Sunday, October 23, 2016

2016 eBay purchase: a drought I thought would never end!

Welcome to those of you who came over here from TMV this afternoon.  If you read that post you saw some sweet PC additions to my Lou Whitaker collection as part of a 13-card purchase from eBayer BurbankSportsCards.  In that post I mentioned that the impetus of that buy was some help to my favorite PC--that of Rich Hill.  It actually all started with one specific card, and I'll show it off in just a minute.

It's a card I've been chasing for quite a while, and while it wasn't as long as the Cubs' World Series drought, sometimes it felt like it.  Have you ever seen literally one copy of a card you need on eBay, but it's owned by a seller that never, ever, ever changes their ridiculously inflated asking price?  And by "ever" I'm talking years.  Sure, they even make it a Buy It Now auction, though you can't fathom why since they never accept any offers.

That's the situation I found myself in last Friday when I finally found a second copy of that card from the aforementioned seller, and that led to even more good fortune to the tune of 13 total cards.  Six of those are featured in the Whitaker post on TMV, and the other seven, comprising four players, are right here:
Rich Hill 2008 Upper Deck Documentary Gold (#1855)
Rich Hill 2008 Upper Deck Heroes Light Blue (#21/49)
Rich Hill 2009 O-Pee-Chee Black
The UD Documentary and O-Pee-Chee parallels are all well and good--I certainly needed them.  The Documentary set has been a bit of a thorn in my side since there's so freaking many cards and each has one of those Gold parallels.  And the OPC is a card I could have had for a while at this price if I was so inclined, but at least it's another mark off the checklist.

But the big winner here is the Heroes card.  I've long been working on Hill's run--28 cards--from this very cool product, and I even have most of his hits out of it.  But the Light Blue parallel, numbered to an ostensibly reasonable 49, had eluded my grasp until now because an eBay seller has wanted $10 plus shipping.  For years.  Forget that.  Luckily Burbank came along and wanted just $2 for it.  SOLD.  With this pickup I need just three from the set:  the Purple parallel (#d /25), plus the Jersey/Autograph Emerald and Purple Autograph (each /5).  Hopefully they won't take as long for me to get as this one.

By the way, a bit more celebration is in order for the NLCS game 3 winner today:  these additions put me at exactly 250 of his non-1/1 issues!  That gives me 267 overall, and I can claim ownership of about 2/3 of his cards to-date, which at present I number at 369.  I'm happy to see that that number keeps growing as Hill's returned to relevance.

Joining Rich were cards of three other players:
Steve Howe 1993 Upper Deck Gold Hologram
These pesky cards, likely familiar to at least some of you, came as part of one complete set per 15-set case of this product.  Lame parallels are bad enough but it's even worse when the only difference is a minute detail on the back of the card.  Anyway, this was the last of Howe's run I needed through 1993, and I'm short just three of his 81 cards:  '94 Stadium Club Team First Day Issue, and '96 Leaf Signature Silver and Gold autos.  Not bad!
Scott Kamieniecki 1997 Ultra Gold Medallion
Here's another card I could have had for a while but left until this purchase since I never found a better price.  It's been a while since I added a new Kamieniecki to his PC, and I'm happy to land another card from one of my favorite products, 1997 Ultra.  The Gold and Platinum Medallion cards each feature the same photo which happens to be different than the one used for the base card, though I think the latter actually has the cooler photo.  As far as this set goes, though, you can't go wrong!  As with Howe, I just need three of Scott's 90 cards to complete his collection:  '94 Collector's Choice Gold Signature, and '98 Pacific Online Web Cards and Winners.
Brian Simmons 1999 Fleer Tradition Millennium and Warning Track
Last up is former White Sox OF Brian Simmons, a guy you don't see very often around here since he only has 35 cards for me to chase.  With this pair I'm close to 2/3 of that run with 23.  Both are parallels from Fleer's pretty solid 1999 Tradition product.  Their flagship set looked pretty good in 1998 and '99, though I still prefer the very cool card stock they used in 1996-97 and 2000.  Here they made good use of a stamp for a significant event or achievement, in this case Brian's MLB debut.  The Millennium version is unnumbered but limited to 5000 copies as part of a special boxed set that features a stamp for the year 2000.  Warning Track parallels were one-per-pack, and these more common versions changed the foil color to red, including the set name's stamp in the lower-right corner.  That just leaves me to chase the extremely rare Starting Nine card, numbered to--you guessed it--nine copies!

I'd be hard-pressed to be more productive in one purchase than this these days, so I'm very happy with the results.

Next up will be a trade package from a very familiar blogger.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

2016 Michigan gameday #7: vs. Illinois

It's been a while since Michigan faced off against Illinois.  How long?  Try 2012, when Brady Hoke was on the sideline, Denard Robinson was the QB, and Devin Gardner was in the midst of his stint as a WR.  Shoelace was responsible for four TDs--two passes and two runs--in a 45-0 stomping of the Illini that may be a reasonable preview of today's game.  Michigan held their opponent to just 29 passing yards on 7 completions, plus 105 yards on 37 carries for a total of 134 yards.  The offense did most of its damage on the ground with 353 yards on 51 carries, good for a 6.9 YPC clip.
The biggest difference this year is the stakes; that team headed into the game at 3-2 after losses to Alabama and Notre Dame, while this year's version roars into homecoming at 6-0 ranked #3 in the country.  After a complete dismantling of a hapless Rutgers team two weeks ago the Wolverines enjoyed a bye last weekend to heal up and rest up (and probably enjoyed the results of MSU's and Notre Dame's games as well).  They'll look to take care of business today before heading to East Lansing next Saturday for what folks originally thought would be a bigger game between ranked teams prior to the season.

Oh yeah, and friend of the blog (and occasional co-author) Jeff will be in attendance as well, so let's add that to the reasons I'll be rooting for the Maize and Blue as usual.

The weather is crisp, the sky is blue, and the leaves are changing color.  Yep, it's football weather.  Time to keep the wins rolling and please the students and alumni, fans young and old, and sing The Victors once again.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

2016 COMC purchases: the quest for 15

We're halfway through the regular season and Michigan has roared out to a 6-0 record thanks to a historically dominant defense and pretty good offense--just ask Rutgers!  Things are starting to shake out like a repeat of 2006, when a team full of future NFL draft picks went 11-0 leading up to a huge #1 vs. #2 matchup with an undefeated Ohio State squad.  If that's the case this year, hopefully things go better for the Wolverines, who lost a close one to those Buckeyes, then a not-so-close-one in their bowl game.

With all that in mind, the goal this year is 15 wins:  12 in the regular season, one for the Big Ten Championship, and two in the playoff.  To that end, here's 15 Michigan Football hits--the last of my COMC pickups that need to be posted, which will get me all caught up (temporarily!)--which will hopefully give the team some good juju in the second half of 2016:
Jason Avant 2006 Playoff NFL Playoffs Signature Proofs Silver auto (#015/150)
Jason Avant 2006 Topps Triple Threads triple jersey auto RC (#67/99)
Avant has generally been a top 10 player in my collection--these give me 47 to tie him for seventh with Adrian Arrington--thanks to a nice number of hits to track down, like these two.  The Playoff card features one of my favorite types of stickers for that type of autograph, even if the signature got a bit cut off.  And the Triple Threads is my second from that set, with this being his "true RC" from the product and the other being a Red version with a "#81" relic pattern.
Anthony Carter 2013 Ultimate Collection Ultimate Jerseys dual jersey (#05/50)
AC joins the ranks of players with double-digit hits in my collection with this very cool double jersey out of Ultimate Collection, one of UD's nicer products.  Because Carter was considered such a big college star, many of his hits fall in collegiate-focused products, and that explains why nine of my ten hits of his are in a Michigan uniform.
Braylon Edwards 2005 Topps Rookie Throwback Jerseys jersey
Braylon Edwards 2006 Ultimate Collection Jerseys Silver jersey (#62/75)
Braylon Edwards 2008 Upper Deck Heroes Jerseys Blue jersey (#12) (#007/125)
Braylon Edwards 2010 Limited Monikers Autographs Gold auto (#08/25)
I can't say I was focused on him this time but just happened to find some nice prices on four new cards of Bray-Bray.  I liked the design of the Topps Rookie Throwback relic and its card-within-a-card.  Ultimate Collection makes another appearance today in the form of a tiny, numbered relic from 2006.  Upper Deck Heroes is one of my favorite products and I managed to score a numbered relic parallel of one of Braylon's issues from 2008.  And finally, I was happy to add another autograph of Edwards, and a low-numbered one at that, from 2010 Limited.  Edwards sits in third place in my collection with 68 hits.
Devin Gardner 2015 Panini Father's Day Rookie Class Jerseys Cracked Ice jersey
Here's a card I believe I acquired from Tim of GSNHoF fame in one of our many COMC deals.  From one of Panini's many Father's Day issues comes this very cool jersey swatch, even if it's from an "event-worn" jersey.  Most of these that I've seen elsewhere have pretty interesting swatches like this one, which includes a good chunk of the New Era logo.  The scan doesn't quite show it well, but this is the more limited Cracked Ice version, where the background has a shiny, fractured red look in the background.  It's a fun addition as my sixth Gardner.
Brian Griese 2003 Playoff Prestige Game Day Jerseys jersey
This Brian Griese--my 15th--is a nice example of a jersey relic that could practically be called a patch.  It's got all three colors from the jersey, with a nice big chunk of blue and an orange stripe, plus a bit of stitching on the white section.  As nice as it looks it's no wonder why I was willing to pay a bit more than $2.50 for it, which is higher than I usually go for relic-type cards.  It's definitely one of my better looking relics of the journeyman QB.
Marlin Jackson 2005 Bowman's Best Blue auto (#046/299)
Here's another case where I threw down a bit more money than usual for a card:  $2.75 for this Marlin Jackson parallel autograph.  If I was a bit antsy to get it, that's because I'm working on the autographed and non-autographed rainbow of Jackson from this set, and I now need just the two Silver versions #d /25 to complete the project.  For whatever reason this was the best price I'd seen for the Blue auto, so I just decided to go ahead and make it my 21st card of the former DB.
Mario Manningham 2008 SPx Winning Materials NFL Dual 50 dual jersey (#20/50)
Mario Manningham 2013 Totally Certified Red Materials jersey (#240/299)
It may not be many, but here's two Manninghams, one for each of the teams for whom he played over his six NFL seasons.  The SPx card is my sixth of him from that product, five of which are from the Winning Materials and Rookie Materials groups.  Meanwhile, I'm not sure how many folks remember Super Mario playing his final two seasons, 2012-13, with the Niners, and scoring a single TD in 2012 over 18 games before being derailed by injuries.  Mario continues to be a huge part of my collection as the fifth player to reach the 60-hit mark!
Denard Robinson 2013 Prestige NFL Passport Autographs auto
Denard Robinson 2015 Donruss Threads jersey
I don't know what Denard's NFL future is considering he's barely seen the field this year, but that won't stop me from collecting him; I don't base those decisions on NFL performance anyway.  So I'll keep adding everything I can of one of the most electric players I've ever witnessed in Ann Arbor, like these two Panini-branded hits.  The Prestige card is nice as it's my 16th of #16 that features an autograph, plus it notes Shoelace's school front and center.  Meanwhile, the jersey relic is a nice, simple attempt out of last year's Donruss product, which is generally one of my favorites.  Robinson is closing in on 30 hits in my collection as this pair gives him 28.
David Terrell 2001 Topps Reserve Autographs auto

Finally, I have a very nice David Terrell (but not Anthony Thomas!) autograph to show off from 15 years ago, which is crazy to me as that's the year I graduated high school and headed to UM for college.  I remember the former #1 putting up some huge numbers in 2000, so this card brings back some nice memories for me, and it doesn't hurt that it's a good looker too.  Reserve was only around in 2001 and '02, but it resulted in some solid designs like this on-card autograph of Terrell, representing my 43rd hit (three behind A-Train, if you're curious) of the star receiver.

With this post I'm finally caught up on all my COMC pickups from this year, plus everything else I had in-hand in terms of purchases, actually.  That won't last too long, however, as I have some baseball PC additions via eBay that should be arriving this week, so watch for those this week as Michigan prepares for its homecoming game against Illinois.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

2016 eBay purchases: Hill and Howe

The Division Series round of the playoffs ends tonight one way or another, and to celebrate one of my favorite PC guys starting the deciding game five--in which I oddly find myself rooting for L.A.--here's a couple eBay pickups of Dodgers past and present:
Rich Hill 2007 Sweet Spot Dual Signatures Glove Leather Black Ink auto (with Aramis Ramirez) (#06/15)
One of those proverbial "Cards you never see for sale on eBay or elsewhere", I was thrilled when this beauty of a Sweet Spot dual auto popped up a couple weeks ago.  Rich has 17 cards in this product, 13 of which are of him alone, and I have 10 of those; now I can lay claim to my first of his four duals with Ramirez, a guy who spent most of his first six years with the Pirates, then--look away, Matt!--put up 23.8 fWAR for the Cubbies.  There's three other versions I need to chase of this pair, all of the manu-ball variety, and numbered to 15, 10, and 5.  Hoo boy!

My 126th hit of Hill gives me 247 of the southpaw's run (which is again growing!), and 264 cards overall.

Hill wasn't quite as impressive as usual in game 2 for the Dodgers, but I think he's got enough magic left in him to combine with Julio Urias in a win to advance to a matchup with the team that drafted him, the Cubs.  He at least gets another shot at playoff success after his loss last week and his only other playoff start:  a loss to the Diamondbacks in 2007.  Regardless, I'm thrilled to see him get a chance like this with everything on the line after coming out of nowhere last year.

Speaking of Dodgers pitchers, here's a former member of that team, pictured in different digs:
Steve Howe 1996 Leaf Signature Autographs Bronze auto
Howe was with the Dodgers from his 1980 debut, in which he was named NL Rookie of the Year, until later in '85, when he was released.  That means he enjoyed the team's success in winning it all in 1981.

Here he is from the wonderful '96 Leaf Signature product on a card that's my first autograph of the former bullpen ace (making him the 26th member of my baseball PC).  Howe's final three cards were this Bronze auto, along with the rarer Silver and Gold versions, which I still need to track down.  Maybe they won't be as bad as I thought--this one cost me just $3 on eBay when most there and on COMC were shooting for the $10-$20 range.  Patience:  I has it.

As for his collection, I'm getting really close to slamming the door, so to speak.  Besides the two other autographs from this product, I'm short just his '93 UD Gold Hologram and '94 Stadium Club Team First Day Issue out of his 81 issues.

With these cards scanned and posted I believe the next post will be the grand finale of my latest COMC packages starring the rest of my football hits.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

2016 Michigan gameday #6: at Rutgers

After a close shave against a good Wisconsin team last weekend, Michigan heads east for their first away game, against hapless Rutgers.  This one should be a blowout on a weekend before a bye week, and maybe that'll shut up delusional Rutgers fans who wonder why Michigan keeps drinking their recruiting milkshake.  Time to improve some of the mistakes of the last few weeks and go into the bye healthy.

Friday, October 7, 2016

2016 COMC purchases: Drew-y, cheap ones, and Howe

Hello!  Hello!  Helloooooo!  And hooray for lawyer jokes.  If you came over here from my TMV post this evening showing off a nice George Sisler relic, I'm happy to be able to share a few more Michigan Baseball PC additions with you in the form of these five players:
Jake Cronenworth 2015 Bowman Chrome Draft Black Asia Refractor
Jake Cronenworth 2015 Bowman Draft Red-Black Asia
Some of you may recall Cronenworth as one of my newer PCs this year; whether or not you do, here's the post where I introduced him to my PC with five cards from the 2015 Bowman/Chrome rainbow.  Those 19 cards comprise his entire checklist so far, but since he was only drafted last year and finished this season in high-A ball, struggling a bit at that, that's no surprise, and you won't hear the word "only" out of me in this sentence otherwise when it comes to his run of cards.

I don't know that I'm extremely thrilled to have to chase even more rainbow cards in the form of these various "Asia" parallels, but they're not numbered so it's not like they're extremely limited, didn't cost much, and add a bit more color to the bunch, so I'll allow it.  They give me seven of those 19, and I'll keep adding to that number when I find reasonable prices.
Drew Henson 2002 Fleer Authentix Second Row (#117/250)
Henson's a guy that's not extremely high on my baseball PC radar since he's split between two sports and doesn't have a ton of reasonably affordable cards on COMC for me to chase.  Because his baseball run is large enough and filled with some higher-end stuff he's not one of my "supercollections" and not a high priority.  All that said, I do like scoring his stuff when I can, like this numbered parallel from the out-of-the-box Authentix product Fleer put out in 2002.  

I have the base card to compare it to, and the main differences are the "SECOND ROW" label between Henson's name and the "F U T U R E  S T A R" label, plus the numbering out of 250 on the back--in this case real gold foil stamping, none of that digitally printed crap.
Steve Howe 1995 Stadium Club Members Only Parallel
And now we yo-yo back to another supercollection player, Steve Howe.  You haven't seen much of him around here lately because I'm just five cards short of his 81 issues, with one of those actually en route to my mailbox as we speak.

This Members Only parallel from '95 Stadium Club finishes up Howe's run from that product, which includes:
Base and Super Team World Series
Virtual Reality and Virtual Reality Members Only

All that's left for me to find now are his '93 UD Gold Hologram, '94 Stadium Club Team First Day Issue, and '96 Leaf Signature Silver and Gold autos.  Not bad!
Mike Matheny 2006 Topps Gold (#252) (#1660/2006)
Aaaannnd back to a non-supercollection with Matheny, manager of the playoff-less Cardinals of 2016, a development that disappointed me a bit.  This particular card avoided my collection for a long time because it took forever for someone to offer to sell one for under something like $2 for whatever reason.  I'll happily add it to my others of him from the Topps/Chrome rainbow of that year while I continue to lack the Gold version of his regular, non-highlights card.
Ross Powell 1994 Pinnacle Museum Collection
Now that we've reached this post's finish line I'm proud to announce yet another new supercollection of a brand new player:  former pitcher Ross Powell.  Speaking of "yet another", Powell joins a large number of Michigan alumni to be drafted by the Reds after his college career (1987-89).  In his time in Ann Arbor he stamped his name several times in the record book, mainly for his final season in which he was named the team's most valuable pitcher and player after going 10-0.

The Reds took him in the third round that year, ahead of Phil Nevin (who didn't sign), future manager Eric Wedge, and Denny Neagle.  Oh, and one pick after Toronto selected some guy named Olerud.

Powell spent his three-year career, 48 games worth, with the Reds, Astros, and Pirates, and went 0-5 from 1993-95.  It's no surprise his mug didn't appear on very many pieces of cardboard, but he find his way into three 1994 products:  Pinnacle, Score, and Topps Traded.  The first two included some parallels, two of my favorites, in fact:  Panini's Museum Collection and Artist's Proofs.  The former is the card you see up above, and for whatever reason it was Powell's most affordable card on the site.  I expect to track most of the rest down via Sportlots, but the Artist's Proof card has been extremely elusive so far as I have yet to see one up for sale anywhere.

Anyway, it's always a cause for celebration when I do some digging and come up with a new Michigan Baseball player I wasn't collecting, so welcome to the collection, Ross!

Stay tuned for one final COMC roundup covering some great football hits somewhat soon, along with the fruits of some recent eBay searching!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

2016 eBay purchases: Rich Hill wins the Cyan Young award

If you're reading this here post having come over from TMV this evening you already got to see a nice high-end eBay addition to my Charlie Gehringer PC.  Now you'll get to take a gander at my other recent eBay score, this one of a decidedly more modern player:  playoff-bound(!) pitcher Rich Hill, currently of the Dodgers:
Rich Hill 2007 SPx Winning Materials Printing Plate Cyan (1/1)
If some of you are like "He found another Rich Hill plate?!" well then, yes, indeedy I did!  And I didn't even have to pay $8, which was even better.

The 2007 SPx set is one that's largely eluded me in terms of Hill's cards.  It took me a long time to nab his Young Stars Signatures auto, then I even found a plate version of that, but I've literally never even seen any of his 21(!) different Winning Materials variations.  So naturally I found a plate version of those as well.  At least that gives me some evidence that those relics exist!

This plate is a bit of a milestone for me as it represents my 125th different hit of my #1 PC player, good for more than 1/3 of my baseball hits PC.  It's also my 64th overall printing plate/1-of-1, and Rich is represented on 17 of those.

All those numbers are great, but the ones I'm most interested right now are the stats he'll be putting up in a quest for another Wolverine World Series ring!