I thought I'd start with one of my newest PCs: Michigan QB-turned-Detroit Tiger Rick Leach. Leach is a native Ann Arborite who went down as one of the greatest Michigan quarterbacks in the school's illustrious history; how do four-year totals of 48 passing and 34 rushing TDs sound to you? The Broncos took a stab at getting Rick to stick with football, drafting him in the 5th round, (a couple rounds before his future teammate, some Michigan State WR named Kirk Gibson) but the allure of playing for his hometown(-ish) Tigers, who chose him 13th overall (three picks ahead of fellow Wolverine Steve Howe) was too much.
He would go on to play in 799 Major League games over the course of 10 seasons. While he stuck with the Tigers from '81-'83, the team released him before the '84 season, meaning he missed out on the Tigers' most recent World Series title. The Blue Jays picked him up that year, and he would stay in Toronto through '88. The following year he signed with Texas, and his final season played out in San Francisco, where he apparently earned a suspension for substance abuse. The OF/1B finished his career with a .268 AVG and 18 career HR, and considering what his NFL career might have been, it's easy to draw comparisons between Leach and former Michigan QB Drew Henson. Still, it's important to respect the choices of each player as they ostensibly went with the sport they enjoyed the most.
So all that said, I decided to pursue Rick's entire PC, which at this point looks to be at 61 cards, including one 1/1 (a 2012 Leaf buyback insert). It's not a huge challenge mainly because he played during the era of overproduced junk wax, before the excess of the 90s and on. And I actually already had a decent number of his cards in my complete sets (plus a couple from trades), which gave me a great start. I have yet to scan a lot of those, but that's on my to-do list.
In the meantime, I picked up a nice chunk of his collection on SportLots and COMC, and the cards you see below hail from the latter:
Today's gonna be a bit of a shiny day because I already have a decent number of Rick's base stuff and decided to focus my efforts on his "rarer" stuff. I mean, there were only like 5000 or so of these, right? How great is that corner shot of Leach looking angrily/disinterested to his right?
Fleery eventually jumped on the shiny train themselves, and the result is this Glossy set, which is definitely shinier than Topps', for what that's worth. I'm not really sure why Leach was included in this set that year since he'd been with the Jays for three years, but I'm happy to have two (including the base) more of his cards for this PC!
'88 Topps may feature one ugly-ass design, but Leach looks happy to be there with his big ol' first baseman's mitt. By the way, the back of this card is a nice eye-popping shade of orange; you could almost call it "Motown" orange....
I couldn't believe my luck when I was able to land each of these separately for a total of under $7, especially considering the scarcity of each. The concept of buying back old cards and stamping/numbering them is a bit goofy, but then again, at least the person who pulled these didn't have to land a bunch of code cards, enter them into a site that isn't available on its go-live date, then pay out the ass for shipping! I now just need the 1/1 Red version to sew up the trio, though I don't know if that's even been pulled yet.
Today's quintet puts me up to 21 Leach cards in my possession, some of which are actually scanned! I have quite a few more left to show you thanks to SportLots, and will do so eventually. In the meantime, please have a look at his PC on my Player Collections page.