Monday, November 12, 2018

more 2018 memorials, in case you were wondering

one of the reasons, the main one in fact, that i have a mini-collection of armbands and memorial patches stems from my curiosity regarding the examples i saw in the 1978 topps set.  the rangers, cubs, and brewers each wore black armbands (the rangers added a black number 4) during the 1977 season, and so there were many cards in the '78 set that displayed the memorials.  i didn't know why these elements were added to their uniforms, and my dad suggested that they were recognizing the passing of someone.  

then, when jim gilliam died late in the 1978 season and the dodgers wore a patch in his honor, i was hoping that a 1979 topps card might show the memorial.  of course, topps did not issue postseason cards in 1979, and so i was out of luck as far as the gilliam patch was concerned until the 2000's when a few images made it on to cardboard.  i did, however, look for cards showing other memorials, and my curiosity remains. i regularly take notice of these things when watching a game or flipping through cards.  now, thanks to the internet, it is a lot easier to determine why teams are wearing certain patches, for which i am grateful.

during the 2018 season, there were a few teams that wore memorial patches.  i've already shown the cubs and marlins with their opening day patch honoring the victims of the school shooting at marjory stoneman douglas, as well as the umpire memorials, but i'll document the others here, hopefully with examples of the memorials on cardboard. 

the padres honored both kevin towers and rob picciolo with a patch on their right sleeves during their game on may 12.  i watched this game and was pleased when eric hosmer ended the game with a walk-off hit because i knew that topps would produce a 'now' card the next day.  i was in luck when they chose an image that showed the patch clearly
so i bought the card for my collection.  towers was their general manager, and picciolo was a long-time coach with the organization.

the diamondbacks also wore a patch in kevin towers' honor during their game on august 2.  so far, i only have photographic evidence
but we will see what 2019 brings.

the brewers wore a patch during a single home series in june for former player, coach, and broadcaster dave nelson. there's a topps now card that shows the patch a bit (it's on the right sleeve - mostly visible on number 14's jersey)
but i didn't bother to buy a copy of the card.  maybe 2019 will bring a card or two that shows it.

the blue jays have worn a '32' patch on their jerseys all year in honor of roy halladay.
josh donaldson's 2018 topps chrome prism refractor shows the patch on the left sleeve, while j.a. happ's 2018 topps update card shows the patch on his left chest

as it got the bump from the sleeve at the all-star game due to the all-star patch players wore.

the mets wore a patch with rusty staub's facsimile signature (the 'rusty' part, anyway) following his passing at the end of march. you can see the patch on todd frazier's sleeve on this 2018 topps big league card
the patch moved to the chest for the little league classic game (there's another topps now card that i did not bother with) and the all-star game, as seen on jacob degrom's 2018 topps update card
finally, the cardinals added a patch for red schoendienst following his death in june.  there is a topps now card that shows the patch pretty well, but i think i'll wait until 2019 to add a card or two showing that particular memorial.

sadly, it looks like there will be a willie mccovey patch on the giants' unis next season, so i'll be on the lookout for a card to represent 'stretch' in my collection as well.  i saw mccovey and the giants play the dodgers a couple of times during mccovey's final seasons.  we always got there early for batting practice, and i can still remember how hard he hit the ball.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

an adrian beltre trifecta. no, make that a quadfecta.

we are 5 months away from adrian beltre's 40th birthday. i do not know if he will return for another season in 2019, but i do know that i consider his leaving the dodgers via free agency to have been a big mistake.  a mistake on the part of the dodgers, i mean.  he was coming off of a career year in 2004, and the dodgers were in a situation of potentially overpaying for that one phenomenal year, so i get it.  however, until justin turner came along, there seemed to have been a revolving door at third base, and with beltre's 2217 hits and 330 home runs as a non-dodger, the knife has been twisted quite a bit.

i used one of those various ebay coupons that popped up over the summer to finally land a 1997 bowman beltre card for a decent price.
the addition of this card means that i can show off a couple more cards to qualify for the trifecta.

this is a 2004 upper deck relic card of the dominican republic native
and this is a 1999 topps gallery autograph

then i recalled that i had a beltre patch card in my collection!

this is a 2001 leaf certified materials fabric of the game jersey number relic

2001 leaf certified materials fotg is my all-time favorite relic set, and the die-cut jersey numbers parallels are awesome.  i also have a steve garvey and a don drysdale card from this subset.

if beltre does return in 2019, he stands a chance to pass a few more folks on the all-time hit leaderboard, perhaps even passing willie mays for 12th all-time, and he can also make a run at the top ten in total bases as well.  it's too bad that he won't be going in to the hall of fame as a dodger.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

2018 topps update-ing my mini collections

i bought some update and found some cards for many of my mini collections.  perhaps my favorite is this andrew mccutchen card

which features a photo taken in dodger stadium.  i like it mostly because cutch's right hand is obscuring the face of tommy lasorda.

here's another lurker-ish card.

that's dodger first base coach george lombard lurking behind jose abreu.  we may be seeing lombard again in 2019 update as i am guessing dave roberts will take his coaching staff with him to the 2019 midsummer classic.

finally, a trio of double play turns
all less violent than turns from years past.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

one patch, two patch, red patch, red patch!

you know i love me some dodger blue, but i think that the red number patch on the front of the jerseys is what really makes the dodger unis stand out.  as such, i am always on the lookout for cards featuring some red patch goodness.

andre ethier bring the red patch to this 2013 topps museum collection card
while matt kemp, steve garvey, and sandy koufax bring relics of their own. this is one of the rare steve garvey relic cards that is in my dodger collection. i already had one of the gold parallel versions (#/25) in my garvey collection, but red patch! so i bought another one.

next up it's clayton kershaw and hanley ramirez with red patch goodness on this 2015 topps museum collection card
adrian gonzalez has a bit of blue patch, and yasiel puig has just plain white jersey going on.

here's a 2012 playoff prime cuts biography card of don sutton featuring a piece of his retired number 20
and a 2017 panini national vip prizm corey seager card with a piece of corey's number 5
this card is an example of panini trying to alter history by coloring the number on the front of dodger jerseys blue. they are not blue, but rather a glorious red (except on days when they are pink or baby blue or army green or whatever other color mlb dictates in order to sell more stuff).

rickey henderson wasn't a dodger  for long, but he did wear the uniform long enough for some relic cards to be made
that's a piece of his number 25 (24 was retired by the dodgers for walt alston) on a 2004 playoff prime cuts material card.

matt kemp is back with a small piece of red patch on this solo quad relic piece from 2013 topps museum collection
and here is a 2013 topps tribute card of kemp with a larger red patch
prime patch indeed!

how about some number 22 from the jersey fronts? ok, here's a 2017 panini national treasures clayton kershaw card
so formal with the full name, but again with the false blue number in the image.

another kershaw - this one from 2017 panini donruss
and another from 2017 topps tribute
the red patches are usually on the low-numbered parallels as those kershaw cards demonstrate.

numbers don't get any lower than 1, as in 1/1, as in this 2008 topps sterling steve garvey card
red patch!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Monday, October 15, 2018

what's black and white and branca all over?

with the dodgers playing a western division tiebreaker on the first of the month, there was some attention given to their previous tiebreaker appearances. when that happens, one cannot help but think of ralph branca.

i recently picked up my first 1953 bowman black & white dodger card, and it was ralph branca's card
only two more (preacher roe and billy cox) for the full team set!

note that this streamlined and very short post took about five minutes to scan, crop, and edit.  five minutes is really not a lot of time!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

topps dusts off the 1978 design! sort of.

i was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon one of the recent topps on demand releases a couple of weeks ago.  these are the sets that are offered for sale online only 'while supplies last'. they are different in that regard from topps now sets, and even topps throwback thursday sets, as i understand it.  this particular set is called "inspired by '78", and features a modified 1978 topps design.

i didn't know about this in time to order a set from topps, so i went to ebay and picked up the two dodgers in the base set - clayton kershaw
and walker buehler
you can see that the big difference here is the full bleed photo.  other modifications include the elimination of the position ball and the smaller type for the player names.  the full bleed effect on the borders makes me think of natgeo.

the backs of these on demand sets are known for their uselessness
the text here seems disingenuous.  if the 1978 topps is such a classic design in topps' eyes, why has it been so sparingly used in fan favorite and archives sets? if the 40th anniversary is worth celebrating, why has the 35th anniversary of 1983 topps dominated the flagship sets?

while the '78 design has been largely absent this decade, it wasn't always this way.  one of the most famous basketball cards used the same design. yes, i'm talking about the 1980 topps larry bird/dr. j/magic johnson card
 in 1981, topps used the team name font on their squirt issue
and on the backs of their super home team cards
 and then there was 1982 cracker jack, which was a sort of mash-up of 1978 and 1979 topps
topps later resurrected the design for some of the early 2000's fan favorite sets. i think the most recent occurrence of the design being used was the reimagining of eddie murray's rookie card as a future stars that never were in 2014, which i featured in a post related to my quest for a 1978 topps master set.

i wound up purchasing a "full" 35-card issue on ebay.  this includes the complete 30-card base set, plus two numbered parallel cards, one 4-in-1 rookie card, one "then and now" card, and one "tfamous flashback" card.  those last three cards are from "insert" sets of varying sizes, so it would take quite a few set purchases to put together a truly full set.  autographs were seeded 1:2 sets, but i got shut out.

i did do ok with one of my numbered parallels - it was the blue (#/50) version of buehler's card
but the other was a purple (#/75) paul goldschmidt.
i did ok with my 4-in-1 rookie card - devers and torres, plus 2
but obviously would have preferred the one with buehler (and ohtani), or the one with alex verdugo (and soto and acuna).

my then & now card, modeled after the manager cards in the 1978 set, features dale murphy and ozzie albies
(shout out to giovanni who has been making some 1978 topps then & now cards for quite some time) there are no dodgers in this insert set, but a don sutton/walker buehler card would have made sense.

the last card in my purchase was the "famous flashback".  these are cards featuring players from the past, most of whom were in the 1978 set.  no steve garvey, or any other dodger in this set, but some nice players like rod carew, carl yastrzemski, eddie murray, jim rice, etc.  my card was joe morgan
it's not everyday that a card features someone wearing a skirt.  getty says that this is a photo of little joe taking bp at shea stadium, but that doesn't help me id the woman watching the reds pregame prep.

maybe the 2,040 sets issued with this 1978 inspired design will spark some ideas at topps, and we'll see more of the original design in next year's archives.  it would be a shame to have to wait until 2027 heritage.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

i've got their backs

i was pleasantly surprised to learn that there was another card release featuring steve garvey in 2018.  i didn't know what to expect when i first saw the checklist for leaf's in the game used sports set, but i think they did pretty well for an unlicensed issue.

using the backs of jerseys works for me, and the first card i picked up was this 'classic rivals' card that focuses on the 1977 world series
i've said many times that the 1977 fall classic is my first real memory of actually sitting down and watching baseball as a dodger fan, so this card is a nice homage to the beginning of my fandom.  it's not perfect - the garvey jersey shown is an away gray, but the patch used comes from a home white, and that's a fake reggie jackson jersey shown (no names on the back of yankee jerseys!) with a swatch from an angels jersey instead of yankee pinstripes.  still, i love that ron cey's red number 10 patch is represented, and i really do like this card.

garvey (and the penguin) also show up on a different 'classic rivals' card - this one focused on the 1978 pennant chase card with division rival members of the big red machine in pete rose and johnny bench.
i do not know why leaf went with photos of rose and bench, but it does detract a bit from the card's aesthetic.  1978 was the first full year of my dodger fandom, and the first year that i fully collected cards, so again, it's a great connection for me to see that season referenced on cardboard.

this set is a multi-sport release (similar to the 2002-03 upper deck superstars) and so there is some cross referencing based on cities.  this is the los angeles city of champions card (the purple parallel, anyway)
that features garvey and fernando valenzuela, along with laker legends kareem, kobe, and shaq, plus jonathan quick of the kings.  it is strange to think that the kings are the most recent champions in the city of angels.  also, to me, 32 for the kings is kelly hrudey but his tenure in los angeles didn't include a stanley cup championship so he doesn't get any play on these cards.

last but not least, garvey gets a spot on one of the multi-mvp 'mvp 8s' cards
man, these are the players of the teams of my youth. i was really pleased to see a focus on teams and players from the late 1970's and early 80's. if only don baylor and dale murphy could have found their way on to the card, too.

these are a great addition to my steve garvey collection and i think a good example of unlicensed relic cards done pretty well.

Monday, September 24, 2018

hall of confusion

back in july of 2016, i sent a ttm request to former dodger toby hall. i included one of his 2006 topps update and highlight cards - it may well be the only card showing him as a dodger - and hoped for the best.  just over twenty-six months later, i received this:
that is clearly not the card i sent. rather, it is a 2002 bowman heritage (black box version). 

this is not the first time that i've had such a mixup (rick dempsey is the other), and while i do appreciate the return of a card, i'd rather it be the one showing hall with the dodgers.  if you, or anyone you know, mistakenly received a 2006 topps update card from toby, and would rather have a 2002 bowman heritage card instead, please let me know!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

wonder twin powers, activate!

form of: 
a superfluous parallel of a common base card that is collected by no one!

ok, so it's not exactly how zan and jayna did it on the super friends, but this card made me think of them.

seriously, does anyone "need" this 2018 topps ken giles rainbow foil parallel?

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

somewhat significantly, steve signed stickers

how many stickers should steve sign, should steve sign stickers?  a lot, apparently, as panini has included the nl iron man in a large number of their recent releases.  they've certainly been the primary source for "signed" steve garvey cards lately, and their latest example comes in the form of autographed cards in the 2018 donruss optic release.  

parallels of this release abound, and i've picked up just the regular version and the blue version
which is numbered to 20
plus the red version
numbered to 15
and also the gold version
numbered to 10
i'm not tracking the jersey number notation as a variation (i have done so in the past), as i am figuring that panini is just pulling from sticker inventory and not purposefully looking for notations.  i have no way of knowing what kind of sticker quantity panini has on their hands, but i do know that as long as there is a supply of stickers, there will be more signed cards.