Saturday, July 11, 2020

some new final tributes for my collection

the hall of fame induction ceremony was postponed for 2020, but i figured i would go ahead and share some relevant final tributes that i added to my collection earlier this year after the ballots were counted.

first up is a trio of ted simmons career capping cards from 1989 - fleer
with almost all of his yearly stats on the back
which has become the sneaky late-80's go to for final tributes (steve garvey, phil niekro, don sutton, mario soto, etc). and they came through with all of the yearly stat lines on the back!
upper deck
with just five years of stats, but a huge card number.
in fact, simmons looks like he's annoyed by the card number. that was one of the tenets of upper deck's design, as one of the guys who started the card company was tired of looking at little numbers on the backs of cards.

the other hall of fame inductee that i didn't already have in my final tribute collection is larry walker. derek jeter's 2015 topps card has been in my ft binder since it was released. as for walker, i did have a pc of him back in the 90's, but i pretty much abandoned those in 2002 so i had to go through some boxes to see if i had any of his 2006 cards.  turns out, i did not. thanks to sportlots, however, i do now.  here's his 2006 upper deck first pitch card
which features most of his yearly stats on the back
here's his topps card from 2006
which provides a subtle broken bat photo on the front, and all of his stats on the back
the cartoon gives us the joy of the word "hose". i worked with a guy back in the early 1990's who was from lebanon and thought that the word hose, in some of its other uses, was just the best. he used that word as often as he could.

anyway, congrats to jeets and simmons and walker. it will be interesting to see if anyone joins them in 2021 as the first ballot crop is not strong. could it be the year for barry bonds, roger clemens, or curt schilling? i kind of hope so (for two of those guys anyway), although all three are already in my final tribute collection.

i've also added a couple more players to my final tribute collection. this is in parallel with some additions to my hall of famer collection. when i was a young fan and followed baseball religiously (especially national league baseball), i considered dale murphy and dave parker (along with steve garvey) to be locks for the hall of fame. so, i've added those three to my hall of famer collection.

garvey was already in my final tribute collection (thank you 1988 score!), but i've now added dave parker's lone final tribute card, found in the 1992 upper deck set
with his career totals but only five years worth of stat lines on the back:
it looks like the cobra returned to the donut bat weight after using a sledgehammer in the on-deck circle earlier in the 1991 season with the angels as documented on his 1991 upper deck high number card.

dale murphy tragically does not have any cards from 1994 that would fully document his two-time mvp winning career, but i did add another of my favorite players from that era to the final tribute collection. that would be my first favorite non-dodger, don baylor.  baylor received cards from upper deck,
and topps
with topps being the clear winner by showing baylor's entire year-by-year stats on the back. that is how you do a final tribute! topps didn't put stolen bases on the backs of the 1978 set, so i don't recall when it was that i discovered that baylor had stolen 52 bases in 1976. i thought of him as a slugger not a speedster, so it was cool to find out that he had been close to the 30-30 level a couple of times.

so far this year, topps has given us an ichiro final tribute (although it was a photo variation short print in series 1 and again in series 2) and a cc sabathia card in heritage. curtis granderson got a card in big league although it was an award winner and not a regular card with stats on the back. i am still not convinced that there will be a 2020 season, so i wonder if there are players who finished their careers in 2019 without necessarily realizing it at the time. albert pujols comes to mind, but he is signed through 2021, so he probably returns to the field at some point. time will tell, and in the meantime, i am really hoping for that 1974 design willie mays card to be a part of this year's archives release!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

back to the future (all-star edition)

40 years ago yesterday, the dodgers hosted the all-star game at dodger stadium. i could be wrong, but i don't recall host teams wearing patches celebrating the all-star game prior to the dodgers doing so that year. i know you can purchase patches these days that commemorate the earlier midsummer classics, but it could very well be that the dodgers were the first to add an all-star patch to their uniform for the entire season.

in 1980, the patch looked like this:
i apologize if i've upset your ocd sensibilities by not rotating the image of the patch.

this year, the dodgers were set to host the game for the first time since the summer of 1980, and they had added this patch to their jerseys to celebrate the event:
so hollywood with those searchlights. or do you call them spotlights? one and the same, i think.

anyway, the 2020 all-star game, which was supposed to take place next tuesday, has been cancelled, and the dodgers will instead host the game in 2022.  while i understand and support the reasons behind the suspension of sports and life in general, i am bummed about it, too.  i was really looking forward to 2020 topps update, for example, as that set traditionally showcases the all-star game and i was hoping to find some nice cards for my dodger stadium collection. to be clear, i am not complaining at all. in fact, i will be surprised if there is baseball at all this year.

at any rate, i've got some cards to show that are connected to the 1980 all-star game.  first up is a 2011 topps tier one card of steve garvey:
so that's a patch from a garvey jersey worn during the 1980 season. it pairs nicely with another card in my collection. i'm assuming there are two more that feature the all-star game patch, and it would be nice to have them all.  i noticed in that linked post that, back in 2017, i pegged 2022 as the earliest the dodgers would host the game. what do you know, i was right!

here's another card i've acquired in the last few months:
that is a 2008 topps triple threads sepia parallel featuring duke snider, russ(ell) martin, and the garv.  notice that garvey's photo on the card is from 1980 with the patch. there are some topps cards from this year that show the 2020 all-star game patch, but i'm guessing there won't be many more.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

stan musial is in my hall of famer collection

who's the man? stan musial was, and he's in my hall of famer collection with this card:
that is a 2002 topps team topps legends autograph. here's the back:
when looking for a musial autograph to add to this collection, i wanted to find as early an example as possible. for a short time, i had a 1998 donruss significant signatures card, but decided to go for this early topps release instead. it's more colorful, and it is a reprint of musial's very first topps card that was featured in the 1958 set. the reason i wanted an early example is that musial's signature deteriorated with age.  even though i was only looking for on card autographs, it was sad to see his largely illegible signature on so many stickers that have been added to cards posthumously.

i grew up listening to vin scully on the radio and tv tell stories of years and players past, and many times those stories involved stan musial. i believe i first learned of musial, however, when i was doing research regarding players who wore number 6 (as a steve garvey fan, i was interested in that number). my research began with the back of the 1978 topps team cards, and there was no cardinal listed with that number. i soon discovered that it had been musial's number, and that it was retired.

i learned more about musial through those stories that scully told, as well as reading about him in "the image of their greatness" and even through a couple of tidbits in books by joe garagiola and others. i also got to know about his achievements through the 1979 topps set, as he was listed on the backs of the all-time record holder cards for hits and rbi. musial was also the national league's all-time hits leader until pete rose passed him in 1981, an event i remember reading about at the time, as well as one that was documented on a 1982 topps card and a 1982 kmart card - both sets that i studied intently.

even today, musial is still in the top-ten all-time in categories such as games played, plate appearances, runs, hits, doubles, rbi, total bases, extra base hits, times on base, and intentional walks. and that's with missing a year in his prime to serve in the military during world war ii. he was, most definitely, the man.

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 relic

tris speaker - 2011 topps tribute dual relic green parallel 53/75

eddie collins - 2002 topps tribute milestone materials relic

george sisler - 2004 topps tribute hall of fame tribute relic

dizzy dean - 2001 topps tribute relic

bob feller - 2001 topps archives certified autograph

jackie robinson - 2004 topps clubhouse collection clubhouse relic

ted williams - 1992 upper deck baseball heroes autograph 1067/2000

stan musial - 2002 topps team topps legends autograph

yogi berra - 1998 donruss signatures significant signatures 1640/2000

sandy koufax - 1998 donruss signatures significant signatures 1707/2000

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 certified autograph

al kaline - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

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

bob gibson - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

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

frank robinson - 1995 upper deck autograph

don drysdale - 1993 nabisco all-star autographs

harmon killebrew - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures

pee wee reese - 2001 topps tribute relic

jim hunter - 1998 donruss signature series significant signatures 0736/2000

willie stargell - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures 

jim palmer - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

fergie jenkins - 2013 topps five star baseball autograph 154/333
gaylord perry - 2003 topps finest finest moments autograph

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

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

steve carlton - 2018 topps five star career year autograph 43/45

mike schmidt - 2002 topps archives autoproof 1980 topps buyback 048/147

phil niekro - 2017 panini donruss recollection collection 1983 donruss buyback autograph 13/33

don sutton - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

carlton fisk - 1999 upper deck century legends epic signatures

tony perez - 2004 fleer national pastime 2002 fleer greats authentic autograph buyback 30/59

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

ozzie smith - 2019 topps finest finest origins autograph

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

eddie murray - 2004 upper deck sp legendary cuts legendary sigs 45/50 

dennis eckersley - 2017 topps archives signature series 1984 topps buyback 47/99

paul molitor - 2016 topps museum collection archival autographs 021/125

bruce sutter - 2003 topps all-time fan favorites certified autograph

cal ripken jr - 2018 topps high tek portraitek autograph 32/75

jim rice - 2005 upper deck past time pennants past time signatures

andre dawson - 2000 fleer greats of the game autograph

bert blyleven - 2004 upper deck legends timeless teams autograph

greg maddux - 2018 topps luminaries masters of the mound autograph 13/15

pedro martinez - 2018 topps high tek portraitek autograph 09/60

ken griffey jr - 2003 upper deck game face autograph

tim raines - 2018 topps tribute tribute autograph green parallel 26/95

alan trammell - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

roy halladay - 2017 topps archives signature series 2004 topps buyback 15/23

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