Sunday, January 13, 2019

2018 Sportlots purchases: wide world of WRs

It may be a new year but I still have lots of 2018 pickups to get through.  Before I show off some bigtime scores from COMC let's have a look at my latest Sportlots haul.

I'll open things up with a group of WRs:
Former Iggle Jason Avant is celebrating finally crossing the century mark thanks to this 2006-07 four spot.  The Michigan uni card is a 2006 SAGE base and the next two are from that year as well:  a Score Glossy parallel of his RC and UD insert.  A Black parallel of his 2007 Topps Draft Chrome card closes things out.
Steve Breaston went from the Maize & Blue to wearing red for most of his career.  The outstanding 2007 SAGE HIT base is actually a dupe (one of a few this time) so it'll be heading Jeff's way eventually.  The rest is mostly a mix of Panini and Topps base from 2009-12.  Another Score Glossy parallel (from 2011) pops up here, and you'll see a few more in this series.  The 2012 Bowman design (card #6) was so different from the rest of the product's history that I can't help but be interested in it.  And a 2011 Topps Rising Rookies Draft Selection insert reminds you that the dynamic playmaker was selected in 2007's fifth round.
Before his disappointing NFL career and saying stupid things about the program post-retirement, Braylon Edwards was largely a force in Ann Arbor.  Here he is on a trio of college uni cards from 2005 Press Pass brands.  The first is one of his two appearances in the main product's base set while the others are his SE base appearance and a Gold parallel of that card.
It's a-me, this here blog's namesake!  I didn't find too many Manninghams this time, but as I headed into this purchase with 199 cards of #86 I was happy to get over the 200-card milestone.  Press Pass's 2008 Legends set is one of my favorites in that brand's run, and a Primetime Players insert from the main brand also looks great with its college action.  Those are joined by another 2011 Score Glossy parallel.  You can ignore the 2011 Playoff Contenders base as I apparently already had it!  Or not, since it looks great in my opinion.
Former #1 David Terrell comes in first today with the most new cards at 32 (though you'll have to stay tuned to see the guys with the most new additions in this series).  I was thrilled to nearly even him up with the always-linked Anthony Thomas, and when all is said and done in this bunch they'll be within a single card!

This group kicks off with a couple 2001 Press Pass cards, including the very cool SE Old School insert.  Then we move on to a bunch of 2002 cardboard from Panini/Donruss, Fleer, and Pacific.  I tried to go with a mix of quantity and quality, though in general the former won out.
The 2001 rookie came with a lot of hype so he appeared in lots of 2002 products as well.  Here we have three more Pacific offerings (including a Red parallel of the previously-seen Adrenaline), a couple Playoff brands, Score, Topps, and UD.  The photo on the Score base is terrific and the kind of thing I think we should see more of when it comes to receivers.
I told you that the 2002 group was big--Upper Deck's XL is the right name to finish up that year.  2003 is then largely represented by well-known names like Fleer Platinum, Score, Topps/Chrome/Total, and Upper Deck MVP, though UD's serial-numbered Finite is a relative outlier.  Then the 2004 Fleer Tradition you see last is a Blue parallel.
A Topps Total is the last of the 2004s and then the rest (of the horizontals) are '05s.  The Score and Throwback Threads cards note Terrell signing with the Pats in early 2005 but he never played for them, instead suiting up as a Bronco for one game that season, the final regular season tilt for Denver; he failed to catch his lone target.  The lone horizontal card in the bunch is a 2002 UD Piece of History base that looks like it could benefit from a more zoomed-out photo.
Former Giants great Amani Toomer joins Braylon as a program malcontent in this post, but man was he fun to watch before all of that.  He also joins the milestone club today by topping the 200-card threshold at 208.  Since I obviously already had a lot of his stuff I tried to go higher-end this time and succeeded, I think.  Cards from Flair Showcase, Bowman's Best, Quantum Leaf, and Topps Gold Label are the highlights of this pretty nice scan.
Football's 2000 Bowman's Best is one of my all-time favorite designs and I prefer it over the '01 version, though that's not exactly chopped liver.  A 2002 Pacific Exclusive and '04 Absolute Memorabilia (retail, unfortunately) base keep up the shiny theme while we get typically excellent outings from Fleer's 2005 and '06 Ultra designs.
Last up today is a very college-centric scan starring Marquise Walker, a receiver who put up 1000+ yards and 11 TDs during my freshman year in Ann Arbor, 2001.  At 61 cards he's my smallest football PC of a player that doesn't play defense, but since he never did play a down in the League it stands to reason that he didn't appear on a bevy of cards.

What I did land was pretty fun, though.  Once again Press Pass features prominently as I chased as many college uni cards I could find, and here five of the seven are exactly that, so, success!  I've long admired the Big Numbers insert, especially the die-cut versions, and that's my favorite of the bunch here, but the other Press Pass cards are plenty nice to look at too.

That's it for today but I still have plenty more football goodness to show off, even while the playoffs are still in full gear!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

1/5/19 show report: what's this? What's this?!

No, I'm not going all Jack Skellington on you--I just had a bit of a surprised reaction to a card I found in a quarter box at my first show of 2019.  That's saying something since I'm pretty stoked with the stuff I've already shown off on TMV this evening.  But this pair's not bad either:
What's this?  What's this?  A Henne I don't have?  What's this?  What's this?  What can I rhyme with "have"?  Yeah, I'm just a bit geeked that I not only managed to pull a brand new Henne card for myself out of the quarter box--it also happens to be a great numbered parallel with a  Michigan uni photo!  My third entry of his from 2008 Playoff Prestige is an Xtra Points parallel (#125/300), one that forms a nice trio with his base RC and Gold Xtra Points issues.  How could you go wrong with this design plus a photo of the man starring in the 2008 Capital One Bowl victory over Florida?
Joining Chad is a huge relic of a guy who's apparently not long for the Panthers, which could be a boon to his career (accurate QB throwing to him, plz).  It's WR Devin Funchess on a shiny 2015 Panini Spectra Gigantic Jerseys jersey (#160/199), a set that's certainly as-advertised.  This gives me eight hits of the TE-turned-wideout and was definitely a good value for the $1 it set me back.

Hopefully I'll be back soon with pickups from another show this weekend, but other than that you can expect to see some COMC and Sportlots loot when I get around to scanning and posting it!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Seventh heaven

Today mark's one year since last New Year's Day, when I watched as Michigan Football ended a disappointing season with a bowl loss to South Carolina, then got over it and posted a bunch of new Mario Manninghams from Sportlots.  That means it's been seven whole years since I spun off this here blog from the original Too Many Grandersons!

I think the calendar rolling over deserves a quick recap of Michigan sports and my collection progress from 2018.
The football team went 10-3 with those 10 straight victories coming after a season-opening loss to CFP semi-finalist Notre Dame.  The Wolverines avenged 2017 losses against Wisconsin, MSU, and Penn State thanks to newfound offensive success that can largely be attributed to transfer QB Shea Patterson.  Unfortunately the team wilted in a beatdown in Columbus, then looked just as flat in the Peach Bowl loss to Florida.  Questions abound for the 2019 team, but lots of returning starters and an outstanding recruiting class could portend good things.
Image result for michigan wolverines hockey quinn hughes
The hockey team, meanwhile, enjoyed a bit more success, losing the conference tourney to Ohio State before edging Northeastern and bombing BU in their NCAA tourney regional, heading to yet another Frozen Four.  Their season ended there with a 4-3 loss to Notre Dame, but it was a vast improvement over the previous year.  Super talented D Quinn Hughes was a big part of that, and I'm anxious to see what he can do this year before heading off to the NHL.
Finally, Michigan Basketball was the toast of Ann Arbor in 2017-18 thanks to a very good regular season that gave way to a conference tourney title that included double-digit wins over Michigan State and Purdue.  In fact, John Beilein's squad swept the Spartans, including another 10-point win in East Lansing.  After an early February loss to Northwestern his guys won 14 straight, only seeing the streak end in the March Madness final against Villanova.  That included the incredible scene immortalized above when a Jordan Poole prayer lifted Michigan to a crazy one-point, buzzer-beating victory over Houston, not to mention a win against the tournament's Cinderella, Loyola-Chicago.

Beilein continues to reward the patience of the athletic department and fans; to add to his already impressive resume of two finals appearances with Michigan, his team went undefeated in this season's 13 non-conference games, two of which were North Carolina and revenge against Villanova.  Who knows what great things April could bring this season?
As for my Michigan PCs, things were less roller coaster and more like a well-oiled machine.  I had 15 trade packages to show off, some of which were actually TMM-specific, so that was great.  The year was a productive one in getting more player collections put together and posted, with more good things on the way this year.  And I hit a big milestone with--what else?--a Mario Manningham card, my 2000th hit from my alma mater.  Besides those heavy hitters I added lots of other cardboard (and more) to those collections, and that also looks to be a trend I'll be able to continue in the new year.

Here's hoping things get even better for Michigan and that 2019 is a happy BLUE year!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018 Michigan gameday #13: vs. Florida (Peach Bowl)

Just a few minutes after I post this the Wolverines will kick off their final game of the 2018 season.  While the destination isn't the one they ultimately had in mind thanks to a stunning collapse against the hated Buckeyes, an 11-win season is up for grabs, as are bragging rights, pride, and plenty more.

#7 Michigan's (10-2) Peach Bowl opponents are very familiar to this team:  #10 Florida (9-3).  This will be the fifth meeting in the series, and the Wolverines are undefeated to this point.  The programs faced off in 2003's Outback Bowl, the '08 Capital One Bowl (a nice sendoff for Lloyd Carr and my favorite draft class), 2016's Citrus Bowl, and the season opener in 2017.  Yep, Michigan's meeting the Gators for the third straight year.

The Wolverines will be without a number of their stars today as those players heal up or prepare for the draft, but it'll be nice to have the very effective Shea Patterson under center after last year's subpar bowl appearance.  Outgoing DE Chase Winovich will also be around, opting to play in his final appearance for the Wolverines, a move that's earned him a ton of respect (not that I blame any of the potential draftees for skipping the game).

These teams obviously know each other well and the line appears to be around six points in favor of my guys, so as is usually the case I have no idea what to expect, but I hope coach Jim Harbaugh's guys wash some of the bad taste of The Game out of their mouth's with a big win to finish the season off on a positive note.  Skin the Gators!


Monday, December 10, 2018

2018 trade package #15: the Collector

I got a very nice surprise in my mailbox last week when I went through my mail and came up with an unexpected PWE from Chris, a.k.a. "The Collector" (though I'll probably always associate him with his original name, "The Pedestrian Collector").  I've swapped cards with him a number of times and always enjoy doing so, plus it doesn't hurt that I love that something I sent his way made it into his blog banner! (that Mo Vaughn Starting Lineup up front.)

Chris even bucked tradition by sending me an all-Michigan trade package for the first time.  I previously received a nice group of Wolverines football and hockey stuff from him as part of a larger bunch of cards way back in February of 2017, but this time it's 100% alma mater matters, baby!

Here's what he sent along this time:
1988 Big Ten Player of the Year Gary Grant kicks things off with a '93-'94 Topps Gold parallel.  His four years in Ann Arbor led to a nice 13-year pro career.

Next up is a great pair from the basketball version of probably my favorite Fleer product, the '97-'98 flagship set.  Fab-Fiver Juwan Howard is surely well known by anyone reading this, and Terry "Sugar" Mills was a fun guy to watch during his six seasons with the Pistons (way back when I paid attention to basketball).

Last up is Howard's old teammate Jalen Rose on a college photo card from Classic's 1994 Four Sport product.  His Michigan uniform presages good things ahead.
Namely the five such cards in this football bunch, meaning 6/11 cards in this envelope fell into that category.  Extra credit to Chris!

Up top we have a trio of football alumni from last year's typically solid Score product, including RCs of draftees DL Taco Charlton and WR Jehu Chesson, plus a base of WR Devin Funchess, who I bet would be fun to watch if he had a consistently good QB throwing to him.

Joining those is a trio of cards from college-focused sets.  Chris sent over the base and Gold parallels of DL Mo Hurst from this year's Leaf Draft, and that's fantastic since Hurst is the only Wolverine in the product and I didn't feel like chasing the set this year.  They look great alongside a '95 Classic Five Sport of all-time great CB Ty Law.  These look so good to a college collector like me that I chased a number of similar products in my latest Sportlots haul.

Closing things out today is one more recent guy in PC guy Denard Robinson.  Card #91 in his collection is an interesting insert from 2013 Prestige called NFL Passport.  I'm actually familiar with the set because I have the autographed version of this card, though oddly enough that one is oriented in vertical fashion:
Thanks again for the surprise PWE, Chris!  I'm happy to be able to send something back your way soon, possibly in time for Christmas.  For now I suppose you can continue to bask in the glow of yet another World Series victory!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

12/1/18 card show report: happy Turco day

As I mentioned on TMV this evening (where you're probably coming from), I met my goal at this past Saturday's show of landing a bunch of pickups I can include in Christmas packages I'll be sending within a few weeks, while my PCs got the short end of the stick.  That's totally fine by me since I don't tend to view shows as a top source for landing new stuff for me as much as I hit them for trade bait.

With that in mind I have just one card this evening, but I wasn't going to avoid the effort of showing it off, especially since it represents one of my favorite Michigan Hockey alumni of all time:
That would be goalie Marty Turco on card #113 in his collection, a 2002-03 Pacific Calder Chasing Glory insert.  As you can see up front this card is highlighting Turco's shot at the 2002-03 Vezina Trophy, the one given to the best goalie in the league.  In his third season he put up career bests in save % and goals against, finishing second to another Marty, New Jersey's Brodeur.

Turco then finished in the top five in voting for that award the following two seasons, including 2005-06 when he won a career-high 41 games at his peak.  Statistically it was downhill from there, but the two-time NCAA champ still enjoyed a nice pro career, and this card is a great reminder of how good he was over his first few seasons.

Next up (eventually) I should be showing off lots and lots of loot from Sportlots and COMC, so look forward to a bunch more PC showoffs!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

2018 Michigan gameday #12: at Ohio State

Image result for urban meyer maryland
It all comes down to this:  The Game.  #10 Ohio State hosts #4 Michigan in a matchup of 10-1 teams that have had completely different seasons.  While Michigan has mostly cruised to 10 straight wins (a three-point victory at Northwestern being the closest), unapologetic asshole Urban Meyer's bunch has struggled without a true dual-threat QB, getting curb stomped by Purdue and needing plenty of luck to survive Maryland.

But as been the case very often throughout the series (still 58-49-6 in favor of the Wolverines, despite the last 20 years going the Buckeyes' way) the path to a conference (or division) championship will be decided here in game 12, the best rivalry in all of sports (YMMV).

Despite a feisty Indiana team keeping last week's game largely close, and despite their best effort to prevent Michigan from getting out of the game healthy with a huge dose of cheap shots and dirty play the Wolverines won't soon forget, Jim Harbaugh's group got it done.  Now they have one last stop on the Revenge Tour, a concept that proves this team has the attitude to go all the way.

A great coach, dominant defense, and an offense that's been clicking thanks to a true dual-threat quarterback in Shea Patterson all have Michigan poised to do something they haven't achieved since 2000:  beat the Buckeyes in Columbus.  Meanwhile, OSU's offense has been mostly one-dimensional this year, they've struggled against lesser teams, and Meyer's "health" has been in question.  It's there for the taking, and if things go right it won't even come down to a bad spot or the wrong play on a game-deciding two-point conversion.

Complete the Revenge Tour.  Book a trip to Indy.  Beat Ohio.