When it comes to buddy of the blog Paul at Scribbled Ink (also @scribble4me), I can paraphrase Forrest Gump: "Trade packages are like a repack box: you never know what you're gonna get. Except it won't be full of junk and disappointment." Paul tends to acquire stuff from sources that aren't really up my alley like antique and resale stores, garage sales, and the like. Maybe I would if I had better luck myself at those types of places. But I don't really need to because he has good luck himself and sends me all kinds of off-the-wall stuff to go with the usual trade fodder.
That was the case a week or two ago when I dug a large-ish BWMT out of my mailbox. Here are the contents I found after tearing that open:
I-didn't-expect-that item #1 is a foldable water bottle that was wrapping up the two smaller envelopes you see to its right. It looks like it was made around 2012 as a promotional item for Topps and it features a very cool throwback image that appears to be what the '68 Topps football packs looked like, albeit with red and blue being inverted. This is a crazy cool item that I'll keep with my oddball stuff, and I heartily thank Paul for generously spending a quarter on it to send it my way!
And then we have everything else. Almost all of the items in this image could be found in the first of the two envelopes seen above. Paul treated me to a pair of 2021 Stadium Club Griffey cards: a Stadium Club Greats insert that's a reprint of his base from the '92 product (big time nostalgia feels!) plus this year's base, which has a photo I don't think I remember seeing on one of Junior's cards before.
A Tony Gwynn Sepia parallel from the same product looks as classy as the player pictured and will be a nice addition to his collection. His fellow HOFer Barry Larkin, one of my favorite Michigan Baseball PC guys, joins him here in the form of a 2017 Topps Update SP that was on my TCDB wantlist, though not anymore! His card is the short-printed version of #US205 in the set, with the base version being another Cincy All-Star SS in Zack Cozart.
And a 2020 Topps Update base of Verlander rounds out the baseball cards. This one noted Verlander's place as MLB's active leader in strikeouts, having reached the 3000 mark, with former Tigers teammate Max Scherzer behind by around 300. Max, of course, hit the 3K milestone this year and has overtaken Verlander, who's still on the shelf. It's pretty cool that some recent Tigers rotations starred a pair of future 3K strikeout pitchers!
Sewing up the cards portion is a Tom Brady Crown Royale card from 2013 that I believe is a parallel, probably the Bronze version (base cards feature silver foil and this one, to my untrained eye, is bronze). It's a nice looking Brady and gets me one card closer to the 300 mark with under 20 to go.
If I'm remember things correctly then the pocket schedule for the AA Sea Dogs of Portland (Maine) was packaged with those cards. No-longer-recent New Hampshire-ite Paul isn't all that far from where this team plays so I'm not shocked that he took advantage of being able to check out another Minor League park, which is always a blast. The team was part of Florida's system from its 1994 inception to 2002, and since 2003 it's been home to some of Boston's up-and-coming stars, which makes sense given the location. This reminds me that I haven't gone to a Minor League game in quite a while and need to correct that.
Finally we have one of my favorite items in the whole envelope: a button made by Nike promoting the face of the MLB for president in 1996. This is something I definitely hadn't seen before so I was grateful that Paul sent it my way after his brother found it at a garage sale back here in Michigan. Junior, of course, continued to put up otherworldly stats that year, setting then-career marks in HR (49) and RBI (140), numbers he'd improve on in his follow-up MVP campaign. Ken's homer count roughly corresponded to presidential election winner Bill Clinton's percentage of that year's popular vote, by the way.
Paul, thanks again for this really cool assortment of stuff that I wasn't remotely expecting. Please continue keeping me on my toes as I work on finishing up a fun envelope to send back at you!