Tuesday, August 20, 2019

willie mays is in my hall of famer collection

say hey!  willie mays is in my hall of famer collection, thanks to this card:
that's a 1997 topps willie mays reprints autograph card.  here's the back:
my dad saw mays play a few times. he even roadtripped up to candlestick a couple of times, primarily because he enjoyed driving (so do i!), and he would take highway 1 up the coast in his sports car.  i've been to candlestick once, but it was to see a 49ers game circa 2007.  i know mays from the baseball history books and the highlight reels and that terry cashman song (that also featured a shout out to steve garvey!)".

one year while on vacation, we found ourselves in a book store as we often did.  book stores, antique stores, comic book and baseball card stores were always on the agenda as we drove all over the western part of the us and canada.  anyway, i was hanging out in the sports section looking for something to read having pretty much memorized the 'handbook of baseball' book i had brought with me. i coerced my dad in to buying "willie's time" for me.  the conversation that followed between my parents led me to believe that perhaps there was a feeling that i was focusing too much on baseball, and my dad justified the purchase by saying that the book was about more than just baseball.  he was right, but i think he would have defended his purchase even if it had not been the case.

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:

bob feller - 2001 topps archives

roberto clemente - 2005 donruss greats hall of fame souvenirs relic

warren spahn - 1999 upper deck century legends epic signatures

jackie robinson - 2004 topps clubhouse collection clubhouse relics

willie mays - 1997 topps willie mays reprints autograph

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

harmon killebrew - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures

bruce sutter - 2003 topps all-time fan favorites

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

Thursday, August 15, 2019

crackin' max

it had been several years since i had participated in one of topher's charity group breaks at crackin' wax, but i felt the urge to roll the dice again and try my luck.  i started out with a topps heritage break that netted me quite a few of the dodger short prints in this year's set.  i followed that up with a stadium club break, and was the recipient of a fantastic on-card autograph of max muncy:
the fun didn't end there, as the funky muncy was back with another auto for me in the 2019 panini leather & lumber break:
i had opened a few packs of retail l&l previously, but this was hobby and so had all the crazy inserts.  case in point, this roy campanella die-cut lumberjacks card
which reminds me a bit of a car air freshener. still awesome, though.

there was even more muncy to be had in the 2019 panini donruss optic break i joined, as evidenced by this pink velocity parallel:
most recently i joined a 2019 topps chrome break that didn't bring any muncy cards home, but did result in a dennis santana autographed card:

i even decided to try a higher end break with 2019 panini immaculate (steve garvey has some cards in that set) and came away with a caleb ferguson dual relic/auto card

for my entry.  good stuff.

if you haven't taken a gander at topher's breaks, it is worth a look.  thanks topher!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

harmon killebrew is in my hall of famer collection

i don't know how, but early on in my baseball card collecting days i acquired a 1974 topps harmon killebrew card. the cartoon on the back of the card let me know that there were only four players in the history of the game that had hit more home runs (through 1973) than killebrew. i knew from having seen the 1973 topps babe ruth/hank aaron/willie mays card that they were the top 3, but i had to do a little bit of research on my end (bugging my dad with questions and looking at the backs of other baseball cards) to determine that number 4 was frank robinson (thankfully, i also had a 1974 card of frobby).

since then, seven players have passed killebrew on the all-time home run list, but his accomplishment is not diminished.  here's his card that sits in my hall of famer collection:
it comes from 2000 upper deck legends, and showcases killebrew's famous signature.  here's the back:
when i moved to minnesota, i found myself at the mall of america one day. i dutifully sought out the location of home plate from the old metropolitan stadium that had previously stood on that site and stepped in to what would have been the right-hand hitter's batter's box.  from there i looked around for the marker indicating the location of the 522' home run killebrew hit at the stadium sometime in the late 1960's. it was impressive!

i didn't really appreciate killebrew's career beyond the bottom line stats until i moved to minnesota and was exposed to more stories and anecdotes about him and his accomplishments.  i also discovered just how revered he was (and still is). he was present for many twins functions and was a genuinely nice man. i was able to chat with him a couple of times (once to the likely chagrin of the line of autograph seekers behind me), and am glad that i took the opportunity to do so.

that 1974 card i mentioned up top, i believe, is still in my collection to this day, although i upgraded to a better copy for my complete 1974 set.  looking at that card now, i can see how killebrew thought that he might have been the player behind the mlb logo.

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:

bob feller - 2001 topps archives

roberto clemente - 2005 donruss greats hall of fame souvenirs relic

warren spahn - 1999 upper deck century legends epic signatures

jackie robinson - 2004 topps clubhouse collection clubhouse relics

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

harmon killebrew - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures

bruce sutter - 2003 topps all-time fan favorites

pete rose* - 2018 panini flawless legendary signatures 15/25
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, August 6, 2019

roberto clemente is in my hall of famer collection

brian from collecting cutch sent me a card a couple of years ago that, when i look back, was an impetus for this formalization of my hall of famer collection:
that's a 2005 donruss greats roberto clemente hall of fame souvenirs relic card.  here's the back:
what can i say about roberto clemente that will do him justice?  he passed away before i was aware of baseball, but he was an iconic enough figure that i learned about him very early on in my fandom. i even wrote a report on him in elementary school, focusing on the relief efforts that led to his untimely passing.  when pete rose got his 3000th hit in the 1978 season, i learned how special that number is to baseball, and was immediately thankful that clemente had reached that milestone with his final career hit. his 1973 card - a true 'final tribute' - is one of my favorite cards ever produced.

i had placed this card with some other 'favorite' cards that otherwise didn't really fit in my collection - a marcel dionne relic card, a jack youngblood autograph card, and a cool cesar cedeno relic card to name a few other misfits that i want to hold on to.  now it sits with a bunch of other hall of famers in a more organized part of my collection.

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:

bob feller - 2001 topps archives

roberto clemente - 2005 donruss greats hall of fame souvenirs relic

warren spahn - 1999 upper deck century legends epic signatures

jackie robinson - 2004 topps clubhouse collection clubhouse relics

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

bruce sutter - 2003 topps all-time fan favorites

pete rose* - 2018 panini flawless legendary signatures 15/25
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, July 30, 2019

bruce sutter is in my hall of famer collection

bruce sutter's plaque in cooperstown shows him with a beard and a st. louis cardinals' cap.  makes sense - he helped the cardinals win the world series in 1982, and he set a then-record with 45 saves for them in 1984. and, he was hirsute while doing so.

my awareness of sutter began in 1978 when he was a cub, thanks to a bunch of pack ripping in my first year of collecting.  so it also makes sense (to me, anyway), that sutter's card in my hall of famer collection is this offering from 2003 topps all-time fan favorites:
here's the back:
it helps that i pulled the card from a pack, but still, my goal with this collection is to include cards that represent the particular player well, according to my personal preferences.  truthfully, any card of sutter would have worked as he pitched for pretty much the entirety of the baseball fandom of my youth. he had a couple of seasons under his belt before i started following the game in 1978, and he missed the 1987 season, but otherwise he was always there at the back end of a dodgers' opponent's bullpen.

it's worth noting that i pitched a bit in little league, babe ruth, and high school, and that i once tried to throw sutter's signature pitch - the split finger.  it was in high school, and my hands and fingers were too small and the ball  kind of stuck between them and then flipped up so that it turned in to more of an eephus pitch. an eephus pitch that landed about 30 feet in front of home plate.

sutter is the first of the hall of famers in the 1978 topps set to be featured here (pete rose doesn't count). 

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:

bob feller - 2001 topps archives

warren spahn - 1999 upper deck century legends epic signatures

jackie robinson - 2004 topps clubhouse collection clubhouse relics

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

bruce sutter - 2003 topps all-time fan favorites

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

Saturday, July 27, 2019

let's "play ball" to see what might have been in game 3 of the 1978 world series

in the 1978 world series, the dodgers won the first two games against the yankees, and this young fan was certain that they would complete their revenge against the team that had denied them a championship the year before.  i've mentioned many times that the 1977 world series is really my first baseball watching memory, and i was all-in for the 1978 season.  game 1 of the series was a bit of a blowout, and game 2 had ended with the dramatic bob welch strikeout of mr. october, and as the series shifted to new york i was confident.

the yankees took an early lead on a roy white solo home run off of don sutton, and extended their lead to 2-0 on a groundout by bucky dent.  the dodgers cut the lead in half in the top of the third thanks to a bill russell rbi single.  the score stayed that way until the bottom of the 7th when the yankees scored three times, and that was pretty much the game. the next day, reggie jackson stuck his hip out and the dodgers lost in 10 innings.  after that, the series was over, and the yankees closed it out by winning games 5 and 6.

i'd like to see what would have happened if the bottom of the 7th and top of the 8th innings of game 3 had played out the way topps intended.  i have not done this before, so i don't know how it will turn out.

1978 topps was the first set that i collected and completed. i opened a ton of packs that year, my first as a collector.  it just so happened that that was the year that topps eschewed the cartoons on the backs of their cards and instead printed different plays from a game, with the idea that you could play a game using the card backs. robin yount
will present the rules:
i remember playing games using cards with my neighborhood friends a few times, and my yankee collecting friend seemed to have paul blair batting first for a leadoff home run
each time.  i was suspicious. anyway, let's find out what happens.

don sutton
was pitching for the dodgers.

the aforementioned dent
led off the bottom of the 7th.  here's the back of his card:
ground out - one away.  in the actual game, dent singled to left. next up was mickey rivers,
who also singled in real life.
he singles here, too.  one on, one away, and that brings up roy white, who happens to have a fantastic 1978 topps card.
i should note that paul blair
will not bat in this inning, as he replaces rivers on the base paths just as he did in the actual game.  turns out, it doesn't matter.
ding dong. two-run jack.  white hits a dramatic home run here, too. white had grounded in to a force out against sutton in the actual game, but here gets his second homer of the game.  so now it's 4-1, yankees. still just one out, with thurman munson
coming up.
he walks (he had singled to drive in the first run of the inning in real life) to bring up reggie jackson.
i don't like where this is heading.  this is where i take sutton out, just as lasorda did, and replace him with lance rautzhan.
here's the pitch:
yes, i recall reggie's back is a single. my neighbor friend was disappointed at the time that it wasn't a home run.  anyway, reggie also singled in the actual game (driving in a run, too).  now there are two on and still only one out. next up is lou piniella.

i once ran in to piniella in the minneapolis skyway when the devil rays were in town. he was getting his shoes shined. seemed like a nice guy, but i was not a fan when i was a kid thanks to his yankee status.
uncle lou doubles. i'll say that munson scores and it's second and third with one out, and the score is 5-1 yankees. sound familiar?  piniella had an rbi groundout in the real game, by the way.  graig nettles
is up now.
ground out. i'm going to say the dodgers had the infield in and so no run scored.  nettles flew out to end the 7th in the real game, but here we have only two out, two on with chris chambliss
(who did not bat in the 7th inning of the real game 3) coming up.
rautzhan records the strikeout to end the inning.  three runs on four hits. 5-1, yankees. just like the actual game.

ron guidry
pitched a complete game for the yankees, so he was obviously still pitching. the dodgers' lead-off batter in the top of the 8th was dusty baker
who had singled that night.
not today. one up, one down.

lee lacy was up next.
back in 1978, he erased baker by grounding in to a double play. let's see if he can start a rally.
nope. two outs.

that brings up bill north,
who was an athletic in the 1978 topps set.  let's see if he can do better than the groundout that he hit in the real game.
well, at least he's consistent.

for the record, the dodgers had joe ferguson,
davey lopes,
and bill russell
batting in the 9th. i'm not going to check to see what the yankees would have done in the bottom of the 8th, but that part of the dodger lineup would have
doubled (he struck out in real life)
doubled (he grounded out)
walked (just as it was in the real game 3). that would bring up reggie smith
who struck out to end the game back then, but
grounds out here.  now, in my simulation, it's one out with one run in (lopes' double drove in ferguson) and runners on second and third, as i believe reggie's ground out was actually a hot smash that nettles dove to stop and only had a play at first.  hey, that's fairly close to reality!

next up for the dodgers would have been steve garvey.
don't get excited, i know what the back of his card is.
at least i'll say it was an rbi ground out.  5-3 yankees, two outs, bill russell is on third and ron cey
coming up.
i'll pretend that he took guidry to the warning track, at least.

so, it appears that the dodgers were destined to lose game 3 and the series.  i have a theory that they will beat the yankees this year, though.  that's because the teams that the dodgers have beat in the fall classic are:

yankees (1955)
white sox (1959)
yankees (1963)
twins (1965)
yankees (1981)
a's (1988)

notice a pattern? they can't beat any other team until they beat the bronx bombers.  we'll see.

by the way, this post will be my entry in to it's like having my own card shop's contest, under the 'put together an entire inning of a baseball game just using baseball cards' category.