Friday, May 17, 2024

my retired number collection - 3 for 30

this is the 30th post in a series that shares the cards i have in my retired number mini-collection. you can find the links to the previous posts down at the bottom of this post. if you're eager to learn more right now, you can check out the full list of retired numbers along with what this collection will entail over at my want list site.

without further ado, here are the three people for whom number 30 has been retired:

nolan ryan (retired by the angels in 1992) 1978 topps
after being traded by the mets, ryan led the american league in strikeouts in all but one of his eight seasons with the angels. he set a major league record for strikeouts in a season (383) while with the team, and had three seasons with them in which he finished in the top 3 in cy young award voting. he remains their all-time franchise leader in shutouts and complete games, and, of course, strikeouts. he tallied 2,416 k's as an angel - averaging over 300 per year!

the angels were the first team to retire a number for nolan ryan, doing so on june 16, 1992 while ryan was still an active player. chad curtis had been wearing the number that season, and so became the last angel to do so.  ryan was in town with the rangers when the ceremony took place, and wound up throwing a complete game against the halos the next night, although unfortunately for ryan it was of the eight inning variety. perhaps the angels thought 1992 would be ryan's final season, so it made sense to have the ceremony at that time. we know now, however, that he pitched again in 1993 and actually made the penultimate start of his career at the big a with his number 30 placard on display.

not surprisingly, ryan was a first ballot hall of famer in 1999. his 1978 topps card (which shows his number 30 very nicely) is near and dear to me as it is the first ryan card i owned, although i now have a complete topps run of his cards thanks to my dad and his collecting habits in the early 1980s.

orlando cepeda (retired by the giants in 1999) 2005 upper deck hall of fame
the giants retired number 30 for cepeda on july 11, 1999 which was just before he was inducted into the baseball hall of fame as his 2005 upper deck hall of fame card indicates. that card uses a photo that has shown up on other cepeda cards through the years, but i decided to go with the fancier of the bunch. it is one of just a couple of numbered cards in this collection. while cepeda was the first san francisco giant to wear number 30, he wasn't the last. dante powell had most recently worn the number in 1998, becoming the last giant to have the honor.

cepeda began his career with the giants, and got off to a hot start. he was the 1958 national league rookie of the year leading the league in doubles while also hitting .312 over 148 games. cepeda also led the league in home runs and rbi in 1961 while finishing second in the mvp voting to frank robinson of the reds.

in all, cepeda spent seven full seasons playing in san francisco, along with parts of two seasons cut short by injury and a trade to st. louis. he hit 226 home runs as a giant, which is still sixth on the franchise's all-time list. that's not too bad when you consider that this franchise was home to willie mays, willie mccovey, mel ott, and barry bonds.

tim raines (retired by the expos in 2004) 1985 fleer
the expos retired number 30 for raines on june 19, 2004 in the midst of their final season as les expos. his 1985 fleer card offers a solid look at his number thanks to the sleeve numbers that the expos wore. cliff floyd had been wearing the number, so he became the last expo to do so. the nationals do not recognize the numbers retired by the expos, so number 30 is in circulation today, with jacob young wearing it in 2024.

raines was not elected to the hall of fame until 2017, but he left his mark on the expo franchise as a player worthy of enshrinement. in 13 seasons covering two stints with the team, raines hit .301 and stole 635 bases. he led the league in runs twice, stolen bases four times, and batting average once during his expos tenure, and his 49.1 war is second in franchise history to gary carter, placing him ahead of andre dawson. all three are hall of famers who had their numbers retired by the club.

i am tracking a few things as we go, even though the information is already available elsewhere.

retired numbers by team (through the 30 posts so far):

yankees - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 20, 21, 23, 42
giants - 3, 4, 11, 20, 22, 24, 25, 27, 30, 42
pirates - 1, 4, 8, 9, 11, 20, 21, 42
guardians - 3, 5, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 42, 455
red sox - 1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 14, 26, 27, 42
phillies - 1, 14, 15, 20, 42
cardinals - 1, 2, 6, 9, 10, 14, 17, 20, 23, 24, 42, 85
reds - 1, 5, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 18, 20, 24, 42
braves - 3, 6, 10, 21, 25, 42
astros - 5, 7, 24, 25, 42
mets - 14, 16, 17, 18, 24, 42
orioles - 4, 5, 8, 20, 22, 42
dodgers - 1, 2, 4, 14, 19, 20, 24, 42
twins - 3, 6, 7, 10, 14, 28, 42
white sox - 2, 3, 4, 9, 11, 14, 16, 19, 42, 72
brewers - 1, 4, 19, 42
tigers - 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 11, 16, 23, 42
cubs - 10, 14, 23, 26, 42
royals - 5, 10, 20, 42
padres - 6, 19, 42
athletics - 9, 24, 27, 42
angels - 11, 26, 30, 42
expos - 8, 10, 30, 42
rangers - 7, 10, 26, 42
major league baseball - 42
rays - 12, 42, 66
diamondbacks - 20, 42
blue jays - 42
rockies - 17, 42
mariners - 11, 24, 42
nationals - 11, 42
marlins - 42

retired number frequency:

1 - retired by 9 teams
2 - retired by 5 teams
3 - retired by 7 teams
4 - retired by 8 teams
5 - retired by 7 teams
6 - retired by 7 teams
7 - retired by 4 teams
8 - retired by 6 teams (retired by yankees for two players)
9 - retired by 6 teams
10 - retired by 9 teams (retired by expos for two players)
11 - retired by 8 teams
12 - retired by 1 team
13 - retired by 1 team
14 - retired by 10 teams (retired by mets and dodgers for same person)
15 - retired by 2 teams
16 - retired by 4 teams
17 - retired by 3 teams
18 - retired by 3 teams (includes mets who will formally retire the number in 2024) 
19 - retired by 5 teams
20 - retired by 11 teams (retired by orioles, reds, and guardians for same person)
21 - retired by 4 teams
22 - retired by 2 teams
23 - retired by 4 teams
24 - retired by 8 teams (retired by giants and mets for same person)
25 - retired by 4 teams
26 - retired by 4 teams
27 - retired by 3 teams
28 - retired by 1 team
29 - retired by 4 teams (retired by twins and angels for same person)
30 - retired by 3 teams
42 - retired by 30 teams (retired by cardinals and yankees for individuals in addition to jackie robinson)
66 - retired by 1 team
72 - retired by 1 team
85 - retired by 1 team
455 - retired by 1 team
unnumbered players - 12 players recognized by 4 teams

running total of unique hall of famers (including those without numbers): 125

running total of non-hall of famers: 44

Thursday, May 16, 2024

now the plan pays off

it's pretty much a given that i am going to pick up the annual topps now card featuring the celebration of jackie robinson day, and i fully intended to this year when it was released on april 16. however, i could find no ebay listing for a single card. usually there are a number of sellers who will advertise these cards in advance for about half the price that topps charges, but for whatever reason they weren't doing so with the card showing aaron judge and oneil cruz wearing 42 in their games the night before.

i waited almost until the card was no longer available for sale directly from topps and still didn't see it listed on ebay. so, i decided to buy from topps. what's more, i decided to buy five of the cards from topps hoping for a shot at a numbered parallel card. well, i did better than that.
topps sent me one of 42 ssp jackie robinson cards that were not available for sale. these were luck of the draw and i got lucky (for the third time - here's one and two).

here's the back:
written as if there were topps now cards in 1947

and here's the jackie robinson day card itself
no need for words on the back - number 42 speaks for itself.  it turns out that the print run of the card is 914 which is kind of low, but not that low compared to other cards offered this year. i put one of my dupes aside for nick as i know he also collects "42" cards. any others interested?

earlier in the year i did not hesitate to purchase a five-pack of 2024 topps now card #1 in hopes of finding a numbered parallel. that card is shohei ohtani's from the seoul series
here's the back:
it has a print run of over 44,000 and i did not receive anything other than the five cards i ordered.

while i was not in seoul to see ohtani and the dodgers, i did make it to all three games that they played in minnesota against the twins. these games took place in mid april and the dodgers won the first two. there were no topps now worthy events in the first game, but the second and third games resulted in me obtaining a couple of cards.

first, there were some ushers who were handing out 4"x5" cards to youngsters randomly during the third game. i saw a jim kaat card and a tony oliva card, but there could have been others. on the way out, someone had left their oliva card on the ground so i grabbed it
i am not sure if these are leftovers from the twins hall of fame induction game last year (joe mauer was inducted) or if they are just something the twins have going on. i will say that i sat in pretty much the same seats for the last two games and only saw ushers doing this in the third game which was also the only day game.

as for topps, they put out two cards featuring events from the second game of the series - tyler glasnow
and austin martin
glasnow struck out 14 twins without walking any, and did this while throwing fewer than 90 pitches which was apparently card worthy - here's the writeup on the back:
martin got his first big league hit which has been a topps now standard for quite some time.

i am very happy to have these cards in my collection, and i hope to see some more card worthy action later this season when i return to a ballpark. or two.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

i didn't get my hopes up

i've been able to retire a couple of saved ebay searches in the last few weeks. this came after years of futility with both searches. to have them hit within a couple weeks of each other is crazy. it had long been a ritual for me to check the searches, and if there was something to review, i would not get my hopes up that the card the triggered the "new item" alert was actually what i was looking for.

imagine my surprise one day when i saw a new item on my "2015 buyback baker" search and saw this card:
that is dusty baker's 1978 topps card in 2015 "originals" buyback form. as i mentioned in this post last fall, i had never seen one in the last nine years. adding baker to my collection brought me one card closer to having the full dodger team in buybacks from 2015, but i was still short a few.

well, a couple of weeks later, another saved search hit. once again, i did not have high hopes as i clicked on the search to see the new items, but lo and behold this card was looking back at me
i couldn't buy it now fast enough. like baker, i had never seen a 1978 topps tommy john card with the 2015 originals stamp before. with john in hand, i am down to needing just terry forster, tommy lasorda, and elias sosa. technically i would also need lance rautzhan, but i am pretty sure there were no 4-in-1 rookie cards issued as buybacks from the set in 2015.

my luck continued, sort of, when i went to the april card show and found a bunch of buybacks in a 10 for $8 box. one of the cards i came across was the dodger team card
i already had one of these for the team set pursuit, so i put this one in my steve garvey collection. the back was unmarked
but i figured i would mark it (digitally) to show my progress:
i also have a couple of cards in the team set that aren't on the checklist, including the team card itself and the nlcs card featuring davey lopes. i have one more dodger-adjacent card for the 2015 buyback team set, and it's this one
yes, that is clearly an indians card, but jeff torborg is also shown as a dodger so i will allow it. picking up this manager card rather easily gives me hope that someday a my "2015 lasorda buyback" search will get a hit and i will be pleasantly surprised when i open the link. i dare to dream!

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

sarge pricing was not bad at all

i have on ongoing trading partner in sluggo, and every six months or so we exchange boxes of dodger cards for brave cards. as such i am always on the hunt for braves inserts, parallels, and hits at shows to add to the outgoing trade stack.

i came across this 2018 topps archives gary matthews fan favorites autograph card
just after i sent my most recent package to kevin. matthews, aka sarge, has an interesting signature to say the least. anyway, the price was good and when i looked more closely at the card i will admit i thought about keeping it. in a job well done by topps, matthews is shown with the 1979 topps design in a photo from the 1979 season when the braves wore a black armband for team executive bill lucas. i already had a matthews card representing the armband in my collection, however, so the auto will be on its way to sluggo next time i package up some cards. 

my return package from kevin is on its way, but i realized i have been slow to share the goodies from his most recent mailings. i'll try to do that over the next few weeks to do it justice, but in the meantime here are a couple of cards i've received:

2016 bowman inception corey seager auto-relic
and 2018 topps archives signature series joc pederson auto
solid stuff all around. thanks kevin!

Monday, May 13, 2024

the almost daily dodger - jose offerman

before dave roberts and after maury wills, jose offerman wore number 30 for the dodgers. of course, there were lots of other guys between wills and roberts, like derrel thomas and wilton guerrero. thomas, in fact, was the first dodger player to wear the number after wills, which leads me to think maybe the dodgers were thinking that wills had a shot at the hall of fame. anyway, i am getting way off topic.

i've added a couple of offerman parallels to my collection, and they've sat in my scanned folder just waiting for one of these "almost daily dodger posts" so here we go.

1994 upper deck collector's choice silver signature parallel
this is one of the craziest baseball cards out there in terms of three stooges scenarios. offerman, jody reed, and a met meet at second base. chaos ensues. nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

1992 leaf black gold parallel
this was the second to last card i needed for my team set, and i think i added ramon martinez to one of the orders sitting in my sportlots box at the moment. i like that offerman is shown bunting for a hit, as he was supposed to always be trying to put the ball on the ground. it was quite possibly a disservice to him and his career when he hit a home run off of dennis martinez in his first big league at bat, although he did put together some pretty decent offensive seasons in terms of batting average.

both cards give a glimpse of the number 30, which may well wind up retired by the franchise if roberts keeps his job and the dodgers win at least one more championship. maybe then they will pull a dual retirement and include wills, just like the cubs did with greg maddux and fergie jenkins.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

color me back

when i posted the 2023 panini donruss duke snider cards the other day, i was reminded about another recent case where i had a parallel in hand well before i landed the base card. the card i am referring to is eric gagne's 2006 topps bazooka card, which i had in gold chunk parallel form
months before i picked up the base version. i actually added the base to my most wanted list, and wound up with two copies so i could put one in my names/numbers on the back collection. i was a fan of the no names on the backs of jerseys in the early 2000's, by the way.

putting this card away with the others, i noticed that topps took the time to color match the backs. here's derek lowe's gold chunk card
and the back
definitely a gold parallel all around.

here's hong-chih kuo's blue parallel
which is also blue all over the back
now here's gagne's base card with white borders
but a gray back
so close!

Saturday, May 11, 2024

send in the crowd

space is at a premium on gary sheffield's 1998 upper deck ud3 card
which is actually the third of three different sheffield cards in the base set.

the photo used comes from camera day, which featured a pregame opportunity to get on the field at dodger stadium and take photos of players as they wandered by. i've been to this event a couple of times, although i don't believe it is still a thing.

it's nice to see matt luke, the kttv microphone, and the handheld tv camera in addition to the pavilion roof and the throngs of dodger fans. and speaking of throngs of people, i have found myself in texas this weekend and will be hitting up a card show. i am hoping to find lots of dodger cards in the bargain bins!