Tuesday, February 13, 2018

2017 Sportlots purchases: bringing the Wood, son

I've got one post left in my series covering my huge Sportlots purchase over on TMV, but that's gonna wait (at least) one more day as I feature the final football guy over here:  Charles Woodson.  As was the case on the other blog, the player featured in the finale is the one for whom I landed the most new cards, and that was definitely the case with Woodson.  What did I land, and how many?  Keep reading to find out!
My haul begins with 1999 because the previous year is pretty much RC stuff, most of which I have.  So we'll start with second-years from an earlier incarnation of Absolute as well as Bowman Chrome.  Then begins a huge run of a company many of you might have forgotten or weren't aware of in the first place:  Collector's Edge.  Considering it produced its final cards the following year, meaning it's been almost 20 since they came out, you could definitely be forgiven for your ignorance or lack of awareness.

The product titles here include Advantage, First Place, Fury, Masters, and Supreme, with a couple Gold Ingot parallels thrown in.
The CE name claims the first two cards here--another Gold Ingot parallel plus a set called Triumph.  Then it's off to more familiar territory.  The next pair hails from Donruss:  the flagship product as well as Elite, a couple I'm happy to see standing strong today.  Speaking of strong brands, I grabbed a pair from that year's Finest as well, and that's another set whose quality was top notch for a while.  A classic Fleer Tradition design leads into two products still available today:  (Leaf) Certified and Rookies and Stars.
Here's a scan with a lot to like, especially a cool Playoff Prestige SSD (hobby) design, Score, Stadium Club, and Topps Chrome.  Stadium Club is a product that worked for every sport and I'm disappointed that NFLers won't appear on it any longer, at least for the foreseeable future.
The first five cards here finish up '99, and those include Topps Stars, Ultra, and three UD offerings:  MVP, Retro, and Victory.  That looks like Broncos star Ed McCaffrey, father of Wolverines QB Dylan, making a cameo on the Ultra card!

Then 2000 brings us Bowman and its Chrome version, one last Collector's Edge product (T3), and Donruss.  I liked seeing the versions of Donruss in the first scan and this one because the manufacturer used those in "what would have been"-type cards in their 2001 baseball return.
And like those Donruss products, I collected the baseball versions of some of these as well, such as Metal, Skybox, and Ultra.  Those Pacific and Score designs are among my favorites for each and really make me wish the latter had been able to last longer in the baseball world.  Meanwhile, the super shiny Leaf Certified reminds me of the two RCs I still need from the product:  WR Marcus Knight and some guy named Brady.
The final four cards from 2000 are an all Upper Deck affair.  A cool flagship design is followed by a Silver Script parallel from MVP, and then there's a pair from that year's Victory.  That's a pretty cool achievement for Chuck since defenders obviously don't get the hobby love they deserve.

A very cool Absolute Memorabilia design kicks off 2001, though it's possible I like it because I associate it with some of my favorite hits.  Then there's a pretty good Bowman design, followed by the always excellent Classics, one of Donruss' best brands.  Lastly, Focus and Game Time are a couple examples from the Fleer brand explosion around that time (which can be seen much more prominently in my collection when it comes to baseball).
One more (non-Ultra) Fleer product kicks off this scan, then it's on to perennial offering Rookies and Stars.  Playoff Honors proved difficult to scan, but I assure you it looks quite nice.  Leaf's higher-end Quantum Leaf product looked great in 2001 thanks to the bold blue featured up front.  Score and Select featured solid looks as usual.  Pacific's Titanium (Retail) was kind of forgettable that year.  And Topps Chrome gave us another very good effort, joined by a product called "Collection", which was essentially a stamped factory set version.
More excellence from Ultra and Upper Deck flagship begin the end of 2001, with Top Tier (a pretty unnecessary product), Vintage, and Victory closing the book on that year.  Then 2002 opens with another fun Absolute Memorabilia design, an absolutely bonkers Crown Royale die-cut piece, the usual from Donruss, and a retro-like Fleer Platinum.  Kudos to Pacific for breaking the mold!
Fleer Showcase and its beautiful framed art-style design start off this scan that features plenty of nice stuff including Showcase's sister brand, Tradition.  Leaf Certified shines, literally, in another excellent iteration.  The two Pacific cards--flagship and Adrenaline--are the least interesting of this bunch for me but that's a high bar to cross.  Meanwhile, Playoff Prestige is another good looker and Score is a nice way to go back to the basics.  Lastly, Topps (the 2002 set is one I don't own) and Chrome look outstanding despite the green border (I would've gone with blue!).
Another beautiful Ultra design leads into an Upper Deck trilogy (but not Trilogy) to end 2002:  flagship, MVP, and XL.  I loved the latter's baseball version, 40 Man, so I should see how many Wolverines from that product I can track down.

Another three-peat begins 2003 as Fleer leads the charge via Focus, Platinum, and Tradition.  The last two are about on par with each other in terms of quality while I don't find Focus that interesting.

Lastly, a couple Leaf-branded products end this scan:  the beautiful and shiny Certified Materials and the not-that-exciting Rookies and Stars.  I guess I just never saw the use of R&S as a base set, though it did offer some interesting inserts.
Playoff's Hogg Heaven was kind of a weird brand that didn't leave me wanting more when it quietly went away, but at least Prestige still exists with quality designs like this one from '03.  Score and Topps were both their usual solid selves that year, and I'm always up for shots of Chuck returning yet another INT.  That year's Upper Deck features a fantastic shot of Woodson going all out to defend a pass against the Steelers.  And then 2004 begins on a high (-end) note with Absolute Memorabilia, Donruss Classics, and Leaf Certified Materials.  Another understated Fleer Tradition design balances things out a bit here.
The first four cards here are 2004's swan song:  Score, Sweet Spot, Topps Total, and Upper Deck--a nice little mix of base design.  Then we take a very brief visit to 2005 with Score (again), Topps Heritage, Topps Total (again), Topps Turkey Red, and Ultra.  That year's Heritage went with a great retro look in the style of many past designs.  Turkey Red was a fun throwback that also worked in the baseball world.  And Ultra proved it was still among the best lookers.
I don't know if Woodson got less hobby love over the next few years or if I just found less to buy, but this group of nine is spread across 2006-2011.  '06 is represented by Topps brands Chrome, Heritage, and Total, with Heritage definitely another highlight in terms of design.  The next two years are each represented by Upper Deck and very different designs; '08 has always been among my favorites.

Topps' forgettable Platinum shines by itself in terms of the '09 stuff, then we skip 2010 entirely.  Excellent designs (as usual, sorry to beat a dead horse) from Prestige and Score are joined by a nice Topps effort called Legends, which correctly included the legendary Woodson.
A couple more Topps cards finish out 2011:  a Blue parallel of the Legends card you just saw, plus a brand called Rising Rookies with a design that evokes Upper Deck for me.

2012 gets a nice, shiny start with Certified and Donruss Elite, and then the Panini train keeps rolling with Prestige, Rookies and Stars, and Score.  I like how the Elite and Score cards both include the retro Packers unis.

Last up, another looker from Topps Archives reps 2013 and a design that's not quite up to snuff with its predecessors can be seen on 2014's Absolute.
This group of six, the last of the vertical cards, is one of my favorites for fairly obvious reasons.  The all-Panini bunch includes the Retail version of Absolute from above, 2015 Donruss (on another design I appreciate) and Prizm from the same year.  But the real stars are 2015 and 2016 Contenders Draft Picks and Prizm Draft Picks from 2015.  Michigan uniform cards uber alles!  I'm already a fan of most Contenders designs so those two are particular highlights for me thanks to the college unis.
This first of two horizontal bunches has some interesting stuff including:  a 1999 Pacific card shared with a fullback(!); a cool looking Ultra insert from 2000 with the punny title of "Instant Three Play"; Fleer Tradition base and Glossy versions from 2001; and a super cool die-cut cut that could only have been made by Pacific.
And now we've finally made it to the end.  The Fleer Premium card is a base issue that looks more like an insert.  2005 Upper Deck has a shot of a savvy vet letting the offense know he's coming for them.  A retail version of Ultra from 2007 is hard to distinguish from the hobby card.  2009 SPx could use a bit more game action going on in the background but Woodson returning a pick is the star of the show anyway.  And lastly, Charles is seen taking another INT back to the house on a 2012 Gridiron base.  I wonder which Broncos QB was responsible--Tim Tebow or Kyle Orton?

This crazy bunch of new cards--almost 150 in total--pushes the Michigan great to the leader of pack that is my football PCs with 264, good for a slim lead over second place guy Chad Henne.  We'll see how long that advantage lasts!

With my Sportlots acquisitions from 2017 now done, next on my plate will be the last of my pickups from last year:  another huge COMC haul.  Stay tuned!

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