Saturday, February 16, 2019

2019 trade package #2: Sports Cards From the Dollar Store

Recent birthday boy and buddy of the blog Doug of Sports Cards From the Dollar Store had let me know recently that I had a few more cards heading my way since he last sent me a trade package...last month.  He's nothing if not Canadianly generous!

This time I was surprised to get two snap cases stuffed with a total of four cards, pretty much all of the high-end variety.  Seriously, I was floored.  Check 'em out:
Well damn, that's a nice way to start off a trade post!  These 2011-12 Exquisite Collection Dimensions cards are something else:  super, super thick and layered with a hologram-like bottom image, a signed piece of something like plastic, and one more image up top.  Oh yeah, and they're college-themed, so here we get to see program legend Cazzie Russell as a Wolverine.  These are completely badass and I love that I can pair Cazzie with another Michigan great, Anthony Carter:
Russell remains the most represented player in my basketball collection at 14 hits, and none are nicer than this one!
You know a basketball card must be good when I get excited about it, but this football piece had me smiling too.  I can probably count the number of booklets I own on one hand but this is at least the second Doug's sent me, and a fantastic one at that!  From Panini's 2017 National Treasures here's WR Amara Darboh on such a card that pairs up a signature and enormous jersey swatch, one that must have come from the shoulder area of the type of Seahawks jersey pictured.  It's great to see such an interesting relic swatch, especially on a card that's actually numbered to 99.  I'd say I have a new favorite Darboh in my football collection, too!  One more hit and he'll be in double-digits, by the way, and I might just have a couple in-hand from COMC....
Last up today in the place of honor in this post is the most Canadian of sports: hockey.  I'm not sure if Doug realizes it but he sent me cards of 2/3 of Michigan's 2015-16 "CCM" line:  J.T. Compher and Tyler Motte, who were joined by Kyle Connor during his year in Ann Arbor.  The trio combined for 83 goals that season before heading to the NHL en masse.  Connor is still lighting it up for the Jets while Compher, originally drafted by Buffalo, was flipped to Colorado.  The Hawks's Motte has since been traded to Columbus and then Vancouver.

Compher's not making his debut here today--thanks to Doug he joined my collection last September--but this beautiful 2017-18 UD Black Lustrous Rookies Autographs card is hit #1 for him.  Black has been one of UD's nicer looking high-end brands for a while now, and a thick piece with a great design and beautiful signature is a great way to start things.

As for Motte I'm already up to five hits thanks to a very nice two-color jersey relic from 2016-17 UD Premier.  It looks as if the swatch may have come from one of the stripes near the jersey's elbows--our second case of relic forensics today!  If you're counting at home, Doug is responsible for four of those five cards, by the way.

For the 56th time on this here blog alone, thanks for a fun, super high quality trade package, Doug!  Happy birthday, and enjoy the small envelope I sent your way if it ever gets out of the US and over the border.

Monday, February 11, 2019

2/2/19 show report: a Feb-Blue-ary kind of show

As I described on TMV this evening, February's show resulted in less quantity than I'm used to, and this time most of it was concentrated on stuff I posted on that blog.  But I did come home with a quartet of dime and quarter inserts I was happy to pull from the mountain of boxes I sifted through:
DB Jamar Adams was one of the lesser known guys from my favorite draft class, the '08s, and his NFL career lasted all of eight games over three seasons, but don't think I wasn't excited to come up with that '08 Donruss Threads Gridiron Kings insert of the former Wolverine in his college duds!  I'll have to do some work to figure how if I'm missing any Michigan players from the set.

Card #2 calls back to the second post in my most recent Sportlots series when I showed off a bunch of RCs for my collection, including those of Michigan-to-USC transfer Justin Fargas.  To those I added a Topps Chrome Refractor from the '08 version, which went with black borders for the basic versions, a very good decision in my opinion.

The only PC guy I hit this time was current coach Jim Harbaugh on an insert I didn't recognize.  It's a set called MVPs inserted into '96 Collector's Choice, and that explains my lack of familiarity since I was way more likely to buy the baseball version at the time.  Jim was a Pro Bowler the previous year (as opposed to a pro bowler) was named the comeback player of the year to boot after posting career highs in completion percentage and YPA and leading the league in fourth quarter comebacks and game-winnings drives (3 and 4, respectively), so he appears to have earned his appearance here.

Last up is the only guy that's still active, WR Devin Funchess.  The FA pass-catcher appears today on an on-brand die-cut insert from Panini's 2015 Crown Royale.  Devin got plenty of hype going into his rookie year so he was a natural fit for the Regal Rookies insert, and in this case you're seeing the Green version.  Hopefully I can track some other variants down to show off, but more importantly, I hope Funchess lands with a team with a good QB and the sense to throw plenty of passes his way!

That's it for this show so next time we're back to Sportlots, and I'll try not to slack off so much that those posts drag into March.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

2018 Sportlots purchases: QB club

Since I last posted here NFL GOAT QB Tom Brady went and won another Super Bowl, to the delight of most Michigan fans and the disgust of probably most of the country again.  Hey, I get it--he's pretty much football's version of Derek Jeter:  a big time winner who's not entirely likable when he's off the field.

Anyway, that's a lot of words about someone who won't be featuring in this post, or even this series.  But we are talking about 12's position while looking at cards of two other notable Wolverine field generals today:
Brian Griese may have never won a ring in the NFL, but he did accomplish one thing Brady didn't:  bring a National Championship at Michigan.  The former journeyman and current college broadcaster is among the most represented guys in my PCs and days like this are why as I'm adding 10 fun new pieces.

The first seven are of the vertical variety and span 1999, the year after Griese was drafted, to 2005 and the second season of his first stint with the Bucs.  There's plenty of shininess to appreciate thanks to Leaf Certified, Quantum Leaf, Topps Gold Label, Pacific Exclusive, and Topps Pristine.  My favorite out of this excellent bunch is the Gold Label, made back in 2000 when Topps had competition and actually had to put effort into their products.  Base cards from UD (2001) and Playoff Contenders ('05) are there because I almost always love their designs.
The horizontals are a fun mix in that they're all over the place.  Fleer's Flair Showcase looked awesome in '99 and that goes nicely with all the shiny above.  Pacific gets repped again thanks to the die-cut 2001 Prism Atomic, with the Broncos logo particularly suited to the design.  And then we jump forward to 2002 and another nice Topps offering, Heritage.

This is the kind of variety I love adding to any collection so I was happy to put them in Griese's PC for a new count of 186.
Meanwhile, Shoelace (who's part of the brand new Alliance of American Football) may have switched to RB late in his college career and during his brief NFL stay, but I'll always think of him as a dual-threat QB.  That's how he's depicted on four of these five new cards and that works for me!

The first three are from 2013 college-themed brands--Leaf Draft, Press Pass, and SAGE HIT--that unfortunately have to employ the usual tricks perfected by unlicensed products, such as airbrushing and non-uniform shots.  Joining those are a Score Hot Rookies insert from the same year plus a 60th Anniversary Factory Set issue from 2015 Topps.  With those I'm now five cards closer to the century mark at 96.

I still have something like four posts left in this series but plan on showing off my loot from last Saturday's card show next.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

2018 Sportlots purchases: it's so cold in the D

In what has to be a first in my combined time at the University as a student and then staff member, the school closed up shop for two days (today and tomorrow) due to the ridiculous wind chill courtesy of the globally climate-changed polar vortex.  That's almost as rare as the number of honest bones in Urban Meyer's body!

This evening's post's title refers both to an infamously bad song that can be viewed on YouTube (NSFW language warning) plus the side of the ball on which has been the traditional strength at Michigan.

Let's have a look at six of the team's defensive greats in the form of Sportlots pickups!

Hey!  It's Ala--

#alanbranchkillsQBs
-n Branch!  I was able to target and score a nice number of Michigan uni cards throughout this purchase and was extremely successful when it came to the monster DT--a 100% hit rate!  Everything you see is from 2007 with the first four made by Press Pass and the last by SAGE.  They're all quite nice to look at, if you ask me, but the numbered Reflector parallel and base SAGE are my favorites.  In fact that's likely my favorite design in the latter's run, though I should try comparing them all side-by-side at some point.

This five-spot bumps Branch up to 60 cards.
Player #2 is CB Leon Hall.  It doesn't look like there's much to celebrate with just this pair but they ended up being significant as the put him at exactly the century mark, the 15th of my football PCs to reach 100.  On the left is SAGE's Aspire base from '07, and while I don't love the design as much as anything above I still appreciate the use of a nice home action photo.  The other is a 2011 Score Glossy parallel, which is not the most exciting of inserts, but is new to his collection and therefore useful.
Four of today's players came to the NFL in the ridiculously talented 2007 draft class that really should have won more but didn't for a variety of reasons.  The third of that quartet is tackling machine David Harris, a guy who enjoyed 11 productive seasons in the league (as much as anyone can "enjoy" spending most of their career with the Jets).  New to his collection today are Score Glossy parallels from 2008 and 2011 and base cards from 2008 Select and 2012 Prestige.  Again, nothing too exciting--and no college cards--but I'm always glad to add to his PC, which now stands at 75.  I have a few interesting additions from COMC that will follow soon!
Former DB Marlin Jackson (who's always fun to search for--"NO I didn't want Marlins players named Jackson!") breaks up the '07 party as a 2005 draftee.  I was glad to find a college-themed set offering of his, the '05 SAGE HIT you see first.  Then I dug up a couple second-year base cards:  2006 Select and Topps Heritage.  The scan makes it obvious that I need to try to clean up the Select card a bit if I can!  As usual Heritage looks quite nice.

Thanks to this trio Jackson one-upped Branch by reaching a new count of 61 items.
Break's over, we're back to 2007!  I split my finds of Steelers star DE/LB LaMarr Woodley between that year--his rookie season--and 2009.  To rep the former he brings back SAGE HIT once more with that fantastic base design plus a Blue parallel of the Playmakers insert.  A Bowman Draft Orange insert (yeah, it doesn't look "orange" in-person either) leads the cards made two years later, and then we get a throwback pair with UD's Philadelphia and Topps Mayo.  The group of five you see here bumps one of my smaller football PCs up to 55, and I'll keep adding to it as I can find new stuff.
And here we have every Michigan fan's dream:  11 Charles Woodsons!  The GOAT DB is the old man of this group but he continues to outpace everyone else in my football PCs because he's a rare defender that got lots of cardboard.

This first scan starts with his second year in the pros, 1999, in the form of one of his two Playoff Prestige EXP base issues plus the loud and proud Revolution by Pacific.  That brand's Omega kicks off a 2000 quintet that includes another Prestige base plus Topps Collection, and UD's Encore.
This scan opens with a familiar photo but this time it's from UD's Gold Reserve.  Then we jump ahead to 2002 and that manufacturer's Piece of History insert called National Honors, a card that notes Woodson's surprise '97 Heisman win.  Suck it, Peyton!  The last three are a bit of a grab bag:  '05 Prestige, 2010 Finest, and another 2011 Score Glossy appearance.

The guy with the biggest bunch of additions to the biggest of my football PCs also gets to celebrate the biggest milestone today, crossing the 300 mark to 307!

I have something like five posts left in this series, so keep an eye out for those, plus hopefully some card show pickups from this coming weekend.

Monday, January 28, 2019

2019 trade package #1: Sports Cards From the Dollar Store

When Doug (of Sports Cards From the Dollar Store) sends me trade packages there are times when he undersells them, promising more in the way of quantity than quality.  While I don't think I can say that's ever been true, I guess it's a matter of perspective.  The one I just received from him the other day was another two-parter, and maybe you've headed over here from the TMV portion starring a bevy of Tigers and Wings.  Lots of quantity there, to be sure, but plenty I liked.

And it's possible that I'm just as pleased with this envelope as usual since the quality was mostly concentrated on the Michigan PCs, which is my preference anyway!  Here's all the great stuff I get to show off this time:
Up first:  basketball, and some recent guys at that.  It sounds a bit funny to refer to Crawford as "recent" but, hey, dude's still playing!  THJ, LeVert, and Sauce Castillo all at least played in Ann Arbor within the past decade.  By the way, all four guys you see above were first round picks.
As was this guy, German star Moe Wagner.  I'm happy to get my first hit of the big man in the form of a jersey from last year's Hoops product in a set called Rise N Shine Memorabilia, a name I know they've used before.  Hopefully he'll be starring for the Lakers before I know it!
The football bunch ended up being a group of nine, perfect for scanning purposes.  Super Bowl-bound QB Tom Brady starts us off on a beautiful 2018 Classics base, one of Panini's best offerings.  2018 champ Brandon Graham is next on a rare base appearance that isn't from his rookie year, and I'm curious to see what his next move is.  Severely underdrafted DL Maurice Hurst follows on a great four-spot:  his 2018 Leaf Draft base and All American insert plus RCs from Panini's Luminance and Rookies and Stars.  I'm loving the focus on college action here.

Then there's a great 2017-18 one-two punch starring Jabrill Peppers:  a rookie year Score Gold Zone parallel (#29/50) plus last year's Donruss Optic.  Doug is now responsible for three excellent Peppers cards from the former, including another parallel plus an autograph!

And then a very cool vintage surprise sews up the gridiron portion:  a 1963 Topps CFL base (in very nice condition!) of QB/RB Bob Ptacek.  After his three-year Michigan career in the late 50s he was drafted by the Browns, spent a year with them, then headed off to six seasons with the pictured Saskatchewan Roughriders.  Doug's gifted me with a few cool CFL issues and this is definitely one of the best!
As usual the hockey portion was the largest, and like the TMV version you'll see a ton of 2009-10 and 18-19 O-Pee-Chee, which I'm definitely down with, especially since I really like the design of the former.  I decided to have fun this time and separate these out in a scan I like to call "Hockey Mikes", the name of one of my favorite tags to use on this blog; I count at least six in my collection and you see four of them here.
And now I may have to create a new tag for "Hockey Andrews" because there's three alone right here (plus one or two "Andy"s not seen here).  Glendening got a double-dip as a Wing and appeared in this evening's other post.  And I'll take hockey John Madden over the Ace/Tinactin guy any day!
The Miller card leading off here was of interest to me because he played for four years in Ann Arbor starting in 2005, so it's possible I saw him play in a few games but can't remember him.  PC favorite Morrison makes another appearance, as does one of many hockey players from my hometown of Livonia, David Moss.  And the UD Nystrom (and its excellent photo) was a nice surprise since he's one of Doug's fellow 2/14 babies.
And here's an excellent pair of hits--the cream of the quality crop--to end things for today.  First up is a sick-nasty patch of Swedish chef Carl Hagelin courtesy of 2012-13 Limited and numbered to just 10.  It's a beautiful patch from a Rangers jersey and a nice upgrade on another Hagelin I believe Doug sent me--a jersey version of the same card.  No surprise there, though, since my Canadian trading buddy has sent me some of my best Hagelins (and hockey hits in general).

#2 is another collection newbie:  C David Wohlberg.  The South Lyon native (a bit north of me here in Ann Arbor) played four seasons for Michigan starting in 2008-09, and while he never made it to the NHL, unlike Miller above I do remember Wohlberg a bit, likely because he put up a nice number of points over his four years.  As always, kudos to Doug for turning up another new Wolverine for my PC, this time in the form of a 2014-15 Upper Deck AHL Box Set auto.

Doug, many thanks for this great start to trading between us in 2019!  I have a few things set aside for you already and will aim for sending something back your way in time for your birthday, especially since I know you have some COMC goodies for me.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

2018 Sportlots purchases: Happy Rookie Blue Year!

Next up on the 2018 Sportlots train is a fresh new crop of football RCs!  As I believe I explained before, I added a number of guys who transferred--in general away from Michigan--as long as I felt like their short careers in Ann Arbor justified it.  My only rule was that I wouldn't include any cards with photos of them with their non-Michigan school.

They were my main target this time but I did manage to track down a few cards of other guys as well.  Check 'em out:
I didn't feel like sorting these chronologically this time so we're going straight alphabetical, starting with a couple 2017 Donruss cards starring DL Taco Charlton and WR Amara Darboh.  I'm not sure why Darboh got a Rated Rookie appearance and not Charlton, but that's not all bad since I get to see two different designs.

The other player in this scan is RB Justin Fargas.  The son of Antonio "Huggy Bear" Fargas (Starsky and Hutch), Justin came to Ann Arbor in 1998 with the Wolverines coming off their national title, and he was a prized recruit for sure, but unfortunately broke his leg late in his freshman season, forcing him into an injury redshirt the following year.  His choice to flip to defense didn't help him regain much playing time so he headed to USC and had a pretty nice 2002 season with them, then got drafted by the Raiders in the third round in '03.  He lasted seven seasons--his entire career--in Oakland, which is pretty good given the meat grinder nature of the position.

I came up with 22 of his rookies on my checklist and you can see the first six of those above:  Bowman, Topps, Topps Pristine, Topps Total, Upper Deck MVP, and Fleer Tradition (another of their cool three-player cards).
Next we return to a more familiar face:  Devin Funchess, on his 2015 Topps Field Access RC.  I don't know why that one was such a thorn in my side, but after passing on lots of people selling it for a buck or more I finally got a nice deal, leaving me four short of his rookie run.

The second of five transfer players today is TE Damon Jones.  He's not a guy I remember but then again he played in 12 games in 1993 and that was it for his Division I career.  Apparently multiple arrests led to him transferring to Southern Illinois.  The Jags took him in the fifth round in 1997, and he carved out a five year career in Jacksonville.  You can see a pair of his three rookies above:  Collector's Choice and Skybox Premium issues from the year he was drafted.

Bennie Joppru is a tight end that's much more familiar here, I think.  In picking up his 2003 Gridiron Kings rookie I got within nine cards of landing his 32 first-years, thanks to a fantastic looking card.

He's joined by another guy on that side of the ball, WR Marcus Knight.  At times it feels like every one of his 15 rookies I'm chasing is serial-numbered, and that's because nine of them are, including these two from 2000:  Leaf Limited (#1474/1500) and UD Ionix (#1399/2000).  Bonus points to the latter for its Michigan uni, though I've always hated that crappy digital numbering that a number of manufacturers used.  Four of Knights cards remain and, yes, all of them are numbered!
Here's the rest of the guys who left, an all-transfer scan.  Ryan Mallett's 2011 Score is the second of his rookies I've acquired but that's because I've long owned Topps' set from the same year.  Many around here remember his cannon arm and ten cent brain, though his transfer to Arkansas--apparently suggested by retiring coach Lloyd Carr--worked out pretty well for him in the end.  Luckily for me he appears on just 10 rookies that meet my criteria, plus he's long since lost any hype he had out of the draft.

The other two guys, though, weren't known to me that I could remember.  The first is DL Trevor Pryce, a guy who looks to have been at Michigan at some point in the mid-90s and then transferred to Clemson.  He was good enough to get picked by Denver #28 overall in '97 and therefore was part of title-winning teams his first two seasons.  Pryce had a great 14-year career that included 91.0 sacks and four Pro Bowl nods in addition to those two rings.  Above you can see his '97 Collector's Choice and Upper Deck RCs, leaving me short just his SP Authentic.

Last up today is another RB-type who transferred out west and then was drafted by the Raiders.  Jon Ritchie was a Wolverine for the '93 and '94 seasons before sitting out a year to spend his final two years at Stanford.  Oakland grabbed him in the third round in '98 and he lasted five seasons with them, plus another two in Philly, listed as a FB/RB/TE.  I came up with 12 of his rookies to chase and here you can see the first four I found:  Bowman, Collector's Edge First Place, UD Choice, and Upper Deck Encore.

That should do it for rookies this time but I'll have a few more for you when it's time to get to my COMC loot.  Next up you'll get to see either another position group or a single player.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

2018 Sportlots purchases: wide world of WRs

It may be a new year but I still have lots of 2018 pickups to get through.  Before I show off some bigtime scores from COMC let's have a look at my latest Sportlots haul.

I'll open things up with a group of WRs:
Former Iggle Jason Avant is celebrating finally crossing the century mark thanks to this 2006-07 four spot.  The Michigan uni card is a 2006 SAGE base and the next two are from that year as well:  a Score Glossy parallel of his RC and UD insert.  A Black parallel of his 2007 Topps Draft Chrome card closes things out.
Steve Breaston went from the Maize & Blue to wearing red for most of his career.  The outstanding 2007 SAGE HIT base is actually a dupe (one of a few this time) so it'll be heading Jeff's way eventually.  The rest is mostly a mix of Panini and Topps base from 2009-12.  Another Score Glossy parallel (from 2011) pops up here, and you'll see a few more in this series.  The 2012 Bowman design (card #6) was so different from the rest of the product's history that I can't help but be interested in it.  And a 2011 Topps Rising Rookies Draft Selection insert reminds you that the dynamic playmaker was selected in 2007's fifth round.
Before his disappointing NFL career and saying stupid things about the program post-retirement, Braylon Edwards was largely a force in Ann Arbor.  Here he is on a trio of college uni cards from 2005 Press Pass brands.  The first is one of his two appearances in the main product's base set while the others are his SE base appearance and a Gold parallel of that card.
It's a-me, this here blog's namesake!  I didn't find too many Manninghams this time, but as I headed into this purchase with 199 cards of #86 I was happy to get over the 200-card milestone.  Press Pass's 2008 Legends set is one of my favorites in that brand's run, and a Primetime Players insert from the main brand also looks great with its college action.  Those are joined by another 2011 Score Glossy parallel.  You can ignore the 2011 Playoff Contenders base as I apparently already had it!  Or not, since it looks great in my opinion.
Former #1 David Terrell comes in first today with the most new cards at 32 (though you'll have to stay tuned to see the guys with the most new additions in this series).  I was thrilled to nearly even him up with the always-linked Anthony Thomas, and when all is said and done in this bunch they'll be within a single card!

This group kicks off with a couple 2001 Press Pass cards, including the very cool SE Old School insert.  Then we move on to a bunch of 2002 cardboard from Panini/Donruss, Fleer, and Pacific.  I tried to go with a mix of quantity and quality, though in general the former won out.
The 2001 rookie came with a lot of hype so he appeared in lots of 2002 products as well.  Here we have three more Pacific offerings (including a Red parallel of the previously-seen Adrenaline), a couple Playoff brands, Score, Topps, and UD.  The photo on the Score base is terrific and the kind of thing I think we should see more of when it comes to receivers.
I told you that the 2002 group was big--Upper Deck's XL is the right name to finish up that year.  2003 is then largely represented by well-known names like Fleer Platinum, Score, Topps/Chrome/Total, and Upper Deck MVP, though UD's serial-numbered Finite is a relative outlier.  Then the 2004 Fleer Tradition you see last is a Blue parallel.
A Topps Total is the last of the 2004s and then the rest (of the horizontals) are '05s.  The Score and Throwback Threads cards note Terrell signing with the Pats in early 2005 but he never played for them, instead suiting up as a Bronco for one game that season, the final regular season tilt for Denver; he failed to catch his lone target.  The lone horizontal card in the bunch is a 2002 UD Piece of History base that looks like it could benefit from a more zoomed-out photo.
Former Giants great Amani Toomer joins Braylon as a program malcontent in this post, but man was he fun to watch before all of that.  He also joins the milestone club today by topping the 200-card threshold at 208.  Since I obviously already had a lot of his stuff I tried to go higher-end this time and succeeded, I think.  Cards from Flair Showcase, Bowman's Best, Quantum Leaf, and Topps Gold Label are the highlights of this pretty nice scan.
Football's 2000 Bowman's Best is one of my all-time favorite designs and I prefer it over the '01 version, though that's not exactly chopped liver.  A 2002 Pacific Exclusive and '04 Absolute Memorabilia (retail, unfortunately) base keep up the shiny theme while we get typically excellent outings from Fleer's 2005 and '06 Ultra designs.
Last up today is a very college-centric scan starring Marquise Walker, a receiver who put up 1000+ yards and 11 TDs during my freshman year in Ann Arbor, 2001.  At 61 cards he's my smallest football PC of a player that doesn't play defense, but since he never did play a down in the League it stands to reason that he didn't appear on a bevy of cards.

What I did land was pretty fun, though.  Once again Press Pass features prominently as I chased as many college uni cards I could find, and here five of the seven are exactly that, so, success!  I've long admired the Big Numbers insert, especially the die-cut versions, and that's my favorite of the bunch here, but the other Press Pass cards are plenty nice to look at too.

That's it for today but I still have plenty more football goodness to show off, even while the playoffs are still in full gear!