Thursday, May 10, 2018

here's one for those of you scoring at home

my dad gave me this the last time i was home
i was confused at first because he had never told me that he had been to connie mack stadium in philadelphia.  he recognized my confusion and quickly clarified that he sometimes scored games while listening to vin and jerry on the radio.  he created a scorecard and made photocopies at work (a perk in the 1960's to be sure) and away he went.

this particular scorecard is very, very cool.  it is the last regular season game that sandy koufax pitched.  on october 2, 1966, in the second game of a double header, koufax beat jim bunning and the phillies 6-3.  he struck out 10, including dick allen thrice.  koufax had some struggles in the 9th following an error, but struck out two of the final three batters he faced to complete the game.  he would, of course, retire following the world series just about six weeks after this game.

the scoring is not perfect (he failed to complete the diamond for dick schofield who scored in the second inning), and it does not match exactly with the play-by-play on baseball reference's site (bunning grounded out to koufax and not wills in the third, for example), but it is still pretty cool.  bunning's record is also incorrect in that column to the right of the positions - a column that my dad used to jot down pertinent information provided by the announcers.

the back of the paper has a listing of the dodger roster, and there is also some sort of calculation that shows this may have also been used as scratch paper at some point.  he gave me some other scorecards that were scored at various stadiums in the mid to late 1960's - candlestick, dodger stadium/chavez ravine (as the angels called it while they were using dodger stadium in their early years) - to go along with my collection of scorecards from the late '70s to early '00s.  maybe i'll share some of those in a future post.

Friday, May 4, 2018

black beauty

2007 upper deck sweet spot classic is the best and worst of times.  luckily, the autographs on the wood and leather has not faded or bled like most of those on the pseudo-leather balls.  here's a beauty that i picked up a few months ago for my steve garvey collection:
sometimes i miss upper deck.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

back to basics

when i first started this blog, my intent was to focus primarily on single cards that struck me for some reason, whether or not they were in my collection (that was one of the ways to interpret the name of the blog - cards as i see them - get it?).  i've failed at staying true to that premise which is ok because i still collect the way i want to collect and the blogging reflects that.

anyway, this is the sort of card that i had in mind when i returned to blogging.  it's aledmys diaz's 2018 topps card.
there is a lot to see here.  billy hamilton sliding in is almost lost on the card, for one thing.  plus, there are cardinal throwback uniforms being worn that are more clearly seen in the blurry outfielder in the background (note the stripe down the sleeve - sadly, no trim on the end of the sleeves).

what really caught my eye, however, are the murals in the background.  lord knows i was a big fan of the dodger stadium murals on the outfield wall, and the cards have kept their retired number murals in place for a number of years now.  they look great on cardboard, and it is even better when stan musial's old-timey hat and jersey are reflected in the on-field play.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

saturday morning quarterboxing

a couple of fridays ago, i stopped in at a mall card show.  there were very few dealers set up when i was there (it was still early), but with an impending blizzard, i figured even fewer would have shown.  i left without buying anything, as i didn't feel like digging through boxes of modern base cards advertised as $1/each.  eight days later, i was at a different show (this one was in a church gymnasium) where i recognized some of the same sellers from the mall.  my goal had been to dig through some bargain boxes, but even the show's host - one of the regular dealers with some vintage bargain bins - seemed to have left lower priced stuff back at his shop.

i did find one quarter box along the outside row of dealers, and took 3 dodger cards from 2017 topps gallery and corey seager's 2017 topps chrome update/mega box card with me for a buck.  i began perusing the tables of wares in the middle of the gym when i walked past a table where the dealer pointed to a small, unorganized box and said "a dollar each", as if that were a good thing when one of the cards visible was a 1989 donruss kirk gibson diamond king. i was ready to be disappointed.

then i found the guy with the multiple quarter boxes.  current and retired stars, sorted by name in a couple, plus three boxes of nothing but hall of famers, and another of parallels and inserts.  the hall of famer boxes were legitimate (meaning that they weren't just filled with bruce sutter and barry larkin cards) with oddballs and early '80s topps and greats of the game type sets, while the insert box had just about everything aside from game used or autographs.

i dealt with other buyers crowding in and managed to pull 100 cards from these boxes.  i wound up with a number of dodger cards that i needed, plus some stuff to send in future trades, and maybe a card or two to flip.  here are some of the highlights:

2011 topps heritage jackie robinson story short print
this was one of the first cards i came across, and it drew me in.  a jackie sp for a quarter is a good deal, even if it had been the one of him as a baby.

1980-87 sspc baseball immortals jackie robinson
another jackie that i needed.  there were quite a few oddballs in these boxes, and i found a few of the dodgers that i needed from this set.

1996 upper deck collector's choice mike piazza you crash the game
it's cool seeing piazza cards in hall of famer boxes these days.  this particular card was a loser as far as the promotion went - piazza was 8 for 14 over the three game set in houston, but did not homer.

1994 upper deck collector's choice mike piazza checklist gold signature parallel
i found a couple of gold signature parallels in the boxes, and while this in no way satisfies the craving for a certified piazza auto that i am searching for, i couldn't pass it up.

1994 o-pee-chee ozzie smith
a new-to-me double play card featuring the wizard! oh my o-pee-chee!

1994 ted williams ty cobb
there is nothing really special about this card, but i added it to my stack in order to further investigate what appears to be a black armband on cobb's left sleeve.  the image is colorized, so i wasn't sure if it truly was an armband or a heavy shadow.  upon further inspection, i think it is an armband, and so would be the one worn in 1920 in honor of ray chapman.  according to the hall of fame's website, that would be the only armband cobb wore.  so, the card is interesting, but it won't replace the other cobb card that i have in my memorials collection.

1994 topps gold dan pasqua
some of you may recall that the pasqua card did not appear in the base flagship set in '94.  it was included in the gold parallel set in place of a checklist.

2013 panini cooperstown wade boggs color
another short print.

2003 topps retired signature don sutton
topps retired signature singles for a quarter? yes, please!

2007 fleer mike cameron mini die-cut gold
2007 fleer was the last of the brand.  upper deck discontinued the fleer name after that, and i suppose i didn't really miss it.  a mini parallel set with a die-cut rounded corner is not that exciting, but these gold parallels are pretty rare.  i don't know the print run on them, but it has got to be low.  i pulled one of a scrubby marlin a few years ago in a repack, and was able to flip it for the price of a blaster.  maybe there is a mike cameron super collector out there that really wants this card!

there were lots of other cards that i could show and write about, but i'll do just one more.

1960 leaf duke snider
i assumed that this was a reprint when i set it aside, and i am still not sure.  i couldn't find any information about an official reprint set, and it looks just like the roger craig that i have in my collection already, so... could a 1960 leaf duke snider card have been secured for a quarter?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

let's bat around with a certified all-auto lineup (somewhat non-dodger edition)

late to the blog bat around party, but giving it a go anyway.  great idea by zippy zappy to post a lineup based on autographed cards.  the vast majority of certified autograph cards in my collecton are dodgers, but i tried to piece together a team that didn't necessarily consist solely of the boys from brooklyn and los angeles.

with four exceptions, this is a hall of fame team (and two of those four will be in the hall eventually). there were some options at a few positions, and even more options if i were to go the non-certified route as i was big in to the ttm game for a few years.  i'll list some certified honorable mentions and non-certified options, but i am pretty pleased with this team.

starting pitcher number one - sandy koufax
1998 donruss signature series
how obtained: purchased

starting pitcher number two - don drysdale
1993 nabisco
how obtained: purchased

starting pitcher number three - warren spahn
1999 upper deck century legends
how obtained: pulled from pack

starting pitcher number four - bob feller
2001 topps archives
how obtained: pulled from pack

starting pitcher number five - clayton kershaw
2008 upper deck spx
how obtained: trade with mario (wax heaven)
honorable mentions: don sutton, bert blyleven
non-certified options: nolan ryan (purchased), gaylord perry (ttm), phil niekro (ttm)

catcher - gary carter
2003 upper deck sweet spot classic
how obtained: pulled from pack
honorable mentions: bill dickey (pulled from pack and sold), carlton fisk (purchased)

first base - steve garvey
2013 panini hometown heroes hometown signatures gold (my latest garvey auto addition)
how obtained: purchased
honorable mention: harmon killebrew
non-certified options: pete rose (ttm)

second base - rod carew
2006 fleer greats of the game
how obtained: pulled from pack
non-certified options: ryne sandberg (ttm), bobby doerr (ttm), roberto alomar (ttm)

third base - adrian beltre
1999 topps gallery
how obtained: trade with arno (i'm ballsy)
non-certified options: brooks robinson (ttm), mike schmidt (ttm), harmon killebrew (in person)

shortstop - maury wills
2002 fleer greats of the game
how obtained: trade with dayf (basseball card junkie)
non-certified options: pee wee reese (purchased)

left field - tony gwynn
2013 panini america's pastime hitter's ink (half of a booklet shared with the garv)
how obtained: purchased

center field - duke snider
2011 topps tribute (reverse negative!)
how obtained: purchased

right field - vladimir guerrero
2003 upper deck sweet spot
how obtained: pulled from pack
non-certified option: barry bonds (trade with rod from padrographs), andre dawson (ttm), rickey henderson (purchased), reggie jackson (in person)

designated hitter:  frank robinson
1996 canadian club
how obtained: trade with bo (baseball cards come to life)
non-certified options: paul molitor (ttm), jim thome (ttm)

closer - bruce sutter
2003 topps all-time fan favorites
how obtained: pulled from pack
honorable mention: rollie fingers
non-certified options: goose gossage (ttm)

manager - tommy lasorda
2017 topps archives
how obtained: purchased
honorable mention: sparky anderson
non-certified options: walter alston (purchased), tony larussa (ttm), joe torre (ttm), dick williams (ttm)

and because i can...

announcer - vin scully
2016 topps mint
how obtained: purchased

now i'm off to find a mike piazza autographed card...

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

the phillies wore a patch for dallas green, but what about jim bunning?

phillie reliever pat neshek is here to show the memorial patch that the phillies wore last season in honor of former manager and advisor dallas green who passed away just prior to the beginning of the 2017 season.  here's the patch on the right sleeve, where it was worn the majority of the time
and here it is on the left chest, where it was worn during the all-star game
green managed the phillies to their first world series title back in 1980, so the memorial patch is understandable.  however, the phillies lost another legend during the 2017 season - hall of famer jim bunning passed away in may - but did not add a patch that i am aware of.  perhaps they figured that the phillies "p" embedded in the "d" for dallas was enough of an homage to bunning.  it still seems strange given the phillies' penchant for memorials in recent years.

Monday, April 16, 2018

the dodgers are giving away cards in 2018!

i remember back in 1980, looking at the dodger schedule and seeing "baseball card day" listed as one of the promotions.  i convinced my dad to take us to that game, and my mom and i debated the meaning of "cards featuring dodger players". was it going to be a set of only dodger players? was it going to be packs of topps handed out at the gate? who knew? this was a new thing.  up until then, we had only received sga swag like ponchos, helmets, and batting gloves.  well, we soon discovered that "baseball card day" meant a set of cards sponsored by the lapd consisting solely of dodger players. i was thrilled, even though those first several years were awkward, oversized cards.

fast forward to a week ago when i was checking out the dodger instagram feed and saw an upcoming promotion for baseball cards!  the video showed some live action embedded in different topps card designs, and looking further online, i found a photo that showed the 1965 topps design with the dodgers' 60 years in la logo.  i quickly pre-ordered a set and it arrived just a couple of days after the game.
six players of today, along with one from the '50s and '60s
none of those photos were taken in los angeles, but still, these are the first topps dodger cards given away at dodger stadium, and they are great.  sponsored by longtime advertising partner 76, murph would be proud.

here is the header card
there will be several more of these this season, as the other decades will be celebrated.  the photo for the '70s set features don sutton on a 1977 card design, so i am guessing there won't be a garvey (or for goodness sakes, a card of the infield) in this set.  however, if the ratios of 6 active to 1 retired player holds up, there would be 36 active players featured, which would require some duplication.  will dave roberts get a card? the coaches?  it's going to be interesting to see how the future sets shake out!

there aren't any images of the other sets yet, but i'll surmise that if the 6:1 ratio continues, the '80s set will feature tommy lasorda, fernando or orel hershiser (although the instagram photo showed a steve howe image on the 1980 topps design), the '90s will have mike piazza, the '00s will be shawn green, and the '10s will be, who knows? maybe vin scully?