Thursday, February 15, 2024

12/1/23 card show report: December dimes and more

I'll probably do the other half of my TCDb trade recap next time, but to break things up a bit I'm finally covering what I brought home from December's monthly show.

I headed to Taylor on the first of December last year and threw down $80 for some nice stuff, though it's been long enough that I can't remember the breakdown. So just assume it was the usual combination of dimes, $1/$2/$5, and everything in-between!

First up as always is the trade bait:

Belt /250; Grieve /1995; Loney /520; Manny /150; Blackmon /499; Burleson /600
Carricker /2249; Cole /2000; Cotchery /2007; Curtis /999; Cutler /999; Delhomme /250; Farmer /1999; Henderson /500; Holiday /599
Johnson/ 175; Leftwich /750; Okoye /999; Pumphrey /175; Salaam is a promo; Shenault /399; Williams /2010

Claim 'em in the comments or make me an offer on TCDb!

And now for my keepers:
I was surprised to find this complete and still shrink-wrapped 1989 Donruss the Rookies set in the $5 or 5/$20 box and I immediately grabbed it. Not only does the set contain quality players (though not true RCs) like Sheffield, Deion Sanders, Edgar Martinez, and Randy Johnson, plus guys in my PC like Jim Abbott and Gary Wayne, but there's also a reasonably big deal rookie year guy:

Junior! You're probably much more likely to be paying in the neighborhood of $10 for just this Griffey than getting the whole set (albeit minus the box and Spahn puzzle) for just $4. So I was pretty happy about this one.
The mix of dimes & more starts with a couple nice Tony Clarks. The ex-Tiger and current MLBPA prez stars on a couple mid/late 90s issues. The Stadium Club Onyx Extreme of Griffey may have been another $5 box card, but then, this isn't just the "regular" version of that insert--it's an even cooler die-cut parallel that I don't think I'd ever seen before. Looks like I paid around a half or even third of the going rate for this, and earned this post my coveted "90s inserts rule" tag.

That makes a couple nice Griffey cards, and Gwynn and Maddux are next with some dime box gems, mostly of the Pacific variety, though Mad Dog also gets a cool UD Fun Pack card as well, plus a '99 Bowman International parallel.
And a couple more of the HOF P while we're at it, from 2005 UD and 2012 Prizm. Just one Cal this time but he completes the big four PC quartet with a standard 2017 Ginter base. Scherzer's non-die-cut die-cut looked pretty cool as did the actually-die-cut Verlander, both of which offer a Refractor finish, and I met my recommended daily dose of two many Verlanders with a Gallery Printer Proof from 2022.

Meanwhile, the basketball group was relatively tiny with a couple shiny dimes of THJ and LeVert, but I did manage to snag myself hit #10 of college star Trey Burke: a 2013-14 Totally Certified jersey card (probably from the $2 box?).
And we'll finish with football. Nico is a shiny/laser-y Xtra Points parallel of his '22 Prestige base. 2022 rookies Haskins and Ojabo are seen on first-years from that season's Donruss Optic, and the Ravens defender gets a Select RC to boot. Lewan adds a Leaf card that's fun for the Michigan uniform aspect and not much else. Colts edge Paye adds another RC to his total as well out of '21 Mosaic. And lastly, I added yet another Braylon to his stack in the form of a 2011 Prestige Prestigious Pros Red horizontal card, one that looks more suited to Christmastime thanks to its colors.

I was pretty happy with how this show went, especially with the way it helped me bulk up some of the Christmas packages I sent out a couple weeks after.

And if any of you enjoy show recaps, you'll be quite happy when I start covering my 2024 stuff because I've already got three shows' worth of content, including a much-hyped blogger/TCDb meetup in Kalamazoo!

But before then I believe I'm left with one TCDb trade recap and my COMC loot for the big finish.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

A super 2023 TCDb trade roundup, part 1

Tonight I'm bringing you one of a two-part series covering all of the TCDb trades I haven't yet covered here. There's lots to go over so I'll likely be fairly brief in terms of my comments.

avsbruins65 (PIF):

Mark is known to be a generous member and I was the beneficiary of that generosity back in December.
Former Michigan P John Locker joins the collection thanks to the 1990 minors issue you see above. He was a reliever for UM in 1988 and '89, and Boston took him in the 40th round in the latter season. He pitched two years for the low-A Elmira Pioneers and appears to have left the game after that.

Also, I love all of these SLU cards!
The football and hockey items were great as well.

bkim (PIF):
Robert has PIFed me at least once before and I was thankful he sent me this trio of PC guys, including a vintage (and therefore pre-Tigers) Darrell Evans.

budler (PIF):
I swear these aren't all PIFs--I'm just going alphabetically, but as with the first couple envelopes, this one from Jim arrived in time for the holiday season and I appreciated it a lot.

In return for a numbered football insert I received this Michigan Football pair, which I think I now own a few each of, not a problem at all!
Anthony transferred but Haitian LB Colson went out as a winner with the '23 team.

Fellow Michigan fan Chris and I made a nice three-for-three swap that brought me a new Chad Henne hit (#143!) plus numbered inserts of two of his favorite WRs in Edwards and Manningham (you know I can't have too many of him!).
Edwards is numbered /249, Mario is /500, and Henne is /250.

John and I made a pair of deals late last year, and each time I sent him a trio of numbered football inserts for nine of my own wants. This first one brought a bunch of new football back.
#2 resulted in more great new gridiron PC cards plus a Gwynn to boot.

A mix of some of my set-fillers brought back these eight cards I was very happy to get. Hell yeah, multiple Sparky cards! Two each of Cronenworth and Greene didn't hurt, and fellow '84 guy Morris joins Captain Hook from the '84 champs.

Speaking of Sparky, I knocked off another of his managing days cards, this from '77 Topps, thanks to a one-for-one deal in return for a '90 Swell dupe. That feels heavily tilted in my favor but I think we were both satisfied with the deal.
As is often the case the card was well loved which means it has more character. Still, no pencil marks on the checklist is a plus!

I pinged Matt about a trade in late October, getting some very cool items in return for almost 90 of his '95 Finest needs. The Topps/LJN cards were a highlight for me for sure, but the other classic Tigers are great as well.
I'm not going to get myself one of the players but these are just cool to have anyway.
Here's a few more Tigers, some of them recent, plus a couple '91 Swell Greats needs as I continue working on that set, just 19 to go.

For just a single dupe of a Justin Verlander insert I scored myself another Cronenworth plus '97 Mother's Cookies food issues of PC guys Dean Palmer and Mickey Tettleton. Sweet! (Pun intended and delicious.)

mudville9 (Secret Santa):
Last year was my first participating in the yearly Secret Santa exchange on the site and I was quite happy with what this member sent me: a numbered autograph of Devin Funchess. I believe he actually apologized for not sending more but I told him I was more than happy with this great card as my present, and I'm sure I'll be joining up again this year.

NJDevils (PIF):
Joe is another of the site's especially generous members who treated me to a surprise PWE around Christmas--close enough that I originally thought he was my secret Santa. This mix of oddball baseball and some older football was a joy to open up during the season of giving.

Here's another one of those deals you're apt to make on the site where you just get an eclectic bunch of stuff you probably wouldn't find all at once anywhere else, especially give some of the oddballness.
This was another trade where I got some work done on '91 Swell.

I got a nice mix of Tigers guys in this one, with the highlights in the first image being the Conlon cards.
The Hajjar is yet another ridiculous Panini parallel but redeems itself with a college action photo so it's all good. It definitely feels good stocking up on Tork cards before a potential true breakout season in 2024.

SaintOrm (PIF):
Kurt is yet another member whose name you'll see quite often in the site's excellent "Pay it Forward" thread where folks thank others for surprising them with free or extra cards. The three scans' worth he sent me were very nice, and they start on a high note here thanks to a trio of Gibby cards I'm sure I couldn't have found easily otherwise plus a great mix of Griffeys.
More Griffey, cool oddball of Senor Smoke, a very interesting Kaline, a Cal insert need, and my first card of Michigan OF Miles Lewis, a transfer from North Dakota who played from 2017-19 in Ann Arbor. Before even heading to college he was captured in the 2013 Leaf Perfect Game amateur set, and his 17 cards found there are the only ones made of a guy who appears to be out of the game.
And how about finishing up what Kurt sent with this group? A few more of the killer "G"s, a mix of stickers, Topps Kids, and a shiny Pudge. I'm especially happy with the decent bump to my Gibson collection thanks to this PIF.

This one brought me some more Michigan Football friends. The Collins leading off the scan is a retail Panini Illusions RC, and the Dax plus Kwity right down the middle are also first-years. The rest are all rookie-related except for DPJ's Mosaic parallel and the Red Score Peppers. How cool is it to see beastly defenders Hutch, Mazi, and Gary on the same card?

This deal was mostly notable due to an item you'll see in the last images, but I have to say I was pretty happy with my baseball haul as well. Both UM guy Henry and breakout Tigers OF Carpenter are '23 Topps RCs here.
The football group included another card for my growing Bell collection plus the Bolts' new coach returning to one of his old teams.
Speaking of Harbaugh, I'd say that look on his face is familiar to many a ref. My coolest item in this deal was this '97 Pinnacle Inside (opened) can. I guess my trade partner was happy enough with his return to justify shipping it to me!

ymmat (PIF):
And this group ends this evening as close to the end of the alphabet as you can hit without getting to "Z." Joe is another another generous guy that I've traded with before and we've sent PIFs back and forth a couple times. It was great to see Riley leading off on this one but the playing card of UM P Ontiveros was a great addition as well.
And Owens is yet another new member of my Michigan Baseball PC. No matter how obscure you think something is, make sure to get it on your wantlist because you never know who might be able to send it to you! The Flint native is represented on his '82 TCMA Chattanooga Lookouts issue, which covers his second and final franchise (Seattle) after being Cleveland's 6th rounder in 1978.

As you can see, Joe hit up a number of my other player collections as well, just all over the place, really. The Chrome Platinum Skubal in the middle is quite a looker and I'm looking forward to what I hope is 100% health for him in 2024.
There was an embarrassment of (mostly 80s) stickers in this package starring some of my favorite players, mostly Gwynn, Maddux, and some '84 Tigers. Wow!
Football didn't get left out either and he even sent some vintage-y stuff of Wolverine NFLers that not everyone would know that well, so kudos to Joe for finding these!

That was obviously a huge bunch of trades and PIFs to cover, but I still have a few left in an upcoming post where I'll be highlighting the same courtesy of some of my closest friends on the site. Until then, thanks again to the great members represented here tonight for being great trade partners and gifters!

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

2023 eBay purchases: rockin' around the Christmas Tariks

With 2023 blogger trades all wrapped up I'm moving on to my eBay purchases from the last four months of the year.

We'll start back in early September when I happily spent a bit more than $12.50 delivered for my second plate of Denard Robinson. This particular Shoelace 1/1 is his magenta plate used to make his 2013 Absolute RC, specifically the "base" version and not the variation where he's carrying the ball in his other hand. You all know I love me some Denard, and I hope he's one of the holdovers on new Michigan coach Sherrone Moore's staff.
A bit less than two weeks later I was quite happy to win this Trey Burke plate for a little under $10 shipped. The 2016-17 Contenders Draft magenta plate you see above is my third 1/1 of the former college star, but it's my first of him pictured as a Wolverine instead of with the Jazz so it's my new favorite. This one puts Burke one away from joining the double-digit hit club in basketball as the fifth member, though a couple others are also getting close.
At the end of the month I was thinking about how well Tigers P Tarik Skubal had pitched after returning for the season's second half. He started off a bit slowly but ripped off four straight wins in the final month to end the year at 7-3 with a solid 2.80 ERA. I decided I wanted a nice card of his and landed on this 2021 Absolute Rookie Leather Signatures Tan auto for about $13. Maybe I'll get something with actual team logos on it in the future, but I'm a sucker for fun gimmicks like this and was more interested in jumping on something before he possibly develops into a higher-end starter. And even if he doesn't, I've got a pretty cool card of one of the team's solid core of starters.
Next, early in October I found a bunch of stuff for myself and others all from one seller and took advantage of low auction prices and combined shipping. The three cards you see above are the ones I grabbed for myself. First up is a Pudge jersey that I thought was worth a flier at $1.50. He'd joined the Yankees in '08 so UD listed him with them, but he's pictured as a Tiger and I'm betting the swatch is from a Detroit jersey, not that it matters too much to me since I collect his non-Tigers cards too. That appears to be relic #10 and hit #11 of the HOF catcher.

To that I added a pair of Leaf-branded cards of former UM WR Tarik Black, our second Tarik of the evening! Black was a top-200, 4* recruit coming in to Ann Arbor in 2017 but he'd compile just 50 catches for two scores in 18 games over three seasons before transferring to Texas, where he put up similar numbers in the shortened 2020 COVID season. I was very happy to add a couple Wolverines uniform autographs of him to my collection (as subject #240) even though they're from the iteration of Leaf, which is part of the "way too many parallels with ridiculous names" problem. That said, I have enjoyed the State Pride design over the years.

I included the backs to show that the top card is numbered just 4/4 while the other is #19/20. As best as I could tell, these are from 2021 Leaf Metal Draft Flashback Base Autographs Mojo (even though the provided checklist SNs don't match) and 2021 Leaf Metal Draft Flashback State Pride Autographs Wave Blue. For just $4 and $3, respectively, I was satisfied with what I got.
The next time I spent money on eBay on something for myself it was the first day of December and I was able to score this 2012 Bowman yellow plate of Michigan WR Steve Breaston for a cool $8 even. That year's design has always been an outlier when it comes to Bowman but not in a bad way in my opinion. Then again, it's fairly familiar to me as I already had purchased the magenta plate of the same card! Breaston is therefore one of a number of PCs for which I have multiple 1/1s.
That distinction is true of former Reds prospect Ryan LaMarre as well. The 16th hit in his collection is also the 5th 1/1, which is quite a ratio if you ask me. And this design is also well known to me because the black plate you see above from 2010 Bowman Draft is the third one I now claim ownership of from the set! I've checked off the black, magenta, and yellow versions and just need the cyan, making this one of five plate sets where I have three of the four (others are Chad Henne 2014 Prestige; Clayton Richard 2011 Topps; J.J. Putz 2012 Topps Mini; and Rich Hill 2006 Topps). That was worth a bit under $12.50 shipped as far as I was concerned!
Finally, with Christmas just five days away and having barely crossed the $1800 mark in spending for the year, I decided to treat myself to an upgrade. My copy of Kirk Gibson's 2001 Topps Archives rookie reprint auto was one of my favorite cards in my entire collection, but it was somewhat faded when I bought it, and leaving it and some others out where too much sunlight got to them didn't do it any favors:
That's a recent pic I took of what's essentially an auto-less Gibby and a very faded 1999 SP Signature auto of Griffey (that I pulled myself and regret ruining this much all the time!). So I was very much on the hunt for a much better copy despite the cost of Kirk's signature going up quite a bit.

And you know what? For the nice, bold blue signature you see above on my new copy, I didn't think twice about plunking down $53. It's great having such a nice version of that piece in his collection and I'd do it again if I had to. But I probably won't because I'm not letting that sucker get any regular sunlight!

And those nine cards are how I finished up 2023 when it comes to personal eBay pickups. I still have lots more to show off from the end of last year but I'm at least making some headway, and I'll be back soon with more!