Tuesday, November 12, 2019

gary carter is in my hall of famer collection

gary carter was a big part of my early card collecting and general baseball fandom.  even though i have a sweet spot autographed card that i pulled from a pack in the early 2000's, i wanted something a bit more expo-esque for my hall of famer collection.  as a result, here's a 1999 fleer sports illustrated greats of the game autograph collection card as carter's entry in my hall of famer collection:

here's the back:

carter was behind the plate during the 1979 all-star game when graig nettles singled to right in the bottom of the eighth inning. brian downing was on second base and the game was tied. dave parker unleashed a rocket to nail downing at home, and carter's tag was perfect - he kind of pushed downing's hands away from home plate. for an 8-year old national league fan, it was awesome and became a seminal moment in my fandom.  that play, of course, lived on for a while during the "this week in baseball" closing credits montage.  

the following year, i was in desperate need of carter's 1980 topps card to complete my set.  my need bled over in to 1981, and i think i even wrote topps a letter about needing that card. i finally obtained it at the lcs, and when i first saw the photo i thought that maybe it was from the 1979 all-star game (it wasn't).

i continued to follow carter's career as he tried to beat the dodgers in the 1981 playoffs, and as he started the game-winning rally in game 6 of the 1986 world series with two outs and nobody on base in the bottom of the 10th.  that kinda made me mad, to be honest. i also got mad at carter in 1988 when he drove in the tying and winning runs in the 9th inning of game 1 of the nlcs to beat orel hershiser and the dodgers. i was doubly mad that time because my dad had told me earlier in the week that he had obtained tickets to game 1 of the world series through the dodgers' ticket lottery, but they had to beat the mets to get there. i was worried, but it all worked out in the end.

i had witnessed the mets face hershiser in person earlier in the 1988 season when some friends and i drove down to catch the eastern division powerhouse at dodger stadium, but we were treated to mackey sasser behind the plate instead of carter. as a result, i never did see carter play in person against the dodgers.  i did, however, see his first ever at bat as a dodger. i was at the ravine on april 12, 1991 - opening day - and got to see carter ground out in a pinch-hitting appearance.  a couple of years later, i saw him at a promotional appearance in orange county. my friend and i didn't stand in line, but did walk by to get a look at the kid.  i was 8 years old again for a moment.

here's my hall of famer collection as its been documented so far:

babe ruth - 2003 topps tribute world series edition world series tribute relic 351/425

honus wagner - 2001 topps tribute relics

bob feller - 2001 topps archives

jackie robinson - 2004 topps clubhouse collection clubhouse relics

roberto clemente - 2005 donruss greats hall of fame souvenirs relic

warren spahn - 1999 upper deck century legends epic signatures

mickey mantle - 2000 upper deck legends legendary game jerseys relic

willie mays - 1997 topps willie mays reprints autograph

al kaline - 2001 fleer greats of the game autographs

duke snider - 2003 upper deck sp authentic chirography hall of famers 144/250

hank aaron - 2004 topps originals 1979 topps all-time record holders rbi 03/32

harmon killebrew - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures

rollie fingers - 2018 topps archives signature series 1978 topps buyback 1/3

reggie jackson - 2018 topps tier one tier one talent autographs 19/60

steve carlton - 2018 topps five star career year autographs

mike schmidt - 2002 topps archives autoproof 1980 topps buyback

dave winfield - 2003 upper deck sp authentic chirography hall of famers 121/350

gary carter - 1999 fleer sports illustrated greats of the game autograph collection

bruce sutter - 2003 topps all-time fan favorites

jim rice - 2005 upper deck past time pennants

pete rose* - 2018 panini flawless legendary signatures 15/25


barry bonds* - 2001 bowman heritage autographs
you can find the full list of hall of famers (and some not - yet) that i aim to include in this collection at my want list site.

*not currently a member of the hall of fame

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

dave winfield is in my hall of famer collection

dave winfield's 1978 topps card is fantastic. it was my introduction to him, and the photo on the front made me instantly recognize him as a badass.  i wasn't (and i'm still not) entirely sure what is going on with the bat he has slung over his shoulder, but i knew he was going to do some damage with it.  and then there was the back of the card.  6'-6"? drafted in june of 1973 and played in the majors in 1973? kick ass!

winfield is in my hall of famer collection as a padre, thanks to this 2003 upper deck sp authentic chirography hall of famers card, numbered 121 of 350
this is the first repeat of a set to be featured in my collection. here's the back:
the only time i saw winfield play in person as a padre was on april 14, 1976. i do not remember the game itself, unfortunately, but winfield homered off of don sutton, and randy jones threw a complete game as the padres beat the dodgers 3-2.  willie mccovey also played in that game for the padres, going 0 for 4.  for the record, all eight dodger hits came courtesy of the infield:  steve garvey and ron cey each had two hits, bill russell had one, and ted sizemore (playing in place of davey lopes that day) had the other two.

i didn't see winfield again until after he joined the angels in 1990. i recall going to a game at the big a in may of 1991, and being 8 years old again with dave winfield and dave parker playing together on the same team, just as they had in the 1979 all-star game - a seminal event in my young fandom. winfield went 3 for 3 in that game, and hit career home run number 384 to boot.  i was back at the big a in september, and while parker was no longer with the team, winfield was there and he jacked career home run number 403 that day.  he didn't have the prettiest swing, but it was powerful.

i was very happy to see dodger pitchers shut winfield down in the 1981 world series, and i was just as happy to see him succeed against charlie liebrandt in the 1992 fall classic for the blue jays. he was retired by the time i moved to minnesota, and he wasn't around the team while i was attending twinsfest and the annual autograph parties, so i've not had a chance to tell him that i was a fan from the earliest days of my baseball fandom.

here's my hall of famer collection as its been documented so far:

babe ruth - 2003 topps tribute world series edition world series tribute relic 351/425

honus wagner - 2001 topps tribute relics

bob feller - 2001 topps archives

jackie robinson - 2004 topps clubhouse collection clubhouse relics

roberto clemente - 2005 donruss greats hall of fame souvenirs relic

warren spahn - 1999 upper deck century legends epic signatures

mickey mantle - 2000 upper deck legends legendary game jerseys relic

willie mays - 1997 topps willie mays reprints autograph

al kaline - 2001 fleer greats of the game autographs

duke snider - 2003 upper deck sp authentic chirography hall of famers 144/250

hank aaron - 2004 topps originals 1979 topps all-time record holders rbi 03/32

harmon killebrew - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures

rollie fingers - 2018 topps archives signature series 1978 topps buyback 1/3

reggie jackson - 2018 topps tier one tier one talent autographs 19/60

steve carlton - 2018 topps five star career year autographs

mike schmidt - 2002 topps archives autoproof 1980 topps buyback

dave winfield - 2003 upper deck sp authentic chirography hall of famers 121/350

bruce sutter - 2003 topps all-time fan favorites

jim rice - 2005 upper deck past time pennants

pete rose* - 2018 panini flawless legendary signatures 15/25


barry bonds* - 2001 bowman heritage autographs
you can find the full list of hall of famers (and some not - yet) that i aim to include in this collection at my want list site.

*not currently a member of the hall of fame

Friday, November 1, 2019

raking leafs

it's that time of year. there are leaves all over my lawn, and raking is required.  now that i think about it, there's a maple in the front yard and another in the back, so maybe there are leafs all over my lawn.  anyway, here are some different kinds of leafs that are not in my yard, but rather my steve garvey collection.
kicking things off with the big guns.  that's a memorabilia eight red parallel from 2019 leaf ultimate sports. it's got some nice dodger names on there, although darryl strawberry seems a bit out of place. just like another steve garvey collector, i had considered not going after these cards this year as the design is lacking and they are very similar to the cards from last year.  when i saw this one, however, the red patches pulled me in.  garvey's contribution to the card is the lamest, and i suspect strawberry's is mets material, but the other pieces are pretty nice.  

after i pulled the trigger on that card, i decided to go for all eight garvey cards issued by leaf in the ultimate and in the game sports releases.  i'm by no means looking to get all of the parallels, instead i'm content with one version of each, just like last year.  

this next one is also from ultimate sports - a bronze parallel of the "franchise" subset

duke snider subs in for strawberry, but the other players are the same. mike scioscia represents with a small sliver of red patch!

these cards are pretty boring in their design, and for the most part, they are devoid of player images.  to make matters worse, for some reason the names on the backs of the jerseys are removed (from those that would have had names on the back, anyway). 

garvey also made the checklist beyond just dodger-centric cards.  here he is with some contemporaries on another version of a memorabilia eight card:
i am guessing that the reggie swatch is from an angels jersey, even though they are showing a yankee jersey there. same thing for pete rose - that's definitely not a swatch from a reds jersey.

the other 2019 leaf release to feature the garv is in the game used sports, and he shows up on five cards.  the first is a 1976 all-star game history themed card:
that's some good star power there.  however, if you are looking for meaning or synchronicity, you won't find it.  at first, i thought there was a counterpart thing going on, and johnny bench and thurman munson were the starters at catcher in the game, but then there is carlton fisk on there, too. of the two third basemen on the card, only george brett was a starter - mike schmidt came off the bench as pete rose was at the hot corner for the national league. garvey did start at first (for the third straight season) and his counterpart was rod carew.  so, leaf could have easily issued this card with garvey, carew, rose, brett, bench, and munson and it would have been much more sensible.

there's no denying the connection between the players on this card:
those are eight league mvp's, including the national league mvp's from 1973 (rose), 1974 (garvey), 1975 and 1976 (morgan), and a co-mvp from 1979 (stargell) and the american league from 1973 (jackson), 1976 (munson), 1977 (carew), and 1980 (brett).  the weirdest thing about the card is that we get to see carew's face amongst all the jerseys!

carew's image shows up again on another card i picked up - this in the game used sports "the 10" card:
and he's not alone, with tom seaver and the hit king also getting some face time.  it's interesting that leaf used a different photo of carew from his stint with a different team, even though the swatches look the same as the previous card.  with rose, he's still a red but that swatch came from a phillies uniform.  seaver is definitely a met, and it's nice to see a bit of orange on his swatch. still a plain swatch for garvey.

that is actually the back of the card, here's the front:
yaz and nolan ryan mix things up a bit, which is cool.

the last couple of cards are pretty lame, but there was no turning back.  this one brings a bit of basketball to the garvey collection:
cool to have a roger murdock swatch! the idea here is to pair a couple of athletes who played in the same city or region, obviously. this is similar to the 2002-03 upper deck superstars set.  in that release, this sort of card featured kobe bryant and wayne gretzky and shawn green. they can't all be sandy koufax cards, although he had more to do with dodger baseball taking root in los angeles than garvey did. 

this last card is pretty boring, although i do like the concept:
garvey and reggie faced off in the world series four times (1974, 1977, 1978, and 1981).  they also both played in their final games in 1987, which is the point of this card.  ron cey and davey lopes also last played in 1987, and it would have been cool to have one of those guys, or at least garvey and cey together (we know leaf has cey swatches).

it would be nice to see some new topps cards of the garv, but he seems to have settled firmly in the non-licensed landscape with these cards and those offered by panini.  next year will bring some 1971 topps buybacks in the topps heritage release, but i don't expect to see many garvey rookie cards among them. i am happy to have these cards in my collection, and i appreciate the attention that leaf gives to my favorite player, but i'll continue to take a case by case approach to collecting new cards. it's no longer as automatic as having to rake leaves in the fall.