The basketball section kicks off with two basketball greats--a second year Trey Burke plus Glen Rice on Donruss/Panini's signature Crusade insert. Burke has a birthday coming up on the 12th this month, incidentally!
Trey Burke 2013-14 Panini Spectra Rookie Jumbo Jerseys jersey (#67/75)
Speaking of one of the program's best players in recent memory, how about a huge relic for my first hit of the Utah PG? Panini did a nice job with this one, especially thanks to the oversized swatch.RCs for my ongoing project to track those down, and those cover 2013, 2014, and 2015, with Shoelace, Taylor Lewan, and Devin Funchess represented.
Ron Kramer 1967 Philadelphia
Now here's the Buckstorecards difference--Doug included this awesome vintage issue of Wolverines TE great Ron Kramer from way back in '67. Kramer is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, went #4 overall to Green Bay in '57, and won two rings with the Packers. So, yeah, you could say he was pretty good at both levels. Just a brilliant addition to this package.
Devin Funchess 2015 Topps Rookie Patch patchThe final card from the football portion is one he let me know to expect, but still made my day. This is my first hit of Funchess, the most recent Wolverine to wear #1. I've seen some of the patches that come out of this set so I'm very excited about how nice Doug's pull was--three clear colors and lots of stitching! Funch is the 195th player in my football collection, and I hope he makes an impact on tomorrow's Monday Night Football game against Indy.
Fox is new to my collection, and was a defenseman for Michigan in the mid-70s before playing for three NHL teams: the Atlanta Flames(!), Blackhawks (pictured), and Penguins. Hooray for the hockey history lesson! Helminen's serial-numbered acetate card is also a fun addition, partly because he's one of the guys I got to see a lot of during my season tickets years.
Warren Luhning's Score Artist's Proof insert is also a highlight, first because he's another collection newbie (mid-90s Michigan forward), and also because of the back of his card,
Manery, like Fox above, was also a mid-70s Wolverine who played for a few teams, so I was clearly feeling the vintage love here.
Steve Halko 1999-00 BAP Millennium auto
David Harlock 2000-01 BAP Signature Series auto
Closing out the first envelope is this pair of BAP autographs. I'll say it til I'm blue in the face but I love me some Be-a-Player autos since they tend to incorporate a ton of guys I collect but wouldn't find on hits otherwise. Harlock is yet another collection n00b, an early 90s Michigan defenseman who saw NHL action with four teams. The 00-01 set did a very nice job giving players a clear area for signing and Harlock took advantage of that with a flawless signature that includes his jersey number. He becomes the 39th different player in my hockey collection.
As I said before, envelope #2 was a PWE, but didn't lack for outstanding collection additions:
ALAN BRANCH KILLS QBs!
Yes, yes he does! Anyway, Branch, Knight, and Brady represent three new inserts. The Brady UD card is great, and of course I love that it highlights that Tom Terrific was a Wolverines, I'm just disappointed that they made the all-too-common mistake of making a word plural with an apostrophe. C'mon, Upper Deck, it's "Pros," not "Pro's!" This might be my biggest grammar pet peeve because it makes no sense and I can't figure out where people think they learned that. Remember,
(Side note: I don't think those of you who do this are idiots, but it does bug the crap out of me when I see folks making this mistake). Anyway, Knight's RC parallel is numbered /999 (you can barely make it out between his ankles), and I love that all three cards feature Michigan uniforms.
To go with second-year cards of Braylon and Chris Perry, Doug dug deep and found a 1984 Topps RC of former Michigan kicker Ali Haji-Sheikh, a guy whose autograph I own thanks to TK Legacy. Just goes to show that he pulls out all the stops in identifying guys I collect, and that's what makes him one of my all-time favorite traders!potted a shootout winner for the Devils while Trouba has a pair of assists on the young season.
As usual, Doug went way above and beyond to hit pretty much every facet of my collection. Thanks again, my friendly Canadian neighbor!