Sunday, June 24, 2018

2018 COMC purchases: Certainly Awesome Inserts

I'm sending out the Matt Signal for my collecting buddy at Sport Card Collectors as he's sure to love this post that's chock full of 90s and 2000s football inserts!  There's a lot to see today so let's get down to it:
This group of Touchdown Tims starts with a fun pair of '96s:  Donruss's Elite (#07384/10000) and Pinnacle Summit's Inspirations (#4526/8000).  I love me some numbered Donruss/Leaf/Panini/Pinnacle/Playoff/Score cards!  Elite is especially a favorite for me.  For those of you who are curious, don't be too surprised that he named Emmitt Smith his inspiration.

Moving up a few years I grabbed two more numbered cards.  First is a '99 Bowman's Best Refractor (#028/400) back when the brand and design were still relevant to me.  And last up is a 2000 Quantum Leaf Double Team insert (#1038/1500), the first of a few you'll see in today's post (with one more you'll get to catch in this series' finale).  This one pairs up the talented RB with former Panthers QB Steve Beuerlein:
Of the four cards I grabbed from this insert, Biakabutuka is the only Wolverine that appears on the front part of the card, but that's fine since I usually scan both sides of such multiplayer issues.
Hey, it's Ala--
Alan Branch.  Yep, that Alan Branch!  I found five new inserts of the slayer of signal-callers, all numbered parallels from his draft/rookie year of 2007.  The first four are all Donruss-related brands:  Threads Bronze Holofoil (#115/250), Leaf Certified Materials Mirror Red (#082/100), Playoff NFL Playoffs Gold Metalized (#021/149), and Playoff Prestige Draft Picks Light Blue (#342/999).  I love the look of that year's Prestige set as usual, and the foil parallels just knock it out of the park!

The last Branch today is the first of three 2007 Topps Chrome White Refractors you'll see in this series.  The base version looks good as usual, and of course I'm partial to the Blue offerings, but the white cards have a cool style of their own.  This one is #691/869.  Why 869?  I dunno.
One QB that Branch didn't get to kill was Elvis Grbac, who was long out of the league by the time Branch debuted.  Still, Grbac had a pretty nice career for being chosen near the end of the eighth and final round in the '93 draft--better than that of #2 overall pick Rick Mirer, at least!

The first two of a quartet of his cards I found are Refractors from 1999 Topps Chrome and 2000 Bowman Chrome.  Once again these were made during an era where I appreciated Topps' yearly efforts.  That's a great photo on the Bowman Chrome card!

Next is another 2000 Quantum Leaf Double Team card:
Front an center is Elvis' teammate Donnell Bennett, a RB who'd just had a career season in '99, though he too would be out of the league after the 2001 season.

And before Elvis leaves the building I turned up one more insert of his, a 2001 Playoff Honors parallel called X's and O's (#182/219).  These are very similar to Donruss' Stat Line insert that debuted in the baseball product that year as the cards are numbered to an interesting career stat for each player (making some of them super rare).  It took me a bit of searching to deduce that the "219" refers to Grbac's overall draft position in 1993!
The guy with the most new cards this time is Jim Harbaugh as I turned up seven interesting new inserts of the current coach, all from 1996-2000.

The 1996 contingent is led by Refractors from Bowman's Best and Finest (his Bronze version).  Again, great examples of design from that era of Topps.  Those are joined by another appearance from Summit's Inspirations insert (#6780/8000).  Harbaugh names his dad as a major inspiration which is no surprise given their positive relationship over the years.  But interestingly he mentions that "My hero growing up was Bobby Orr.  That's why I wear no. 4."  You learn something new every day!

Another fun Refractor design from 1999 Bowman Chrome joins the fray, then we get today's final 2000 Quantum Leaf Double team pairing:
Natrone Means' second stint in San Diego wasn't quite as successful as his first in terms of the numbers he put up, but he was still the biggest name on the Chargers for this insert that highlighted each team's backfield.

Last up is a very interesting pair that I wasn't aware of until this latest COMC sale.  Those two die-cut full-motion hologram cards are from 1997 Pinnacle inserts called V2 from Zenith and Inscriptions (meaning I scanned them backwards).  The Zenith card appears to show Jim celebrating running in a score himself while the Inscriptions card depicts him throwing a pass.  These cards are extremely cool but relatively small in size and mostly limited to QBs and a few RBs.  They sure don't make 'em like they used to!
The well-traveled Dhani Jones is today's final solo subject before I get to the one-offs.  I don't usually have much luck finding new stuff of him so this numbered parallel trio was pretty cool to find.  A 2008 Score Scorecard is first, numbered 117/649.  Then we have a pair of 2011s:  Certified Platinum Blue (#070/100) and Panini Gridiron Gear Silver X's (#209/250).  Go on, take a wild guess which is my favorite, I'm sure you'll get it on the first try!
And the rest.  QB Todd Collins heads up this group with a 1997 Collector's Edge Extreme Forerunners (#1262/1500) acetate-style card.  That highlights a 95-yard TD pass Collins tossed to Bills WR Quinn Early on December 1, 1996.

The next three are Refractors.  CB Marlin Jackson's name doesn't appear on the front of that 2007 Topps Chrome White Refractor (#193/869) but he's the clear star of this one which celebrates his interception of a Tom Brady pass late in the 2006 AFC Championship, preserving the lead for the eventual champs.  More than a decade later Brady would be victimized by another former Michigan star, Brandon Graham, to lose out on a comeback attempt in this year's Super Bowl.

The other two Refractors WR Tai Streets from 2001 Topps Chrome (#915/999) and RB Tyrone Wheatley from the previously-seen 2000 Bowman Chrome.  And to close out this post we have one more ridiculously cool die-cut card, a 2015 Panini Prizm Draft Picks Helmet Die Cuts of WR Devin Funchess.  Why shouldn't the best helmet in all of college football get a starring role on an insert in a college-themed set?

With these posted and put away look forward to two more posts in this series, one covering some cool hits, then the big finish featuring new stuff for my PCs.


  1. You can never go wrong with refractors from the 90's! I've only recently started to learn about, -- and appreciate -- the Collector's Edge brand, so it's cool to see the Todd Collins insert.

    1. Hell, I was collecting at that point and I still know very little about the brand too. It was truly all over the place, lots of treasure and trash, so it's fun to turn up a gem like the Collins.

      As for the Refractors--you're damn right!