Thursday, July 27, 2017

2017 JustCommons purchase: just Larkins

Previously:  Jim Abbott, Kirk Gibson

Back in late May I made my largest JustCommons purchase yet:  around 330 cards for about $57.  That total included a few things heading into trade packages, but overall I added almost 300 new cards to some of my baseball PCs.  Over something like seven different posts I'll cover those new cards, player by player!

Who's today's player I alluded to yesterday?  It's none other than HOF SS Barry Larkin.  I still think it's likely that more of you collect Jim Abbott than Larkin for various reasons, but the lifetime Red is plenty popular himself, and for good reason.  While I collect him primarily for his connection to my alma mater, there's plenty of reasons to chase cards of one of the greats of the modern era.

So let's have a look at the nice pile of his cards I scored on JustCommons:
We begin with one pre-90s card in the form of 1988 Fleer--not one of the product's better versions.  Feel free to ignore the '91 Score Dream Team subset issue as I already had it, but the other offering from that year, Ultra, was new at least.  1992 enjoys a nice run with O-Pee-Chee and OPC Premier, a Score insert called Impact Players (found in jumbo packs) and both of Barry's Topps flagship issues from that year, including an All-Star subset.  The following year's OPC Premier kicks off a three-card run from '93.
Score and Select (made by Score!) finish off that trio, then we get a hand's worth of '94 releases:  Leaf, Pinnacle, Score, Sportflics, and Studio.  I'd say that year is when things really start to get interesting design-wise, and I give all five my seal of approval, especially Sportflics and Studio.  Moving on, Donruss is our only entrant from 1995, and I still generally appreciate the design, though I wouldn't mind getting a better look at the jersey of the player getting doubled up, covered by the inset photo.  The first of five total Bowman-branded issues finishes off this scan, this one from the 1996 set.
1996 continues throughout most of this scan, namely the next seven cards:  Fleer Update, Leaf (one of his two issues, and I'm missing the checklist he shares with Mo Vaughn), Pacific, Score, a pair from Upper Deck Collector's Choice (dammit), and Ultra.  Have I mentioned that I love the matte cards from 1996 and '97 Fleer?  I probably have once or twice.  I don't know if I'll ever acquire '96 Ultra Series I to go with my complete second series set, so I keep grabbing the PC singles I need.  A pair of '97s sews things up here:  Bowman and Select.  The Bowman features an excellent cameo by then-rising star Jermaine Dye, about to get caught stealing, and the Select will become more interesting in a bit.
Through sheer randomness, this scan ends up including more high-end stuff than the rest.  The acid trip-inspired '98 Circa Thunder doesn't fall into that category, but all three 1999 cards--Bowman Chrome, SP, and Topps Gallery--certainly do.  Man did Topps make some beautiful cards back in the day like that Gallery example, probably my favorite in the bunch.  The first 2000 exhibit, from Bowman Chrome, keeps the above average-end streak going, and while the other, from the more mainstream Paramount brand, breaks things up, I can still appreciate its looks.  Then a four-card run from 2001 starts, including our final Bowman issue, the odd Donruss Class of 2001, and the shiny Donruss Elite.  I'd say the Class of 2001 card is the one I liked the least here, and a rare misstep from Donruss--it's just weird for some reason.
Here we finish off 2001 with one of Fleer's multi-year-but-short-lived products, Focus, then get another from 2002 in Platinum; the latter's 2001 version was nice, but I wasn't a huge fan of subsequent releases.  2003 gets represented twice with Leaf and Ultra, both of which are fairly representative of their brands.  2004 and '05 each present one card:  Donruss Elite Extra Edition (shiny again!) and Leaf, respectively.  We then abruptly finish with that decade and jump ahead to 2012's fun Panini Cooperstown release, the same manufacturer's USA Baseball Champions product from 2013, and a vintage-inspired 2015 Topps Archives base.

And now for some lengthwise Larkins:
The 1990 Topps Big card, which lives up to its name, is about the oddest-ball in this bunch, and the oddly framed '92 Triple Play issue joins it from the junk wax era.  I now want to point out that the remaining three cards on the left hail from Score's Select product, and with the two you saw above they give me Larkin's base card run from the brand, from 1993-97!  The remainder on the right side includes '95 Score and Barry's Ultra Award Winner insert from the same year (I already have the Gold Medallion parallel of this one).  Last up is Barry ranging to his right on a lovely horizontal offering from 1997 Pinnacle.

This group of 52 new Larkins, when added to my other Barrys
Image result for archer other barry
gives me a milestone-worthy new total of 410 cards.  I'm coming for you, Nachos Grande! (Not really)

Speaking of Chris, all of you fans of Reds may enjoy my next couple posts (hint hint!).


  1. Love seeing the Larkins - and yes, you are gaining on me rapidly! Although truth be told, I have another 123 Barry Larkin cards that I've scanned but not yet written about...and quite a few more that I haven't yet scanned. I'll try to stay ahead of ya though ;)