Wednesday, May 25, 2016

2015-16 COMC purchases: COMPCs

Last Wednesday (May 18) marked a fun confluence of events kind of like a rare alignment of planets:  former Wolverine pitchers Rich Hill, Zach Putnam, and Clayton Richard all appeared in games on the same day.

I did some quick digging and found out that that actually occurred twice last season:
  • September 13, 2015:
    • Rich Hill makes the start for the Red Sox in his triumphant return to a MLB rotation, and Boston defeats Tampa 2-0.  Hill goes 7 innings, allowing a hit and a walk, and strikes out 10 for the first of three straight starts.
    • Zach Putnam pitches in his customary relief role for the White Sox in a 7-0 loss to Minnesota.  He records a strikeout against one hit as he mops up the 8th inning.
    • Clayton Richard throws 4 innings in relief of Cubs starter Dan Haren, who'd given up 4 runs in just 3 innings.  Richard gives up the winning run in the Phillies' 7-4 win and is saddled with the loss despite allowing 3 hits against 4 strikeouts.
  • October 1, 2015:
As it turns out, Wednesday was a little kinder to the Michigan trio:
  • Hill went a strong 6 IP in an 8-1 win over the Rangers to move his record up to 6-3 for Oakland.  He allowed three hits and a walk to go with Texas' only run, but also struck out 6 in his sixth quality start of the season.
  • Putnam's White Sox lost 5-3 to the Astros, but they can't blame him as he got three outs beginning in the 6th and allowed just a hit and a walk against two strikeouts.
  • Richard got the final out in the bottom of the 13th of a 2-1 Cubs win over Milwaukee, and that earned him his first save of 2016!
So let's celebrate by showing off cards of those three guys plus pickups from five other baseball PCs, all courtesy of COMC:
Jake Cronenworth 2015 Bowman Chrome Draft/Refractor/Sky Blue Refractor
2015 Bowman Draft/Silver (#054/499)
Cronenworth is the latest Wolverines baseball alum to appear on cardboard and therefore to join my PCs.  A native of St. Clair (northeast of Detroit and on the Canadian border), he left after his junior season in Ann Arbor having put up some pretty nice overall numbers (check out all of his accolades here).  Tampa drafted him in 2015's 7th round, and so far he's had pretty good success as a hitter since his debut in low-A last year.  A middle infielder/outfielder by trade, he's played just one pro game in LF and has stuck at SS this year after moving up a level.  Jake was a pretty good pitcher for the Wolverines too but it looks like the Rays made a good call to let him focus on his bat.

To-date Jake has appeared on 19 cards (plus 10 1/1s), with all of those coming out of last year's Bowman/Chrome Draft product.  As usual there's a buttload of parallels to chase, and I landed two of them from Chrome and one from base Draft to go with each base version.  Depending on his progress it could be a while (if ever) before he gets more cards to his name, but you never know, and I hope he someday gets to make an impact at the big league level!

Chris Getz 2008 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Gold Refractor (#30/50)
Gooooooollllld!  Moving back a few years to another middle infielder, albeit one that's retired, here's a shiny Gold Refractor of former 2B Chris Getz from 2008 Chrome Draft.  Thanks to my recent pickup of Getz's Red Refractor from the same product I can now claim ownership of the rainbow!  I'll make sure to show that off in a future post.  I now have 80 of Getz' 106 issues, good for about 75%.

Rich Hill 2008 SP Authentic By the Letter 'H' letter patch auto (#01/50)
I was definitely pretty surprised when this manuletter/auto of blog favorite (and Oakland A's ace!) Rich Hill popped up back in January, and I was all too happy to drop $7.50 to add it to the few I already have from the same product.  Of the two nameplates, I have this "H" and the "I" from "H-I-L-L" while I can almost spell out "C-U-B-S" with this "C", "U", and "S".  It'll be a big day when I can show off one or both of those!

Rejuvenated Rich continues his embarrassing dominance over my baseball hits collection with his 123rd hit as part of 244/350 issues, though I expect that denominator to grow a bit thanks to his recent success.  I love letter patch autos so this was a great addition for me to be sure.

Steve Howe 1995 Stadium Club Virtual Reality Members Only
Howe is the subject of the least interesting card today, but it's still a pretty decent one since it's a fun parallel from 1990s Stadium Club--you really can't go wrong with those.  I do think it's a bit goofy that a regular Members Only card (which I don't have, oddly enough) existed along with these parallels of the Virtual Reality cards, parallels themselves, but that's neither here nor there.  I now have 75 of Howe's 81 cards, and besides a bit of a fight to get his three '96 Leaf Certified autos I don't think I'll need to shell out too much to add him to the finished pile.

Ryan LaMarre 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Signature Status Emerald auto (#06/25)
LaMarre is another fairly recent Wolverine with a rainbow I made some progress on this time.  I recently showed off his Black Status autograph from this same set (one of my favorites), and now I can add this one to the colorfest.  Surprisingly, this fairly limited (numbered /25) card didn't cost me very much at all.  Besides being a fun signature card, I love that it features a Michigan uni shot as well--that doesn't happen nearly as often with baseball as it does with other sports.

While I still need a pair of cards to complete this rainbow I'm happy to bump up my LaMarre total to 23 of his 37 issues while adding the 10th hit to his collection.  Hey, that's a milestone!  Ryan is the 10th player to hit 10 hits so far.
Zach Putnam 2008 Razor Letterman 5 T patch auto (#2/5)
Hill's earlier card wasn't the only manuletter/auto I scored.  I'd been lusting after this Razor Letterman of Zach Putnam for years but the seller had never budged on his price, which was way more than what similar cards #d /5 usually go for.  Eventually he finally brought the price down and I made a deal to land my first letter from this version of the nameplate; as a reminder I have the unnumbered and /20 versions done plus I even have two of the 1/1s cards.  This black version looks pretty sharp, plus it's another Michigan uni card!  It becomes my 33rd Putnam hit (second only to Hill by just 90 cards) and 42nd out of 52 issues, though of the 10 remaining eight of them are #d /5.  Jeez.
Clayton Richard 2008 Bowman Sterling Refractor (#079/199)
And here's our final 2016 player.  Richard eventually found his way from the south side to the north and the Cubs, and I hope he gets to be part of something big this year.  It took me a while but I finally added this Refractor version of his 2008 Bowman Sterling card to the base and Gold Refractor I own, leaving me just the Black Refractor #d /25 short of the mini rainbow.  It's more progress for his collection 113 cards strong out of 157 (with a tiny chance of more being made), putting me near the 75% mark.
George Sisler 2009 Topps Triple Threads Sepia (#122/525)
2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Framed Paper (#95) (#463/999)
2011 Topps Lineage Cloth Stickers
2014 Classics Legendary Lumberjacks
Old George Sisler doesn't have time for all those young whippersnappers above him, dammit!  I had fun adding these four inserts to his decent-and-growing collection on the cheap thanks to COMC.  Fortunately the Toppsopoly didn't win out this time as I snuck a Panini card in there, but the Topps stuff is actually kind of fun with numbered Parallels from Triple Threads and Gypsy Queen (about the only things I can appreciate from GQ are framed versions) and a throwback cloth sticker.  For just a couple bucks I'm glad to add these and bump Gorgeous George's collection up to 54.

It was nice getting to show my baseball PCs more love, but the next few posts will cover football and hockey as I work to clean out my scan folders.

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