Monday, December 11, 2023

2023 trade package #25: the Lost Collector

Let's keep on keepin' on with trade packages! Tonight's comes from AJ, the Lost Collector. Though he stopped blogging almost two years ago now he's still plenty active on Twitter and in the collecting game, so I thought of him a few weeks ago as I was going through some unwanted stuff in my collection and came up with a Wheaties box that included his dude Tino Martinez on the front; I later added a Donruss promo card I found at a show and somehow he didn't have that either!

AJ was nice enough to send me a pretty sizeable envelope in return filled with Tigers and Wolverines:

Bojarski was born in South Africa and has appeared in games for American minor league teams plus one in Australia, so yeah, dude's well-traveled! Fick's rooftop grand slam was the last homer hit at Tiger Stadium so he'll always have that going for him. Greene, Jobe, and Manning, all of whom appear down a diagonal here, could all be part of the team's future "Mojo." Tommy Henry, the pride of Portage Northern High School, is the lone Michigan baseballer here today, appearing on his Heritage RC from this year. Pudge was indeed a star wherever he went, a total of six teams as it turns out. And as I said the other night, Tork's power potential could make things very interesting for a lineup that's been starving for runs.
Another Tork insert--because why not--gives way to probably my favorite card in the whole package. Gibby and Tram were certainly cornerstones of the '84 champs, not to mention a number of teams that surprisingly couldn't repeat that year's success. The insert you see is from 2005 Leaf, so it's old enough that it was made when inserts still meant something other than TacoMojoPrizmFractor. Too cool!

Over to basketball, a sport in which Michigan's success this year has been fleeting. At least the team has been an NBA factory, producing guys like LeVert and Wagner. I just made fun of Prizms but that first Caris looks great, even if blue is a much better color than green. And if I had to pick between the Wagner bros who play for Orlando, Franz would be my choice as he's been the better of the pair, though I'd be happy to get cards of either.
Oh, hey, football, that sport that Michigan's been great at the past three seasons! Not only are the player selection and overall design variety in the group outstanding, but there's a ton of college uni action going on too! Star WR Nico Collins is finally benefitting from having a QB who isn't a serial sexual assaulter and/or dead-armed retread. Though he may now be dealing with an injury, he's already eclipsed the 1000-yard mark for receiving yards and has also amassed a career high six scores. Hell, you name a stat and it's a new personal mark for him this year.

Meanwhile, Chris Evans hasn't become a star like his Hollywood namesake, but that won't stop me from collecting him. I'm always glad to land new stuff like the above plus a couple more seen in the next scan, putting me at a solid 18 with plenty more to come.
Like I said, green isn't my top choice for a Wolverine alum's parallel, but the color does look solid in Prizm form.

Next we get a look at some rare cards of players on the D side of the ball. Kwity Paye's been pretty good for the Colts since they took him in the first round in '21. This season he already has career highs in fumbles forced and recovered (two each), and his 7.5 sacks are also a personal best with a few games left. He's also got a good shot to surpass last season's tackle (combined, solo, and for loss) numbers, so he's definitely trending in the right direction. Naturally he gets a Green Prizm too!

Ambry Thomas is a DB that flashed a lot of potential in limited play in Ann Arbor and he's made a bit of noise for a Niners team that includes fellow alumni Ronnie Bell and Jake Moody. He doesn't have a lot of non-college product appearances yet but I'm plenty happy seeing him in the winged helmet thanks to SAGE.
LB Josh Uche was a bright spot for the Pats last season after going off for 11.5 sacks, 9 TFL, and 2 forced fumbles, but his 2023 has been about as middling as the rest of the team. Hopefully he can move on to a squad that'll appreciate him more and put him in position to succeed.

Speaking of success, few Michigan RBs enjoyed more in college than Tyrone Wheatley, seen high-stepping to another TD at the Big House on a card made by Classic. Blake Corum's historic career brings to mind the affinity Wheatley had for piling up yards and finding the end zone. What a great photo that encapsulates the experience of watching him play.

AJ, I really appreciate this great package you put together for me that featured some great additions to my collections. Though it's rare to find new Tino items for you I'll keep working on it just in case because I owe you a lot of thanks for this stuff!

So who was the next generous soul to gift me some cards? Check back soon to find out!


  1. Glad I was able to find some stuff you needed. Really appreciate you looking out for me when you come across Tinos!

    1. Not just some, a LOT, and a great variety too, thanks! You know I'll keep the #1 Tino collector I deal with in mind as I hit up shows and more.

  2. Good to see AJ's still around and trading, even if he stopped blogging.

    1. You know I agree with that! There's a few guys like him, Bob Walk the Plank, and Scribbled Ink, among others, that no longer blog, but at least they still post on Twitter so it's easy to stay in contact and deal with them. As long as they don't stop collecting, I won't stop trading with them because they've all been great to work with over the years.

  3. That is a really great image on Wheatley's card. I wonder if that headless cheerleader knows that at least part of her once appeared on a trading card?

    1. Yeah, how cool is that! Now that you point that out I wonder if she ever figured out she was on that card too.