I already mentioned this player is a guy a number of you collect and that I just as easily could have posted his card on TMV because of his popularity. Like Gehringer this player is a middle-infielder who left Michigan and went on to a HOF career. He also played 19 MLB seasons, all for one team, and won an MVP award like the Mechanical Man. Oh yeah, and each managed to win a World Series ring during their respective careers.
Know who it is yet? I'm sure most of you do:
Barry Larkin 2016 Panini Flawless Transitions Signatures Emerald auto (#4/5)
So, uh, that's a pretty nice low-numbered autograph of Barry Larkin, huh? If you hadn't noticed, he's prominent pictured as a Wolverine on half of this card, hence his appearance on this here blog tonight.
This super-thick, super-premium Panini Flawless card highlights Barry's career both with the Wolverines and with Team USA back in 1984. As this article notes, Larkin was on the '84 USA team that went on tour and then participated in the Seoul Olympics as a demonstration sport, cruising to the gold medal game before losing to Japan.
I love that Panini has continued to take advantage of alternative uniforms to overcome the lack of the MLB license, especially since that's resulted in a nice number of college cards.
The fact I won this one at all was amazing enough to me, but so was the fact that I paid just a bit more than $36 shipped for this Emerald version numbered to just five copies! I was prepared to pay even more considering that amount was around or even under what the more common versions (#d /15) were going for; Barry doesn't have a ton of Michigan cards out there, especially not autographed versions, so I'll happily pay a bit of a premium when I see them. As it is, this is now my third maize & blue auto of his (1 and 2), fourth signature overall, and 19th hit.
For less than the cost of two craptacular blasters I now own what may be my top overall Larkin card! Hopefully eBay continues to treat me well this year with cards like this one.