Monday, June 26, 2017

the marlins' memorial patch for jose fernandez

the marlins have been wearing a patch for the late jose fernandez this season.  this 2017 topps now 'road to opening day' giancarlo stanton card shows the patch of fernandez's number 16 worn on the left chest
following fernandez's death near the end of the 2016 season, the marlins wore the patch on their right sleeve, as seen in the photo of stanton below
they also wore number 16 jerseys as a team for the first game following the boat accident that took the lives of fernandez and his two friends, emilio macias and eduardo rivero.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

another sterling steve

i recently acquired my third 2008 topps sterling steve garvey 1/1 patch card
yes, topps issued a number of 1/1 patch cards in the same release. in addition to the patches being unique, the card color was different, too.  this is the green one, i guess.  anyway, i like this card very much, even though it is from an away jersey and doesn't feature the red number.  even before it arrived in the mail, i spent a fair amount of time looking at it and trying to figure out in my head the location on the jersey from which the material was culled.  obviously, it is from the 'dodgers' script across the chest, but my first inclination of it being a part of the underline was quickly dismissed.  

i wound up finding an image of one of garvey's 1978 world series jerseys online (would love to have a card with the jim gilliam memorial patch included),
and it quickly became obvious that the patch on my card was from the capital 'd'
the first sterling patch card i picked up featured part of the number '6' on the back of the jersey, but the second
is from the underline, i'm pretty sure.
looks like there is plenty of jersey left to collect!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

i found some series 2 cards this morning

i had not seen 2017 topps archives in stores until this morning when i found myself in a suburban target store.  there was archives, right next to the series 2 cards.  i ignored the archives and bought a couple of packs of series 2 (kershaw on the wrapper!) and came away with only two dodgers.  

one of the boys in blue is this all-time all-star insert of clayton kershaw
and the other was this photoshopped logan forsythe rainbow foil parallel
after seeing the pirates' team card
in the first pack i opened, i was hoping to find the dodgers' team card to see if it uses as great of a photo.  i did not get that card, but i did find an image online, and i was very pleased to see that topps used a photo of the 2016 nl west champions saluting vin scully after the division-clinching win in the home finale.

i also see that finest dropped today, and there is something called topps inception that has also appeared.  nothing like flooding the market.  still, it looks like series 2 has some decent base and insert cards (even if steve garvey was left out of the all-star game mvp insert set), and if other coaches are showing up on cards like gene lamont on the pirates card above, i want more.

Monday, June 12, 2017

that's all for now

i know that topps now has received mixed reviews since it was introduced at the beginning of the 2016 season. i thought it was a good idea, and went all in on the dodgers (minus the relics and autos) after finding lower cost (but still same day) options on the secondary market.  in 2017, i decided to take a more cautious approach and only go for cards that represented something significant or appealed to me in a more focused way.

so far, i've purchased a couple of singles from two of the 'road to spring training' sets for my memorial patch collection, as well as three dodger cards.  i was once again holding out hope that vin scully would get a card when the dodgers added him to their ring of honor, but topps either chose not to or was legally unable to produce that card.  after seeing scully in a couple of late 2016 topps sets, i thought there was a good chance, but it was not to be.

topps did put out a card for the unveiling of jackie robinson's statue outside the top of the park at dodger stadium
which fits into my dodger stadium collection. the photo choice is odd - it is neither of the actual unveiling nor composed in a way that would isolate the statue.  it looks like a photo that a hurried fan took on their way to the stadium entrance with people milling about.  weird.

the other two cards i've purchased were the cody bellinger mlb debut card and the back-to-back-to-back home run card featuring yasiel puig, bellinger, and justin turner.  the latter arrived just fine, but the seller from whom i purchased the bellinger debut card has yet to come through or respond to my inquiries.  that is the potential danger in not buying directly from topps, i recognize, but even if i wind up with my $5.88 back i am not sure i will bother to spend a little more to get the card from another source.  and, while i considered buying the clayton kershaw 2000th strikeout card, i think i will let topps now pass me by for the time being.

speaking of topps, i was looking at the recently released series 2 schedule, and got excited when i saw the all-star game mvp insert set!  sadly, topps did not include two-time all-star game mvp steve garvey.  they did include other two-time winners gary carter, cal ripken, and mike trout (with trout getting cards for each of his wins).  willie mays and the garv were left on the cutting room floor which is very disappointing.

Friday, June 9, 2017

i was in colorado 11 years ago, but missed what i really wanted to see

sometime in early 2006, i made plans to meet up with my dad and some friends in denver over a june weekend, choosing that particular weekend because the dodgers were going to be in town, too.  as it turned out, i was riding high on the matt kemp bandwagon when my plane landed in the mile high city, as kemp had made his big league debut about two weeks earlier, and was hitting well over .300 in his young career.  i was looking forward to seeing what he might do in his first visit to coors field.

the first game we went to was friday night, june 9th.  kemp didn't play in that game, unfortunately, as grady little went with an outfield of andre ethier, kenny lofton, and jd drew.  brad penny pitched well, going 8.1 innings, and nomar garciaparra hit a pair of doubles as the dodgers won 3-0.  the win put them into first place, which was nice, but i had wanted to see kemp hit some dingers!

we returned the next night for another game, and this time, kemp was in the starting lineup playing left field.  he had an rbi single in the first and an rbi double in the third, but that was the end of his cycle chase that day as he was held hitless in each of his last three at bats.  this game was more of what i had expected at coors, with the final score being 12-9 in the rockies' favor.

sunday, my dad and i visited some relatives and headed to the airport instead of the ballpark.  it's too bad, because on that day (june 11th), kemp hit two home runs as the dodgers won the game 6-5.  telling that story is a long way to go to get to this card that i recently acquired - a 2008 upper deck baseball heroes purple patch card numbered to 5
that commemorates kemp's first multi-homer game which came in the only game of the series against the rockies that i did not attend.  it figures.  later that month, the dodgers visited minnesota and i attended all three games of that series, and then a couple of days after that, i was out in southern california and got to see kemp again, this time in anaheim against the angels.  unfortunately, he didn't homer in any of those games, either.  i did finally get to see a matt kemp home run in person in 2011, thankfully, when the dodgers returned to minnesota and played in target field for the first time on june 27.

these days, kemp is playing for the braves, and he is doing very well so far this year.  he had a three-homer game against the brewers earlier this season, and is hitting for high average.  i still look for new-to-me dodger cards of his from time-to-time, and you know i could not pass up this 2014 topps triple threads red number patch card
i like the red number very much.

i haven't been to a game yet this year (i was supposed to go to a twins game a couple of weeks ago, but work got in the way), but i do have my eye on a weekend series in washington dc in september when the dodgers visit the nationals.  i wonder how many homers i will see cody bellinger hit that weekend...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

why i enjoy reading baseball card blogs

i've been reading baseball card blogs for over 10 years now, and i still enjoy seeing the various postings of fellow collectors.  sometimes, i will see a post that features a card of my favorite player, like this 2005 playoff prestige steve garvey card
that fuji found at a flea market a while back.  this particular version of the card is the red parallel, numbered to 25; a parallel that i did not have in my collection.  i asked fuji if he would part with it, and he agreed to do so with a blind trade.  that is awesome.

another blog that i read regularly is nick's dime boxes which always features a bunch of random, yet connected, cards.  one card that nick showed off a while back was this 1982 red lobster cubs bump wills card
there's a good chance that the expo on the card is tim raines, with scot thompson being the cubs' left fielder. nick and i both collect cards that show the double play, and so i was inspired to go and find this card to add to my collection.  while i was at it, i added a few more turns at second base, many of which i had seen around the blogosphere but had not gotten around to acquiring yet.

here's a 2015 topps update pete kozma
and the gold parallel version
i wish the dodgers had permanent murals like the cardinals do (and maybe the white sox?).

i always like to check out posts featuring new releases as it is a great way to see a variety of cards that may fit into my collection.  a couple of months ago, jeff at 2x3 heroes showed off a few cards from 2017 topps flagship that he had added to his double play collection, including jace peterson
and tim anderson.
i went over to sportlots and did the same, and i added anderson's 2017 topps opening day card
as well as dee gordon's
a few other double play cards that i've picked up recently include this 2017 topps heritage buster posey game card
along with a pair of 2015 topps original buybacks - 1976 topps bob sheldon
and derrel thomas
and a 2016 panini donruss andrelton simmons 1982 design insert
i'm pretty sure that's kiké hernandez sliding in, which would likely make this a card that features a dp turn from july 21, 2015 (austin barnes followed a hernandez single with a 4-6-3 double play grounder).

i don't recall which blog i saw this next card on, but it was quickly added to my sportlots order
that would be a 2017 panini donruss joe morgan 1983 design card featuring a photo of morgan batting in dodger stadium.  i believe that the catcher's glove most likely belongs to steve yeager, although it could be a host of other dodger backstops as well.

in addition to inspiring me to add cards to my collection, nick recently sent some cards my way, including another dodger stadium background card - 2016 topps stadium club justin turner
plus some other turners - 2016 topps allen & ginter base
and mini
and the same for alex wood
although the wood mini 
shows how topps rotated the image for wood's base card.

last card to show from nick is this 2016 topps holiday kenley jansen card
i would not have known that these snowflake cards existed had it not been for the blogs.  i guess you have to take the good with the bad.

Monday, June 5, 2017

looking to 86 '89

as i grow more disillusioned with the 2017 products released by topps, i figured i would go back and see if i could obliterate a certain year from my dodger want list.  i figured that 1989 would be a good year since the dodgers won the world series the previous season, and so completing this task would mean that i would have all of the cards that celebrated that improbable finish.  i was already well on my way when i officially committed to the endeavor thanks largely to my 8-plus years trading within the blogosphere.  i didn't buy too many cards in 1989, and there were five major manufacturers back then, so this is a fairly decent task to have (nearly) completed.

anyway, most of the cards that i was in need of were specialty issues, like cards from the woolworth set.  there are a few orel hershiser cards in the set that i was missing, including this nondescript one
but also this one that shows orel in the world series with his dirty uniform
which makes the card a more tangible "baseball highlight" card.

reliever jay howell was also featured in the set,
thanks to his game 4 save on the road in oakland.

while it's great to see cards like the howell, 1989 small sets were all about orel hershiser and kirk gibson - the reigning cy young award winner, and the reigning mvp.  here's hershiser on a fleer baseball mvp card
and a fleer superstars card
both featuring dodger stadium and franklin stubbs in the background.

gibby shows up on a fleer baseball all-stars card
and a fleer heroes of baseball card
and they both get discs in the holsum schafer's
and king-b
oddball sets.  gibson seems pretty happy about those quality meat snacks.

tim leary was a feel-good story in 1988, so he got some love on 1989 cardboard, including this 1989 score hot 100 insert
there were old-timey players included in sets in 1989, too, thanks to swell.  here are the two cards i needed to complete the dodger team set - joe black
and andy pafko
my dodger andy pafko need list is very short these days, but will likely not get any shorter - if you know what i mean.

there are still a few oddball cards and stickers (i'm not counting minor league sets in this pursuit) on my 1989 want list, but i am close enough to finishing 1989 that i will certainly give myself a pass if i don't ever pick up the two doubleheader cards and the rest of the panini stickers.  still, see if you can help a blogger out!

Friday, June 2, 2017

here's another card (or two) for which i spent more than $10 to obtain

i already posted an entry for the sixth day of the 30-day baseball card challenge, which was a card that you spent more than $10 to obtain.  however, i came across another card that has a pretty good story behind it that i thought was worth telling.  to obtain this particular card, a promotional item issued at a minor league game in british columbia, 
i spent more than $20, and the card wasn't the main item in the purchase.  the seller offered up a signed 8x10 photo of steve garvey that they took to the july 2, 2014 appearance for garvey to autograph.  thus, their promotional card (which i understand was given away at the appearance for those without items in hand to get signed) remained unblemished.  i made sure that the card was part of the sale before committing, and was really happy once it arrived.

the 8x10 (not shown) is a different photo than i have in my collection already, so that was nice, but this oversized card is obviously the prize.  it features a photo of garvey that has not been widely seen before (topps used this photo a few years back for an online-only wall-art/photo collectible item that i didn't bother to purchase) - in fact, i had hoped that this photo would have been the one that topps used for the archives snapshot set that came out last year (instead of rehashing his 1976 topps card photo).  at any rate, it's 1980 spring training garvey, preparing to get 200 hits and 100 rbi in a season for the last time in his career.

the back has full career stats and more information, too.
blakes, a canadian law firm, and the british columbia sports hall of fame are the primary sponsors of what looks to be an annual "superstar series" of former mlb stars coming to make appearances and sign stuff at a vancouver canadians game.  this year's event will be held july 18, and will feature david justice and more players who are yet to be announced.

shortly after i made the purchase of the photo and card, a similar item was listed along with a signed card (not shown).  this one was an item made for a steve garvey autograph signing held in 2003, and was given to people who were waiting in line for the garv.
the seller of this was the 240th person in line, i assume.  this card is smaller than the other, but still larger than a typical baseball card.  the organizers of this signing look to have lifted a small image from the internet and then enlarged it, as it is pixelated.  that's ok - i wanted this card for the oddball feature.  i believe i still have a similar item from the harmon killebrew signing i attended, as well as plain tickets that were issued for a boog powell signing, but i could be mistaken as these things are sometimes confiscated as you approach the signing table.

i am very happy to have these in my garvey collection, even at the cost of more than $10!