Wednesday, February 7, 2024

2023 eBay purchases: rockin' around the Christmas Tariks

With 2023 blogger trades all wrapped up I'm moving on to my eBay purchases from the last four months of the year.

We'll start back in early September when I happily spent a bit more than $12.50 delivered for my second plate of Denard Robinson. This particular Shoelace 1/1 is his magenta plate used to make his 2013 Absolute RC, specifically the "base" version and not the variation where he's carrying the ball in his other hand. You all know I love me some Denard, and I hope he's one of the holdovers on new Michigan coach Sherrone Moore's staff.
A bit less than two weeks later I was quite happy to win this Trey Burke plate for a little under $10 shipped. The 2016-17 Contenders Draft magenta plate you see above is my third 1/1 of the former college star, but it's my first of him pictured as a Wolverine instead of with the Jazz so it's my new favorite. This one puts Burke one away from joining the double-digit hit club in basketball as the fifth member, though a couple others are also getting close.
At the end of the month I was thinking about how well Tigers P Tarik Skubal had pitched after returning for the season's second half. He started off a bit slowly but ripped off four straight wins in the final month to end the year at 7-3 with a solid 2.80 ERA. I decided I wanted a nice card of his and landed on this 2021 Absolute Rookie Leather Signatures Tan auto for about $13. Maybe I'll get something with actual team logos on it in the future, but I'm a sucker for fun gimmicks like this and was more interested in jumping on something before he possibly develops into a higher-end starter. And even if he doesn't, I've got a pretty cool card of one of the team's solid core of starters.
Next, early in October I found a bunch of stuff for myself and others all from one seller and took advantage of low auction prices and combined shipping. The three cards you see above are the ones I grabbed for myself. First up is a Pudge jersey that I thought was worth a flier at $1.50. He'd joined the Yankees in '08 so UD listed him with them, but he's pictured as a Tiger and I'm betting the swatch is from a Detroit jersey, not that it matters too much to me since I collect his non-Tigers cards too. That appears to be relic #10 and hit #11 of the HOF catcher.

To that I added a pair of Leaf-branded cards of former UM WR Tarik Black, our second Tarik of the evening! Black was a top-200, 4* recruit coming in to Ann Arbor in 2017 but he'd compile just 50 catches for two scores in 18 games over three seasons before transferring to Texas, where he put up similar numbers in the shortened 2020 COVID season. I was very happy to add a couple Wolverines uniform autographs of him to my collection (as subject #240) even though they're from the iteration of Leaf, which is part of the "way too many parallels with ridiculous names" problem. That said, I have enjoyed the State Pride design over the years.

I included the backs to show that the top card is numbered just 4/4 while the other is #19/20. As best as I could tell, these are from 2021 Leaf Metal Draft Flashback Base Autographs Mojo (even though the provided checklist SNs don't match) and 2021 Leaf Metal Draft Flashback State Pride Autographs Wave Blue. For just $4 and $3, respectively, I was satisfied with what I got.
The next time I spent money on eBay on something for myself it was the first day of December and I was able to score this 2012 Bowman yellow plate of Michigan WR Steve Breaston for a cool $8 even. That year's design has always been an outlier when it comes to Bowman but not in a bad way in my opinion. Then again, it's fairly familiar to me as I already had purchased the magenta plate of the same card! Breaston is therefore one of a number of PCs for which I have multiple 1/1s.
That distinction is true of former Reds prospect Ryan LaMarre as well. The 16th hit in his collection is also the 5th 1/1, which is quite a ratio if you ask me. And this design is also well known to me because the black plate you see above from 2010 Bowman Draft is the third one I now claim ownership of from the set! I've checked off the black, magenta, and yellow versions and just need the cyan, making this one of five plate sets where I have three of the four (others are Chad Henne 2014 Prestige; Clayton Richard 2011 Topps; J.J. Putz 2012 Topps Mini; and Rich Hill 2006 Topps). That was worth a bit under $12.50 shipped as far as I was concerned!
Finally, with Christmas just five days away and having barely crossed the $1800 mark in spending for the year, I decided to treat myself to an upgrade. My copy of Kirk Gibson's 2001 Topps Archives rookie reprint auto was one of my favorite cards in my entire collection, but it was somewhat faded when I bought it, and leaving it and some others out where too much sunlight got to them didn't do it any favors:
That's a recent pic I took of what's essentially an auto-less Gibby and a very faded 1999 SP Signature auto of Griffey (that I pulled myself and regret ruining this much all the time!). So I was very much on the hunt for a much better copy despite the cost of Kirk's signature going up quite a bit.

And you know what? For the nice, bold blue signature you see above on my new copy, I didn't think twice about plunking down $53. It's great having such a nice version of that piece in his collection and I'd do it again if I had to. But I probably won't because I'm not letting that sucker get any regular sunlight!

And those nine cards are how I finished up 2023 when it comes to personal eBay pickups. I still have lots more to show off from the end of last year but I'm at least making some headway, and I'll be back soon with more!


  1. Happy you treated yourself to that Gibson. The faded one pairs with it well... as the rarer faded parallel.

    1. Thanks, Fuji! Sometimes you just have to treat yourself. Should I sell the other one as a "faded 1/1"? ;)

  2. That's the rub with autographs, you want to be able to see and appreciate them, but you can't leave them out for very long without causing damage. Even behind the best UV coating in a windowless room they'll end up fading over time.