Monday, April 21, 2014

Backside Patches...A QB Foursome from Heads Up Quads

Ever since I've decided to get picky about these things featuring at least one patch, progress has slowed.  A lot of patches receive a crazy premium and are like $15 and up, while many other cards are just four single colored jerseys.  So I was pretty pumped when this four QB card popped up cheaply on Ebay with some nice jersey pieces on the back.  Around $1 a jersey piece, which is very nice IMHO.  Here's the card in all it's glory:
Ahhh Elvis Grbac.  Started out as Steve Young's backup in San Francisco, but got some game time due to various Young injuries.  That game time looked pretty nice to Kansas City, and they signed him away to start for their squad in 1997.  He lasted four years in KC, with mostly decent win-loss records and stats.  His final year in KC though was his finest, as he turned a 28:14 TD:INT ratio and 4,169 yards (both career highs) into his lone Pro Bowl appearance as an NFL player.

Baltimore won the Super Bowl that year, but they wanted a better QB than Trent Dilfer for their repeat and they signed Grbac to a massive deal in the 2000 offseason.  Grbac proceeded to be just an average to below average NFL QB (15:18 TD:INT ratio) and was cut after the season.  Following his release, he retired from the NFL after 8 seasons in the league, somewhat surprising since he was just one year removed from a career year.

Blink and you missed Kevin Thompson.  He went undrafted to the Browns in 2000, where he worked as Tim Couch's backup.  He went 1-1 for 8 yards in his only attempt that year before succumbing to an ankle injury.  And from there he bounced all over the league, first to NFL Europe, then the Bengals, then the Browns again, then Minnesota, New York, Buffalo, Cologne, and Los Angeles (of the AFL).  Pretty crazy that earned him a jersey card, but as I've said before, 2002 Pacific Heads Up Quads offers all sorts of crazy subjects in its jersey collection, which is just too fantastic.

Tee Martin's jersey piece has some trim on the right side, not sure if it really pops in the scan or not.  I remember him being pretty highly regarded coming out of Tennessee in 2000, as he ended up a 5th round pick for Pittsburgh.  He spent two years as Peyton Manning's backup before compiling his own excellent statistics.  Now of course he's better known for being one of six QBs chosen before Brady in the 2000 Draft, but that's neither here nor there...

Martin's entire statistical career consisted of one carry for 8 yards over two seasons.  He spent 2002 with Philadelphia and the Rhein Fire before moving to Oakland in 2003 and finally seeing some meaningful game action.  And it wasn't pretty - 6/16 for 69 yards and an interception (though he did add 5 carries for 28 yards).  He then ended up in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, not exactly where a lot of people expected Martin to end up after his two impressive college seasons.  Since then he's had various coaching opportunities at the college level.

To finish this card we have Todd Husak's, whose beautiful two color patch was the major draw behind me buying this card.  Husak was a 6th round pick by the Redskins in 2000, picked exactly three picks after Mr. Tom Brady and three picks before a QB I have never heard of, JaJuan Seidler.  Husak injected some youth into Washington's QB core that was headed by Brad Johnson and Jeff George, and he actually saw action in one game where he went 2/2 for -2 yards with 1 rush for -1 yards.  But the Redskins weren't impressed, and Husak found himself in Denver in 2001 before moving over to the Berlin Thunder in 2002, the Jets for 2002 and 2003, and finally Cleveland in 2004.  None of his NFL time was particularly meaningful, but his year with the Thunder did lead to a league championship, which is pretty cool.  Husak has since been a color commentator for Stanford football radio broadcasts.

Who wins the cards? Husak, Martin, and Thompson combined to throw 9/19 passes for 75 yards and one interception.  They also added 8 carries for 35 yards.  Grbac absolutely dominates this card and easily takes the win, even if you only counted his final disappointing year in Baltimore or backup years in San Francisco.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Shyrone Stiths from Blowout

It's always a joy when you get a random message asking if you need a certain card.  Even better when you get two such messages from different guys within minutes of each other, as was the case with today's three Shyrone Stith cards.  One guy offered his one card for the price of shipping, the other said if I was okay with PWE I could have his cards for free.  I was fine with both situations and my Stith collection is now three cards stronger for it!

I forget which one was the single card, so I'm just going to show them all off together.  The first card is the Draft edition of Stith's Fleer Focus card, which is /737:
This card looks a lot like the non-parallel version, as the only real difference is the addition of the words "Draft Position" in the lower left.  In general though, a nice front, with an image of Stith that really pops against the background.
The back is similarly the same aside from the "Draft Position" wording around the card number and a different color used to for the serial numbering.  I love the description of Stith as a "cannon ball runner" though, that's a pretty sweet term for him.

The next card is Stith's base Fleer Mystique card, which is numbered on the front to 2000:
Pretty nice little simple design on the front.  I always found the big square serial numberings to be kind of intense...though I do like them.
Here's the back, with a nice little write up of Stith's Hokie past (including that he was one of four all-time Hokies of the time with 13+ TD in a season) and a nice pic of Stith's excellent corn rows.

This final card looks gorgeous in person, it really shines in the light pretty excellently.  That doesn't always carry over in scans though, and this is one of those times.  So just trust me lol:
I just love the designs on this card, so cool looking.  It's Stith's Edge Odyssey card, and it's #'d /999.
Here's the back, which is super futuristic looking in a weird way.  I also love the idea of how Stith is "height challenged" especially since they had to put it in quotes.  I mean he was, so the card is being honest, just an interesting way to put it!

Thanks to the Blowout community for another three great cards for my Stith collection!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lemme upgrade you, Partner let me upgrade you

Sometimes you have a card you just need to

And when I do, I always reference Beyonce Knowles.  It's just how I like to do it.

In the continuing saga of "man what do I collect of Seneca Wallace when all the stuff to collect is gone," I once again decided to upgrade the patch on one of his lower end jersey cards.  Now with a lot of lower end jersey cards, whether numbered or not, it feels like the variety is very limited.  You might get a white jersey piece, you might get an alternative color jersey piece, and that's about it (though in baseball you could maybe get a pants stripe - OOO).  I am starting to realize though that, oftentimes, even if 99% of a run is one colored jersey pieces, a 2+ color might work its way in there.  I know I found a (barely) 3 color patch in Seneca's mostly one color Rookies and Stars jersey /550 and then I found a (beautiful) 3 color jersey piece in Seneca's sometimes 2 color but typically one color Fleer Platinum non numbered jersey set.  So the color variations are out there - they just take some looking to find sometimes.

Well I found another one.  Doing my regular Seneca Wallace search on Ebay, this baby popped up, and given the clear break in color from your typical all blue or all white jersey piece, it had to be mine:
Ain't it purty?  I've literally never seen another 2 color in this card, the /1250 "base" jersey from 2003 LCM.  I love how even of a break it is too, pretty much half white and half blue. Beautiful colors.

I'll show off the back too per the usual:
The serial numbering on this is really cool...I like how it just missed being an "Ebay 1/1" (lol).  I also can't help but notice the chipping, especially on the left side...it's like somebody took an exacto knife to the card haha.  But the front looks good, the patch looks amazing, and the numbering is neat, so as usual I don't care that this card isn't a PSA 10.  I think it's a beautiful add to the Seneca Collection!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thanks Fuji!

I loves me some Fuji.  He writes an excellent blog, and I always especially enjoy his flea market posts where he shows off the random stuff he picked up locally.  He mentioned that recently he had a Cardinals quad for my set and I like to think that he found it at one of those flea markets (though really I have no idea hahaha).  He asked if I needed it, I said "HECK YES," and whadya know...I have it in my hands now.  Funny how that works.

In all it's glory, here is the 2nd Cardinals quad in the Heads Up Quads set.  I don't know why the Cardinals got two team cards when some teams didn't even get one, but that's cool for the Cardinals anyways!  The front:
Martay Jenkins...there's a name I haven't thought of in a while (jk he was in Madden 04 like all the other cool cats).  Jenkins was a 6th round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 1999, but he was actually cut in training camp and signed by the Cardinals.  In 2000 he took over the kick return duties for Arizona, and actually showed great promise with a league leading 82 returns for a a league leading 2,186 yards including a 98 yard touchdown.  He was actually a great returner during his entire three year Cardinals stint, as he led the league in return average in 2002 too.

He never did a ton as a WR though, with 70 receptions for 987 yards and 4 touchdowns over three seasons.  That, injuries, and a somewhat absurd contract request spelled the end of his Cardinals career, and he then spent offseason time with the Falcons and Broncos before leaving the NFL.  He spent a year in the CFL and has since gone into athletic training (he actually founded his own company which is pretty cool, kudos to Mr. Jenkins!).

Bill Gramatica...everyone knows that guy even if you don't think you do.  He's the kicker who knocked himself out for the year celebrating a first quarter field goal.  He's also the lesser Gramatica, as Martin is the one with the long career while Bill's was just four true seasons.

Bill was a 4th round draft pick in 2001, and actually had a decent rookie year with 16/20 field goals made before that injury ended his season. He played a little worse in 2002, and then only played four games in 2003, losing his job to Tim Duncan (no no the NBA one) and Neil Rackers.  Gramatica then bounced around the league, with his only stats coming in one game for the Miami Dolphins in 2004 where he played for an injured Olindo Mare.  In that game, against the Arizona Cardinals of all teams, Gramatica kicked three field goals to keep the game close.  But he missed his only extra point and the team lost the game by one point, so that was the end for Mr. Gramatica.  He now works with his brother Martin in other business ventures.

Joel Makovicka - another FB in this FB rich set, which is awesome!  Makovicka was a 4th round pick of the Cardinals in 1999, and like Martay Jenkins he spent 1999-2002 in Arizona before his career pretty much ended (that 1999 Cardinals draft was not great, with the highlights including David Boston - who left after 2002, L.J. Shelton - who left after 2004, Johnny Rutledge - who left after 2002, Tom Burke - who left after 2002, and Coby Rhinehart - who left after 2002.  Not exactly staying power when most of your draft is gone in three years...).  Makovicka had 35 starts over his four years in Arizona, serving mostly as a blocking back but also having some surprising offensive effectiveness at times, including 5 receiving touchdowns on 47 career receptions and a career 5.2 yards per carry.  On just 17 carries though...in 2001 he has one carry for 19 yards and in 2002 he had five carries for 54 yards, so those heavily affected his career statline.

Last guy here is Tywan Mitchell, and man, is he hard to find information on.  Cobbling together stuff from a few websites, it looks like Mitchell was a WR at Minnesota State who went undrafted in 2000.  Baltimore signed him and then released him, and then the Cardinals took a look because they had Terry Hardy, but he was no great shakes (lifetime 68 catches for 461 yards and 3 touchdowns over 37 starts from 1998-2001).  Mitchell got the one start that Hardy didn't get in 2000, with 5 catches for 80 yards for the year.  In 2001 Mitchell played in all 16 games and saw 4 starts, but only caught 25 balls for 196 yards and two touchdowns.  With just 7.8 yards per reception and some subpar blocking, Mitchell was released after the season and never saw NFL action again.

Who wins the card?  This is a tough one, what with three four year careers and one two year career.  None of these guys really "left a mark" on the NFL in terms of statistical success.  I think this card really comes down to Martay Jenkins and Bill Gramatica, and it really depends on whether you value league leading stats (of which Jenkins had a few in the kick return department) or infamy (Gramatica's injury).  I'm going with Martay Jenkins.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Second chances can sometimes take years, but they're worth it - Seneca #234

A few years ago, when I was just a beginning Seneca Wallace Collector, his Senior Bowl card was listed on Ebay.  At the time I had maybe 5 cards, and the Senior Bowl one (which was only like $3 with several copies available) was a card I needed, but it seemed like every other card took priority.   Autos, relics, parallels, serial numbered stuff...I bought all that up before the Senior Bowl card.  And then one day in 2010 or 2011 all of the copies of the Senior Bowl card sold (seller was a guy named peterperfect1) and that card just wasn't available anymore online.

I barely even noticed it at the time, because I was still plugging away at all the other cards.  When you're chasing printing plates and rare autographs you kind of forget about the little cards sometimes.  But then sometime last year I looked at my need list and realized how much the Senior Bowl card stuck out.  I only needed 53 more Seneca Wallace cards, 50 of which were numbered 100 or less.  Two of the non numbered cards were Fleer Authentix parallels that may well have never been made, and at the least have never been seen.  The other non numbered parallel?  The Senior Bowl card I once passed on for $3.


So I messaged peterperfect1 sometime last year (I keep seller names in my Excel file just in case), asked if he had any more or any sources, and he said he hadn't seen any in a while but would let me know if he did.  I didn't get a message for a while and again, kind of forgot about it.

Then a month ago, peterperfect1 listed some Senior Bowl cards up on Ebay, which included ONE Seneca Wallace card.  His price?  About $3 shipped.  I couldn't hit the BIN fast enough.  A few days later the oversized card was in my mailbox:
I showed off that Michael Sam card a week or so ago, and this card is like that only way coolr because it's Seneca (lol).  The autograph is facsimile and it's a pretty funky card in general, especially with all the different logos on it.  I mostly love it for the Senior Bowl logo in the bottom right - it helps demonstrate where my super awesome Food World logo patch comes from - http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--VplOtYt8hw/UlFt--Hdb6I/AAAAAAAAKQw/Dd0fwt2JfcI/s1600/foodworld.jpg

With this card, I now only need 52 more Seneca Wallace cards, and they should all be hard to find.  The 50 numbered ones, if you totaled up all the print runs, equal 779, which makes an average print run of about 16 per card.  That's limited lol.  But I'll keep fighting the good Seneca fight, and hopefully I'll uncover a few more Senecas in the year 2014!

I wanted to give a big thank you to peterperfect1 though, for continuing to dabble in the Senior Bowl market and for being an amazing seller!  A lot of guys out there, knowing someone was interested in a card, would've probably turned the $3 asking price into a $30 one just for the sake of it.  Peter kept it at $3, and that's a pretty awesome gesture.  So major kudos to an excellent Ebayer!