The Unlikely LCS

Traveling to Ohio for Brett Favre’s NFL Hall of Fame induction this weekend (Go Pack Go!), my wife and I found ourselves in a small Ohio town in Amish Country.  Horse and buggies, Amish beards, bonnets… the whole nine yards.  There were also plenty of places selling all sorts of art-and-craftsy homemade wares.  Being good tourists, we stopped into just such a place, finding painted wall-hangings, handmade clothing, old-fashioned toys and the like.  (We even found crocheted Pikachu and Jigglypuff!)  

The place was huge, with three stories winding through several connected buildings.  We found a few passing sports references, mostly the local teams, and I talked myself out of buying a Packers cornhole set.  I thought we’d seen everything, but there was something urging me to keep looking. A subtle force pulling me further into the labyrinth of quilts and woodcarvings.  Out of the corner of my eye, a quick flash of sports memorabilia through a doorway that lead to a backroom.  Stepping cautiously into this uncharted chamber, I looked to my left and found this:

It was a veritable mini hobby shop! This one display case was packed with unopened wax packs and boxes, hundreds of binder pages of singles, a few dozen bigger name rookies and hits, and more stacked on top.  The small, pink note on the side heralded discounts and great deals on all of it, too!  Recognizing that I was irretrievably drawn in by its siren song, my wife graciously left me to this little slice of collecting serendipity I had stumbled across.  After just a few minutes (OK, an hour), here’s what I decided I couldn’t leave without:

A great mix of older and newer unopened cards, with a stack of singles to round it out.  I love the silver, refractive sheen of those 1996 SPX packs.  More on the specifics of the haul later, but for now I’ll say this was an added bonus to a great trip!

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HOF 2016: Brett Favre!!!

Brett Favre, legendary Packers (NOT Jets or, well, THEM) QB, my childhood hero, and Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2016.  GO PACK GO!!!

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NFL HOF Week: 1994 Pinnacle “Canton Bound” Set

I don’t remember how or when I got this set, but it was in my original collecting days back in the mid-1990’s.  None of these players were in the Hall of Fame at the time, of course, and it can be a bold claim to say that even the best players at any given time will one day be inducted.  This set, though, has a pretty amazing track record.  More on that later, though.  First off, a look at the card design and a guy who was clearly one of the best from the moment he stepped on the field.
Each card features a solid action shot that focuses on the subject player. The player’s name and the company logo highlight the front with a little gold foil.  The “Canton Bound” bottom border is a little cheeseball, but this was 1994, after all.  The back features a portrait they had to squeeze into the left side, another action shot, and the requisite stats and info on the player.  In keeping with the 90’s cheesy design cues, the second letter of the player’s name is a different case and color, because, again, 1994.  Overall, a pretty typical design for the time.  What really distinguishes this set, though, is the checklist.

When they called these guys future HOF’ers, they pretty much nailed it!  Montana, Rice, Emmitt, Barry, BRUUUUCE, Reggie…  Of the 25 players, 21 now have busts in Canton, and not all were sure things in 1994.  Bettis had only one year under his belt, Seau and Kennedy were still in the fairly early stages of their careers, and Steve Young had really only been an established star for a few seasons.  

Only one player in this set never really belonged in the discussion.  Foster had just one spectacular year, and 1994 was his last season.  Sterling Sharpe’s career ending injury might have also ended his HOF chances, but he got high praise from his brother Shannon (HOF Class of 2011), who said “I’m the only pro football player that’s in the Hall of Fame, and the second best player in my own family.”  A few more years as Brett Favre’s top receiver would probably have done the trick!  Simms has consistently been a nominee, and will likely get a look from the old-guys committee, much like Ken Stabler did this year.  Even Rison looked like he could be one of the greats before a year in Cleveland seemed to derail him.  That Packers Super Bowl ring he’s got isn’t a bad consolation prize though!

Overall, this set is one I just keep coming back to.  At least one of these guys was inducted into the Hall of Fame every year from 2002 until 2012, and while I wasn’t actively collecting most of that time, I’d still pull out this binder and think “Yup, there’s another one!”


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Big Trade Mail Day

“Still alive!” -The Croods (Great movie.  Nicholas Cage as a cave man.  Perfect role for him!)

It’s been a little while.  Life gets busy, and there isn’t time for everything sometimes.  While I haven’t been blogging lately, I haven’t been living in a cave, either.  I have certainly still been collecting… and trading!  This is my latest big mail day from my buddy Sport Card Collectors.

I’ve been wanting to get my hands on one of these. Kinda crazy that this is even something we need in the hobby, but useful to have!
Some PC adds. Old school and new school Hokies, and a couple Peytons.
Of course, adding to my Packers collection is going to be the main gist of any trade with me, especially cards from the years I wasn’t collecting.  Pretty much anything Rodgers or Favre, too.
This is a new one for me.  Never been a huge baseball fan or collector, but what with this guy “making baseball fun again,” I’m getting into it. A little. Just PC’ing Nats, mostly Harper. Which leads me to this last card…
My first Harper (and Trout!) jersey card, which is, well, AWESOME! Also my first Tri City Sports card.  Not as polished as the main-line brands, but I like where they’re going, and this card is a pretty great one to make a first impression!

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1992 Pro Line Portraits Autograph Mike Holmgren 

This is a card I had been stalking for a while.  I missed one a few months ago on eBay, then another was listed that looked pretty rough (and wasn’t priced for the condition it was in).  Finally, I was browsing about two weeks ago and found not one, but two for sale!  Serendipitous! (SAT word, kids!)  I grabbed the cheaper of the two.I like the “Certified Authentic” stamp in the corner on these.  I also like how Holmgren signed this one very cleanly in a prominent spot on the card.  The autos in this set tended to be all over the place.  Some are on the fronts of cards, signed in dark ink and barely visible.  Some autos were squeezed into the tiny white spaces in the bottom corners on the back.  I think Holmgren called the right play here by signing boldly over the text.  I’m sure he wanted to leave that congenial smile unobstructed to contrast with this picture…
 …in which he is equal parts no-nonsense rookie head coach and Sith Lord lurking in the shadows, plotting to dominate the division for decades to come!  Already he was watching with great interest the career of a young QB from a back woods part of the galaxy called “Mississippi.”

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2015 Topps Finest ’95 Refractor Aaron Rodgers

This one came from my latest COMC shipment.  As soon as I saw it on the site, I knew I had to have it.

 A very faithful reproduction of what the amazing 1995 Topps Finest set looked like – pale blue chrome background, cartoon lightning and some 90’s neon, too.  I love seeing my current favorite player show up on one of my old favorite designs!

  The back is also spot-on to the old set.  The write-up really sent this card over the top for me, though.  That game against Virginia Tech (my all-time most favorite college team) was a great one!  I hate that Tech lost, but the fact that Rodgers went on to be a Packers legend definitely takes some of the sting away.

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COMC Mailday – Part 2

As promised by the “Part 1” in the title of my last entry, here’s the second installment of my latest lot from COMC.  (I’m a big fan of the site, by the way.  Great place to shop for cards!) 

  Once again, some 90’s cards to kick things off.  Rison only spent half a season with the Packers, but he helped them get to (and WIN!) Super Bowl XXXI.  There are not a ton of cards that feature him as a Packer, either.

 Transitioning to cards that look like they are from the 90’s, I grabbed some throwback Packers cards here.  The Favre is a double throwback, even – throwback uniform on a vintage design.  And I’m going to have to take a whole nother post to talk about how much I like that Rodgers card. 😉

   I decided it was time to beef up my Julius Peppers PC with the success he’s had in Green Bay the last few years.  That man is a freakish athletic talent!

 Speaking of Peppers, I had to pick up the Clear Vision dual jersey to help me gloat about how we took him from the Bears.  I’m a huge fan of the laser-cut team name cards like this Alex Green one, too.  Also a couple odds and ends, including an early 90’s Virginia Tech autograph.

  Lastly, a couple of lettermen sets I’m working on.  Picked up O, K, S, and V from this shipment.  (Quick sob story – I had bought the orange “O” on eBay, then the guy was slow to ship, but assured me repeatedly that he would.  Then he deleted his eBay account and I got the shaft from both him and eBay because “it had been too long since the sale date.”  Jerks!)  If anybody has the “I” from the Logan Thomas set, or any of the Luke Stocker letters (“Volunteers”) I’m missing, I’d love to trade for or buy them!

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