Saturday, December 3, 2016

2016 trade package #16: Canadian Thanksgiving Wolverines from SCFtDS

In this case, the Thanksgiving actually refers to the act of giving thanks to a Canadian, Doug from Sports Cards From the Dollar Store.  We here south of America's Hat may have celebrated turkey and football day a couple weeks ago, but our Canuckian neighbors enjoyed--what, poutine and hockey?  That can't be right, unless every day is Thanksgiving in Canada--back in October.

Anyway, I'm always thankful for the effort folks like Doug put into their trade packages.  This one was completely lacking in turkeys, but if it helps, I do feel like taking a nap after scanning and posting everything.  And there's football.

Oh yeah, one more reason to say thanks:  this is the 50th trade package I've posted her that came from my favorite Kitchener, Ontarioan (Ontarian?  Ontaeioun?).  Congrats on hitting that milestone, Doug!
Hmmm, that works, but maybe I can find something better...
Image result for 50 stars and 13 bars
YEAH!  MURICA!  Thanks for being an amazing trader, Doug, and being responsible for almost half of my trade posts over here.

And now, here's the goods:
Cazzie Russell 2013-14 Totally Certified Materials Blue jersey (#23/25)
Well hey there, brand new Cazzie hit!  This low-numbered jersey swatch hails from his days as a Laker, which would have been 1974-77, the latter being his penultimate NBA season.  It's actually my first relic of the legendary Wolverine cager (to go with an autograph, plate, and eight-card manu-letter auto nameplate), plus it gives Russell sole possession of first place in my basketball collection, breaking a tie with Darius Morris.
Here's the football content, which goes heavy on the QBs (five cards if you count Denard, which I do) and 2016 Donruss, which I think is a fantastic looking set.  Brady, who's about to overtake Peyton Manning in career wins, is represented twice, including that Donruss set.  Criminally-ignored (by Cam Newton) WR Devin Funchess is another example from that product.  We go back a few years--1998--for a thick Elvis Grbac insert from Collector's Edge.  Tackling machine David Harris joins the 2016 Donruss club.  And then the last three cards are Michigan Football rookies:  new PC album guy and blog namesake Manningham from 2008 UD Masterpieces, Denard from 2013 Topps Prime, and a totally brand new guy:  "Jim Harbaugh: QB whisperer" product Jake Rudock, who went from being stuck in Iowa--Iowa--to an NFL draft pick.  That's my first of his seven current RCs for that collection.
And now, let's honor our Canadian friends, as is tradition
Image result for as is tradition
It's a great day for the NHL, and therefore the world
with hockey content:

Pretty standard fare here with hockey Mikes Cammalleri and Knuble to go with stalwarts Andrew Cogliano and Jack Johnson.  But do you see that trio card at the bottom?  Hurricane Phil Di Giuseppe (hey, a paisan'!) is my focus here.  The three-year Wolverine was a solid forward in Ann Arbor and managed to pot seven goals last year for Carolina (though he's yet to score in 14 games this season).  Another good catch by Doug.
These guys are fairly familiar as well:  former Devil John Madden, who won't try to sell you Tinactin or anything from Ace Hardware;  goalie Alvarooooooo Montoya;  older-school D-man Myles O'Connor ("O'Connor RULES!"); Max "Patch" Pacioretty out of the shiny funtime of OPC Platinum, and Jacob Trooooooouba, who we'll see again in just a moment.  This is a standard excellent assortment of icers from Mr. Corti.

And now, some hits:
Andrew Ebbett 2009-10 Artifacts Autofacts auto
Matt Hunwick 2010-11 Zenith Yours Truly Autographs auto
Aaron Palushaj 2011-12 Crown Royale Heirs To The Throne Materials jersey
Jacob Trouba 2013-14 Select Prizms jersey auto (#99/99)
Ebbett's autograph--my sixth hit of the center currently playing in a Swiss league--hails from an Upper Deck product from a few years ago, and I think UD did a nice job of making it not so obvious that the signature's on a sticker.  Maple Leaf Hunwick--Matt this time, not Shawn--appears on a Zenith issue that brings to mind a letter or greeting card for his second hit and first autograph.  AHLer (and fellow Livonia, Michigan native) A-A-Ron Palushaj (you didn't mess up, Doug!) gets in the game with a very cool die-cut Crown Royale jersey relic (my first, and ninth hit overall) from his first NHL squad.  And then there's probably my favorite card in the whole package, a gorgeous Prizm (call it a Refractor if you want, doesn't matter to me) version of a jersey/auto of young star D-man Jacob Trouba--I'm sorry, Trooooooouba!  That's my sixth hit of a guy who's probably hoping it's not true that when you're a Jet, you're a Jet for life.

This is another outstanding bunch of Wolverines to add to my PCs, so once again I offer thanks to one of my top trade partners in Doug.  Rest assured I'll be stuffing an envelope full of stuff I know he'll gobble right up.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Too Many Manninghams: this post gets meta!

Yeah, last Saturday's game didn't go my favorite team's way thanks to untimely mistakes and unquestionably incompetent officiating, but at least it was a game worthy of the rivalry.

My disappointment hasn't kept me from doing some work towards posting, though.  While I'm focusing on a couple other projects, I decided it was high time to get this here blog's namesake his own album as I did for Hart, Henne, and Woodson.  I mean, if I don't show you how many Manninghams I have, how are you supposed to determine whether or not I own too many?  (Trick question--the answer is always that I never do)

It was a pretty easy decision for two reasons:  first, I have a pretty nice number of his cards between assorted stuff from trades and purchases, inserts, rookies from that project, and hits--especially the latter, as Super Mario claims fifth place in that collection with 61 as one of just five players to crack the 60-card mark.  And second:  thanks to everything in the previous point, I had fewer than 20 cards of his left to scan.  So this actually didn't involve very much work on my part.

All that led to the creation of Mario's own album, which can be viewed here anytime (and found on my player collections page as well)
Oddly enough, right now his total of 112 cards matches up exactly with Woodson's, though that'll change within a few weeks after my latest COMC order arrives.  Spoiler alert:  while that incoming package doesn't contain too many Manninghams, it does include a lot, along with a bunch of other very exciting Wolverines content, so stay tuned for that!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

2016 Michigan gameday #12: at Ohio State

It's been 10 years since the stakes were this high for both teams as #3 Michigan heads to Columbus to face #2 Ohio State in a matchup of 10-1 teams hoping to head to the Big Ten Championship game and College Football Playoff.

Michigan's path is clear:  win and you're in; the Buckeyes, thanks to their loss to Penn State, need a victory plus a Nittany Lions upset loss to *snort* Michigan State.

It's been far too long since the Wolverines were in control of this rivalry:  Michigan hasn't won since 2011 and hasn't won consecutive games since 1999-2000, with the latter representing the Wolverines' most recent victory in Columbus.

Jim Harbaugh's squad is staring down a hostile crowd, a touchdown spread, and questions on both sides of the ball--especially the health of QB Wilton Speight--in this monumental edition of The Game.  It's time to see if Harbaugh's team is ready to get over the OSU hump and on to glory.

Beat Ohio.
Do it for Bo.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Cold Gold and the Refractor factor

It's been a good while since I've made any significant additions to my Michigan Football inserts collection, so here's a post with a theme after I grabbed some cards from my "inserts to scan" pile.

Two of my favorite Topps-branded parallels are Chrome and Finest Refractors (and their various versions and colors) along with flagship's numbered Gold cards.  So that's exactly what I have here today:  nine of the former and six of the latter:

Refractors, etc.:
Tom Brady 2009 Topps Chrome Xfractor
Tom Brady 2012 Finest Refractor
Prescott Burgess 2007 Topps Chrome XFractor
I'll still take a regular old Refractor over the "X" version any day, but as usual with this type of insert, you can't go wrong.  I found one of each version of Tom Terrific, hailing from Chrome and Finest products produced a few years apart.  Former LB Burgess' card, meanwhile is a parallel of his '07 Chrome rookie.
Braylon Edwards 2006 Finest Blue Xfractor (#044/150)
Braylon Edwards 2006 Finest Green Refractor (#048/199)
Braylon Edwards 2007 Topps Chrome Blue Refractor
Here's three out of the four Braylons you'll be treated to today, with the first two coming courtesy of 2006 Finest, which had a few different patterns, colors, and accompanying numbering.  For my money I'll always take the hue used on the '07 Chrome Blue Refractor, though--and I bet lots of Dodgers fans are right there with me.  If there's a better color for Refractors I've yet to see it!
Braylon Edwards 2008 Finest Blue Refractor
Brian Griese 2008 Topps Chrome Blue Refractor
Leon Hall 2007 Bowman Chrome Refractor
Braylon's other Refractor is another color variation, though in this case it isn't numbered.  Griese's card from '08 also benefits from the ideal coloring used from the previous year's Topps Chrome set.  And Leon Hall joins Burgess in being featured on a 2007 RC parallel, this time from Bowman Chrome, a set whose design, as is often the case, led to some very nice looking Refractors.

Jason Avant 2009 Topps Gold (#0309/2009)
Steve Breaston 2009 Topps Gold (#0271/2009)
Steve Breaston 2010 Topps Gold (#1309/2010)
Avant and and the first of a Breaston trio appear on cards from the '09 set, which was apparently the last one to use the "real" foil stamping instead of that stupid looking digital printing; then again, I'd argue that Fleer did the best serial-numbering of any manufacturer.  I should write up a post about that....  Anyway, while I'm sure this wasn't the case with the first two cards, I did pull the 2010 Breaston myself from a box break that was featured in one of my very first TMV (when it was TMG, actually!) posts more than six years ago.  Time sure flies, like Breaston did down the field!
Steve Breaston 2011 Topps Gold (#197) (#0153/2011)
Cato June 2006 Topps Gold (#0703/2006)
Chris Perry 2004 Topps Gold (#049/499)
Breaston finishes up his trio with a Gold parallel from the third consecutive year.  This one happens to be one of two on which he appears thanks to a Cardinals team issue, which explains why I noted the card number in the caption.  Next, I don't have many Cato June cards to my name but I do have this insert from 10 years ago, so that's a plus.  And finally, Chris Perry represents one final rookie parallel with this 2004 example.  The numbering on this card is the outlier as Topps has traditionally produced a number of copies that corresponds to the year the set's released, though some quick digging indicates this also wasn't the case in 2003 (also /499) and 2005 (/50).

So there's a nice bunch of some of my favorite types of inserts.  But if you're hoping for a look at some cards that are brand new to my collection, stay tuned for another excellent trade package from north(east) of the border!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

2016 Michigan gameday #11: vs. Indiana

Coming off a disappointing loss at Iowa, the Wolverines are 9-1 and can still achieve almost all of their goals this season, minus an undefeated season.  That loss ended up making very little difference to Michigan's conference title and playoff hopes, so it's possible for the team to put it behind them and get back to work this week.

That work will be at home against a 5-5 Indiana team whose record sounds about right as they're as predictable as a coin flip--with a coin that can also land on its edge or turn into a twenty.  The Hoosiers have had some close ones against bad teams, but have also hung in with OSU, Nebraska, and Penn State.  And that doesn't even take into account the insanity that often ensues when they play the Wolverines!

Although Michigan is 55-9 in the series, and hasn't lost since 1987, there's been some interesting games, especially in the last five years.  Per MGoBlog's Bryan MacKenzie:
-In 2009, Indiana gained, and lost, the lead four separate times, losing it for good with two and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter. Indiana lost 36-33 despite outgaining Michigan by nearly a hundred yards. 
-In 2010, Ben Chappell put up 480 yards passing on 64 attempts, and Denard Robinson matched him with 494 yards of total offense on 11.4 yards per carry and 17.3 yards per pass. Indiana scored a touchdown with 1:15 remaining to tie the game, and promptly allowed a touchdown 58 seconds later. Michigan won 42-35
-In 2013, the teams combined for 1,323 total yards (more than 3/4 of a mile), with Indiana's 572 yards being dwarfed by Michigan's 751. Jeremy Gallon caught 14 passes for 369 yards. Michigan won 63-47.
-Last year, the teams combined for over 1,100 yards, including 440 passing yards from Jake Rudock. Michigan scored a touchdown on the last play of regulation to tie the game, and they won in double overtime on a goal line stop.
Believe you me, I remember each and every one of those games.

So I'm pretty sure there won't be any looking ahead to next Saturday's game until this one is over.  Instead, hopefully the seniors walk off the field as Victors Valiant in their final game in Ann Arbor.  Then, and only then, we can start talking about The Game.

Monday, November 14, 2016

2016 Blowout Forums purchase: Michael's On his Wenu!

Saturday's game at Iowa may not have gone the way I'd hoped, but I did find a couple silver linings in this weekend.  For one, Michigan is still very much in contention for the Big Ten East title, a berth in the conference championship game, and the College Football Playoff.  All that certainly makes a close loss sting a bit less.

Besides that, a very generous Blowoutcards forums seller was nice enough to toss a surprise card in with my two-card Detroit Tigers purchase last week.  And to be honest, I don't think I'm being fair calling this a throw-in:
Michael Onwenu 2016 Leaf Army All-American Bowl Tour Autographs Silver auto (#13/25)
Michael Onwenu is a beast of a lineman, O- or D-, who joined Michigan out of nearby Detroit Cass Tech in the Wolverines' 2016 recruiting class.  A consensus four-star OG, he was on some recruiting sites' top 50 or 100 lists, and he could very well become the next star OL for the Wolverines to go on to NFL glory.

But that's all in the future.  For now he'll go into his second year--the team burned his redshirt this season--with a chance at some playing time.  That'll likely be mostly on the OL, but don't rule anything out when Jim Harbaugh is in charge!

With all that in mind, I'm very excited to add a guy with so much potential to my football collection, and in a rare instance, while he's still in college.  Leaf's U.S. Army game-type cards are very cool for college collectors like me, especially to track down elusive players who don't make it past college.  I hope Onwenu gets a nice run in the NFL, but at least if he doesn't I'll get to enjoy this excellent on-card auto, numbered out of just 25.  "Throw-in" indeed.

So a very happy welcome to Michael, player #198 in my football hits PC!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

2016 Michigan gameday #10: at Iowa

Michigan, coming off a fine showing in a 59-3 home win against Maryland, heads to Iowa City for an 8 pm matchup with the 5-4 (3-3) Hawkeyes.  While Iowa will be playing for bowl eligibility thanks to losses to North Dakota State (FCS), Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Penn State, Michigan continues to control its own destiny on its path to the Big Ten championship game.

The 9-0 Wolverines hold a 41-14-4 mark in the series, though the Hawkeyes won the last contest between the teams in 2013.  A 22-point spread appears to contradict what could be a fairly close game, though Michigan's offense has been much more potent than Iowa's this season.  Hopefully an ever-improving Wilton Speight can QB Michigan to a 10th win with help from Jabrill Peppers and an excellent defense.  Look for Jim Harbaugh's squad to rise to the occasion once again in their next step towards history.