1. and 2. Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker 1978 Topps RCs: these two just had to go together.
3. Bill Freehan 1963 Topps RC: floating heads on a multiplayer RC of one of my favorite Wolverines/Tigers = WINNING.
4. Cal Ripken Jr. 1982 Topps RC: Bonner and Schneider look towards future Baltimore royalty.
5. Carl Yastrzemski 1960 Topps RC: Picked this up for a song, and it's still probably the best HOF RC in my PC.
6. Curtis Granderson 2010 Topps Peak Performance auto/jersey: Easily my best Granderson, which is worth celebrating even if the blog isn't named after him anymore.
7. Justin Verlander 2005 Topps Chrome auto RC: Just a few years ago I nabbed this for about $20, now you couldn't pry it out of my cold, dead hands!
8. Frank Tanana/Mickey Tettleton 2006 Topps Co-Signers dual auto: It's a Tigers autograph of Mickey Tettleton, king of all batting stances and cheeks full of chew, what else could you ask for?!
9. - 11. A Ken Griffey Jr. Mariners trifecta: 1989 Upper Deck RC, 2001 Upper Deck All-Star Heroes bat, 1999 SP Signature auto: The Kid was one of the greatest ever, and possibly the greatest of my generation, so he'll always hold a place of honor in my collection. As a bonus, I pulled the bat and autograph (which absolutely floored me at the time) myself!
12. and 13. A pair of Ripken autos!: 2004 EX Signings of the Times jersey auto and 2008 Sweet Spot Signatures Red Stitch Blue Ink auto: The former came from the immortal Beardy and was my first ever Ripken auto, and the latter was a Blowout purchase I'm still glad I made!
14. Barry Larkin 2005 Sweet Spot Signatures Red Stitch Black Ink auto: My only auto of the best Wolverine baseball product of my generation was worth every penny.
15. J.J. Putz 2009 Topps Heritage IP auto: Larry of My 2008 Topps Set Blog went above and beyond to get me this amazing personalized auto of Wolverine-turned ace closer Putz. Thanks again!
16. Rich Hill 2007 UD Masterpieces Strokes of Genius Windsor Green auto (1/1): I made myself stick to a limit of one Hill, and my favorite has to be this beautiful true 1/1 from what I consider UD's greatest accomplishment--the Masterpieces set.
17. Stan Musial 2004 Donruss Leather & Lumber Leathercuts auto: a barely noticeable defect allowed me to pick up what may be the best auto in my PC for a song on Blowout. He truly was "The Man."
18. Warren Spahn 2002 Donruss Elite Series Legends auto: I picked this up at a show a loooooong, long time ago and I've never regretted it; I smile every time I see this beautiful auto of a lefty legend pop up in my PC.
19. Willie Mays 2001 Fleer Rack Pack 1998 SITN auto: Say Hey! One of several cards here that I pulled myself, I was floored when this came out of a 2001 Fleer Platinum rack, one of my top 10 pulls ever.
20. - 22. A trio of Wolverine nameplates: Cazzie Russell 2011-12 SP Authentic By the Letter Nameplate, Zach Putnam 2008 Razor Letterman Nameplate, Mike Hart 2008 SP Rookie Threads Lettermen letter patch auto nameplate: completing a project is always fun but these three, which turned out better than I could have imagined, were especially gratifying!
23. Tom Harmon 1955 Topps All American RC: a former white whale and now the crown jewel of my Michigan vintage and RC collection, I'm extremely excited to own this RC of a former Heisman-winner from what I consider Topps' greatest football set of all time (weasley-looking Wolverine logos included)!
24. Anthony Carter 2005 Topps All American Autographs Chrome Refractors auto: The former #1 has an amazing auto and it pairs up perfectly with a Refractor version of the above set!
25. Bo Schembechler 2002 TK Legacy auto: the undisputed highlight of my huge in-person purchase last year, I'm beyond thrilled to own an autograph of a part Wolverine legend.
26. Chad Henne-Adrian Arrington-Mike Hart-Shawn Crable 2008 UD Premier Signature Foursomes auto: Come on, you all know this card--it's TMM's background! You should also be very aware by now that the 2008 Michigan draft class is my favorite ever, and this card includes FOUR of those players, placing it squarely in the top-five of my football PC.
27. Desmond Howard 2006 Press Pass Legends Gold red auto: I gave the nod to the Bo autograph for the #1 spot from the IPP haul, but this Des was a close second as it knocked off another white whale for me. Hello, Desmond, hello, Heisman!
28. Brendan Morrison 2004 TK Legacy Varsity Club auto: Nothing special, just one of Michigan Hockey's greatest players ever, winner of a national title and the Hobey, pictured in the Wolverines' signature helmet and jersey.
29. Marty Turco-Red Berenson 2004 TK Legacy Historical Links dual auto: And this beaut encompasses two more of my all-time favorite Wolverine icers on one card! Champions, champions everywhere!
30. Steve Yzerman 1984-85 Topps RC: The best Red Wing of my young life brought winning and titles back to Detroit, and the Wings have been the class of the league ever since!
I must say it was very difficult whittling this list down to "just" 30 cards, and that makes me glad I wasn't doing this when I was 15! Some of you may be calling me old, and more of you are probably laughing at me since you've long since passed the wrong side of 30, but it was fun for me compiling a list of the cards I absolutely couldn't live without, one for each year I've been alive. How about you, readers, what would your lists look like?
There's lots of doin's a-transpirin' this weekend for me, as is likely the case for many of you, so don't plan on seeing any new posts around here until Monday at the soonest. Until then, everyone enjoy your holiday weekend and take a moment to remember what's important on Memorial Day.