And I'm glad I did. One of my favorite sellers, who's not always around--he tends not to be there on Sundays, which is often when I go--was in attendance and I made the best of it by hitting his quarter, $0.50, and $1 boxes, spending a total of $45 (and more than an hour!) on lots of nice stuff for me and for some Christmas trade packages.
Here's what I picked up for myself (with the rest available as usual on TMM this evening):
I happily plunked down a quarter for this Dean-o parallel from 2001 Fleer Platinum, numbered 061/201. Palmer is one of my favorite Tigers to collect and I've always been a fan of '01 Platinum, so this was the kind of find I love to dig out of a quarter box.
Among the quarter cards I also surprisingly found a pair of complete Fleer insert sets, each of which featured one of my PC guys.
First up is 1995 Fleer Pro-Visions, a fun illustrated set highlighting 1994's MVPs, Cy Youngs, and ROYs in both leagues, which made it a six-card set:Maddux, of course, is my PC player here. 1994 marked his third of four straight Cy Youngs as well as a career-low 1.56 ERA, which the card notes was literally more than a full run better than runner-up Bret Saberhagen in the NL; his lead over AL counterpart Steve Ontiveros was just a bit less. Insane! Anyway, it was fun to add Maddux and the rest of the guys from the set here--a who's who of the mid-90s.
The other set was a five-card insert from Fleer's product the following year. Post-Season Glory highlights some of the best performances of the 1995 playoffs, and it serves as a great reminder of how exciting the post-season was 21 years ago:
Griffey is my PC guy here. Junior socked homers in games 1 (two of them), 2, 4, and 5 of the '95 ALDS against the Yankees, including an eighth-inning shot in game 5 against David Cone that brought Seattle within a run (which they got later in the inning thanks to a Doug Strange bases loaded walk that scored pinch-runner Alex Rodriguez). When the game went into extras, New York plated a run in the top of the 11th and things looked grim for the Mariners until a leadoff bunt single by Joey Cora followed by a Griffey single up the middle. Edgar Martinez's follow-up double scored Cora, then Griffey followed with a mad dash around the bases and into history.
(I should also note that the other performances highlighted here are also quite amazing!)
Curtis Granderson. For a while I had a self-imposed embargo on Grandy's non-Tigers cards, but fortunately I got over it, and now I can enjoy cards like this 2016 Chrome Prizm Refractor. Refractors rule!
Griffeys I dug up. The first is a Milestones insert from 1998 that anticipated Junior's 300th HR. After an outstanding 1997 season in which he clobbered 56 bombs, Ken needed just six in 1998, and he hit the mark on April 13 that year with his second blast of the game, then bash another 50 to match his previous season's total!
The other card is Griffey's issue from the '82 insert set out of this year's Donruss product. The callback to that design is fun, as is the photo.
Gwynns this time, but they're fun ones in my opinion (the only one that matters when I'm the one paying!). On the left is a Chrome reprint of Tony's Topps RC, and the "Topps 50 years" banner is what gives it away as a member of the 2001 Chrome Through the Years insert. I also have his non-Chrome card as part of the complete set. To its right is a very shiny and hard-to-scan insert from Donruss' 2003 Estrellas ("stars") Spanish language product, titled "Leyendas Del Pasado", or "Legends of the Past." The silver and gold look up front is very classy, and naturally it looks nicer in-person.
Barry Larkin cards this time, which made me very happy. First up is a silver foil-y '96 Upper Deck Hobby Predictor. Barry was the '95 NL MVP and was a good candidate to try to win NL Player of the Month honors for this to be a winner. In the middle is Larkin's 1999 Topps Gold Label Class 2 Black parallel (as indicated by the color of the foil in the upper-right). The Class 2 version from this gorgeous set features a running/hitting photo combo while the Class 1 card combines fielding and the same hitting shot. Last up is a completely ridiculous insert from 2000 Vanguard that completely captures the essence of Pacific's all-over-the-damn-place approach of the mid-90s to early 2000s!
Maddux makes a second appearance today thanks to this card he shares with fellow Braves legend Chipper Jones. Out of 2005 Diamond Kings (love that product!), it notes that the pair joined Atlanta the same year--1993--with Maddux signing as a free agent and Chipper making his MLB debut (an eight-game cup of coffee). I definitely need more Diamond Kings cards in my life.
Michael O'Neill card among the copious number of boxes, and even more thrilled when I realized I needed it. The Yankee farmhand (who appears to have finished this past season at AA) and nephew of whiny guy extraordinaire Paul is one of the many Michigan Baseball alumni I collect, and this is my 27th card of his out of what I count to be 83 made. Hailing from 2013 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Picks (there's a mouthful), this is a Green Prizm parallel of his Draft Hits insert, giving me three from that particular rainbow and eight overall from the product. I'm not quite at a third of his run yet but do have a couple coming in from COMC.
Cal Ripken Jr. First up is a pair from the 50-card Ripken tribute set called Iron Man out of 2007 Ultra. These have a great black/orange/silver design with excellent photos, and I may have to piece together the whole set. For all I know I may have a few I haven't even scanned yet, but for now here's card numbers 17 and 27.
Next is Cal's card from the same 2016 Donruss '82 set as the Griffey above. It's fun to have him back on a card with this design since the original can claim his Donruss rookie card!
The next two are from this year's Topps, though I mistook the first, a Perspectives insert, for one out of Stadium Club since that product's inserts don't usually suck like flagships have done over the last decade. I would have loved to see another shot of Cal facing the warehouse in right field at Camden, but that's been done plenty and this photo looks fantastic on its own. Meanwhile, the Back to Back card pairs Ripken with two-time teammate and fellow 3000 hit club member/HOFer Eddie Murray. With middle of the order hitters like those two it's no wonder Baltimore won it all in 1983.
That's it from this month's show, but I'm happy to have had so much luck this time after striking out the past few months. Plus I was able to add some fun stuff to trade packages, many of which may even be in the mail as you're reading this!
Also, don't forget to head over to TMM this evening for some serial-numbered-ness that falls a bit short of what I'd call insanity.