Friday, February 21, 2020

2020 trade package #2: Sport Card Collectors

You just never know what you might get when you're lucky enough to receive a surprise PWE from Matt over at Sport Card Collectors.  Of the many he's sent me, quite a few included some new stuff for my Ken Griffey Jr. PC since he's a guy we both collect.  That's why the one I'm posting today was a bit out of the ordinary, though in a great way!  Check out the cards and see what I mean:
#1 is the first of what I hope will be many autographs of former Michigan pitcher Tommy Henry in my PC.  It hails from 2019 Bowman Draft Chrome, and the numbering on the front is your best indicator in the scan that it's the Refractor version, since that trademark shine didn't really come through as much as I would like.  Henry's got a great signature and a Refractor's always a plus so I was really excited to pop this one out of the envelope.
I was scanning the back to put up on TCDB anyway so I thought I'd include it here for a couple reasons.  One is the (unfortunately way too small) "*Played at Michigan" note, and the other is that it points out his birthplace of Portage, Michigan, which I figured John might like!
Second is this very cool Ripken insert.  Before removing it from Matt's perfect packaging job I thought it was die-cut but then I noticed it's acetate, which is very cool.  I hadn't seen these before though I was at least able to guess it was related to Topps High Tek.  Indeed, it's from the 2019 version, an insert called PortraiTEK, and its shiny, see-through nature won me over, plus it's even serial-numbered.  Who knew that Topps was capable of producing something like this that I like so much?
Matt then tripled my collection of NCAA hero Jordan Poole thanks to this pair from 2019-20 Prizm Draft.  I wasn't aware that the base set includes multiple cards of some of the players so I'm happy to benefit from that in the form of two new Michigan uni issues (though I'm not sure how both could be deemed "RC"s?).  Here's hoping my collection of Poole grows along with his development with Golden State.
Last up today is Michigan WR/returner legend Desmond Howard on a beautifully colorful card from 1992 Classic Four Sport.  Classic tended to be a lower-end brand but it's nice to see that even in '92 they could make cards like this that really popped, going for a modern design that made the Topps and Fleer looks at the time appear positively ancient.

Matt, thanks again for another outstanding PWE!  I'm looking forward to helping you fill out your Kerry Collins collection soon, and maybe I can add to that at an upcoming show.

Friday, February 14, 2020

2020 trade package #1: Sports Cards From the Dollar Store

It's February 14 and that means one thing around here: celebrating the birthday of buddy of the blog Doug over at Sports Cards From the Dollar Store!  I think it's awesome that he collects cards of athletes, celebrities, and more, with whom he shares a birthday, and today's post is a good example of that fun, listing his top 10 2/14 cards from the last year.  I'm happy to announce that he has a few more things from me that he'll be able to show off whenever he feels like it.

Speaking of "whenever he feels like it," unforeseen circumstances delayed me from getting his latest package to me (delivered weeks ago!) scanned and ready so eventually I figured, why not show it off on his big day?  And "big" is appropriate when discussing this latest mailing, one that arrived in what I believe was a 600-ct box, meaning he shelled out good money to get it to me.  Such is the generosity of my Canadian neighbour.  And as I flipped through the cards, I felt that generosity even more!
That Miggy is from a 2014 set that was available (probably in packs?) at that year's National, and it's cool because I hadn't seen it before.  The other three hail from one of Doug's favorites: Panini's Chronicles.  I love the mix of brands/designs it offers, and those are on full display here with a pair of Christin Stewarts and my first auto of young IF Dawel Lugo.  Nice!
The baseball continues here with even more Panini goodness.  Griffey hails from 2012 Prizm, and that sweet shot of his sweet swing is new to me.  The not-so-outspoken-anymore Verlander also cameos with another example of a 2019 Chronicles design, this one from the super thick Spectra.  And then there's two of my favorites in the whole box:  2019 Elite Extras of former Michigan pitchers Tommy Henry and Karl Kauffmann, two guys that were key to the Wolverines' College World Series run last year.  I love that they're both college uni cards plus I was thrilled to get my first of Henry, hopefully card #1 of many.
When it comes to packages from Doug, hockey is always well represented, and this time I was treated not just to cards of my alma mater, but the local pro club as well.  The Wings may be terrible this year but they were fun to watch in the 90s and 2000s when they were like the Braves except they won more than one title.  You'll see O-Pee-Chee's 2019-20 base set quite a bit today, one I think looks quite nice, as is typical for the brand.
Wings content #2 of 3.  The star of the show here is PC guy Dylan Larkin, whom I scanned with both teams just because.  I was happy to need all three because I love growing his collection, and all the cards look nice, too, including the Artifacts red insert called Aurum, which is a bit short on gold, but that's fine for this Red Wings fan!
The last of the Wings stuff comes with a couple more 19-20 OPCs, but of course I'm more interested in cards starring The Captain--and now The GM--Steve Yzerman.  The mix of old and new photos, designs, and uniforms, makes those a fun trio!
On the Michigan side of things, the basketball team has had its highs and lows this year but have been pretty interesting under new coach Juwan Howard.  Representing that team, Doug hit me up with a new base of Rumeal Robinson, a jersey of weed entrepreneur (go figure!) Mitch McGary, and a ridiculously beautiful slide/auto of Robinson's '89 NCAA title teammate Glen Rice.  I believe the Rice is my second such auto from that set and, yes, it looks even better in person!
A very nicely balanced package continues with some excellent football content.  '99 Collector's Edge Masters makes four appearances throughout this scan with base cards (/5000) of PC guy Tim Biakabutuka and former QB Elvis Grbac, plus HoloSilver (with red stamps?) parallels (/3500) of '98 champs Griese and Woodson.  Touchdown Tim is also represented on a super cool '99 UD Retro base, also new to me.  I also loved the nostalgia for 90s inserts with '94 Score Gold Zone parallels of AC and OT John "Jumbo" Elliott.  And then we have my first card of another newbie to my collection, former LB/DL hybrid Craig "Death" Roh, a pretty good recruit who played in Ann Arbor during one of the team's worst eras, 2009-12.  While NFL success eluded him he's since done well for himself in the CFL, and made his way onto this Red parallel from UD's product for that league last year.
These two guys have been associated a bit more with winning, though, in college and/or the pros.  (Future former?) Patriot great Tom Brady features on a very cool horizontal Panini Gridiron base while blog favorite PC guy Chad Henne gets in on the fun with a card I surprisingly didn't have: his 2011 Plates & Patches base (/299).  I recently hit the 300 mark for the latter and can't wait to boost his collection even more this year as I make him my top football PC.
And now we get into the bulk of the package:  Michigan Hockey content!  19-20 OPC makes a solid seven more appearances over the next three scans, proving the Ann Arbor-to-NHL pipeline is as strong as ever.  There's also a couple example of the prior season's factory set blue version of UD's MVP which were also new to me, as was practically everything you'll see in these scans.
There's WolverWing Dylan Larkin again, and I promise my scan of the Aurum insert looks much better than the one used here, getting much closer to the actual red color.  Joining him is a fun AHL card of winger Brad Jones, PC guy Brendan Morrison, and a new 90-91 OPC offering of D-man Jeff Norton.
Before we get to the real fireworks of the box here's the last of the "regular" hockey stuff.  That includes another Norton, two more OPCs, and a card each of D-men Jacob Trouba and Zach Werenski that allowed me to provide scans to TCDB.  I'm noting that because very few cards in the box were missing images there, often thanks to Doug, which was very cool.
And now the part you've probably been expecting considering the source!  Up first is another autograph of the pride of Flower Mound, Texas, Chris Brown, and as usual I'll mention that Doug is almost 100% responsible for my collection of that player.  Next is a couple jersey relics of hockey Mike #1, Cammalleri, from 02-03 Be-a-Player, plus a 2012-13 UD Game Jersey set that was given away at the NHL Hall of Fame back in 2013.  I hadn't seen those before so learning about them was cool, plus I got the set added to the TCDB.

The other hockey Mike is Comrie, and his card happens to be more than just a normal BAP relic (from 03-04) as it got a 1/1 stamp at the 2004 All-Star game.  These aren't your standard 1/1s but I still like to label them that way, and anyway they sometimes make plain cards more interesting.  That'll become my first 1/1 of Comrie.

Another guy with twice the hits today is D-man Jon Merrill, a guy who's been with Vegas for the last three years but was drafted by the Devils, the team pictured above.  The designs of those relic cards are different but the Dominion and Titanium cards came out of Panini's Rookie Anthology, kind of an ancestor of Chronicles.  Doug's also been a major factor in my Merrill collection.

Last up in this scan is yet another defenseman, Jacob Trouba, who finally saw his tenure with the Jets end thanks to a trade to the Rangers, with whom he could possibly tie or best his career-high of 10 goals.  This relic with a fun design should represent hit #10, making him one of a select group of guys in the collection to hit that mark.
Two of the guys on these horizontal cards are also in the 10+ club.  One is Cogliano, whose Upper Deck Ice card is twice as nice thanks to dual swatches!  The other is possibly my favorite card in the whole package is a new Shawn Hunwick--something I haven't been able to say in a while--that includes an autograph plus an enormous Blue Jackets patch, plus, you know, his Wolverines helmet.  Hunwick remains my lone hockey supercollection and it was a nice surprise from Doug that I could finally add to it again.  And last but not least is a cool multi-swatch card of former Michigan star Tyler Motte, a guy that went off for 32 goals and 24 assists in his final year in Ann Arbor, then bounced around from Chicago to Columbus to his current team, Vancouver.  I like when manufacturers make relics more interesting with ideas like swatch windows that spell out something relevant.

Doug, once again, happy birthday and also thanks for all the effort (and money!) you put into this amazing package that was an excellent start to the year.  While I work on getting all of these scans added to my collection and my stats updated I hope you enjoy the little envelope I sent your way to celebrate 2/14, and I'll work on another one as soon as I can.

Everyone please head over to SCFtDS to check out Doug's work and send him some cards of 2/14 babies yourselves.  Then stay tuned for all the other posts I've been promising while I've been slacking this year!

Sunday, February 9, 2020

2019 COMC purchases: 2019 was an a-maize-ing year!

It's the second Sunday in February, 2020, and I'm finally ready to close out my 2019 pickups so I can move on to this year!

Today's post will cover Michigan Football guys that I consider PCs in the sense that they have their own albums, though I may change how I present those soon to make things a bit easier for everybody.

Let's get to the cards:
QB #7 Chad Henne had himself a day (or a sale weekend, as the case may be) with this seven spot of new hits.  I scored a new auto out of the 2008 UD Icons product I'm not exactly in love with (but a signature's a signature!) and two relics from 2011 Panini brands:  a Gridiron Gear "prime" piece and a normal Dolphins green swatch from Limited.  Those photos look preeeetty similar....

On the horizontal end I came up with three more 2008 SPx cards from the Rookie/Winning Materials sets that have multiple configurations.  The first two are /75 and the last is /50 but all three are dual swatch versions.  A quick check tells me I have 15 different cards featuring Henne from this product, 11 of which are from the two inserts I mentioned.  They're joined by my third example of a 2008 UD Premier issue, all of which include four swatches and an autograph.  This is the Silver and is #d /60.

These additions are fun on their own but they also happen to bump my Henne collection over 300 to 306 total cards, second only to Charles Woodson, not to mention 136 hits, tying him with baseball leader Rich Hill!  I look forward to adding more of his stuff this year.
I think I promised a good showing in my posts leading up to this one, and maybe you'll agree that I delivered between the Hennes, these vertically oriented offerings, and the horizontals in the next scan.  Here we start with my second "A" and third letter overall in Jason Avant's 2006 Donruss Threads nameplate.  I'll keep looking for the "V" and "T" I need so I can have another completed project to show off.  His former teammate Alan Br--
--ANCH KILLS QBs!
Branch, gets a 17th auto to his collection, and we'll see him again shortly.  The final 1/1 this time is a 2011 Inception Yellow plate of Braylon Edwards, and I love the border that makes it abundantly obvious which version it is.  Leon Hall and David Harris help maintain the offense/defense balance in this scan with signatures from 2007 Bowman Sterling and 2011 Prime Signatures.  I was able to sneak in a fairly cheap Manningham in the form of a dual signature with Marcus Monk from UD's 2009 sticker dump SP Signature, which works for me!  That's hit #94 of my former blog namesake.  Denard, who we'll see again in the next scan, can be seen on a rookie year 2013 Topps Triple Threads Purple parallel /27, with cutouts for the swatches spelling out his various positions.  I wish he'd been given a shot to play QB in the NFL just for fun.  Last up is Gabe Watson, who I forgot isn't one of my PC guys since he's only at 30 cards.  Oh well, that 2006 Absolute auto (his 8th) is still pretty cool!
The horizontals start with a cheap Avant relic and then a 2007 UD Premier dual auto that pairs another couple guys we've already seen in Branch and Hall, who were fellow rookies in the stacked '07 class.  Jake Long gets his own 2008 SPx appearance, joining fellow '08 Dolphins draftee Henne, and this dual jersey /99 is my 10th of Long from the set and 8th from the Rookie/Winning Materials versions.

Then come three new 2013 Denard autographs.  His prices are low enough that I can pretty much pick up stuff like the ones you see above for under $3.  The Prominence card includes a helmet thing but I don't think I filed it as a manurelic; Panini's Totally Certified came with a nice jersey swatch; and Topps Platinum called the third card a patch auto, so that's what I'll go with.  Those additions plus the Triple Threads above were enough to put Shoelace right at 50 hits, making him just the 10th player in my collection to hit that mark!

The last card of the last post for 2019 is a cool rookie auto of yet another star defensive guy from 2007, LaMarr Woodley.  It's funny to end with this card because it's the very first one I bought toward this last shipment, way back on September 8, or almost three months before the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales responsible for the rest of my purchases.  I couldn't let this Ultimate Collection signature slip away after it went on sale for just $1.75.

2019 was yet another great year of collection for me, and maybe I'll go back to that well one more time with a summary post soon (or maybe not!).  Either way, I finished it with fewer than 25 hits to go for 1500 in the football collection, and I'm fairly close to fun milestones in the other sports as well.  Although I may revise my definition of "hits" for those collections, for now I can say that I began the year with more than 2200 such cards of former Wolverines, which is a great place to build from in 2020.

Whew!  With those finally done I'm excited to show you my first trade package of 2020, eBay pickup #1 of the year, and recaps of both card shows I hit in January, plus I have a couple other interesting ideas in mind.  It may be February, but happy new collecting year!

Sunday, February 2, 2020

2019 COMC purchases: superb basketball and football

It's been a superb Sunday here in Ann Arbor weather-wise considering it's just the second day of February.  Temperatures got up in the 50s a day after we were dealing with the usual cold and snow, and I definitely took advantage.

Now I'm sitting here putting together a post while glancing at the game every now and then, between two teams I don't really care about.  But the fact that it's Super Bowl Sunday is a good reminder that I still haven't covered all of my 2019 pickups.  This COMC recap and one more should do it.

Today I'll be showing off my basketball scores and, yes, some of the football as well!  (A quick note:  I don't have all of the former cataloged in my own albums or on TCDB yet as I've had to create their checklists myself, which sometimes takes a bit.)

I believe I mentioned the crazy number of plates I purchased in the last post, and a large chunk of the ones staying with me are surprisingly from basketball, my least favorite of the four major sports.  I'm not the type to pass up a good deal when it comes to my Michigan collections, though, and four of these were under $4, with the other less than $5.

Here's the backs so you can tell who actually appears on each card.  I landed my first plates of Burke and THJ (times two!), second of Rice, and fifth(!) of Sauce Castillo himself, Nik Stauskas.  All of them are from higher-end products meaning Panini did their thing where they affixed the plates to super thick pieces of cardboard.  Those are totally fine but I really like what they've done with colorful backs on the actual metal the last couple years.  Three of these were inserted into the following year's National Treasures products so checklisting them can take a bit of work.  But who cares, because five new basketball plates!
The football section is quite good as well, though you're in for a pretty good show in the final post of this series.  WR Amara Darboh's up first with a cool pair from 2017:  a Playoff autograph and Absolute dual jersey/football auto RC (#282/299).  As long as Panini keeps producing Playoff cards with college photos like that, I'll keep buying them!  Those two bookend my first 1/1 of former QB (and one-year WR) Devin Gardner.  It's a magenta plate from his only NFL card out of 2015 Topps Field Access, a product known more for its plethora of sticker autos.  He's looking quite acrobatic there for sure.

The middle contains three new players to the collection.  First is DL Rashan Gary, a former top college recruit who went to the Packers in the first round last year.  I came up with a 2019 Panini Legacy auto of him in a Michigan uni, which is awesome, though his signature is anything but.  Hey, they can't all look like Griffey's and Rivera's!

Next is his fellow New Jersey native Ron Johnson, not to be confused with the former Michigan RB.  This one played on the D-Line and was part of that same recruiting class, but he transferred out last year.  He's one of a few future college players I can name from the autograph portion of that 2016 Upper Deck USA set.

The last of the newbies is another former QB that changed positions like Gardner, but in Zach Gentry's case, the move to TE stuck, and it worked out ok for him since he got drafted by the Steelers.  His 2019 Contenders Draft auto looks pretty cool, which doesn't surprise me a bit, and he has a somewhat interesting signature too.

Moving on we have another QB, transfer guy Ryan Mallett.  As I think I've said a few times, I occasionally collect his stuff as long as he's not shown in an Arkansas uniform.  Here you can see a 2011 Plates & Patches jersey/auto RC (#080/299) followed by a Topps Magic signature from the same year.  Both are cool in their own right but Magic is a somewhat recent Topps product I actually like, so that's notable.

Ok, we're on to the last QB of the day, I promise.  John Navarre, the gumpy signal-caller from Cudahy, Wisconsin, gets another of his very occasional appearances; this is just my 13th hit of him.  Luckily I found a cheap new addition in the form of a 2004 Bowman's Best Green auto (#189/499).  I already had the base version, which I prefer mainly because the green ink doesn't look great here--the parallel version of the card is fine otherwise--so it's nice to have them as a pair.

Last up is former Michigan DL Chris Wormley, who's often a fun follow on Twitter:
My second auto and third hit of his is a rookie year 2017 Donruss Optic Rookie Autographs Blue auto (#23/75).  What better color of a parallel could you ask for in terms of a former Wolverine?  He's seen a decent amount of playing time with the Ravens and hopefully that increases enough for him to earn a rare non-rookie appearance in some Panini products.

That's it for today but stay tuned for another blowout post where I cover the rest of my football purchases.

Monday, January 27, 2020

2019 COMC purchases: the 12 cards of COMChristmas

I'm going through another one of those periods where I want to get some posts up, especially so I can catch up to new stuff from this month, but I don't feel like writing.  It also doesn't help that work's been stressful lately, plus there was the tragedy of the helicopter crash yesterday that cost Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and other families their lives.

Solution:  don't write much and just get posts up!  Pictures something something thousand words, right?  So here's the baseball loot from my latest COMC shipment, mostly comprising purchases from the Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotions:
Today's only autograph is my first card of Nationals pitching prospect James Bourque, an Ann Arbor native with a pretty strong mustache game who pitched for Michigan in 2013 and 2014.  He got a one-game cup of coffee (Shot of coffee?  Drip of coffee?) last season five years after the team drafted him in the 14th round.  He's got lots more Bowman Chrome autos (like this one from 2019) to chase as well as a 2019 Topps Update base and its 50,000 parallels, and is the 27th member of my baseball hits PC.
2001 marked my first year of college and it was also an excellent year for collecting, falling right in the middle of that '95-'05 decade that I love so much.  Upper Deck was still around and they obliged relic-hungry collectors back when that was still quite a novelty.  For just a few bucks each I scored three such cards of Tony Gwynn, all from products I'm very familiar with:  SP Game Bat Edition, SPx, and UD Legends.  I believe I now own 10 relics (plus an autograph) of Mr. Padre, and I'll happily add more of these whenever the price is right.
Although he's known better as a Yankee during his brief (failed) foray into baseball, Drew Henson was a Red for a bit before being flipped back to the Bronx.  That makes the color of this Mirror Red parallel of his 2003 Leaf Certified Materials bat relic somewhat appropriate.  Donruss/Leaf/Panini/Playoff/whoever made some beautiful cards like this in the aughts and the price was low enough to add another Henson relic (#074/250), giving him 15 in the baseball collection.
Don't worry, I'm not boring you today with a post that's just hits, which I'm guessing a number of you would ignore as they're not your taste.  Looking for something else?  I got you, fam!  The "90s inserts rule" tag makes another heralded appearance today in part because if this amazing '97 Leaf chase card called Knothole Gang (#1046/5000).  Leaf layered a thin, wood-like material die-cut in the shape of a fence with a large hole in the middle over a photo, in this case Barry Larkin doubling up Braves stalwart Jeff Blauser.  These are too cool and I believe I'm chasing a few other PC guys, so I hope I'll have more to show off soon!
It's been long enough since I finished up my purchases on COMC that I can't remember for sure (and don't feel like doing the work to verify this), but I believe I came out of those sales with 19 printing plates/one-of-ones intended for my PCs and Christmas Cards packages.  Something like eight of those stayed with me, including this 2019 Topps Update Black plate of PC dude Clayton Richard, who appears with the Blue Jays for the first time.  Richard is now one of three Michigan Baseball guys with nine or more such cards in his collection, joining J.J. Putz (10) and Rich Hill (23) with nobody else above four.  Also, this marks my 130th plate and/or 1/1, though I may revise that collection a bit in the near future.  Anyway, I'll be casually on the lookout for the other three plates to go with this one!
The three jerseys of Gwynn above are awesome but this trio of Ripken inserts might be my preferred group of the two.  Up top is the '97 version of UD's amazing, um...Amazing Greats insert.  These also have a bit of a wood grain texture with a diamond shaped slide/cel insert on the right.  The '98 iteration is beautiful in its own right, and they're so different that I'm happy to appreciate both.  Oddly enough, Cal's my only example from '97 while his '98 card is the only one I lack of the Griffey/Gwynn/Maddux/Ripken group.

The other two get me a bit closer to the fun 2000 Fleer Gamers Cal to Greatness set.  #s 6 and 9 here give me the full run of 1-10 while I'll now have to track down the rarest ones, #s 11-15.  Those were a tough 1:144 while the first five were 1:9 and the others 1:25.  This might take a bit of time and money.
I don't harp too much on HOFer "Gorgeous" George Sisler having played at Michigan, do I?  Nah, I'm sure I don't.  In case you forgot, here's a great photo of him courtesy of Panini's 2015 National Treasures Collegiate Multi-sport product.  It's a numbered base card (#74/99) and I initially balked at the price of more than a buck for such a card, but I eventually relented, especially as I'm trying to get him past the 100-card mark.  Hopefully the next time I add some they'll be this nice!
I'm happy to end today's post with a pretty nifty card of recent HOFer Alan Trammell.  Back in the early 2000s the Playoff brand was responsible for a product called Absolute Memorabilia, and boy did they make some great looking cards.  One of their most notable issues was the Tools of the Trade insert, one that came in autograph, memorabilia, and combo versions.  And when I say "combo" I mean you could get six-plus game-used pieces and maybe even a signature!  No matter what you got, the design looked great, like this here 2004 card of Tram (#088/250).  This bat/jersey duo appears to give me a nice split of five each of autos and relics of the Tigers legend.

Hopefully I'll get the next post in this series up a bit sooner.  For now I'm planning a combo basketball/football post, then more football for the big finish.  That way I can finally get around to covering a huge trade package, a show or two (the next one's this weekend!), and one eBay card, and get to where I'm somewhat caught up.

Monday, January 20, 2020

12/28/19 card show report: 90s inserts rule at the end of 2019

As I mentioned in my last post covering my in-person trade with Paul, we hit up his (extremely) nearby show in Troy on the last Saturday in December, marking the second time in 2019 that I got to two shows in a month.  That ended up putting me over $200 in card spending for the month, the only time that happened last year, though I came within $1 on two other occasions.  There was plenty of good reason for that, though:  besides the two shows I finished up my COMC purchasing for my Christmas Cards.

Anyway, Paul made sure it was worth the trip for me in a few ways, starting with that trade.  Plus, as I also mentioned in that last post, we got to meet up with Chuck (C2Cigars) from TCDB, which was really cool.
He brought a nice little stack of TCDB customs I'd seen around the site, and I happily took an autographed version of the one you see above.  It's a nice reminder of getting to meet one of the nicer guys on the site, and I hope some of you on TCDB trade with him eventually.  He was nice enough to bring me something straight off my wantlist:  a 1957 Topps RC of former UM football player Lou Baldacci.  A terrific addition to my vintage and RC collections, it's my first of the FB/QB/HB/PK, which isn't surprising since he has all of three cards to his name--this one and a couple reprint versions Topps did in 1994.  It gives me a completed run on my Michigan Football RC project checklist from 1955-'94, a string of 78 players.  Thanks, Chuck!

After the meetup I hit up one of Paul's favorite sellers, a guy who's usually at Taylor, though I tend to spend my money there on my favorite dude's tables.  I believe I ended up with $10 worth of quarter cards, including a nice bunch of $0.25 hockey autos that might make for good trade bait.

Then we headed over to the table of a guy I hadn't met before.  Paul was nice enough to alert us to his crazy deals, and after talking to him he sounded like a guy having fun and just wanting to sell stuff at ridiculously low prices to people who'd appreciate it.  He didn't seem to be aware of the value of current stars and was checking a Beckett or some other price guide, generally in favor of the buyer.

I dropped $38 at his table on a few things for my self and some pretty nice trade bait, some of which will go out eventually, plus a few cards for Paul as well--call it a finder's fee!  Here's the stuff I took home with me:
The "90s inserts rule" tag portion of the post covers these two fun inserts from that era.  Mr. Padre's is a '96 Denny's Holograms Grand Slam Artist's Proof, which was fun since I didn't realize Pinnacle inserted those into the packs found at the restaurant known for its food being garbage.  It's Gwynn on a hologram insert made in the 90s so it's 100% gold to me.

Joining him is Ripken on a shiny (not that you can tell from the scan) chase card from '97 Circa called Icons.  In fact, it's funny looking at the image in this post and then down at the actual card with its reflective rainbow foil front.  Cal was indeed an icon of his era and the back of this surprisingly thin card lauds him for his professionalism during "the most celebrated baseball feat in recent history.  That's great, but I was already sold on 90s insert+Cal+shiny!
Next up we have a couple graded rookie year cards of Michigan QB Brian Griese.  Besides the fact that my opinion of grading couldn't get much lower, I just felt like it would be more fun to crack these and see them up-close, so that's exactly what I did, and grouped them with my other football pickup from the guy:
Fellow QB Todd Collins looks awesome on his own rookie year insert, an acetate die-cut 1995 Playoff Contenders chase card called Rookie Kickoff.  Reread that sentence and then try coming up with a scenario where that doesn't come home with me!  And now we get a better look at the Griese cards from '98.  Up top is a Finest Refractor from that year, and despite the lack of film it hasn't been peeled--it's the rarer No-Protectors version!  Fortunately I didn't have to take the grading company's word for it as these are easy to identify with one trait:  the No-Protectors have the same Refractory look on the back.  Please allow me to demonstrate with something that took enough effort that I'd better get a comment from Gavin:
Shiiiiiiny!  That pairs nicely with Griese's '98 SPx Finite RC (#1535/1998), which was a bit too reflectively to scan nicely.  With that one out of the way I'm short just six of his 39 first-years I'm chasing.  Plus I got to celebrate yet another milestone in 2019 by landing my 200th card of the '97 National Champ.  Woohoo!
This guy also had a binder full of completed and near done baseball and football insert and relic sets.  This Amani Toomer autograph is just my second signature of the former Giants WR, and it hails from 2000 Playoff Prestige's Team Checklists set.  It looks like the last 30 of them were signed, and that includes fellow Wolverines Elvis Grbac and Tyrone Wheatley, the latter of which I also own.  One of the reasons I spent a lot of time digging through this seller's cards is that I first asked him for a price on this one and he wanted $2.  Sir, you have my interest!
Last up from this seller was a very appropriate color for a parallel of a former Wolverine star.  Here's a beautiful Blue version of Marty Turco's 2003-04 O-Pee-Chee base, numbered up front 432/500.  As usual I'll happily laud Topps when they deserve it, and I'd argue that they knocked this one out of the park (though I'm not surprised since they were still putting effort into their releases back then).
On the way out I made sure to stop by the tables of a guy who always has a huge variety of BCW supplies and some miscellaneous other stuff, because he was asking $3 for opened factory sets of 1990 Topps.  That worked for me since the set definitely doesn't warrant paying shipping, which costs more than the worth of the set.

I had most of my PC guys' cards from this one (though not all, which I'll get to in a second!), but scoring the complete set filled a nice gap in my collection:  I now own complete Topps flagship sets from 1984-2010, a run I'm fairly proud of.  Plus I had plenty of fun getting this set all sorted and in order (they didn't ship that way, I believe) as that gave me a chance to take a closer look at all of the cards.

And, as I alluded to a minute ago, I did end up with a few new additions:  two of Tony Gwynn's issues--All-Star and regular--and one of Ripken, also the All-Star subset.

I'd call landing this much stuff at a show that hasn't had much for me in the past an unqualified success and definitely a great way to end 2019.  Many thanks to Chuck and Paul for a fun meetup!

As far as shows go I did get to Taylor this month but haven't decided what order I'm going to cover my in-hand stuff, so we'll see when I get to that.  In the meantime, here's to another great year of shows and trading!