Saturday, May 21, 2016

2016 COMC/Sportlots purchases: Rookie New-out and Through-out

I'm back today with more COMC pickups, and this time I'm mixing in some Sportlots purchases as well since I made even more progress on my football RC collection thanks to both sites.  I'm going to split them up into a couple posts since they combine for more than 100 cards, but this post will show off a smaller number as I'll be going into them in a bit more depth.  While an upcoming post will feature a bunch of cards of players whose first-year collections I've already started, this one includes three other groups:

1.  Rookie new-out:  my first RCs of a player in the collection
Jeff Backus 2001 NFL Showdown First and Goal
Larry Foote 2002 Bowman
Backus, the long-time Lions LT, is reasonably well-known around these parts since I've picked up a couple signatures of his, including one from SCAMB.  This is my first of his five 2001 RCs and the oddball-iest as it comes from MLB Showdown's football version.

Foote is a LB whose career I followed closely as he was with the Wolverines in the early part of last decade and then in the NFL at a time I was getting more into it.  The Detroit native went to the Steelers in the fourth round of 2002 and won a pair of Super Bowls with them in addition to spending a season each with Detroit and Arizona.  Now that his 13-year career has ended he's a linebackers coach for the Cardinals.  I just need one more RC of his (Titanium Postseason) to finish up his collection.

2.  Rookie Through-out, part 1:  the below cards finish off the rookie card collections of their respective players

Ronald Bellamy 2003 Upper Deck Pros and Prospects (with Amani Toomer) (#0857/1800):  Bellamy's eighth and final card pairs him with one of Michigan's great WRs
Prescott Burgess 2007 Topps Chrome:  It's kind of hard to believe the last Burgess I needed, his eighth, was this simple Chrome card!
Ty Law 1995 Bowman and Bowman's Best:  It took me a bit to find reasonable prices on both of Ty's Bowman entries from '95 but Sportlots, as it often does, did the trick, to get me to 10/10.
Jonas Mouton 2011 Absolute Memorabilia Retail (#390/399):  Numbered retail-specific versions of somewhat obscure guys sure are fun to track down so it's nice to have all nine Moutons.
Shantee Orr 2006 Select:  Here's the Select version of Shantee's '06 Score RC to put me at 100%.
Ernest Shazor 2005 Upper Deck Rookie Debut:  Rookie Debut was a pretty nice looking set that yet, though I'm surprised the undrafted Shazor was included for one of his three RC appearances.
Terrance Taylor 2009 SP Threads:  Taylor was a big enough dude to fit on three 2009 RCs, including this lovely college uni issue.
Jerame Tuman 1999 Revolution and Skybox Dominion (with Amos Zereoue):  Two many Tumans!  I love the variety here:  a very typical eye-melting Pacific card plus a much simpler (and kind of boring, actually) dual RC with former Mountaineer Amos Zereoue, to give me all eight of the TEs first-years.
Tyrone Wheatley 1995 Crown Royale:  I can "Ty" a bow on Wheatley's collection!  (Sorry, I'll see myself out).  This excellent Pacific die-cut was the 25th card I needed of the Wolverines' RB coach.

Rookie Through-out part 2:  these guys' rookie collections are done as well since they each appeared on only one RC!
Mike Bass 1973 Topps:  Bass, from nearby Ypsilanti, is completely new to my PC.  A DB for Michigan in the mid-60s, he was selected by Green Bay in the 12th round back in '67, was sold to the Lions before the season started, then signed with the Skins, with whom he spent the remaining seven seasons of his career.  Bass piled up 31 INTs and four TDs (including a fumble recovery in Super Bowl VII.  As you can see here, Bass had to wait until halfway through his career to appear on a RC.
Hayden Epstein 2002 Fleer Platinum:  Epstein's not completely unfamiliar around here as I have a pair of his signatures from TK Legacy, including this one from the M Go Blue set.  Jacksonville drafted the kicker in the seventh round in '02, and he split his season between the Jags and Vikings, with whom he's pictured, going 5/9 on FGs and making all 13 PATs.  That would be his only pro season, but at least he got the honor of appearing on a rookie card as a kicker, which is rare!
Jay Feely 2001 Leaf Rookies and Stars:  Wow, two kickers?  Feely, who's about to turn 40 on Monday, was a Wolverine from 1995-98, so he got a bit of run with the '97 champs before a full campaign the following year to show off for NFL scouts.  His path to the pros went through the Arena Football League, and in 2001 Atlanta signed him.  Over 14 seasons he also kicked for the Giants, Dolphins, Jets, Cardinals, and Bears, and finished up with 332/402 FGM (with a long of 61) and 449/452 extra points.  Jay parlayed that career into a new one covering college football on CBS.
Len Ford 1955 Bowman:  Ford, who was primarily a DE, is quite possibly the best player in today's post.  A D.C. native, he transferred to Michigan in time to play for the 1945-47 teams including the legendary 1947 champs.  He somehow went undrafted and played his first two pro seasons in the All-America Football Conference before joining the Browns for most of his career.  He enjoyed a great run with that team, going to seven title games and winning three of them while also earning Pro Bowl honors four times.  His outstanding career, which finished in Green Bay in 1958, earned him enshrinement into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1976.  I love the image on his '55 Bowman RC, a classic design that includes a hilariously cut out Browns logo pasted on.
Chris Howard 1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars:  Howard was a '97 champ but went in the fifth round in '98 and never garnered enough interest for companies to have him appear on RCs besides this Leaf Rookies and Stars issue.  Though his rookie card run was one and done, I do have a TK Legacy auto of him.
Jon Jansen 2007 Topps Total (with Chris Samuels and Randy Thomas):  Jansen was another OT that came out of Michigan's offensive lineman factory, and a very good one at that over his nine seasons with Washington (and a bit role with Detroit), but despite being a rookie in 1999 he didn't appear on non-Press Pass/SAGE cardboard until his inclusion in 2007 Topps Total.  This was a judgment call on my part but I felt that Jansen deserved a rookie card so here he is.  You'll see I made a similar call with another player in a second.
Alain Kashama 2004 Sweet Spot (#0694/1299):  Kashama is definitely one of the more unlikely guys you'll see appear on a football card at all, let alone a rookie.  The DE was born in the Congo before his family moved to Canada, ultimately ending up in Montreal.  Michigan took a flier on him--hey, Tim Biakabutuka is his cousin!--and Kashama had a pretty reasonable career over 40 games.  The NFL wasn't interested enough to draft him, though he did go in the first round (to Montreal) in the CFL version.  The Bears gave him a shot as an UDFA, and he would appear in three games with them in 2004, then one with Seattle in 2005.  Apparently his fate rested with the CFL after all, and Alain would join Montreal, Hamilton, and Calgary.  Amazingly, Upper Deck included him in the high-end Sweet Spot set back in 2004.
Ron Kramer 1958 Topps:  Kramer didn't quite have the same pro success as Ford, but among Michigan greats he has few equals.  I know I've spoken about him before a few times, especially when I introduced his TK Legacy auto to my collection.  I absolutely love his '58 Topps RC featuring Kramer in his old-style winged helmet somewhere on campus (I'm not 100% sure which building that is).
Reggie McKenzie 1974 Topps:  Man, talk about a bunch of Wolverines legends today.  I've shown off a couple McKenzie signatures recently so I'm thinking at least a few of you should remember who he is.  Another College Hall-of-Famer, Reggie looks pretty imposing on his '74 Topps RC, a card that came out a couple years after the Bills grabbed him in the second round.
William Peterson 2003 Topps Total (with Will Allen):  Peterson, who apparently goes by "William James" now, was a DB for Michigan in the mid-to-late-90s, including the '97 team, before transferring.  The Giants took him in 2001's third round, and he went on to play for Philly, Jacksonville, Detroit, and San Fran between then and 2010.  Like Jansen above I threw him a bone on this multiplayer Topps Total card that came out a few years after he debuted.
Josh Williams 2001 NFL Showdown 1st Edition:  Williams was a DT at Michigan in the late 90s, so again, he was part of that '97 title team.  He joined the Colts in 2000 as a fourth-rounder and played all six of his NFL seasons with them.  That's actually a pretty successful career when you consider how many guys wash out so early.  Anyway, he was interesting enough to make it into the same NFL Showdown set as Backus above, which is pretty cool in my book.
Maurice Williams 2001 Pacific (#0861/2500):  Our final player today is another Williams (and another '97 champ!), and in this case I already had something of his, a Press Pass autograph from the same year.  The OT was good enough to make it into Pacific's '01 base set, which was anything but basic since rookies were serial-numbered.  Williams appears with a nice shot from what I'm guessing is the Senior Bowl, so I'll happily check this one off as a Michigan uni card!

If you were scoring at home you'll know I added 14 new names to the rookie collection and finished up 21 players.  Taking a gander at my checklist I can see that I've completed 117 of 173 different players, not including pending rookies from this year's draft.  I'm also nearing the 1,000 card mark, and as I mentioned you'll get to see a bunch more rookies of guys that have already appeared in this series in a future post.

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