First up is this colorful Classic Juwon Howard card from 1994. The back opines that he's "...ready for the challenge of the NBA" and I think his career proved that assessment correct.
Drew Henson 2003 Playoff Portraits Materials Gold bat (#04/10)
Next is a surprising new Drew Henson for the baseball PC. Not surprising that it's a new Henson hit, but that it's #d /10! Exceptionally skilled at finding great deals, Tim says he dug this one up on Blowout for a surprisingly low price. It's also surprising in that I wasn't expecting to see a relic on the back of the card, but considering how good the "portrait" on the front looks, I'd say Panini got it right. Very cool!
Braylon Edwards 2008 Topps Rookie Progression Veterans Game Worn Jerseys Gold jersey (#17/99)
And now we move on to football. This is a cool new relic of Bray-Bray from a product I'm familiar with thanks to all the 2008 Wolverines draftees found in it. RP didn't ignore vets like Braylon, though, and he ended up getting several parallels of a relic card with a pretty cool design. This makes 47 Edwards hits for those of you counting at home, and I might just have some from COMC to show off soon!
James Ross 2012 Leaf Army All-American Bowl auto
Wow! This is easily my favorite card in the whole package, as I let Tim know this is the first time I've ever received an autograph of a Michigan player while they were still in college. This set, of course, honors the best of the best when it comes to high school football recruits, and that certainly applies to Ross, a former four-star OLB from right here in Michigan. MGoBlog gave a good look at his prospects after he committed last year, and expectations are fairly high for a young kid who could become a big playmaker for defensive guru Greg Mattison's defense.
I'm not excited to add this to my PC just because he could turn out to be great, but also because he's a brand new player to my collection, and that helps me towards my goal of 100 different players I set earlier this year. That makes this card the #1 feature of what's an outstanding package.
John Navarre 2004 SAGE HIT jersey
I already had nine regular autographs and a manuhelmet auto of Navarre, but up until now I didn't have any relics of him. I took a look at his checklist and determined that I can blame that on his having only three relics in one major set (2004 Topps draft) while the rest (13 of them) hail from SAGE sets. Since there's not that many of them, I'm not only thrilled to add one to my collection, but also to add one from a Michigan jersey, which makes it that much more valuable to me.
Mario Manningham 2008 Absolute Memorabilia Stargazing jersey (#130/250)
Tim sent me a Super Mario that I could have sworn I already had, but either he got lucky, or more likely, scanned through my football album, and he saw that while I have a card that LOOKS just like this one, it's actually the "prime" jersey version, which does make this one I need. Well done, Tim! That gives me a total of 35 hits of "the New Math."
Marlin Jackson 2005 TK Legacy auto
I love TK Legacy. Love love love. It's just a fantastic, well-done set that was produced over a number of years in the 2000s, which means it gives collectors like me a huge library of players to choose from. A large number of those guys aren't as well-known to someone like me as they aren't all stars or played way before I was born. That's not the case with Jackson, who starred in the defensive backfield for Michigan before his NFL career died at the hands of constant injuries. That means Jackson is easily one of the best TK Legacy autographs currently in my possession. It's also my 10th autographed hit of any type, which is great!
Tim did a joint 2003 SAGE box break with a fellow Blowout forums member recently, and he was generous enough to claim the Ronald Bellamys he pulled just for me. First was this base card, which is "1 of 2,750." That makes it even crazier that he was able to send me two. Tim, ARE YOU A WIZARD? More importantly, he included...
Ronald Bellamy 2003 SAGE Autographs Bronze auto (#432/540)
this bronze auto of the former Michigan WR. It's my second, as I actually already have the Red version from the same set. I know it's a little hard to see because these stickers don't scan as well as some of the newer ones, but he does have a pretty nice signature, and includes his jersey number as well, which is a feature I always like when the player takes the time to do so.
Steve Smith 2004 TK Legacy Cover Boys auto
Here's the other new PC member Tim included in the package, and it's a very close second to Ross' card as my favorite this time. I've already said how much I love TK Legacy, and part of the reason, besides the pleasing design of the regular autographs, is creative and well-done autographed inserts like the "Cover Boys" set. As the back states, the front of the card includes a reproduction of an actual Michigan Football game program, with this one hailing from the 1983 Indiana game. I would have been a few months old as eventual team MVP QB Steve Smith led a dominating effort in a 43-18 win against the Hoosiers, one of nine wins that season. That's another reason I love these cards--they're great for encouraging me to learn more about the history of my favorite team. Also, Smith has a ridiculously nice autograph!
Finally, Tim sent a couple new Tom Brady cards my way. This one is from 2000 Press Pass, and while I don't consider it a true RC because of that, it's still an awesome card since it shows him in action in Ann Arbor. Joining him on the card is OL and fellow fifth-year senior Chris Ziemann (#52) and I believe another OL, freshman Tony Pape. So that's definitely a nice start, but the real highlight was...
Tom Brady 2000 Upper Deck Victory RC
...a new TRUE Tom Brady RC! This is something Tim was hot after for a while, which isn't surprising since he's also a fan of Brady. That must be because he's a big winner because his name isn't HOF-worthy. This goes along nicely with my only other Brady RC, also found in my growing Michigan Football rookies album. The back mentions that he "...displayed great leadership at Michigan, particularly during big games." Too bad that didn't translate over to the NFL, eh?
Well I literally couldn't have asked for a better start to trading in 2013. As I said, I'm thrilled that it applies to a couple of my 2013 goals: trading and adding new football PC members. Thanks again, Tim, for a ridiculously great trade package--I promise I'll keep you rolling in credits on Listia with whatever else I can find. Everybody else should head over to one of the best blogs in the history of blogdom, then see if you can raise the trading bar that Tim already set very high!