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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.