Saturday, December 9, 2023

2023 trade package #24: My Sports Obsession

Well I don't know how quickly I'll get to everything else that needs to be posted but at least I'm back tonight with another blogger trade that deserves recognition.

This one came to me back in September from buddy of the blog Jeff who writes as My Sports Obsession (and also handles PR for Sluggo's Sports Cards). Jeff continues to have access to some really nice stuff while selling cards with his cousin, and that includes buying from some other friendly dealers at shows. He's certainly been super generous sharing those benefits with me, I'll say that much!

Here's the greatness he sent this time:
Is there any chance Javy can regain enough of his batting eye to stop swinging at balls closer to the on-deck circle than the plate? I don't know, but I guess we'll find out next season!

And of course I'm going to miss Miggy. While it's good he's no longer out there playing as a shell of his former self, I'm going to miss him and all that he did over his 16 seasons in Motown. He was a major force right off the bat, and his run from 2008-2016 was one of the best the franchise has ever seen. All the dude did was hit .325/.405/.573 and average 34 HR and 114 RBI per season while earning consecutive MVPs and leading his team to a World Series berth. Cabrera stayed around with the team the Marlins traded him to and rewarded fans with 500 HR and 3000 hit milestones. He'll forever be a team legend and it's impossible to overstate how important he was to the success the Tigers enjoyed over about a decade in the 2000s and 2010s.
Speaking of big numbers there's a whole second PAGE that's just the future HOFer here. Definitely some classy looking stuff and pretty much everything is new to me. TCDb tells me I have more than 450 cards of him, and that ranks him in the top 10 of players of any sport in my PC. Thank you for all the new additions, Jeff!
Here's where we get a bit of variety. Cisnero is shiny, and the Greenberg is too, in a way, as a Chrome Ginter card. Greene may have finished last season hurt but was a spark plug for the offense and a guy I'm hoping to see a full season of health from in 2024. If he can manage that, watch out!

Next is a quartet that starts a huge run of Griffeys, which would be cool enough, but lots of these are total oddballs I've never seen before. Classic is of course familiar to me but I can't claim to have ever seen the others.
If Cabrera gets a page-plus, why not Junior? This one features even more oddness, with none more unorthodox than the one right down the middle. And the ones I do recognize are fun, especially food issues like Jimmy Dean and Post.
Somehow Jeff managed to locate enough Griffey cards for one MORE page plus the beginning of the next scan too. Gobs of Griffeys! Two more food issues, also from Jimmy Dean, kick this one off, and notable 90s UD product Fun Packs makes an appearance too. A few more from within a decade of those give way to a trio of newer items, two of which bookend the bottom row with shots of Ken's beautiful follow-through.
Listen, guys, we're done with Junior when Jeff says we're done with Junior, ok? The remaining quartet here also feature cool designs, but that's not a surprise when Diamond Kings, Stadium Club, and Archives are in the mix. With this many new Griffeys it's no wonder he's #2 in my PC with over 1100 cards, though still more than 100 behind leader Cal Ripken Jr.

Next we have the second of my big four non-Tigers/Wolverines PC guys, Tony Gwynn. Mr. Padre may not appear in the volume that his fellow HOF OF did, but these are no less appreciated. Besides a needed '87 Leaf, the other five are from Topps brands, and I believe they were all new to me. Thanks to these and some others I've since acquired I count almost 900 cards in his collection.
After the final Gwynn, this group starts with a much-needed new Rich Hill card, which reminds me, I wonder where he'll be pitching next season if he comes back for a 20th campaign (and possible 14th team)?

If you include Mr. Padre, why not Mr. Tiger? These are some classy looking Kalines and I think I give a small edge to the Stadium Club, but it's always better when you don't have to choose.

Meanwhile, Larkin's a PC guy we share so I understand Jeff not having more than a couple to send my way, and I'm glad that he did. I'm now fewer than 50 away from Barry joining my 1000-card PC club!
Maddux, who starts this scan, makes big four PC guy #3, and a lone oddball Ripken at the bottom is a spoiler that confirms Jeff hit all four. Mad Dog gets a nice trio worth of designs here picturing him with his two most well known franchises. I put Mize before former Tiger Austin Meadows (best wishes to him, of course!) because I'm dumb and didn't notice this mistake until I was posting this. And Black Jack makes a token appearance as a Blue Jay.
Cal is another of our shared player collections and as I mentioned earlier he's my number 1 at over 1200 cards and counting. The playing card oddballs are quite cool aside from the eyeball-twitch-inducing spelling error, and the Stadium Club Chrome/Gallery duo at the end of the group looks mighty fine.

Three of four new Torks end this scan, and I'm glad to be in possession of more of his cards. While I think Riley Greene is likely to be the more exciting player for the Tigers, Torkelson's power potential could have a huge impact on an offensive that's been short on big hitters. I just looked it up and the Tigers haven't been out of the bottom 10 in homers since 2016! The former top overall pick put 31 over the wall last season and a perennial total in that neighborhood would be huge.
One more Tork gives way to a classy looking Tram. Then we get to the namesake of this here blog and top Tigers-related player in my collection: Justin Verlander. And boy is he well represented in this package!
Everything here of JV is from the past few years so there's no Tigers cards, but to be fair he left Detroit in 2017. There's still a lot to like whether it's classic base, shiny, or Chrome-style. Stadium Club and Gallery continue to be winners as usual.
Of my 600+ Verlanders (STILL not too many!), I own three of him pictured during his brief tenure with the Mets, and they're all in this one post.

And now we get to the best part of tonight's post: the hits! Jeff delivered bigtime here with six big-hitters I flipped through one after the other with my jaw continuing to drop. First is an autograph of one more shared PC of ours, Jake Cronenworth. It's a Ginter framed card and those always look great, plus of course I love new signatures. I own just three JC autos now so this one was a very nice surprise.

Next, I was even more surprised to see a new relic card of Gibby because they often aren't easy to find at reasonable prices. Of course it's a huge plus that he's pictured with the Tigers on that UD Classics card because many fans know him better for his big moment with the Dodgers. Not me, though--I'll always associate him with his 1984 Series performance. It appears to be my 11th hit of Gibson, comprising eight relics and three autos.

Now we'll temporarily jump back to the present (and hopefully future) of the team with pitcher Matt Manning. The #9 overall pick in 2016 has appeared in just 45 games for Detroit over the past few seasons but has been trending in the right direction. It feels great having a nice hit of his before a potential blow-up, in this case a 2020 Bowman purple auto numbered /250.

Let's go back to another champ, '68 star Mickey Lolich. He's seen here on a jersey card from 2004 SP Legendary Cuts, and that represents just my third hit (and second relic, also from an '04 UD brand) of the Series hero. Very cool!

And why not one more Tiger with a ring for good measure, '84 slugging catcher Lance Parrish. He joins Gibby and Lolich as guys I definitely didn't expect to be talking about in this portion meaning they were all more than just pleasant surprises. The Big Wheel was fantastic in the 80s and I wish the cheapskate owners didn't cause him to leave before I was old enough to appreciate his game. At least I can enjoy a brand new signature of his from 2015 Donruss. It's a great looking piece that goes well with the one other auto I have of Lance.

We'll finish up the hits with one more appearance by a guy with a couple rings of his own (just not with Detroit) in Verlander. JV hit #31 for me is a 2019 Topps relic card that uses the Topps design from the last time the Tigers won the Series, 1984. He may be an Astro now but he'll always be a Tiger!
We're not quite done, though, because there's a couple sports left to go over. On the basketball side of things we have three guys both Jeff and I collect: Poole, Franz Wagner, and Webber. The latter is a more recent addition to his player collections as he tends to collect players closer to the beginning of his fandom. All are happily welcomed here in Ann Arbor!
And I'm happy to close out a post filled with cards from a fellow Michigan fan who saw the Wolverines vanquish the Buckeyes for the third straight year(!) in-person, then joined the school's fans celebrating a third consecutive conference championship, with a 100% Michigan uni scan! The guys represented in the first five cards all went out in style in '21 with the firsts of those recent accomplishments. And Streets and Tuman accounted for all three Michigan TDs in the '98 Rose Bowl victory that resulted in the Wolverines' most recent national title. Oddly enough, their cards are supposed to be autographed and even have congratulatory messages on the back saying as much, but maybe they were replacements that found their way out of Press Pass by non-standard means. I still need an actual signed card for Streets but do possess the Tuman, so it's fun having both in his case.

That was a ridiculous amount of quality stuff to recap and appreciate and I have nothing but thanks once again for Jeff's generosity. I recently sent him a Christmas cards package that I'm betting he'll show off reasonably soon since he's much better about posting than I am. Thanks, Jeff, and I hope we get a belated present on January 1, 2024 in the Rose Bowl!

Back soon with more trades that deserve some screen time.


  1. I should have held some of those back for your Christmas package, even I didn't realize how much I sent you. LOL. Funny thing about the last couple auto/non auto cards are I have those same ones with no autos as well so a bunch must have made it out that way.

    It's easy to send you good cards when you are as generous as you are. I'll get yours out sometime this week, probably not until the end of the week as I'm pretty much at work while the post office is open so probably Friday.

    1. You probably say that about holding them back mainly because I'm just posting them now so close to Christmas, but don't forget that I've have those for a couple months. Thanks for being so generous too, and I look forward to the Christmas cards you're sending me, plus your post on the ones I just sent your way!

  2. That is kind of a fun Cabrera image, you're right, though I'm more of a fan of any that show his great swing. I'm with you on the crazy oddball Juniors!