Thursday, April 3, 2014

2014 JustCommons purchase #8: Henson, Larkin, Sabo, and Matheny

And finally we've made it to the last post in this series, which includes a hefty four players:  Drew Henson, Barry Larkin, Chris Sabo, and Mike Matheny.  I lumped them all together since collectively they total 11 cards--and most of those are of Sabo!  So please enjoy the last group of cards from my most recent JustCommons purchase:
Drew Henson 2002 Topps Chrome Traded Refractor
I don't go after Henson as diligently as my other PCs since he wasn't much of a ballplayer, plus I'm not supercollecing him anyway.  Still, when I saw this Refractor for sale, I knew I had to grab it, because Refractors are always awesome!  I've had the base Chrome version for a while, but I really like the look of the parallel from this set--not that I particularly dislike any of the ones from previous or subsequent offerings.

This my 24th Henson card, and it's definitely one of the better non-hits.

Barry Larkin 1996 Topps Gallery
Although I was only able to land one Larkin card that was in the happy medium category of "stuff I need" and "stuff that doesn't cost way too much," I think I did well going with something as classy as this.  Barry's card from Topps' debut edition of Gallery is a must-have for anybody that collects the Wolverine HOFer, so I wonder if Chris of Nachos Grande has one he'll post eventually as part of his collection that's superior to mine.  Nice job by Topps here to make the artistic cards full bleed combined with a framed canvas motif, clearly one of the manufacturer's best offerings of the set.  By the way, fellow Wolverine/Red Hal Morris is also on the checklist, so I'll have to land his card too at some point.  

As for Barry, you're looking at card #208.

Chris Sabo 1989 Score RC
With Sabo's '89 Score RC I now have all of his rookies except for Topps (believe it or not!), which is such a low-end, junk wax card that I bet one will turn up before I even consider buying it.
Chris Sabo 1991 Stadium Club
No offense to Larkin's fantastic Gallery card above, but this is probably my favorite card in today's post, and a great example of how good Stadium Club was, even in its debut.  Spuds is shown high-fiving two teammates, first baseman Todd Benzinger and I believe outfielder Eric Davis based on the jersey number.  You can also see a green chest protector behind Davis, which looks an awful lot like Oakland's colors, making me think this shot is from the '90 World Series, which Sabo's Reds swept.  Delving a bit further, I think this is Chris celebrating his game 3 third-inning two-run shot that plated Davis in an eventual 8-3 triumph.  Awesome moment, awesome shot, awesome card!
Chris Sabo 1993 SP
[Troy McClure voice]"Hi, I'm 1993 SP.  You might remember me from such players as Hal Morris."[/Troy McClure voice]
Chris Sabo 1994 Finest
'94 Finest is another set that includes cards I recently picked up for other PC players, namely Scott Kamieniecki and Hal Morris.  Those colors are totally far out, man.
Chris Sabo 1994 Fleer Update
Today's Fleer Update card #1--the one that won't make you gouge out your eyes.  Chris played one full season with the Orioles--1994--after signing with them earlier in the year.  He then moved on to another team, which you'll see in a minute.
Chris Sabo 1994 Ultra
But first, here's another '94 Orioles card from a Fleer set.  I've said several times before that I like this set, so those of you that remember that for some reason probably aren't surprised to see this here.  Also, this card proves that those specs work in any uniform.
Chris Sabo 1995 Fleer Update
Here's the next team I promised.  Sabo signed with the White Sox just before the '95 season, but was dumped in early June after just 20 games, and subsequently picked up by St. Louis, though for just five more.  His 54 games in '96 back with the Reds were his last taste of the Majors.  It's weird for me to see him in a White Sox uni considering he's known mostly for his Reds years.  It's also weird to look at this card for more than two seconds, which leads to dizziness, hallucinations, and hives.

Chris is the big winner on the day with seven new pickups that bring him up to 44 cards.

Mike Matheny 2001 Topps Limited
Wait, Matheny never played for the Reds, what the hell is he doing in this post?!  Um, well, he did wear some red as a member of the Cardinals for five years, so there's that.  There were only two cards on the site that met the need/price requirement, and this was the higher-end one.  Let's get a good description of 2001 Topps Limited from BaseballCardPedia:

"In a throwback to the 'Tiffany' sets of the 1980s, Topps produced a high-end version of their factory set exclusively through Hobby dealers. Every card was printed on 20-point thick cardstock with the words 'LIMITED EDITION' foil stamped in very small type above the player's name. Each set was packaged in a wooden box and came with a pack of five cards from the Limited-exclusive 20-card Topps Archives Reserve Future Rookie Reprints insert set -- essentially a parallel of the set that came five to a regular factory set.
Topps capped production at 5000 serial-numbered sets with a suggested retail price of $173, however only 3905 Limited sets were printed."

$173, huh?  That's both oddly specific and a terrible price for what you'd receive, but fortunately sellers have broken these up and prices don't tend to be too ridiculous.
Mike Matheny 2005 Topps Total
Mike jumped to the Giants as a free agent for 2005 and played his final MLB season with them the following year.  This is a fun card that's perfect for the kid-friendly, low-end Total set.  I never really got into collecting that product after the 2002 and 2003 sets, but would love to see it come back if done right.

Matheny breaks his very temporary tie with Sabo and now enjoys a new total of 46 cards in his PC.

Technically I should have had two more cards to show you today (a Henson and a Matheny) but JustCommons accidentally sent me Upper Deck cards of the same number from different years.  It's the second time they've done something like that, and I was ok with it because mistakes happen, but this time they completely ignored my request to get them replaced, and that was after they contacted me to let me know they couldn't locate another card or two from my order (for which they refunded me).  Those experiences plus an obvious lack of an editor with spelling and grammar skills have the site on my shit list for now, but I'll probably give them another chance soon.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed looking at all the additions to my player collections thanks to my largest to-date purchase from JustCommons!  Stay tuned for a pair of eBay pickups and a nice pile of COMC stuff.


  1. Someone needs to bring back the Sabo goggles look.

    1. I second this 100%. With all the guys doing stupid, goofy stuff (long hair, beards, afros, etc.), I can't believe it hasn't been done yet!