Wednesday, May 31, 2023

something about wolves and sheep and clothing

actually, the biblical reference to false prophets is not the right allusion for this post. this is more about masqueraders. you all know how much i treasure the o-pee-chee team variations, and i enjoy finding other similar type cards to add to my dodger collection.

case in point, i discovered while entering my dodger collection on tcdb that i was missing a card from my checklist of dodgers included in the 1986 true value super stars set - bill madlock's card:
once i saw that it was, in fact, a dodger card, i couldn't obtain it quickly enough. he is clearly a pirate, but also a dodger.

similarly, eric davis' 1992 topps kids card
uses the old o-pee-chee "now with" angle. eric the red dodger!

this 1994 donruss triple play delino deshields card
is decidedly more "dodger-y", thanks to the logo being front and center on the card, but it is also overwhelmingly "expo-y".

manuel barrios became a dodger thanks to the mike piazza trade, and donruss was able to get some text on his 1998 donruss card to reflect that status
barrios pitched in one game for the dodgers before he was dfa'd and claimed by the marlins. i seem to recall that interim gm tommy lasorda may have taken some heat for barrios' departure (on a procedural level) but barrios never pitched in the big leagues again, so no harm no foul.

kevin brown is all padre on the front of this 1999 upper deck ovation card
but i assure you that on the back, there is a nice looking dodgers logo. just like the one on the front of this 2007 upper deck first edition juan pierre leading off insert
fun juan pierre trivia - he played in 821 consecutive games (a streak that ended during his dodger tenure) which is in the top ten all-time, except in one of those games he appeared only as a pinch runner so i guess mlb says it doesn't count and instead he has two streaks of 386 and 434 consecutive games played. doesn't make sense to me - he played in the game so it should count.

here's one where upper deck tried to make a card more of a dodger card than it really is
that's a 1998 upper deck collector's choice starquest insert of eddie murray, who was back for his second stint in la. he is wearing an indians or orioles uniform however, although the name and number on the back have been colorized to blue.

i also include cards of "outbound" dodgers in my dodger collection such as this 1998 donruss todd zeile card
which is a perfect companion to the barrios card above.

and then there is this 2005 donrus throwback threads card of hideo nomo
who is officially listed as a tampa bay devil ray.

here's another one - a 2006 fleer flair showcase wave of the future card of cody ross
who is a dodger playing in cincinnati.

i also recently picked up this card from 2009 upper deck a piece of history for the collection
it shows manny ramirez as all dodger, while matt holliday is straddling the line between colorado rockie and oakland athletic.

there are other cards that are quite sneaky and escape my knowledge for decades before i become aware of their dodgerness, like this 1971 dell todays ted sizemore
definitely a dodger on the front
but a cardinal on the back. the dodger album features al downing as a brewer as far as the photo goes, but dick allen is shown in a dodger uniform so i just assumed that sizemore would have been shown wearing the cardinal get up. i was wrong and just happened to stumble upon an image of this item a couple of months ago.

speaking of allen, he was included in the 1971 kellogg's set
while sizemore was not. in this set, allen is still a cardinal until you turn the card over!
that's a dodger card for sure.

Monday, May 29, 2023

the k is for kershaw kountdown - palindrome version!

yes, the kountdown to 3,000 strikeouts for clayton kershaw continues (the most recent post is here) as he pitched against the rays on saturday. he struck out 6 batters to give him 75 strikeouts on the season. those 6 rays that he k'd increased his career total to 2,882.

in honor of his performance, here are 6 cards to represent strikouts 2,877 through 2,882.

2,877 - 2012 bowman blue parallel

2.878 - 2014 bowman platinum

2,879 - 2016 bowman chrome

2,880 - 2018 bowman platinum platinum presence

2,881 - 2020 topps chrome pink refractor

2.882 - 2022 topps commemorative jersey number medallion

kershaw remains in 21st place on the all-time leader board, and will remain there until he passes zack greinke, who struck out 5 earlier in the week to increase his strikeout total to 2,923. kershaw is now 41 k's behind greinke and 118 behind the 3,000 milestone. 

it would seem that kershaw's next start would come later this week - likely against the yankees at dodger stadium! there was a lot of talk about that series from the fans at the games i attended a couple of weeks ago. regardless of when he makes his next start, i will be back to update the kountdown soon thereafter. stay tuned!

Sunday, May 28, 2023

tree-ing up summer

tomorrow is memorial day, which is often seen as the kickoff to summer. growing up, summer to me meant no school, baseball, time with friends, and family vacations. for the latter, we would pile in to our rv and drive all over the western united states and canadian provinces.

many a time, we hit a national park or two - yosemite, yellowstone, glacier, death valley, zion, rocky mountain, etc - on our way to our ultimate destination. one park that we didn't visit as a family was joshua tree.
i added the chrome version of the 2022 topps allen & ginter inside the park mini to my "meaningful and just because" collection due to the fact that it is one of the parks that i've been to most often, even though i didn't get there until i was in high school.

located off of the 10 near palm springs, it was a bit out of the way for our family vacation routes. however, my friends and i were inspired by u2's 1987 album, "the joshua tree", to check out what was then a national monument. our first visit occurred in the summer of 1987, and over the course of the next five or six years, we went to the park to hike, camp, and do some freestyle rock climbing (a very tame version of freestyle rock climbing mind you) several times. 
i am very thankful for my parents and friends instilling in me an interest in national parks - an interest that includes state and regional parks as well - as they really are a great resource for us collectively and a fantastic way to spend time outdoors.  this summer, i have plans to visit at least one national park in the pacific northwest as well as one here in northern minnesota.  as for joshua tree, i last visited the park about 10 years ago, but hope to get back someday. i think there is a work related conference in palm springs next year, so fingers crossed!

i hope everyone has/is having an enjoyable memorial day weekend!

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

leave no trayce

i have been waiting over a year to post this post! here's a 2017 topps stadium club gold foil parallel of trayce thompson
that followed a somewhat breakout sort of season for the dodgers in 2016, and here is his card from 2022 topps
showing him with the cubs, for whom he played in 2021.

thompson rejoined the dodgers in june of 2022, but i had to wait until now to find a card that documented his return. here's his 2023 topps dodgers factory team set card
that shows him back in dodger blue.  yes, trayce thompson is a dodger double dipper!

here's the back of the card:
i like that it addresses the fact that this is thompson's second stint with the dodgers. he is also a white sox double dipper!

the back also notes that thompson has changed organizations 10 times. let's see if i have it all covered:
he was drafted by the white sox and played for them in 2015. the dodgers (that's one change) traded for him in the frankie montas deal, and he stayed in la through the 2017 season. the yankees (that's two) picked him up off of waivers at the start of the 2018 season, and two days later, the a's (that's three) claimed him from new york. he did not ever appear in a game for the yankees. two weeks after the a's picked him up, they traded him to the white sox (that's four) where he spent the rest of the 2018 season before becoming a free agent. once on the open market, cleveland (that's five) signed him. he didn't make it to the big leagues with them, and they released him late in the 2019 season. he was then signed by the diamondbacks (that's six) in february of 2020. he did not appear in the bigs with them, but had his contract purchased by the cubs (that's seven) in may of 2021. the padres (that's eight) signed him as a free agent in march of 2022, and then the tigers (that's nine) did the same two months later. after three weeks or so with the tiger organization, the dodgers (that's ten) purchased his contract and he wound up being a key contributor for the remainder of the season. so far in 2023, not so much.  

by my count, the dodgers hadn't had a double dipper since alex wood in 2020. i don't consider thompson's 2022 teammate andrew heaney to have been a dodger double dipper because he never played for the dodgers during his 3-day stint on the roster in december of 2014. however, thompson isn't the only dodger dipper on the 2023 roster - miguel rojas played for the dodgers in 2014 before being sent to miami in that same trade that netted the dodgers heaney. he's back this year, but i don't think there were any cards issued of him during his first stint in los angeles. he is featured in series 2, however, so i should be able to finally get a card of him in dodger blue.

Monday, May 22, 2023

the k is for kershaw kountdown continues - 3k minus 124!

yes, the kountdown to 3,000 strikeouts for clayton kershaw continues (previous posts here and here) as he pitched against the cardinals on sunday. he struck out 6 batters in just 3 and two-thirds innings to give him 69 strikeouts on the season. those 6 cardinals that he k'd increased his career total to 2,876.

in honor of his performance, here are 6 cards to represent strikouts 2,871 through 2,876.

2,871 - 2021 topps chrome update black gold

2,872 - 2021 topps update black gold

2,873 - 2022 topps diamond greats die-cut

2,874 - 2022 topps allen & ginter

2,875 - 2022 topps allen & ginter hot box silver portrait

2,876 - 2022 topps chrome update diamond greats

some repetition here with these six cards, which are really just three cards and three parallels of a sort.

kershaw remains in 21st place on the all-time leader board, and will remain there until he passes zack greinke, who struck out 4 earlier in the week to increase his strikeout total to 2,918. kershaw is now 42 k's behind greinke and 124 behind the 3,000 milestone. 

it would seem that kershaw's next start would come this weekend in tampa bay. regardless of when he makes his next start, i will be back to update the kountdown soon thereafter. stay tuned!

Sunday, May 21, 2023

safe travels this time

the last time i received cards from this particular trading partner - the cousin of jeff from my sports obsession - the box that the cards arrived in was pretty thrashed. there was no thrashing of the package this time, as kevin took great pains to overprotect the contents. and what wonderful contents they were!

there were a number of oversized items, including boxtoppers of jackie robinson and trea turner from 2018 topps gallery
and 2022 topps
plus an oversized hideo nomo card from 1998 topps super chrome

slightly smaller in size is this 1987 m&m's panel
featuring two dodger greats.

and then there were a bunch of minis, including a james loney 2009 topps allen & ginter
plus a couple from 2012 topps gypsy queen
the matt kemp is the image variation, and duke snider's card is the gypsy back parallel

other minis included parallels of cody bellinger and tom lasorda from 2019 topps allen & ginter
a gavin lux rookie from 2020 topps 206
a couple more snider cards from 2020 topps allen & ginter
and another cody bellinger parallel from 2021 topps allen & ginter
bellinger also shows up on this 2020 topps allen & ginter mini
although the base on balls is the real focus of the card

kevin is always good to send donruss color parallels, and he didn't disappoint with these 2020 donruss pink fireworks and vector clayton kershaw cards
they are not the most attractively designed cards, but they are dodgers and so they are welcome here!

kevin is also known for sending autographed cards my way, and this time he sent a 2012 topps gypsy queen nathan eovaldi card

and a 2017 topps chrome blue refractor rookie auto of jose deleon
deleon is only 30 and is currently pitching at triple-a for the twins. with some injuries in their starting rotation, i wonder if he will get the call at some point this season.

and then there are the relic cards, like this 2022 topps tribute purple max muncy card

muncy is also represented by this 2022 topps heritage clubhouse collection card

but i am most appreciative of these next two - a 2015 topps triple threads adrian gonzalez bat and jersey combo card

and a heck yeah 2005 donruss zenith rickey henderson bat card
i will always accept rickey henderson dodger cards!

the most interesting item kevin sent was this:
that is a roll of two uncut strips of the world series insert set from 1989 fleer. i hadn't seen these before, but they are definitely a thing.
finally, here's the cody bellinger tin from 2021 topps
all of the standard sized cards were inside the tin, snuggled in the foam protection. safe travels ensured!

thanks kevin! looking forward to next time!