Sunday, December 17, 2017

Santa's Bangin' Batch of Baseball Bits

This is my second year participating in Secret Santa organized by Matt over at Bob Walk the Plank.  Last year was a lot of fun and this year turned out to be no exception.

Who was my secret Santa this year? Let's find out!

Ah ha! It's Matt from Bubba's Bangin' Batch of Baseball Bits.  Admittedly I'm not too familiar with Matt's blog as it somehow escaped my radar.  I've rectified that error however as he is now part of my blog reading roll.  After looking around his blog for a bit I realized I did remember reading one of his posts where he bought a case of 2016 Allen and Ginter X for cheap as the seller had pulled all the autos.  Hidden among the packs though was a redemption for a Kenta Maeda autograph. How cool!  I look forward to reading more of his blog.

What did Matt send me?  As he noted, I don't really have a solid want list posted on the blog.  That's something I hope to add in 2018.  I started with a Top 5 list on the right sidebar.

Matt threw a bunch of Mariners cards my way, which is greatly appreciated! I haven't cataloged any of the cards yet but I can say with 99.9% confidence that these are all cards I do not have. Nicely done Matt!

A smorgasbord of cards from the 80s and 90s.  A lot of notable names like Harold Reynolds, Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez, and Jay Buhner.

Two silver buybacks.  I forget the "rarity" tier but I think silver was somewhere around mid-tier. 

Team sets from the last three issues of Allen and Ginter X.  Very cool! I didn't have any Ginter X cards before this.

More modern cards including two rad die-cut cards.

Another first.  My first Topps Gold Label card.  Mitch Haniger too, who is my favorite Mariner newcomer.

A jersey card of none other than The King.  Solid!

It wasn't all baseball.  Matt suck in this die-cut of Rich Sherman.  I'm not really collecting football like I used to but this card will fit happily into my collection.

Thanks for all the wonderful cards Matt!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

My Favorite Card of 2017

Here is my entry for P-town Tom's contest asking us to show off our favorite card of 2017.

2017 Topps Heritage High Number - Clubhouse Collection Autographed Relics

I posted about this card not too long ago when documenting a hanger box break of Heritage High Number.  My Fred Meyer is straight fire.  I think I've bought more cards at Target but Fred Meyer has been way better to me.  But whatever, buying retail is a crapshoot anyway.

Not only is this card #MyToppsMomentOfTheYear but it is also my favorite card of the year.  Coming from a retail hanger box this card has it all: a clean, on-card autograph; game-used jersey stripe; low serial number (with it being my first 1/X serial numbered card); and a pleasing design.  Plus, Kluber is a respectable pitcher who won the 2017 Cy Young Award after I pulled this card.

I didn't have any rooting interest Kluber before this card. I typically don't follow players outside my teams.  The excellence of this card though has made me a fan.

I plan to make a follow up post with other cards from 2017 that couldn't knock Kluber off his throne. Hopefully it will feature some cards I have yet to show off on the blog.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sweet Lou

Lou Piniella is and will be for the foreseeable future (the Mariners aren't winning a World Series anytime soon under Scott Servais) the best Seattle Mariners manager of all time. He led the Mariners to several playoff victories, achieved a 116 win season, and provided plenty of amusement with his on-the-field fits.

I was browsing eBay for inexpensive 2017 Topps Archives Signature Series cards when I saw this beautiful Piniella auto on a 2009 Topps Archives card. Although it is not him in a Mariners uniform, the card was too nice looking to pass over.  Unfortunately there were no cheap cards of him with the Mariners.

Aesthetically I like how the colors are bright and the blue signature matches the design well. His penmanship is pleasing as well. As a bonus the card itself is in good condition. Not that I will be taking it out of its case.

The card set me back $13 which is pretty good considering it came out of a $40 box. This marks my first Lou Piniella autograph.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Showing Signs of Life at the Card Show

You may or may not have noticed my absence from blogging over the past few weeks.  It has all been for a very good reason.  On October 10, my wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Theodore.  Since then my life has been occupied with 3AM feedings, daytime naps, poopy diapers, and the occasional videogame to de-stress (Super Mario Odyssey is awesome btw).  I haven't even had time to keep up with reading blogs.

Newborn Theo

Newborns are supposed to feed at least every 3 hours so I figured I would have time in between those feedings to do card related stuff.  Nope. In between taking care of myself, my recovering wife, and making sure household chores don't pile up, time goes by quickly.

Now at the almost 1 month mark, things are normalizing somewhat.  My wife was even gracious enough to let me attend my local bi-annual card show.

The largest purchase of the day (literally) was a complete set of 2008 Upper Deck First Edition.  The big draw here was the price: $5.  The design is decent enough but the real kicker was the inclusion of a relic card.

It's not a card show without picking up a few additions for my Felix Hernandez collection.  I love picking up Topps Museum cards on the cheap ($1) considering these are from a high-end set. 

The playing window on Felix is closing soon.  He deserves the respect of being an opening day starter but next year he might be pushed back to #2.  That will be a sad day.

These cards are from this year's Topps flagship set.  Gimmicky as they are, I enjoy seeing players in their holiday/special event jerseys.  When I get several more cards of these alternate jerseys I'll have to branch them out into their own PC.


With the birth of my son, I've added a few players to my collection roster.  I'm collecting players who share a birthday with my son.  I plan to expand upon this idea in a separate post to come later.  Andrew McCutchen is a great player and I'm excited to start collecting him.  I don't know if this 2005 Topps Update card counts as his first rookie card but either way, it's a nice looking card.

The card on the right is from Panini's 2016 Father's Day promo set.  It is the thick stock parallel numbered to 50.  For only $1 it was an easy pick up.

Troy Tulowitzki is another player who shares a birthday with my son.  Tulowitzki had a down year last year with the Blue Jays, which hopefully will help soften the price on some of his cards.  

Typically I stay away from collecting Griffey in a Reds uniform.  I'm not upset or anything that he left Seattle, it's just that with so many Griffey cards I need some focus.  I made an exception for these cards since they feature the 2001 All-Star Game logo when it was held in Seattle.  As a bonus, this is a two-card oddball set from Ritz/Oreo.

The 2016 Panini Diamond Kings Rookie Signatures Silver is the only relic (and auto) set I plan to complete.  I have over half the set and was surprised to see a set need show up at the show.  

Retail relics from 2008 Topps. I love 2008 Topps. 

At the last card show I found a WSU Cougars Smokey set.  As luck would have it, I found another set at this show.  Since the cards are unnumbered I wasn't sure if I found the complete set or not.  Unfortunately, after checking the Trading Card Database, I discovered I am one card short: Drew Bledsoe.

It will be difficult to find that card available as a single so I might have to purchase a complete set.  Bummer.

That wraps up my card show for this year.  It was a nice feeling to get back into cards! Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Finding Gold in a Burlap Sack

On the hunt for a Bellinger rookie, I purchased a hanger box of 2017 Topps Heritage High Number.  I have his Topps Chrome rookie, which won't cut it.  I much prefer the design of Heritage of regular Topps. 

No Bellinger cards were found.  Instead, I found a few other nice rookie cards and one amazing non-rookie.

Asuaje, along with Manny Margot and others, was acquired from the Red Sox in the 2015 offseason in exchange for Craig Kimbrel.  He was promoted from AAA at the end of June this season and became a fixture at 2nd base.  He didn't much for power with only 4 home runs and 14 doubles in 89 games.  However, he had a respectable .270 batting average and .334 on-base percentage.  Asuaje also played well defensively this year.

Starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery pitched his way onto the Yankees' ALDS roster after going 9-7 with a 3.88 ERA this season.  He was a back-end starter this year and I doubt he will make a start in this first round.  Tanaka pitches Game 3 and I'd be shocked if Severino does not start Game 4.  Corey Kluber is scheduled to start Game 5 for the Indians so the Yankees might send Gray back out on the mound.

One of these cards is not like the other.  Actually, I'm not so sure.  Vogelbach is obviously Photoshopped into Safeco Field.  At first glance I thought Haniger's background was legit but now I'm not so certain.  Even if it is, the background looks much more realistic than Vogelbach's.

Haniger started off the year red hot, slashing .342/.447/1.054 through 21 games.  That was until he suffered an abdominal injury.  Upon his return, showed little signs of life, slashing .203/.303/.618 through 37 games.

Haniger suffered another injury, this time taking a Jacob DeGrom pitch to the face.  After coming back from that injury, he posted a slash line of .318/.344/.923 for 38 games.  A weird turn of events if you ask me.

Vogelbach on the other hand, he doesn't have a good excuse for his limited performance in the big leagues.  Granted he has a grand total of 44 plate appearances in the majors.  Sample size beware.  Still, it's clear the Mariners do not consider him a long-term solution at 1st base.  

I really like the look of these playing card inserts.  Trey Mancini is rightfully overlooked due to the likes of Judge and Bellinger but he was still a solid contributor for the Orioles. 

Finally, we have a non-rookie card that is something beyond what I would ever expect to pull from a retail box...

An on-card patch autograph of the likely 2017 AL Cy Young award winner, Corey Kluber.  The card is serial numbered 1 out of 25, which is even better.  There is something nice looking about having serial number 1.  The jersey stripe is also well appreciated.  Looking at the checklist for this insert set, I could have only done better by pulling a Derek Jeter. 

I'd normally be disappointed about not getting a Bellinger rookie but I think the Kluber autograph is a nice consolation prize.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Day 12: Returning to Normal

30-Day Challenge: Day 12

Now that I'm down stirring up trouble with Panini, it's time to return to the 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge!

  • Card: One of your favorite cards from the 1980s
    • 1989 Topps - #647 Randy Johnson
  • Music: A song from your preteen years
    • Rosenshontz - Crazy for Dinosaurs (1988)

My affinity for 1980s cardboard is not that high.  I was not a collector during that era.  Any cards I received were after the 80s ended. 

I selected this card because it's a Randy Johnson rookie card.  Although he was traded away from the Mariners far too early, I will always remember watching him pitch for Seattle. 

A song from my preteen years?  It is really hard to think back that far and remember what I was listening to.  The only thing that sticks out in my mind is Rosenshontz.  Rosenshontz was a children's music duo from the 70s and 80s.  I had (and still have) a couple of their tapes while I was living in New Hampshire that I listened to regularly.

The music and lyrics are obviously kid friendly.  At the same time, the songs are not so obnoxious that adults' ears would bleed.  The songs range from are a mix of folk and rock.  The song above sounds like it could be a Van Hallen song.

This song doesn't have it but sometimes it sounds like Bob Odenkirk is singing. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Panini's Response To Contest Error

A quick update to my post from yesterday alleging that Panini failed to award the proper winner of their Player of the Day contest.  Panini responded to someone else on Facebook asking about the contest results.  Their response is completely underwhelming.  

Their response boils down to a shrug of the shoulders. 

They claim the box score they referenced was incorrect.  What box score did they use? When did they check it? Halfway through the game?

They claim it is now too late to correct the problem.  I reached out to Panini on Facebook and Twitter within a couple hours yesterday after they announced the winner.  You mean to tell me it was too late to fix their mistake then?  Panini doesn't even offer to contact the correct winner and offer a consolation prize. 

Panini says they will be "moe careful" in the future.  The optics are not great when even their response contains a mistake.

Overall, this goes to show how little Panini cares (at least on the social media side) about their football card customers. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Did Panini Botch Its Own Contest Results?

Full Disclosure: I entered the Panini Player of the Day contest I am talking about.  My guess was not correct and therefore I have no stake in the outcome of this contest. For the record, I guessed 54 yards.

Panini has wronged the football card community. I am here to bring awareness to the issue.  The mistake appears to be so obvious, I must be wrong.  That's the only way I can explain this gross incompetence.   If am I wrong, please someone point it out for I cannot see it.

Panini, through its Player of the Day brand, held a contest for yesterday's Monday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals. Panini asked people to guess the total number of yards (rushing, receiving, and returning) gained by rookie Ryan Switzer.  The prize was an autographed card of Ryan Switzer.

Exhibit 1a: Twitter Contest Post

The Facebook post was worded slightly differently but the entry was still the same.

Exhibit 1b: Facebook Contest Post

Switzer had a mediocre night against the Cardinals. He rushed for a total of 3 yards.  He had one punt return for 18 yards.  Finally, he had four kick returns for a total of 43 yards.  He had no receiving yards.  All told, Switzer earned 64 yards against the Cardinals.

Exhibit 2: Pro Football Reference Ryan Switzer Game Log
Source:; see also ESPN Box Score

Today being the day after the football game, I checked their Facebook page to see if my guess was correct.  It was not.  Instead, I saw Panini award the card to a guess that was nowhere close to the box score results.

Exhibit 3: The "winning" comment on Facebook as awarded by Panini

Panini declared the winning guess to be 31 yards.  Less than half of the 64 yards Switzer earned according to the box score.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  I re-read the contest announcement to see if I missed something.  Nope, Panini said total yards.  

I double checked multiple box scores.  They all showed the same results.  I even used a calculator in case my mental math was incorrect.  Nope, the calculator showed 64 yards.

In disbelief, I went to their Twitter page to see if someone else was awarded the prize.

Exhibit 4: Twitter Reply

Same thing.  Panini declared the 31 yards was the right answer. Unbelievable.  

I posted a Facebook comment on the contest asking how 31 yards was the correct answer.  I also tweeted at Panini saying the same thing.  I have received no response.  

I'm probably making a big stink over nothing.  However, if Panini is making even small errors such as this one, how we can trust that Panini is not making errors elsewhere? Indeed, Panini has made quality control mistakes, including the Dak Prescott autopen controversy and the usage of Mitchell and Ness jerseys for game-used veteran cards.  

Again, if I am wrong please point it out.  I will have egg on my face but I am completely fine with that.  I just want to get to the bottom of this. Maybe Switzer had 33 negative yards that are not reflected.  Who knows?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Day 11: Finally Showing Off A Vintage Card

30-Day Challenge: Day 11

Like clockwork, fall is here.  The Mariners are out of the playoffs (17 year running) and the Seahawks are off to a sluggish start.  At least one bright spot is the play of the WSU Cougars Football team, who have played to an impressive 4-0 record.  As always, the true test will be the start of conference play.

  • Card: One of your favorite cards from the 1970s
    • 1973 Topps - #43 Randy Moffitt
  • Music: A song that you never get tired of
    • Phoenix - 1901 (2009)

If it is apparent by the past two posts in this challenge, I am not a vintage card collector.  This is not due to my aversion to vintage cards.  Instead, it's more related to the fact that I have not had much exposure to vintage cards.

I've become more aware of vintage cards though thanks to the blogging community.  There are a lot of nice vintage sets out there and maybe some day I'll track down a card or two.

I do have a couple cards from the 1970s, mostly thanks to Topps' buyback program.  I know that some collectors dislike the stamping of cards.  I agree it's not the best but at least I can say it helped me get some of my first vintage baseball cards.

The Randy Moffitt card earns the nod for today's entry due to it's bright color photo, simple design, and those sideburns.

Speaking of timeless, today's song choice is actually my #1 most listened to track according to  I've been scrobbling with since 2006 and while it can't account for every song I've listened to over the last 10+ years, it comes close.  If I listen to a CD in the car I will make sure to play that album through iTunes overnight so I get the credit on

The album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is more synth driven than their previous albums and marked a successful musical change.  1901 is likely the best representation of old and new Phoenix up to that point.  It gets me moving for sure.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Dealing with Poor eBay Sellers

In my last trade post recap I posted about a Collector's Choice oddball I hadn't seen before.  I also mentioned that I found the complete 40-card set on eBay for $12 and purchased it immediately.  I received the cards a few days later. 

The cards were packed in a bubble mailer, which is always a great sign.  However, the cards were placed loose in a plastic sandwich bag that had clearly been used in shipping multiple times.  The bag was soft and wrinkled.  Nothing like a new plastic bag would look and feel. 

Due to cards being packaged loosely, over 25% were damaged in some sort of manner.  Dinged corners and bent edges.  The eBay listing did not disclose any such damage so the only possible explanation is that they were damaged in shipping. 

I sent the eBay seller a message explaining the situation and asking if he might have any replacement cards.  I didn't receive a response after several days so I then filed a refund request.  Again, I didn't hear a response for a couple days so I sent one more message.  After I didn't hear back, I escalated my claim to eBay.

Within an hour, eBay refunded my entire purchase.  Although the whole ordeal was a slight headache, the end result is that I received the complete set for free.  The cards are little dinged up but I think I can live with it.

This is the first time I've ever had to file a complaint with eBay.  Hopefully it will be my last.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

My First Hockey Relic

I never been an active hockey card collector.  I love watching the sport and rooting for the Boston Bruins.  Without a hometown team though, it's hard to feel the same level of emotional investment as I do with the Mariners or Seahawks.  The chances are high that sometime within the next 10 years, Seattle will get its own team again.  Until then, the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League will be the main hockey event in town. 

I've been to probably a dozen games over the years.  I even went to a Thunderbirds game as part of my bachelor party.  The games are a lot of fun. 

2013-14 In The Game Heroes & Prospects - Game-Used Jersey Black

Mathew Barzal is the most recent NHL product to come from the Thunderbirds.  The New York Islanders drafted him #16 overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.  After he helped the Thunderbirds win the 2017 WHL Championship, earning WHL Playoff MVP honors along the way, it was finally time for me to purchase my first hockey relic and first Thunderbirds card.

This big blue swatch is from a game-used Barzal Thunderbirds jersey. 

His autograph can be had for under $10 so it might be time to pick up one of those as well.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Day 10: Gone But Not Forgotten

30-Day Challenge: Day 10

  • Card: One of your favorite cards from the 1960s
    • 1993 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes - #13 Paul Blair
  • Music: A song that makes you sad
    • STRFKR - Basically (2017)

This photo is likely from the 1960s

Another decade that is entirely absent from my collection.  Like the last post, I'm going to call an audible and borrow from a 1993 Upper Deck set, this time it is All-Time Heroes. 

Paul Blair made his debut with the Orioles in 1964, became a starter in 1965, and won a World Series in 1966.  In Game 3 of the 1966 World Series he was the sole offensive contributor, hitting a solo home run, in the Orioles' 1-0 shutout over the Dodgers.  As he was known for his defense in center field, he also contributed to the World Series victory by robbing the Dodgers of a potential game-tying home run in Game 4.

All in all, Blair is a solid player to represent from the 1960s for today's card.

Sadly, Blair passed away in 2013 the day after Christmas at the young age of 69.

Unfortunately, death is all around us. 

The lyrics describe the physical and emotional heartache I've felt with the passing of my father:
Every day is basically the same now
Get so sad when I think about you
All the things you showed to me
All the things I couldn't do without you
Only one verse in this song as no other words need to be said.  The drum machine and guitar loop throughout the song, never changing.  Only toward the end of the song with the addition of a synthesizer do we get some feeling back into the song.  The repetition sets me into a daze making me feel like truly, every day is basically the same now. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Color Coordinated

Two recent purchases have made me appreciate the art that is a color coordinated parallel.  Occasionally a card's colored parallel will match up well with the player's photo/team colors.  

Here are two such examples that I can think of off the top of my head:

2005-06 Upper Deck Rookie Debut - Gold

I'm loathed to actively seek out a Los Angeles Lakers card.  The 2008 and 2010 NBA Championship Finals with the Boston Celtics and the Lakers are the primary cause behind my dislike for the Lakers.  The Celtics should have captured their second title with the "Big Three" (or four if you counted Rondo). 

Anyway, I'm a Gonzaga basketball fan, which is the primary reason I was drawn to this card.  The other reason being that I think the set design is top notch.  With the photo of Turiaf in his college uniform I consider this part of my Gonzaga PC.  Even though it is properly listed as a Lakers card. 

As much as hate to admit it, the card matches the Lakers' purple and gold colors very well.  As a bonus, this card is low-numbered out of 50. 

2017 Topps Chrome - Green

Whereas the previous card look nice due to the design elements coming together, here the photo matches up with the parallel color.  The Mariners' "Northwest Green" uniforms debuted in the 90s and hung around for a couple years.  After some sporadic appearances in the 2000s, these jerseys became a regular fixture in the Mariners' uniform rotation in 2011.

The greens don't match up perfectly (side note: at one time my wife legitimately thought I was color blind) but I think they match up enough to consider this a color coordinated parallel.

Do you have any favorite color coordinated parallels?  

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Day 9: Blast from the Past

30-Day Challenge: Day 9

  • Card: One of your favorite cards from the 1950s
    • 1993 Upper Deck - Then And Now #TN18
  • Music: A song that makes you happy
    • Super Mario 64 - Bob-omb Battlefield

I don't own any 1950s cards.   This card will have to act as my best substitute, featuring Willie Mays from 1951.  I've had this card since I was a kid and it was one of my most prized possessions.  At the time it was booked in Beckett as something like a $4 card!  That is a lot of money for an 8 or 9 year old.  

The card scans flat looking.  In person, the card has a holographic effect with what I'm guessing is the San Francisco skyline.  

After playing on a Sega Genesis, the Nintendo 64, in particular Super Mario 64, was revolutionary.  3D graphics! Huge worlds! Freedom!  When I saw footage of Super Mario 64 I knew I wanted that game.  For my 12th birthday my parents gifted me an N64 along with a copy of Super Mario 64.  I was the happiest kid in the world.

The most iconic song from the game is the overworld theme for Bob-Omb Battlefield, the first level in that game.  I spent a lot of time riding around on a Koopa shell like it was a skateboard just because I could.  That kind of experience was entirely new with Super Mario 64. 

Another contender for today's song was the Hyrule Field Main Theme from the Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time.  OoT was highly anticipated as it was the first Zelda game on the N64.  Zelda simillarly promised expansive worlds with freedom to go wherever you wanted.

The first hour or two of the game was spent in the tightly controlled Deku Woods. Once you make your way through the woods you reach Hyrule Field.  Hyrule Field was where the game opened up. As such, hearing the Hyrule Field song takes me back to the feeling of awe when I first made it there.

If I had not recently moved my N64 up to the attic, I'd probably go play some right now.  

Monday, September 4, 2017

Trading With a King

After showing off a very small part of the haul I won from Gavin of Baseball Card Breakdown, I found a trade partner in Billy Kingsley of Cardboard History.  I happily sent him a lot of cards and I was happily surprised to see the stack of cards he sent back.

Billy has been the #1 contributor to my SuperSonics collection and this trade was no exception.  The cards span across all sort of sets and include a handful of other teams as well.  I'll highlight a few of my favorites.

1972-73 Topps

This card has the honor of becoming my oldest basketball card.  Considering that Topps did not start putting out basketball sets on a regular basis until 1969-70, this is a cool feat.

2014-15 Panini Threads / 2013-14 Hoops

Combining old school photos with new school cards.  These photos pop on new card stock as compared to how they would look on say a 90-91 card.  

2005-06 Upper Deck Rookie Debut

I was first turned on to this set thanks Tony L. at Off Hiatus after he sent me a graded Andrew Bogut rookie card.  These cards still look sharp.  Radmanovic was fun to watch as he wasn't afraid to throw up a 3-point shot.  This card would mark the last time we would see Radmanovic in a Sonics uniform. He was traded the Clippers mid-season.  

1990-91 Hopps

Rookie of the Reign Man! Enough said!

2004-05 Topps Total

A mascot card of the high-flying Sasquatch.  I'm biased but I think the Squatch is one of the best mascots out there.  He plays on a local urban legend, he doesn't look overly fake, and he can DUNK!

2000-01 Topps Chrome

Finally, I get my first card of Patrick Ewing in a Sonics uniform.  The Sonics had been in decline a few years before Ewing arrived.  This move reeked of a "ehh, fuck it" type move. Ewing had no business playing for the Sonics, let alone the in the NBA.  Unsurprisingly, he only lasted one season with the Sonics.

By the way, this card is purple.  This whole set is purple.  WHY?

2007-08 Topps - Rookie Set

Durant rookie! Many basketball fans resent Durant for the way he left the Thunder and taking the "easy way" to a ring by joining the Warriors.  I say to hell with those fans. The Thunder didn't deserve Durant. I look forward to Durant returning to the Sonics when they eventually return (yeah right).

1996 Upper Deck Slam Dunk Series

SLAM DUNK SERIES?? 1996-97 COLLECTOR'S CHOICE DESIGN?? I can 100% say I have NEVER seen this card before!  WHERE? WHEN? HOW?? I am a huge fan of 1996-97 Collector's Choice so my mouth was agape when I saw in this the trade stack.  

According to Trading Card Database user Billy Kingsley, this set was issued with Nestle chocolate bars.  I haven't cross-checked every card but the photos appear to be different from the base set.

I'm looking on eBay right this instance and I see this complete set 40-card set for $12 shipped. Yup, that's an instant buy for me.

There were many, many more cards but these are a small sampling of my favorites.  Thanks Billy for all the excellent cards!