Wednesday, January 31, 2024

2023 trade package #33: My Sports Obsession

It's the last day of January so I'm making the effort to cover one more card package I received this past December. Tonight's comes from buddy of the blog Jeff of My Sports Obsession.

I actually got to see Jeff in-person again earlier this month at a show (which you might have seen on Twitter and/or other blogs), and I promise I'll cover that once I wrap up 2023 stuff. Included in that is a fat stack of cards he sent me before Christmas.

Here come 15 scans worth of goodies!
We'll lead off with lots of el Mago, all as a Tiger which is great. I'm still skeptical he'll hit reasonably well again but his defense should retain its value with Detroit possibly looking to put the newly-extended Colt Keith at second.
One more Baez gives way to a bunch of cool recent Miggy stuff. It'll be bittersweet when opening day comes and goes without Cabrera in the lineup. He offered minimal production over the past few seasons but was still a big reason to come out to the ballpark. Hopefully Spencer Torkelson is on his way to bringing some of that offense back to the lineup.
More Miggy? Why not! I'm fairly quickly approaching his career HR total with an excellent 472 to my name right now.

Going back to the early 20th century, how about a couple cards (and a couple more in the next scan) of "Wahoo" Sam Crawford, a 15-year Tiger who's the only MLBer to top 300 career triples; His former teammate Ty Cobb is #2! The HOFer spent his first four years with the Reds before an outstanding career in Detroit.
Yep, Panini can recycle images with the best of 'em. I'm always happy to get even a single Cronenworth from Jeff because we both collect him. I'm telling you, having friends that collect some of the same players you do is great: it's not competitive and you actually tend to help each other out. This is a great example.

Big Daddy and Hammerin' Hank are a couple of Miggy's predecessors in the middle of the order and at first, and boy could they put the ball in the seats!

Jeff's done a great job lately of bulking up my Griffey PC, in this case with cards from as far back as 2001 and as recent as last year (next scan). It's no wonder he's my second player collection to reach 1000 (and 1100) cards after Ripken.
One of the guys who could join those two in the 1000-card club in the near future is Mr. Padre, who's now a bit over 900 thanks in part to this cool bunch. Hell yeah, Post and Mootown Snackers! Shininess from Gold Label and Fleer Brilliants is great too, plus there's a couple more recent issues with throwback looks.

I don't really have to compete with anyone when it comes to Dick Mountain, and he may have enough fairly common recent base/inserts for me to hit the 400-mark this year. I'm working on it!
The last scan had hill with the Red Sox and this one opens with one of his '23 teams, the Pirates. Will he add a new team to his list this year? It sure seems like he wants to continue to compete, judging by the way he pushed back on Anthony Rendon's comments whining about the length of the season.

Next, are you also a Tigers (or HOFer) collector? Do you love seeing Mr. Tiger in newer products as much as I do? If you do, you're awesome.

You'll see one more card of him later but Barry Larkin (another PC Jeff and I share) is my closest player to 1000 as I need fewer than 50 to hit that mark. I'll likely make that milestone and Hill's among my top priorities this year.

And Mad Dog is pretty much a lock to be my next 900-club member as he's 30 short and nobody else is even above 650. I'm happy to see Maddux continue to appear in recent products as well and will continue to take whatever I can get of him.
Morris and Maggs are two other guys that are happily still found in recent sets. Panini tends to like including HOFers and some other starts in lots of their products while Topps Chrome Platinum has included some fan favorites as well. TCP has popped up in a number of my recent trade packages and I'm pleased with how many I've knocked off of my wants because of that.

And then, hey, it's another shared PC! Cal remains #1 in my entire collection and I have him nearly halfway to 2500, though I can't see hitting that mark for quite a while. Those '23 Donruss cards like his above look quite sharp to me and I'll be glad to continue adding others as I can find them.
Here's another nice grouping of Tigers stars. Jeff pushed my Torkelson count above 20 and I'm happy to see his collection growing as his star rises. I love the two Tram oddballs, and there's another example of a HOFer like him popping up in a newer Panini product. I kind of enjoy older action photos on newer designs but I know that's not everybody's thing. And how about two or...
...Too many Verlanders! Jeff sent 14 of them, and two even commemorate his brief stay with the Mets, one of those in Refractor form. There's a great mix of brands here (and a couple more in the next scan), and hauls like this have made him my top Tigers-related PC at over 600 cards!
We'll finish out the baseball stuff here with some cool horizontal items. It's always fun seeing Abbott with Team USA and remembering their success in the late 80s. A return to health could portend big things for Greene this year. The other Larkin in the pile was from one of my favorite parallels: '98 Score Showcase. And the Heritage Then & Now insert returns once again, with the (I believe) previously mentioned pairing with Catfish Hunter.

The basketball group opens with two nice college uni cards of former star and transfer (to Kansas) Hunter Dickinson and Orlando's (they get all the Wolverines!) Jett Howard, my first of both, plus Jett's dad (and current UM coach, for better or for worse) Juwan.
You can tell Jeff was hard at work sorting through cards for the shop given the number of different ex-Wolverines represented here, again, most of which we have in common. My favorite is the Rice Refractor right down the middle, but it's always great adding new cards for guys like Pool, Rose, and both Wagners (Franz here and Mo in the next scan) because I just don't put much effort into getting their cards myself.
Wagner bro #2 and fellow Magic hooper Mo gets a new pair, and then it's over to probably the most notable Wolverines basketball player of the past 40 years, Chris Webber.

Then we hit the gridiron, starring the 2023 NCAA champion Wolverines! Anthony transferred before UM reached the title game, and Brady had to wait until the NFL to reach those heights, though it sure worked out for him.
Some new additions for guys earlier in the alphabet (Breaston, Bush, Clark) include WR Nico Collins and RB/KR Chris Evans on some pretty swanky looking cards! Nico had quite the breakout season once he had a competent QB throwing his way, even if that QB is a former Buckeye.
Even more swanky cards of the non-Captain America Chris Evans! I love the Score throwback insert of Gary because of my nostalgia for 90s sets plus, you know, the college uni thing. Talented DB Dax Hill gets a new RC for his collection. Hutch is one of the biggest reasons the Lions' defense hasn't been an embarrassment the past couple seasons and I could see him leading the team back to the playoffs next year. Taylor Lewan is a jackass, 'nuff said.
We made it to the last scan! I really want to see what Ojabo does in a full season for Baltimore after playing in a defense like theirs for multiple years in Ann Arbor. Those colorful Payes look awesome! Rawls is a guy who transferred away but still tends to be remembered for his play at Michigan. And we end things tonight with GOAT DB Charles Woodson, who's #4 in a close race for the top spot in my football collection, all of whom could be the first to crack #400.

Jeff, thanks again for a great Christmas present to end 2023. It was great seeing you in Kalamazoo (which, again, I'll recap eventually) and I hope I get to see you at another show soon, but until then I'll work on a new return package to send your way.

I believe I have four more '23 blogger trades to cover, then the other stuff (TCDb, eBay, shows), and THEN I'll finally be caught up and get to some '24 pickups including, oddly enough, another stack from Jeff!


  1. I already got the next stack started. Lol. Always great to see you too. It's nice that I get to pull cards for you as well, the sorting has been a big boost to my collections and it will continue to hopefully do the same for yours.

    1. Hell yeah, new stack, thanks! I'm so happy that you've been able to really boost your collections sorting through those boxes, and it doesn't hurt that I benefit too.

  2. I really hate to admit it, but that Prizm Sam Crawford is awfully nice looking. I suspect too that the base card is probably nicer for that photo than the various colored parallels would be. And the Team USA Topps Big cards really take me back. Even as a kid I thought those were the neatest cards in the set.

    1. Like I said, sometimes old photos on new designs can be pretty cool! The only thing that ever bugged me about the Topps Big cards was that they didn't fit into 9-pocket pages nicely, but they're certainly fun otherwise.

  3. Never seen that Mootown Snackers card of Gwynn. I'll have to track one of those down. And that Topps Big card of Abbott might just be my all-time favorite card of him.

    1. I'll keep an eye out for a Gwynn like that for you now that I know you need it!