect something, and not long after I had the following on my porch:

Quick backstory there: among the things I sent Paul for Christmas was a signed Marcel Dionne jersey. It was a crazy good deal and I couldn't pass it up, and I'm glad he appreciated it. I'll show off what was in the box at the end but first we'll dive into the "CARDS" envelope.

(Please note that Paul sent much more than what you see here but I was too lazy to scan most of the dupes.)
The biggest former Wolverine currently playing not nicknamed "Dick Mountain," Cronenworth is one of my favorite recent PCs. That collection got a very nice bump thanks to Paul. Highlights include Stadium Club, some Topps and Chrome color, a sweet Donruss Season Stat Line parallel numbered /94 (for the total of runs he scored in 2021), and a Retro '88 jersey from the same '22 Donruss product. Very nice! I now have a pair each of relics and autos of Mr. CroneZone, and TCDB tells me I have 75 total cards, which is excellent (and also tops on the site for now)!
Paul hit a few of my other big PCs while he was at it. The Stadium Club Griffey (Red parallel) is a stunner, and of course I recognize the play it captures (check out a video and more here) as it happened in Tiger Stadium back in '98. What. A. Catch! The Topps Pro Debut insert of a young Junior is very cool too. I'm glad Paul also included a Stadium Club base of Kenny's former teammate Larkin as it captures Barry's Hall of Fame induction in 2012. I still need to grab his HOF plaque postcard, now that I think about it!

The one Maddux card in the package was a literal work of art, produced by talented artist Lauren Taylor. Three other players I collect can be found in the product and I might have to track their cards down as well because this beauty is a huge step up from the MSPaint-quality, drug-induced nightmares that came out of the Project sets.

And what would a baseball recap be without my biggest PC, well on its way to 1200 cards? Cal gets four new items: a couple Topps inserts, a chase card from Prizm, and one of Score's old trivia holograms. Is anyone else sick of 1987 Topps all over again?
Paul also added a trio of Verlanders, and I'd say the Mosaic insert with its "Aces" motif is just too cool to beat, but the "Mojo" Refractor of the '87 Topps card is a worthy contender.

On the basketball side of things we have Mo's little bro and teammate Franz Wagner, who's having a pretty nice season for the Magic. The Chronicles card with the old Hoops design really takes me back while the Prizm parallel is all kinds of patriotic. Bonus points for both being including college action shots!

Closing out the cardboard portion, Paul repeated that feat with the football items he included. Nico's Prestige card from '21 hails from the previously mentioned Chronicles, and it's a good reminder of why I tend to enjoy the brand's college draft cards. Paye's insert from the wildly confusing Wild Card Matte product appears to be called "Weekend Warriors Gold/Green Shield" if TCDB's checklist is to be trusted (and that's the one I'd trust the most, so...) and that comes with a cool Wolverines shot and numbering on the front /40. And then there's the second cool hit of the package: a '21 Contenders Draft auto/RC of Bengals RB Chris Evans. It's just my second of the versatile speedster after I added one from COMC, and his signature looks nice on the typically pleasing Contenders design. Nice find!

(Here I'll insert a quick note that I'm unofficially over 2500 Michigan sports hits, so depending on when I can verify those, I may have a celebration post forthcoming. In the meantime you can always see my collection stats on the bar on the right.)

So as Mr. Pitt would say,
Well I'll be happy to show you:
It's another box! I can't remember if I'd seen these figures before but I have to say they look really good. The bottom of the box has a 2017 date on it and also mentions Loot Crate so I wonder if these were exclusive to those subscription boxes. The figures are sculpted quite nicely and the box boasts the number of articulation points. My search shows that batters come with a plate while pitchers get a mound.
Here's a look at JV out of the box. The little pegs are places where you can attach the figure with holes in its feet if you want to pose it that way. I think the creator did a pretty good job capturing Verlander, with the only real goofiness being the oversized heads, which is actually kind of fun.

I'm going to leave this one out of the box and put it out on display with some of my other stuff like bobbleheads. Big thanks to Paul for including such a cool item of my blog's (current) namesake and a guy we both love to collect.

Paul, thanks for always keeping things interesting whenever you send me a package! I'm glad you liked your Christmas cards and I'm already hard at work on a new mailer for you which will hopefully be ready after another show or two.

Up next is trade package #2 from another one of my Christmas card targets (who should be receiving their envelope in the next day or so, actually).

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

2022 COMC purchases: check out who's back!

It's 2023 but I still have some 2022 content to cover before getting to some great adds already this year.

Tonight you'll get to see the entirety of my first COMC order since late 2020. A number of factors, some pandemic-related, made the site a lot less attractive for a while as their processing speed for adding and shipping cards dipped below acceptable standards. After seeing that things were closer to normal late last year, I once again dove in during their big Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals.

About $160 later, I had a nice stack of cards for myself and some Christmas card packages to boot (some of which still need to go out once my oft-mentioned Sportlots box ships!). Here are the items I scored for my own collections:

Baseball part 1. God do I love me some 90s inserts, and few could compare to Upper Deck's Amazing Greats in 1997 and '98. Both versions look stunning, and the Maddux you see above is from the former. Its wood grain design and clear inset player image look great, plus I love the punny name of the insert. From the same year you also get a look at another GOAT insert technology: Pinnacle's Dufex. I nabbed PC guy Dean Palmer's Museum Collection parallel for under a buck, and boy does it look nice in its own right.

To those I added a five-pack of ex-UM pitcher autos, all of which I believe were less than $2.50. Bourque's is a Refractor of the only other hit I owned of him, and that's numbered /499. New Rockie Jeff Criswell gets a nice trio added to his total out of Bowman Chrome, Elite, and Topps Pro Debut, and of course the middle card is my favorite since it features a college uniform photo. He now has four such cards to his name in my collection. And I ended up with a single card, but a spiffy one, of Criswell's potential Colorado teammate, Karl Kauffmann, also from Elite. It's a Status die-cut parallel numbered /99 and gives him four autos also out of six total hits.
The other two baseball items deserved their own scans. I thought the 2013 Panini America's Pastime booklet of former Tigers (and Yankees) A-Jax and Granderson was just too cool to pass up, especially for just $6.45. I don't have many booklet cards in my collection and getting one with large relic swatches from two of my favorite Tigers OF was a coup in my book. The one you see above is the Gold version numbered /49. The Granderson pinstripe is a nice bonus!

Card number two here was I believe the most expensive one I landed for myself, but well within my price range for a card of its type. My purchase history says I dropped $8.34 for Clayton Richard's 2018 Topps Cyan plate, one of five 1/1s I bought this time (but the only one for myself). That gives the former QB/P 13 total 1/1s to his name, 10 of which are plates.
Switching over to football, it was easy to split these into vertical and horizontal scans. A couple players got the most love this time but I also added a pair of new names and lots of college action cards so I spent my money well.

My first autograph of stud WR Nico Collins was one of my biggest steals at just $3, and I couldn't complete the purchase of it fast enough at that price given they usually go for more (plus the whole Michigan uni thing). Darboh got four new additions to his count (two more below) including a sweet triple jersey/auto and a green parallel of his 2017 Prestige autograph (/150) seen here. I love the latter's use of an action shot from a home game in the Big House.

Chris Evans made his debut in my hits collection thanks to the crazy cool 1/1 Matt sent me, and now I have a college uni autograph to go with that, also courtesy of Prestige. Talented DB Lavert Hill is making his first appearance with a 2020 Prizm autograph, and so is the guy on the last card of this scan, outstanding C (and current New Orleans Saint) Cesar Ruiz out of the same year's Playbook product. I'm making a more concerted effort to add hits of players missing in my collection and that work paid off here with some great looking cards of two recent Wolverines, both in their alma mater's duds.

And who could forget the namesake of my former other blog, Mario Manningham? I scored three verticals and one horizontal card (in the next scan) of the Super Bowl hero. One's from '08 Absolute and it comes with a football chunk plus jersey swatches in the shape of his number. The second is one of his two appearances in 2008 SP Rookie Edition and is done in the style of SP's '93 product. And the last one seen here is 2010 Prestige auto limited to a somewhat strange 113 copies.
Over on the X-axis we start with the other two Darboh cards. The current iteration of Leaf is pretty sketchy but you still get some extremely cool cards from them sometimes, like Amara's inscription-laden Trinity auto seen above. The jersey/auto/RC next to it from Panini's Illusions was also pretty cheap and further enhances one of my quieter quality collections, which now stands at 47 cards!

I occasionally chase cards of some of the guys that transferred out such as QB Ryan Mallett and found a good price on the slightly flawed (bit of a crease between his first and last names) auto/jersey from 2011 Timeless Treasures. That kind of thing doesn't pop up much in the other places I tend to look, so why not drop $2 for a solid hit?

The final Manningham card--though four is NOT "too many"--is from the hit-laded 2008 SPx product, and this one's a dual jersey with the swatch windows also in the shape of his jersey number. Mario's just one hit away from joining the 100-club in this collection, which currently includes Chad Henne and nobody else! (Jake Long remains at 97 and Braylon Edwards is chilling nearby with 93.)

One of my most interesting pieces I scored this time is the Denard Robinson 2013 Panini Black Rookie Shadowbox auto you see above. I thought the card enclosed a small mini jersey but it turns out it's just a flat image in a shadowbox-type design. That's still extremely cool, plus it's a new autograph of Shoelace for my collection, and it was just $2.25, so I'm very happy with it. That appears to be hit #54 of the dual-threat QB.

And this evening's final addition is my fifth hit and third autograph of DT Chris Wormley, a Ravens draftee who now suits up for the Steelers. He's the final recipient of a college uni auto for his collection, in this case out of 2017 Elite Draft, a product that was made for collectors like me. He's got a very good signature, especially with how low standards have gotten, and this one wasn't even $2, so it happily found a home in my football collection.

I was glad to be able to take another ride on the COMC train in 2022 and score some nice cards at great prices, plus they even arrived in time for me to send some out before Christmas! I hope those of you who follow the folks I sent them to (and will be doing so soon) enjoy seeing even more spoils on other blogs and social media.

As for me, while I wait for Sportlots to send me my now-ready-to-ship box cards, I get to show off some fun early 2023 items thanks to two fantastic trade partners plus some spoils from last weekend's show. It was a great start to the year in collecting and I'm looking forward to another enjoyable one with all of you. Happy new year!

Friday, December 30, 2022

TCDB trade roundup: four trades and three PIFs!


It's New Year's Eve Eve and this will probably be my final post of 2022 unless I'm feeling especially celebratory tomorrow for events related to the gridiron and not the end of the year. I'm sending off this year in collecting with the latest batch of cards that hit my mailbox thanks to TCDB. That amounts to four trades plus three PIFs (pay it forwards), the latter of which were perfectly timed with the season of giving.

Here's how those transactions went:

Deal #1 was my first with Bo of Baseball Cards Come to Life, though it was through his TCDB ID of borosny that we were able to connect for this swap. He matched me for nearly 20 cards on my wantlist--man, does using that site ever make trading easier!--and I came up with more than 42 cards for him off his baseball set wants on his site. Those came from '95 and '96 Score plus '96 Donruss and Leaf. Here's what I got in return:
As I often do when it comes to trades there I picked out a wide variety of items to hit my many collections. You'll see '84 Tigers like Bergman and Brookens again in this post. Three more Grandersons add nicely to my quest for "too many." Ex-closer Mike Henneman pops up twice in this deal (see the next scan). AJax is another ex-Tiger I've come to appreciate in the years since he's been gone. Matheny and Hal Morris are two of the four Michigan alumni to be found here, and that Morris minors card is pretty cool.
HOFer Jack joins the Morris and '84 Tigers parties with an early 90s duo. Former Wolverine Leon Roberts indeed managed Detroit's AAA squad, the Toledo Mud Hens, at one point. The Maddux/Ward/Cora trio completed or nearly finished their three respective sets--'94 Ultra Series II, '95 Donruss Series I, and '96 Donruss. And lastly we have a fun trio of late 80s Topps Stickers Super Star Backs. Barry's from the '89 set while Tram and Lou are rightfully seen together out of the previous year's product.

Bo was awesome to work with and I look forward to making more deals with him, plus I'll continue to follow his excellent blog.

Next up is a smaller deal with bravefan1, my third with him since I joined the community. Naturally I gave up a few Braves cards, including a couple low-end autos, and in addition to a solid relic I'll be including in a belated Christmas package, I nabbed these three for myself:
These three are right up my alley! First up is a 2004 Absolute Memorabilia base of Tigers HOFer George Kell. It offers a beautiful, shiny rainbow foil design and is numbered (/1349) so it's right in my wheelhouse. Mad Dog's 2000 UD Faces of the Game Insert isn't quite from the 90s but it's close enough, and this is another one of those chase sets I fondly remember from back when it was actually fun and affordable to open boxes. Finally, I managed to sneak in a 2022 Topps Gallery RC of #1 overall pick Spencer Torkelson, who hopefully got his sophomore slump out of the way with his tough freshman campaign. That's my first RC of his, and I look forward to seeing how he bounces back in '23 on what will mostly otherwise be a pretty uninteresting tanking squad.

Next, I made more headway on a couple set chases plus scored a nice PC pair in a deal with Mat9975. In return for a quartet of 1996 baseball base and a pair of '06 Bowman football RCs, I got these:
How sweet is that Barry Larkin '94 SP Holoview FX card? Upper Deck had already shown some hints of what they could do with holograms in previous years, but they really upped their game on this insert, that's for sure! The Long Ball Leaders card of PC guy Dean Palmer produced the same year by Donruss also looks very cool. I'm so grateful we didn't have to suffer through a Topps monopoly and instead got the greatest decade in card creativity in the 90s.

The two set wants I grabbed are from the same year, oddly enough. Larry Walker's Finest card puts another small dent in that one, and I'm down to just 17 that I need. And between the Kieschnick and the Maddux from above, my second set of '94 Ultra Series II that I was building after my Facebook collection purchase should now be done. Once I verify that I'll be happy to make it available for trade!

The last of my trades before we get to the PIFs came from pdmkam. He made a proposal aiming for 13 of my '95 Donruss baseball dupes, and after a quick counter from me, we had a deal. Here are the nine cards I ended up with:
I told you you'd see more '84 Tigers! There could have been even more in this transaction but I swapped a few of them out for a couple of the newer items you see above. The late Bergman appears on '82 and '84 Donruss cards when he had yet to be flipped to Detroit. Brookens joins him in the latter set that came out the same year the Tigers last won the Series, as does the Big Wheel, Lance Parrish, who also gets his '83 card from that manufacturer added to the pile. HOFer Ted Simmons joins the 80s party with his '81 Topps appearance.

As for the "newer" cards I referenced, those came in the form of Mr. Tiger's '84 Topps Archives reprint of his '54 RC, plus my latest Rich Hill add, his '22 Topps Update base. It took Topps until Update to include Hill despite the fact that he re-joined the Sox before 2021 even concluded, but that's Topps for you. How long will I need to wait for my first card of Dick Mountain with the Pirates?
I mentioned that I ended up with nine cards and this fun oddball of the Bird from Upper Deck's 1993 All-Time Heroes product was the last. UD did a great job picking images for the main panel and the left side, I must say. According to TCDB I just need Ty Cobb's solo appearance (#32) and one he shares with Honus Wagner (#145) to finish up the team set!

All of these deals went off without a hitch and marked the end of a great year on the site, which I'll briefly recap in a minute. But first, here's a quick look at the three PIFs that came my way in December:

#1 was from Bo who I guess appreciated the fact that I threw in a few extra Yankees when I sent his envelope. Back my way came this six pack:
Gwynn, Maddux, Ripken, and a (former) Tiger PC guy too? Yes please! All of these were on my wantlist and it was fun looking though them when the PWE showed up. The two food issues bookending everything are great, and I've always been a fan of the Triple Play and Score products representing Gwynn as well. Thanks again, Bo!

Next, Colorado native Jim, a.k.a. budler, went on his own Secret Santa spree, as evidenced by the many thank yous he received in the "Pay it forward" thread. I happened to be one of his lucky targets and enjoyed seeing these two:
There's that trademark Gwynn hairstyle from the late 80s! Once again, both of these were needs, and I appreciate Jim's Christmastime generosity.

Finally, while trying to PIF another member, one of my site buddies was able to get their address from Joe, a.k.a. ymmat, so to show my appreciation I sent Joe a bit of baseball set help from my dupes. Not long after he returned the favor with these:
Yeah, it was a Holly Padre Christmas in this three-pack of PIFs, and I'm absolutely fine with that! It was great adding so many new Gwynn cards to my collection, enough to get me over the 800 mark, as it turns out. Once again all of these were new to me as they came straight from my wantlist, including the oddball playing cards and Gold Topps Micro. My favorite by far, though, is the '97 Topps Hobby Masters insert. 1997 was the first year of what I consider modern Topps' best five-year run in terms of base design plus inserts after years of being very blah. That's a fantastic looking chase card of Mr. Padre and I'm happy to add it to his collection with everything else you see above.

Based on how much I talked about the site this year and all the trade recaps I did, you'd probably assume I had a great year on TCDB, and you'd be correct! Between 2019 and last year I'd completed only 18 total transactions there. Things got a bit better for me this year when I put more effort in:
Yep, I finished up 76 formal deals to go with a nice number of PIFs back and forth. I even managed to shed a net 10 cards, not including those that didn't get captured in the count due to PIFs or unofficial trades. Now that I'm approaching 100 completed transactions I'm looking forward to boosting that number even more in 2023!

Thank you again to all the members I traded with this year who made TCDB a site I'm happy to spend lots of time on. I'll be back better than ever in January.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

2022 eBay purchases: remembering the -embers

While I'm trying to keep up some relatively positive posting momentum, here's a look at my personal eBay wins from the months of November and December:

When talking about sets that are important in the hobby's history, 1996 Leaf Signature's one-auto-per-pack product ranks way up there. Thanks to eBay I scored my 10th from that iconic set, and second of PC guy Dean Palmer. In this case it's the Silver version (which you can kind of tell by the stamp), and those were generally limited to 1000 copies (Bronze were 3500, Golds were 500). I already own the Bronze and just need the Gold to round out Dean-o's run of mainstream certified autos. The clean look and relatively low print run meant I didn't think twice about paying not quite $3.25 for this.
Would it be an eBay roundup without something purchased from my favorite seller, markaguirre22? Back around Thanksgiving I won the pair of Zach Putnam Topps Mini parallels you see above. Again, I don't put much thought or money into the on-demand stuff, but the Blue /10 was just $2 and the Orange /25 half that, so I was cool plunking down $3 plus tax (and free shipping) to add those.

And once again he was super nice to throw in some extras of guys he knows I collect! The Hill minis are from 2008 Ginter and are the A&G Back and Black Border versions. Meanwhile, Larkin's cards hail from 2001 Pacific Private Stock and 2011 Topps mini inserts. I already owned all four but will be happy to use these as trade bait.
Switching over to football briefly, here's a not-quite-maize plate repping my team that will be continuing its playoff quest this Saturday. Standout CB Marlin Jackson appeared on a number of cards in Topps' 2005 Draft Picks & Prospects product back when Topps was able to produce those (and actually did a nice job!). What you see here isn't a base card plate, but one used for printing his Senior Standouts Relics jersey insert. A slight twist is that this is one of those products where you could find both the front and back plates, and in this case we have the latter. Here's the back of that jersey card (which I own) for comparison:
I believe this is just my second back printing plate card to go along with a Topps Mayo of Adrian Arrington. As you can see, the color yellow didn't factor much into the rear of this card, but it's a different story on the front with Jackson seen in Michigan's iconic uniform.

For under $8.50 delivered I scored my first Jackson 1/1 and his 23rd hit overall. The seller took a page out of markaguirre22's book and threw in some cool UM-specific extras:
That's three RCs of former TE/WR Devin Funchess plus a Topps Magic Mini of WR great Braylon Edwards. Once again I have all of these but the gesture was very nice, plus I happen to know someone who could use the Braylon!

Back to baseball. We're coming up on almost seven years since Doug sent me what was my first card of UM pitcher Karl Kauffmann, a player who wasn't even on my radar at the time. Kauffmann had only recently signed with the Wolverines, and even if he'd been with the team for a year or two, it was rare for players who hadn't been drafted yet to appear on cards. But thanks to Leaf's Perfect Game product, I had the start of my PC of the future Rockies prospect.

Flash forward to a couple weeks ago and I snagged my second plate from this same set on eBay. Like the one above, the one Doug sent me (a yellow version) isn't a 1/1, but one of two made instead. I'm not sure how that works with these All-American Classic plates--fronts and backs? Maybe something having to do with these saying "Base - Common"? Still, while not true 1/1s, they're fun cards to find and can still join my plate/1-1 collection. And would you believe that I paid just a bit over $2 to get this in my mailbox? Not bad, eh?

To close things out this evening I have a pair of Bowman Draft plates of pitcher Clayton Richard from two different years and separate auctions. Up top is the Magenta plate from the base 2005 product, which featured Richard's first MLB cards. He definitely looks extra creepy and possessed with his eyeballs looking like they're 100% white in the scan!

The other is from the 2009 product, though I'll mention that Clayton did appear in the 2008 version as well. The 2009 base card included stats from his 2008 MLB debut campaign with the White Sox, though he'd only be with them for part of the season when that card was produced, getting sent to San Diego in July of '09 in the deal that brought Jake Peavy to the South Side.

Thanks to these purchases--$6.64 for the '05 card and $7.63 for the other--I now count 12 different 1/1s in his PC, second only to Rich Hill's ~26 (still TBD) and one better than J.J. Putz's 11. Those are also my earliest plates of his as the oldest I previously owned were three of his four from 2011 Topps flagship.

So once again without spending a crazy amount I added some very nice stuff to a few of my PCs thanks to eBay. I look forward to showing off more additions in the form of the rest of my TCDB deals from this year before the end of the week!