My first stop was my usual haunt: Taylor Town Trade Center. I've been having a harder and harder time finding useful stuff there this year, and I'd hoped after skipping the May show folks would have restocked a bit. In that, I was sorely disappointed and I left having spent a paltry $3 at one of my favorite sellers' tables. That chump change went towards one card for me plus some trade bait, including a roughly 80% complete 1985 Topps set for Jeff's vintage collection. At least it was money well spent!
The following day I gave a new (to me) location a try: the monthly show at a VFW hall in Redford, which also isn't all that far from me. This one only runs on Sundays and it's not open for very long, but I had a bit of success in the time I spent there, throwing down $20 on a few things for me plus a bit more trade bait.
That show netted me a pair of cards you can find over on TMM, plus the following fun additions to four of my PCs:
Ken Griffey Jr. 2004 Classic Clippings Inserts (#355/750)
These box score-centric inserts are fun whether or not they include a "genuine" box score clipping. I would have grabbed this either way, though, because I saw it as a fun numbered Griffey I knew I didn't have. In case you couldn't tell, the card commemorates Junior's Major League debut on April 3, 1989. He went 1-3 with a double as his first hit along with a run scored in a 3-2 loss to Oakland. Those was the first of his 2,671 games and 2,781 hits!
Ken Griffey Jr. 2006 Fleer Lumber Company
Here's a relatively simple Fleer insert from a couple years later. I think "simple" describes a large number of insert designs from that company's run, but not usually in a negative way. "Lumber Company" was a fun insert over the years and the photo of Griffey's swing is a typically nice one.
Ken Griffey Jr. 2008 SPx Ken Griffey Jr. American Hero (#KG11) (#122/725)
Ken Griffey Jr. 2008 SPx Ken Griffey Jr. American Hero (#KG75) (#657/725)
I can't remember if these were quarters or $0.50 cards but even as plentiful as they are I was happy to land another pair of numbered Griffeys. Apparently UD made this insert out of 2008 SPx a 100-card set so I don't suppose it's too difficult to land one of these. Still, they look nice and I like the career highlights aspect here.
Ken Griffey Jr. 2012 Topps A Cut AboveLast up for Junior is this die-cut insert out of 2012 Topps. I'm glad they have no problem throwing him (and other related retired stars) back out there since his retirement.
Tony Gwynn 2014 Classics Legendary LumberjacksI only dug up one Gwynn this time but at least it's a cool insert from Panini's Classics product made two years ago. Because I already own the George Sisler from the same set I knew what it looked like so I was happy to add Gwynn as well. I should see who else is on the checklist.
Barry Larkin 2001 Topps Chrome RetrofractorNow here was a surprise: a cheap Refractor of Barry Larkin! The 2001 set is one of my favorite Topps products and that meant the Chrome version looked extra nice to me. I also like the fact that these are given a "retro" theme with cardboard-style backs, throwing you back to the 80s (or earlier, depending on your age). You just don't find Larkins like this for cheap around here, so this was one of my favorite scores of the day.
Greg Maddux 1996 Donruss Diamond Kings (#05988/10000)
If Refractors are the go-to insert for Topps Chrome, Diamond Kings represent Donruss very well. It doesn't even matter to me if the cards aren't numbered, like those made in the early 90s, though it's definitely a nice bonus when they are, such as this one. It's a very well done portrait of Maddux, my favorite pitcher of the decade. Hello "90s inserts rule" tag!
Greg Maddux 1997 Pinnacle Passport to the Majors
This fun, goofy, outside-the-box insert was my lone personal pickup at the Taylor show and would have made for a sad show report post by itself, as cool as it is. As I've said numerous times, I really like how creative manufacturers got with inserts in the 90s to grab the attention of collectors, so count me as a fan of this passport-style card from 1997. For completeness I made sure to scan the outside and inside, hence the odd looking scan.
Greg Maddux 1999 Topps All-Topps Mystery FinestLastly, here's another example of something fun Topps did before they started going off the rails the decade after. Anybody reading this remember Mystery Finest cards? The "mystery" part was that the front was covered with a black peel that obscured the player, who was one of several possible shown on the back of the card. That made it fun for sellers and gamblers to speculate on who was actually pictured--i.e. a much better and less destructive version of rip cards. The other possible pitchers here were Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood.
As you can see, the second show really turned around what could have been a blah weekend. And now I have another place to check out if my usual spot continues to disappoint!