Hey, did you know I'm giving away cards? That's right! Go claim some today, and tell your friends to claim some too, and then their friends can fell friends. It's like a pyramid scheme where you all come out ahead instead of me!
Buddy of the blog and collecting doppelganger
Matt of Bob Walk the Plank recently sent me a nice little envelope that arrived on the same day that I received Stealing Home's PWE. His not mentioned that he'd had a bit of luck in being able to send some heavy hitters my way.
Not that heavy hitter
Looking at the contents--three cards of a star pitcher--you might think Matt chose his words poorly. You'd be wrong. We'll get to that shortly.
Justin Verlander 2013 Pinnacle Aces
The pitcher in question, of course, is Justin Verlander. Panini rightly put him in their playing card-inspired, Dufexed insert "Aces" in their 2013 Pinnacle product. Between his 2005 and 2012 seasons, JV averaged 16 wins (124 total), won the 2006 AL Rookie of the Year and 2011 AL Cy Young and MVP awards, and led Detroit to pennants in 2006 and 2012. I love the throwback to Pinnacle's glory days of the 90s here.
Ok, that's one of the three, so what's all this noise about "heavy hitters"? Try these on for size:
Justin Verlander 2007 Upper Deck Star Signings auto
Justin Verlander 2011 Topps Marquee Gametime Mementos Quad Relics quad jersey (#035/199)
If the key word on the insert above is "Aces", we'll go with "Star" and "Marquee" here, as this pair belongs front and center in big lights!
First up is a lovely autograph from 2007 Upper Deck, a horizontal beauty with a good photo, cool background, and plenty of space for the signature. In this case, that happens to be on a sticker, but this is executed in such a way that it's not immediately obvious, and therefore not obnoxious like some cards can be. I'm beyond thrilled to get another high-end Tigers autograph from the Marvelous Morgantownian (see this trade, or this one, this one, this one, this one, or this one), and it represents my fifth signature of the best Tigers pitcher of my generation.
Coming along for the ride is what's easily my top Verlander relic. I didn't assign it that status by default as a quad swatch from a higher-end product--it happens to include the best looking swatch of any of his 10 non-manurelics in my collection. While three pieces are gray (at least better than white!), the fourth includes a bit of orange to go with more white and lots of black. I'll take a three-color relic of my favorite Detroit pitcher any day!
Matt, thanks a ton for keeping the high-end Tigers flowing up to Michigan. I'm happy to report that I'll soon be sending you a package commensurate with the types you've been sending me, including some pretty nice Pirates. Yes, West Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!