Grand Cards: November 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Great Moments In eBay Listings

It's always pleasant to return home from a trip only to see a mailbox stuffed with non-junk mail, don't you agree? It took me until tonight to sift through the take, but there were some nice things in there. You see, I was the beneficiary of some tremendous pre-Black Friday sales. They came in the form of eBay steals, and not because I was particularly vigilant, but more because the listings were unnecessarily non-descriptive.

Number One
Ok, maybe "steal" is too generous a term here, so let's call it a bargain:
2009 UD A Piece Of History #SS-CG Curtis Granderson Red Jersey (#071/180)

This is a game used jersey card in parallel form numbered sub-200. It also happens to be a pretty decent jersey card, with a picture of everyone's favorite standing professional downtown Detroit stadium in the background. So how does that come for $.99 when the card typically sells for closer to $3? It was the listing's fault. 'fraid so. The card is buried in the picture among some other, nicer cards and no where in the title does it mention that it is serial numbered. Not a terrible mistake for this seller, but it might have cost him a buck or two.

Number Two
It gets worse. Steal.
2009 SP Authentic #67 Curtis Granderson Titanium (#13/19)

SP Authentic is a popular brand, but they kind of mucked up the parallels in this release by making them hard to distinguish. "Titanium" parallel? What does that mean? How is it any different from these other ones? What does the listing say?
2009 MLB SP Authentic Titanium Parallel #67-Granderson

If you weren't just hit with a sense of pity for the seller than you have no soul. Here they are, trying to give some good information and throw in unnecessary items like "MLB" and "#67" and "Parallel." Nobody knows what a Titanium Parallel is, but if they see Titanium, they'll probably guess parallel. Of course, the key mistake is leaving out the fact that this card is only numbered to 19. So, I was able to grab it for $.99 as the only bidder and walk away a happy man.

Number Three
Last but not least. Let's start with the listing first:

Hey, that does sound nice! Given that the description is just a repeat of the title, I'll just have to take his word for it. How does it look?

Boy, that's odd, I thought all of the All Star Cards were red. Gee, I wish there were some more information in the description that could help me figure it out. Or maybe a picture of the back which would have showed...

Oh, oh I see. Yeah, that would have been stupid to include in the listing somewhere. No, I didn't get it for $.99, as it escalated to $7 at the last minute. If that seems like a lot just remember, the regular all star jersey cards of Edwin Jackson sell for about $3 and all of the Tigers have sold for crazy escalated prices. To that I say, $7 for a 1/1 jersey card is a Win.

And that is it. Three cards, three darn good deals, one happy collector. What about the rest of you--picked up anything special at a low low price thanks to the seller leaving out some key tidbids?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Ultimate Checklist: 2002 Topps 206

Grand Gallery: I was actually able to add a ton of this set since I first posted about it last month. Thank you very much, variety of Granderson collectors with extensive photobuckets of cards. We're only missing the Sweet Caporal Black variation, so I've subbed in the front instead. Of course, all the fronts look the same so... My original post and thoughts on this set can be found below the gallery, but I must say that I really like tobacco cards with back variations. I just think they're neat.

#425 Curtis Granderson
#425 Curtis Granderson Mini (All Styles)
#425 Curtis Granderson Polar Bear (back)
#425 Curtis Granderson Sweet Caporal Blue (back)
#425 Curtis Granderson Sweet Caporal Red (back)
#425 Curtis Granderson Uzit (back)
#425 Curtis Granderson Sweet Caporal Black (front)

Original Post:

Hey, Topps T-206 is out. That makes this as good a time as any to go back to the old standby: The Ultimate Checklist posts. Remember those? I use them to chronicle all of Curtis Granderson's cards from the beginning of time to, well, now. With 2009's Topps T-206 now here, it gives me good reason to show off Topps 206 from 2002, back when Curtis was but a rookie card.

2002 Topps 206 #425 Curtis Granderson RC Polar Bear Mini

I only have one of the cards from this set--and it is a mini variation. The base card looks the same but is full size. There are also a slew of parallels that all look the same, but for different tobacco companies promoted on the back. The parallel versions from that 2002 version were the Polar Bear version that I have:

--this is the most common mini variation--as well as three versions of Sweet Caporal back (Black, Blue and Red) and Uzit. I don't have any of these and couldn't find any good pictures of them until...the Cardboard Junkie profiled all of these cards the other day and showed wonderful pictures of the backs.

In general, I like the Topps 206 series--I think that this would easily be the best set for Granderson rookie cards but for one thing. They use the exact same picture as the Bowman and Bowman Chrome releases. Too bad. For all the grief I give the card companies for using the same pictures nowadays, it seems as though things used to be even worse. Granderson rookie cards exist across four sets, and three of them use the same picture. Sigh.

On the plus side, there are a bunch of mini tobacco cards out there just waiting to be collected, and I don't think that anyone can complain too much about that.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Peeking In On 2009 Topps T-206

So Topps T-206 is out and it is looking nice. As part of my never-ending checklist quest, I think I'm getting a good handle for what the set is all about, namely a nice looking checklist and mini parallels galore. I'll get more in-depth as more cards become available, and will try to put together a gallery checklist by the end of next week to show the cards off.

For now, here's a sneak peak of some of the Tigers in the set:

I'm excited to see the rest. Preliminary eBay perusal reveals this checklist:

Base Set
25 Magglio Ordonez
53 Wilkin Ramirez RC
66 Ty Cobb SP
72 Rick Porcello RC, SP
87 Ryan Perry RC, SP
119 Curtis Granderson
166 Joel Zumaya
183 Jeremy Bonderman
230 Miguel Cabrera
276 Justin Verlander

T-206 Autographs
FMA-3 Ryan Perry
Curtis Granderson

T-206 Relics
FR-22 Ty Cobb

I'm hoping these become a little more widespread over the holiday weekend. Also, I will easily be convinced to collect this base set, and probably a mini set too. I'm just saying.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tigers Checklist: 2009 O-Pee-Chee

Doing the long drive home for the holidays, during which time I expect posting to be scarce (but you never know). To tide you over I thought it would be nice to show off one of the larger sets produced this year. Lots of Tigers in this one.

I have trouble gauging exactly how I feel about O-pee-chee. I like the makeup of the set, I like the design, I like the refreshing absence of inserts, relics and autographs mucking things up. This is a team/set collector's set, which gives it bonus points. Big checklist, nice feeling cardstock, all good stuff. The downside is that I find a lot of the photography lacking, with too many gray-background studio shots, and other pictures that are so bad that it is borderline absurd (feeling OK, Dontrelle?) In all, I could never bring myself to pull the trigger on a team set because I just didn't find the photography appealing enough. Take this design with all in-game or candid shots and I'll be there 100% of the time.

With that, your 2009 O-Pee-Chee Detroit Tigers:

Base Set

#24 Carlos Guillen
#32 Magglio Ordonez
#92 Brandon Inge
#114 Gerald Laird
#165 Edwin Jackson
#178 Placido Polanco
#207 Jeremy Bonderman
#234 Fernando Rodney
#314 Zach Miner
#320 Miguel Cabrera
#331 Curtis Granderson
#362 Adam Everett
#413 Marcus Thames
#414 Dontrelle Willis
#426 Justin Verlander
#488 Armando Galarraga
#525 Detroit Tigers CL
#533 Cabrera/Rodriguez/Quentin
#535 Morneau/Hamilton/Cabrera
#573 Ryan Perry RC
#594 Rick Porcello RC

Inserts The "Face of the Franchise" is the big insert here. The OPC throwback design has a mix of baseball and hockey players, with Detroit getting the hockey end of things. Box Bottoms were found on the side of blasters, at least, I'm not sure about Hobby Boxes and Miguel Cabrera is featured. This is presumably the same as his base card, but until I see it...

#FF-27 Miguel Cabrera
#RM9 Henrik Zetterberg (Red Wings)
Box Bottom #2 Miguel Cabrera

Relics These are all of the "OPC Materials Variety"

#OPC-EFG Ellsbury/Figgens/Granderson
#OPC-HMC Hafner/Morneau/Cabrera
#OPC-PCF Pujols/Cabrera/Fielder
#OPC-VWB Verlander/Weaver Buchholz
#OPC-DLO Dye/Lee/Ordonez

Autographs How refreshing is it to have autographs only seeded at one per case?! Of course, it makes pictures pretty hard to find. Update 2/2/2011: Thanks to Ken in the Comments for the image link!

#OPCS-JB Jeremy Bonderman

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Reader, fellow collector and Tigers fan sewingmachineguy said something the other day that many Tigers fans have been thinking ever since the, um, rumors started circulating. In response to me shredding some prospective roster tomfoolery he asks simply, "What about Wilkin Ramirez? He looks like a player."

Ah, so he does.

Seems as though the card companies are throwing their weight behind Wilkin as well. He made his major league debut last season, filling in for the bereaved Magglio Ordonez. At the time, I was firmly in his corner.
I, for one, would like to begin the call now for a Wilkin Ramirez rookie card in Updates and Highlights.

And so it shall be.
2009 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH70 Wilkin Ramirez RC

Topps obliged, either because they are avid readers of the blog, or because they too saw something that they just couldn't resist. It is hard to resist anyone whose first major league hit is a Home Run, after all. Upper Deck saw that and was on the bandwagon too:

2009 Upper Deck Update #U4 Wilkin Ramirez

I wouldn't be surprised if that is actually a shot of him hitting his home run. He only had at bats in four games for the rest of the season, and none until August, and by then, the luster may have worn off. Fortunately, Upper Deck captured the key moment for posterity.

For a guy who has been a prospect in the Tigers system since he was 17, it seems like he may now get his time to shine.
2009 Topps Updates & Highlights #CHR17 Wilkin Ramirez

He's a five tool player, with speed and power and an arm, he is silky-smooth all around.
2009 Topps Updates & Highlights Wilkin Ramirez Silk Collection (#41/50)

But will that be enough? He has holes in his swing, strikes out too often and hasn't shown that he is quite ready to make the jump yet. Not even Lynn Henning, the eternal prospect optimist projects him on the Tigers roster in a couple of years. He has languished among the Top-10 Tigers prospects for years, at least as much as one can languish on a "top 10 list." At least one more keeps him there for another year:
8. Wilkin Ramirez: The tools are still there, but time is beginning to run out. Ramirez has the potential for plus power, and he has some deceptive, workable speed, but he has gaping holes in his swing. And his overly aggressive plate approach isn't doing him any favors. His defense is a liability as well. The odds are stacked against him at this point, but I'm not giving up yet.

None of us are...yet.

But I wonder whether Wilkin can really be the Tigers' Golden Goose
2009 Topps U&H#UH70 Wilkin Ramirez RC Gold (#/2009)

Or if the future of the system lies in a the bat of another.

That remains to be seen. I know for one thing, that I wouldn't put all of my eggs in the Wilkin basket quite yet, but I'll happily pre-order my seat on his bandwagon, just in case.