Monday, February 27, 2017

a memorial patch for dewsy

longtime braves coach bobby dews passed away in december of 2015.  the braves wore a memorial patch during spring training the following year in his honor.  you can see the patch on this 2016 topps chrome hector olivera card
many sources reported that the braves would wear the patch during the regular season as well, but i was unable to find photos or cards from regular season play showing the patch. instead, the team wore patches noting the final season of turner field at home, and apparently no patches on the road.

dews was a minor league player and manager in the cardinals' system (where he managed a young scott boras, among others) before joining the braves in 1974.  he held several positions in the organization, but spent much of his 40-plus years with the club coaching at the big league level.  dews was also an author of a couple of books, and was seemingly universally liked and respected by those who knew him.  he was 76 years old when he died,

Friday, February 24, 2017

two card bloggers meet in an office lobby...

last fall i found myself in the pacific northwest on a work related trip, and i reached out to gavin from baseball card breakdown to see if he was up for a quick meet and greet.  i had ulterior motives, as i was hoping for his help in printing a bunch of the custom cards i had created over the past several years.  gavin was amenable to both requests, and that is how, on a sunny afternoon in the city of portland, two card bloggers met in person.

i've now met three - paul from carl crawford cards, brian from highly subjective completely aribitrary (twice), and now gavin.  we had a short chat, and exchanged a few cards.

gavin gave me this 1999 skybox premium todd hollandsworth autographics card
as well as a couple of his more recent customs - this 1990 fleer-ish yasiel puig/madison bumgarner card
and this 1989 upper deck-ish vin scully card
when we met, i had mentioned that i saw the scully on his blog a few days prior, and was hoping i would be able to get my hands on one. a few moments later, i opened the package and there it was!

after we met, gavin went to work on printing many of my custom cards - particularly the 1978 topps update/burger king dodgers that i had created.  he sent them to me just after the new year, along with several other cards, one of which was this 2016 topps archives corey seager card
if this were fifteen years ago, i would have pc's of seager and clayton kershaw.  as it is, i am content to have as many of their cards in my dodger collection and trade off the rest.  this one completes my archives base set from last year.

i never had a pc going for kevin brown, but i do have a ton of his cards as his tenure as a dodger coincided with a ridiculous amount of sets and inserts being printed.  this is a 2004 leaf certified materials mirror red parallel
and it makes me feel ornery just looking at it.

here's a black bordered mini justin turner card from 2016 topps allen & ginter.
who knew that turner would turn out to be such a good player. i wonder if the mets would rather have him back than continue with the annual david wright ambulance brigade.

josh reddick has more dodger cards than he should, given how little time he spent with the team and how poorly he played during that time.  this is one of those 2016 topps holiday cards
it's even one of the metallic snowflake inserts.  yay.

you may have noticed based on recent posts at baseball card breakdown that i sent a bunch of 1965 topps cards to gavin in return for his work.  he also sent some to help me with my set quest, like dan osinski
i wonder if he and gil hodges ever got into a staring contest, and if so, who won.

i am also slowly working on my 1972 topps set, and gavin included a few towards that effort, including one clarence "cito" gaston in action card
by the time this card was issued, the giants' catcher on the card (dick dietz) was playing for the dodgers.  i had to tie this back to the dodgers somehow...

thanks gavin!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

two card bloggers walk into a card show....

for the second time, brian from hcsa and i met up at the monthly local card show.  we chatted for a bit and exchanged cards and other baseball related items - twins for dodgers - but only one of us brought a 1941 double play card for the other.

brian reached into the way-back machine and handed over this john wyatt card
that pre-dates all but three cards in my collection.

brian also finished off my dodger team set of 1951 topps red backs with this preacher roe card
and he hit one of my nefarious 9 needs with this 2014 topps high tek fernando valenzuela card
there were some other nice want list needs in the cards brian handed over, too, but i always appreciate a nefarious 9 hit.

here's a nice die cut jackie robinson card from 2015 topps stadium club
and a piece of joc pederson's bat from 2016 panini donruss
i didn't know much about charlie culberson until he hit the division clinching walk-off homer to end vin scully's final home game. brian gave me this 2016 topps heritage high number card of culberson
and i can't help but think that culberson has already had his defining baseball moment.

brian also included a tommy lasorda book in the stuff he gave me, and i plan to read it soon.  i recently finished reading 'lords of the realm' by john helyar which details the history of baseball from the owners' perspective.  it was great, and made me think less of the owners and bud selig than i had in the past.  the book ends with the 1994 strike, so it doesn't address steroids or realignment or the latest round of expansion, but i don't think there were any redeeming efforts by the owners during that time that might have painted them in a better light.  anyway, i would recommend the book to any of you reading this.

thanks for the trade brian - too bad we couldn't meet up at twins fest, but i'm sure i'll see you around!

Monday, February 20, 2017

once again, i urge you to avert your eyes!

i know i should look away from the cardboard destruction, but man, i really do like some of these tristar signa cuts.

this one is the latest addition to my collection
it's from 2008, and features rick monday's 1981 donruss card butchered almost beyond recognition. i do give kudos to the tristar person who made sure to leave the bulk of the 'dodger' text, though.

mo joins the likes of steve garvey, burt hooton, ralph branca, candy maldonado, mike scioscia (x2), steve sax, ron cey (solo and with steve yeager and pedro guerrero), and tommy john in my hall of horrors signa cut collection, and he won't be the last, i promise you that!

the monday card is numbered 04/25 and actually celebrates monday's claim to fame as the first ever player taken in an mlb draft. and, while that occurrence would be better paired with a card from his kansas city a's days, i'm happy to have another hacked up dodger auto in my collection.

Friday, February 17, 2017

a memorial patch for ernie banks

ernie banks, also known as mr. cub, passed away just over two years ago at the age of 83.  he spent his entire major league career with the cubs, hitting 512 home runs as a shortstop and first baseman, and was elected to the national baseball hall of fame in 1977 on the first ballot.

the cubs wore memorial patches with his number 14 on their jerseys throughout the 2015 season in various places.

on their home white pinstripe uniforms, the patch was on the right sleeve, as seen on kris bryant's 2015 topps heritage high numbers rookie performers card
at the all-star game, the patch moved to the chest, as seen on bryant's 2016 topps heritage card
byrant's 2016 topps opening day card shows the patch on the left sleeve of the away blue jerseys
and it was back on the right sleeve on the away grays, including during the 2015 post season as seen on kyle schwarber's 2016 topps opening day heavy hitters insert.
banks debuted for the cubs in 1953, but earlier that year he played for the kansas city monarchs.  the kansas city royals wore memorial patches (and throwback monarch uniforms) in banks' honor on may 17, 2015 during their game with the yankees (who also added the patches to their left sleeves).  the patches featured banks' number 28 that he wore while with the monarchs.  while i have not seen any cards featuring photos from that game, i did find a couple of pictures at getty images.

here's alcides escobar
and here's jacoby ellsbury
aside from being a first ballot hall of famer, banks was also a good, positive person - traits that were rewarded with the presidential medal of freedom in 2013.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

a steve garvey oddball that makes the 1975 dodger yearbook even stranger

the first dodger yearbook i recall seeing was the 1977 version (which i still own) that featured an animated collage of dodger greats celebrating the team's 20th year in los angeles. it wasn't until a few years later that i first saw the 1975 team yearbook.  it looks like this:
even when i first saw this yearbook, i was puzzled by the photo selection.  dave winfield is ducking as steve garvey elevates to catch a wayward throw at first base.  the ball is obviously not going to be caught, and so for a team that had just won its first pennant in eight seasons, the photo was a curious choice to adorn the yearbook cover.

at one point, i tracked down the most likely play that was captured for posterity.  on saturday, september 21, 1974, winfield reached on an error in the top of the 6th inning.  he was immediately forced at second by future dodger derrel thomas, but that is irrelevant.  the player who made the bad throw? no, it's not bill russell - it was ron cey (happy birthday penguin!).

anyway, a few years ago i became aware that the dodgers had created a postcard of sorts for the subject of my most robust pc - steve garvey.  this is the type of postcard that is typically used at team sponsored appearances, and is made to be signed by the subject. i have a few twins versions of these (including jack morris), and picked up lee lacy's the last time i was at dodger stadium.  i was recently able to get my hands on garvey's:
we'll come back to the front in a moment.  here's the back:
so you can see that it's not really a postcard.  still, for simplicity, i will call it a postcard.

the postcard photo is obviously the same play as the one featured on the yearbook, but from a slightly different angle, and from a split second sooner.  in this photo, it looks like the garv might actually catch the ball, even though you can see a bit of the 'ice cream cone' effect.

i am left to wonder if someone in the organization meant to go with the postcard photo for the yearbook, but marked the wrong one on the negative sheet.  still, it seems strange for the photo to have made it all the way through the printing process, especially when they could have used this one from the 1974 world series

Friday, February 10, 2017

some teams are still timeless

it's been over two years since i last updated my timeless teams blog, but that doesn't mean i haven't been on the lookout for new dodger cards from the set to add to my collection.

i found a bunch of bronze dodger parallels last fall, including the kirk gibson memorable moments card

i also bought a don sutton gold parallel auto
which, unfortunately, does not have an autograph on the back

i even added a triple auto from the set to my collection last year. this one features steve sax, pedro guerrero, and mike scioscia 
ron cey, pedro guerrero, and steve yeager would have made more sense, but at least this copy is steve sax's jersey number!
which means absolutely nothing to me.

the real news here, however, is that i am finally getting around to finishing the timeless teams blog, with a new post on monday covering the parallels.  i hope you will check it out.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

i'm still looking for cards that feature dodger stadium in the background

one of my mini collections is cards that feature dodger stadium.  it was easy to find these sorts of cards in the mid-1980's as donruss and fleer had quite a few in their sets. when upper deck came along, they had a bunch since they were based in southern california.  topps has had more in recent years than ever before, thanks to using getty images.

at any rate, it's always nice to find an oddball type card that fits in any mini collection, especially this one.  that's why i was so pleased to find a card from the 2013 panini beach boys set when i searched for 'dodger stadium' on a whim at comc
this card was part of the package i had shipped on black friday, but the card had been purchased well before that.  it's not the best photo as far as dodger stadium is concerned (that's the left field pavilion behind al jardine, with the right field pavilion partially visible behind brian wilson).  the sorry fact that panini had to remove the logos from the jerseys and hats worn by the beach boys is offset by the fact that manager don mattingly is visible and recognizable between jardine and bruce johnston.  i've never seen the beach boys, but i have seen two concerts at dodger stadium (eric clapton/elton john and u2).  as far as national anthems go, i know i saw debbie gibson at dodger stadium (game 1 of the 1988 world series) and kenny rogers at the metrodome on opening day one year, but that's about all i remember.

here's another oddball sort of card, a 1992 upper deck fanfest lou brock card
brock is rounding second in the photo on this card.  it's not a common photo angle for cards which is one reason why i like it so much.  the low railing is an easy way to identify dodger stadium on cards.

next is a 1992 fleer dennis martinez record setter card
i don't know that he set a record, but he did throw a perfect game in dodger stadium against the dodgers in 1991.  his catcher, ron hassey, did make history however, becoming the first guy to catch two perfect games (he had also caught len barker's in 1981).  i didn't go to the ravine that weekend, but i remember it pretty well as i listened to the friday night game between the expos and dodgers.  in that game, mark gardner no-hit the dodgers for nine innings, but the expos couldn't score off of orel hershiser, kevin gross, or jay howell as the dodgers allowed only two hits themselves, and it went to extras. gardner wound up giving up two hits in the 10th, and the dodgers won the game.  two days later, martinez threw his perfecto.  it was a bizarre weekend, as the dodger pitchers allowed no earned runs (the only two runs the expos scored were the two unearned runs in defense of martinez's perfect game), but they were lucky to not have been no-hit twice in the same weekend.

here's one of my favorite dodger stadium cards, a 1998 pacific crown collection wally joyner card
that features another rare angle, as well as a lunging mike piazza.  i picked up this second copy of the card for my lurker mini collection.

not all cards that feature dodger stadium in the background make the binder, as sometimes there is not enough of the stadium or i just don't think it is up to snuff.  this 2004 bowman hideo nomo makes the binder, but just barely.
it's there only because it is one of the few cards that shows the 'infield' mural on the outfield wall, although it is almost impossible to see.  here's a photo of dave roberts crashing into davey lopes that better illustrates the mural
i have a 2004 fleer ultra card of preston wilson in my steve garvey collection because it shows the garvey part of the mural pretty well.  i was also happy to find this 2004 fleer tradition dodger team set darren dreifort card
that shows the mural much better than the nomo card.  it was also part of the black friday comc package.  now i just have to decide whether this goes in the 2004 dodger binder, the dodger stadium binder, or the steve garvey collection.

Monday, February 6, 2017

hong-chih kuo the distance

not all team collectors are blessed with an icon with a name so amenable to puns, and so i have tried and failed to live up to the high standard set by matt at bob walk the plank.  i'll try to do better with some cards he sent me last year to wrap up one of our many blind trades.

here's hong-chih kuo himself, 
on a 2006 upper deck sp authentic card.  it's an auto, but it's also kuo's base card.  i'm glad i'm no longer a set collector.  i had a hard enough time as a kid trying to figure out if the bump wills error was needed for my 1979 topps set to be complete (i decided that it was needed), so these short print 'base' cards would really chap my hide.  topps even killed me a bit as a team collector in 2012 with the super short print dodger variations in update that year.  that was the last year that i separated out my flagship and traded dodger team sets from the rest of my dodger cards.

moving right along, here's a 2008 upper deck spectrum rafael furcal and jeff kent dual swatch card
which reminds me that i figured by now i would be typing 'hall of famer jeff kent', but he's not getting the votes that i thought he would.  if i were to vote next year, he'd be in my top ten, but just barely, so that may explain why he's only at around 16% with other players also vying for a limited number of votes.

this next card features a hall of famer - it's a 2008 upper deck sp legendary cuts mike piazza/russell martin relic
that would be better for this dodger collector if piazza were featured as a dodger.  kind of a passing of the torch thing.  however, the point of the card is not to be team specific so i shouldn't nitpick.

last card is this 2008 upper deck premier trio relic card featuring james loney, russell martin, and takashi saito
james loney will always be remembered fondly by me for his grand slam in game 1 of the 2008 nlds against the cubs. the cubs were up 2-0, and were cruising to some degree, but then ryan dempster walked the bases loaded in the fifth and loney went deep.  i don't think the cubs recovered from that unlikely home run, and the dodgers swept them to reach the nlcs for the first time since 1988.  now they just need to get over the nlcs hump.

thanks for the cards matt - i'm sorry it took so long to post (so long, in fact, that matt has already posted the cards i sent him after i received these).  i'm eagerly awaiting the next round of trading!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

still watching for double play cards

i was excited to see that ozzie smith was turning two in the 2015 topps hallowed highlights insert set, and even more excited when i saw that his entry in that set was due to the fact that he was named the 1985 nlcs mvp.  dodger fans recall that series with great sorrow, but i thought there was a chance i would see dodger stadium and/or a familiar player trying to break up the dp turn.  this is what i got instead.
pretty sure that's a photo from the 1985 world series with a royals player sliding in.  way to connect subject matter with a photo once again, topps.  still, i picked up the card for my double play collection - i just didn't need multiple copies for my dodger stadium and/or dodger lurker collections.

i also finally got around to grabbing a 2010 topps ernie banks legends variation
and a 2011 topps gypsy queen cal ripken jr card
for the ol' dp binder.

there were a couple of cards in 2016 topps update that i sought out (there may be more double plays in the set - let me know if you know of any) like this twins all-star representative eduardo nunez
and new yankee starlin castro
somehow i missed out on having a 1991 leaf jody reed card, but that was corrected in a sportlots purchase sometime last year
while my black friday comc order included two copies of rafael furcal's 2011 topps chrome gold parallel
that's one for the dodger binder and one for the double play binder. kinda crazy, i know.

i also have two copies of this next card. one copy is in my 1965 topps set binder (still under construction), and the other is headed to the double play binder because of the back
ed brinkman could pivot!

i'm interested in seeing what 2017 brings in terms of double play turns (i know there is an addison russell one at least), so please keep me in mind when you come across any such cards. and check my have list to see if i am missing any others that you know of.  thanks in advance!