The "sweet" in the title refers to the player on the card that arrived in my mailbox today; the "surprise" refers to my disbelief that it actually arrived to me safely, three whole days after it was actually SUPPOSED to arrive. Thanks, USPS--I'm sure people will line up in droves to pay you more to work less.
Anyway, this card is one I've been dying to show off since I grabbed it from the usual place--the BlowoutCards forums. A guy had busted a ton of 2011 Leaf Ink, a product wherein you get slabbed, certified autos on buyback cards from different brands. The years, players and sets that comprise the checklist appear to be fairly diverse. In my case, one card caught my eye, and a quick Paypal purchase later netted me this sweetness:
It's an autographed 1983 of Sweet Lou Whitaker, my favorite Tigers 2B of all time. Whitaker was well established before I was born, having won the 1978 Rookie of the Year, so he was a Tigers stalwart by the time I was old enough to follow Detroit in the late '80s. From then on he may have been my #1 Tiger, topping a list that including Alan Trammel and Kirk Gibson. Tales of the magical Whitaker-Trammel double play combo will be passed down to future generations, and besides his defensive prowess, Sweet Lou could get on base, run and score with the best of them, not to mention provide a bit of clutch pop when the occasion arose. Hell, if you watch highlights of the '84 World Series season, pretty much every game starts with Whitaker leading off, getting on base, stealing second or moving up on a Trammel hit, then being knocked in by Kirk Gibson. Detroit will never experience another home-grown, lifetime star second baseman like Whitaker, but at least we Detroit fans have our memories of Sweet Lou.
The card itself is kind of goofy--a mugshot of Lou hanging out watching batting practice and apparently being surprised by the photographer--but I know his autographs are pretty much few and far between, so it's nice having a certified one (even if it's Beckett, a group of people who'd certify an auto of a made-up guy named Otto Pen) to go along with my non-certified version I picked up last year. I'm happy that I'm continuing to add to my Tigers PC and I'm especially happy that the HOF-dissed 2B is today's subject; may there be many more such posts in my future.
Stay tuned for a combined Blowout/COMC blowout (most of which will end up on TMM due to the players involved) to rival last year's, plus my results from Sam's latest group break--the first one I've participated in for a while and hopefully the first of several this year in trying to keep one of my New Year's promises.