Wednesday, September 28, 2022

i missed the memorial patch for bobby bragan

nick from dimeboxedonia sent me some cards early in the summer. being a fellow vladimir guerrero collector, that usually means i am in store for some new vladdys for my collection. nick didn't disappoint, sending these nine new to me cards:
these cards cover just about guerrero's full career from montreal to texas - no oriole cards, unfortunately. what i added to my collection includes 1997 fleer circa, 1998 leaf rookies & stars, 1999 fleer tradition, 2000 topps gallery, 2001 upper deck pros & prospects, 2002 topps 206, 2003 upper deck game face, 2004 fleer legacy, and a 2010 bowman gold parallel.

all great cards, but it was the bowman that really caught my eye
i didn't recognize the patch on guerrero's right sleeve, so i went digging. i found a better view of it at getty images:
it's a bobby bragan memorial patch! the text reads "bobby bragan 1917-2010" as bragan passed away on january 21, 2010 - just a few weeks before the start of spring training. i had no idea that the rangers wore patches to honor the former dodger player, minor league and major league manager, texas league president, and longtime ranger front office employee, and so i am happy to add a card to my memorials collection.

of course, i went looking for a card that showed the patch a bit better, and settled on a 2010 bowman chrome refractor of vladdy
not the cleanest scan, but it will do.

bragan may be best known by many to have been one of the players who requested a trade from the dodgers when jackie robinson was added to the roster. he later rescinded that request and was a teammate of robinson's in both 1947 and 1948. he later managed in the majors and minors, including a couple of stints in the dodger organization where he encouraged maury wills to become a switch hitter. 

he left the dodgers after serving as walt alston's third base coach in 1960 to join the expansion team in houston as their farm director, but after a couple of years he found himself managing the braves in their last few seasons in milwaukee and their first in atlanta. after that, he went to lead the texas league and eventually joined the rangers in a public relations role in 1979, beginning what would become a 30-year stint in their front office.

i think it's great that the rangers celebrated the life of a baseball lifer with the patch, even though it was only worn during spring training.

nick included other cards for my dodger collection, including a couple of 1980-87 sspc baseball immortals of two other jackie robinson teammates - pee wee reese and don drysdale
plus a 1997 pinnacle certified hideo nomo card
a shiny 2022 bowman virtuosic vibrations wilman diaz insert
and a 2022 topps opening day albert pujols card
i want more pujols dodger cards! speaking of which...
that 2022 bowman pujols arrived in my mailbox last friday - the same day pujols hit home runs number 699 and 700. i figured i would add it to this post and congratulate pujols on the milestone. it was cool to see adrian beltre and dave winfield in attendance, with beltre being included in the celebration.  now back to more cards from nick.

nick and i share another mini-collection (along with jeff from 2x3 heroes wherever he may be), and that is cards showing the double play turn at second base. i received a few new ones for my collection, including this 1993 topps stadium club toys 'r' us box set carlos baerga card
and these six beauties
four of which are parallels.

great stuff as always nick - thank you!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

rank and filing on tcdb

i recently spent some time entering my player collections on tcdb, and have since begun entering my dodger collection. i am up to 2002 in that regard, so still have two decades worth of cards to add!  anyway, i figured i would share where things stood with my player collections before i added any cards from the dodger collection.

steve garvey:

according to the database, i own 1,195 of the 2,513 listed garvey cards available. there are many cards in my collection that aren't in the database - some that surprise me and some that don't. my collection spans from the 1971 dell's today stamp to the 2022 topps tribute autographs seen below.  
those are the base, blue, and green parallels.

this total has me at #2 among collectors in the database - just 2 behind the leader. clearly, mrmopar doesn't have his collection entered on tcdb.

don sutton:
after entering my non-dodger sutton cards, including my newly acquired 1981 topps squirt card above, i ranked #7 with 115 cards.

steve yeager:

i was #211 after only entering my non-dodger yeager cards

davey lopes:

using only my non-dodger lopes cards, i was already #1 on the site. to celebrate, i added this 2001 topps gold parallel:

ron cey:

i have 84 ron cey cards (that are in the database) from his time with the cubs and a's. that was good enough for #5

bill russell:

29 non-dodger cards of the shortstop of the team of my youth was enough for #100 among collectors on tcdb. these are his minor league managerial cards, most of which feature him in the dodger organization, but i split them out in to the pc instead.

dusty baker:

i was #6 using just my post-dodger baker cards (no braves). that surprised me, but he does have quite a few managerial cards - the newest of which is this 2021 topps chrome platinum anniversary card:
my post-dodger baker collection stands at 79 cards in the database.

rick monday:

i only have one post-dodger rick monday card - it comes from his time as a padres announcer - and it's not in the database.

reggie smith:

using only giant (san francisco and yomimuri) and team usa cards, i ranked #187 among smith collections.

tom lasorda:

my non-dodger lasorda cards only got me to #639. these are only team usa cards, since lasorda has no cards featuring him as a member of any mlb team other than the dodgers.

jimmie hall:

i have 20 jimmie hall cards (not counting those in my 1965 and 1970 complete sets). that's good for #1 on the site.

vladimir guerrero:

this 2005 donruss studio portraits diamond kings red (numbered to 55)
is my latest addition to the pc, and my 586 vladdy cards put me at #6 on the database. 

i haven't catalogued my other player collections - bill simas, mark brunell, wayne gretzky, and luc robitaille, but other than the brunell collection, they are small potatoes.

now that i have begun entering my dodger collection, my database rankings for most of these players have skyrocketed. for example, i am now number 1 for dusty baker cards, and there are a lot more yet to be entered. once i finish with the dodger collection, i'll share some updates. then i will have the mini-collections and sets to add.

well, here's another sad postscript. as i am sure you know, maury wills passed away yesterday.  i was too young to know maury as an active player, but i sure appreciated his career once i began to learn about him in the late 1970's. i was happy to see him appear in a couple of card sets as the mariners' manager in 1981 and even more excited to see his card in the 1982 kmart set.  i had this card
in my blog banner over at garveyceyrusselllopes, even though it was mostly obscured.

i have long hoped that will would be elected to the national baseball hall of fame (and subsequently have his number retired by the dodgers), but have resigned myself to the fact that it will likely not happen. he was a trailblazer who brought the stolen base back into the limelight rather than a longterm, dominant player which counts against his candidacy. he is, however, one of five current "legends of dodger baseball" which is the dodgers' way of recognizing important players in their history who won't get their numbers retired.  rest in peace, maury wills!

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

i celebrated international trading card day locally

august 6 was national baseball card day - or international trading card day to be more exact. i didn't head out to a card shop that day, but i made up for two weeks later. i started my day on august 20 with a stop at walgreens where i made point of sale purchase of one of those repacks that included a sealed pack and a single loose card. the pack was a 2022 topps series 1 pack and the loose card was this 2021 topps x mickey mantle collection card:

it's a 1952 bowman style card.
the 2022 topps series 1 pack didn't have much to offer other than a nice chrome parallel of clayton kershaw's stars of mlb card
that card experience was somewhat meh, but i had bigger plans. i had known for a while that circumstances were going to place me in the western twin cities suburbs on this day, and i blocked out some time to get to twin cities sports cards for the first time in a couple of years.  

first, however, i made a target run for a few household needs. i craned my neck to check out the card aisle as i walked past and was surprised to see it packed with product. a lot of it was soccer and other sports, but there was some baseball, too. nothing new, really, but i did grab a blaster of 2022 topps gypsy queen.  i wound up opening the packs in the parking lot as usual. not much to speak of, although i did get one dodger card - should have been all-star will smith
plus the promised seven green retail parallels, along with a numbered parallel and an auto!
the numbered parallel is known as "burnt umber" and is numbered to 399. the auto doesn't mean much to me other than maybe something i can use for thorzul's annual "trade me anything" extravaganza. still, an auto from a retail blaster is always a bonus.  there was another insert in the blaster, too
that's a gypsy gem mini of george springer. 

after that errand was completed, i headed to the card shop. i was there when it opened, and i made my way to the area with the vintage bargain bins. it was pretty slim pickings there, so i started looking at the quarter boxes which are organized by teams. i am always looking for dodgers, and i've got a good thing going with a braves collector so there was a lot to look for. throw in another trade i am working on, and i went through the stash for all 30 teams. well, maybe not the marlins. i wound up with 120 cards from these quarter boxes, along with 24 that were marked at 50 cents.

these are the dodger cards i picked up for a quarter, starting with an a.j. pollock card from the 2020 topps x ben baller world series champions set
it's always strange to see a solo online card in one of these boxes. how did it get there? why was pollock's card left behind and not, say, blake treinen's? so many questions. i should probably just buy one of these sets but until then i at least have one card from the set.

these were some of the first cards i pulled from the quarter box. 
i knew i needed the pog card, but i meant to go back and check my wantlists. i never did, and most of these are dupes as a result.

i did better with these
only the pee wee, drysdale, and kershaw blue chip fire card are doubles. these next nine are all needs
who would have thought a gavin lux rookie parallel would be in a quarter box two years ago?

last three dodgers from this box:
i was happy to find the pujols. i think i have the same seager card coming in a sportlots order. oh well.

some non-dodger quarter cards included a nolan ryan buyback:
a mix of oddballs, parallels, plus an insert and a ryan base from a premium set
plus more parallels, inserts, and even a base/variation combo
it's odd to find two variations and only one base, but that is the case with the roberto clemente gypsy queen cards.

i was hoping to find some cards from 2021 topps chrome platinum anniversary (i only have an assortment of steve garvey cards so far), but the only one i found was this roger clemens prism refractor:
worth a quarter, for sure.

here are the fifty cent dodgers i grabbed:
shiny typically gets the upcharge. that 1996 select certified mike piazza/jim edmonds insert wasn't even on my radar. same with the mookie betts and clayton kershaw cards - those are from something called 2021 panini contenders, of which i had no idea. nice to find unknown-to-me cards! here are the rest of the half-dollar cards: 

some recent panini parallels and a 2021 bowman draft first edition bobby witt jr. 
a legend short print
a bear on a cub card and some numbered parallels
and an insert (x2) from an online only release. 
good stuff, even if there is no mention of what the milestone rickey henderson and lou brock are meeting up about is.

here are the four that were marked at a dollar each.
the framed stan musial card is numbered to 99, and the mickey mantle reprint is from 1996. the corey seager 2021 topps chrome black must be a parallel as it's numbered to 199, and the duke snider is a shiny reprint of his 1951 card from 2017 bowman. the back calls it a "reproduction art" card.

while i was looking through these boxes, there was a group of kids who came in to the store and pretty much took over the place. they weren't obnoxious or anything, but they were definitely enthusiastic about the cards on display. especially hockey cards. a couple of people came in asking about selling their cards, and the owner was pretty nice about telling them they didn't really have anything worth purchasing. there was another guy who did have some nice stuff and they helped him figure out which cards to grade and he seemed to be appreciative of that.

meanwhile, i still had some time to kill, so i grabbed the two baseball monster nickel boxes. now, i thumbed through these boxes back in 2019 or so, and i wasn't expecting much, but they had been replenished since then and the quality was much better. i wound up with 180 cards from these boxes. here are the dodgers that i decided were worth a nickel apiece:
the 2000 bowman chin-feng chen card kicking things off has a bit of a y2k glitch - his mlb debut is shown on the card as 00/00/00 which makes me wonder why they bothered to put anything on the front of the card. he didn't debut until september of 2002. at any rate, that card completes the dodger 2000 bowman draft picks & prospects set for me. of these nine, i wound up only needing the chen, one of the 2003 ud finite nomos, the 20006 bowman chrome willy aybar, and the 2019 topps big league max muncy gold parallel, which goes in the dodger stadium mini-collection.
as for these nine, i wasn't going to leave that 2020 topps update decades' best card in the box - it was my favorite dodger card of 2020 after all, but the only cards i actually needed here are the 2021 panini chronicles certified cody bellinger, the 2021 panini donruss walker buehler and mookie betts cards, and the 2021 topps heritage high numbers luke raley and dj peters. a couple of exciting cards, those last two.
the victor gonzaelz, zach mckinstry, and walker buehler heritage cards complete my dodger high number set, and the corey seager award winner card was a need, too. nice to see a seager card regarding his willie mays world series mvp award without the awkward trophy raise and truck in the background. the 2021 topps holiday dustin may and 2022 bowman luis rodriguez prospect cards were both needs as well.
for the record, i think the 1988 donruss style cards in 2022 panini donruss are worse than the originals, but i'll take will smith for a nickel. 
i needed the buehler, may and albert pujols cards from 2022 topps gypsy queen as the only dodger i had before adding these was will smith via the blaster i opened earlier in the day. i suppose i have a few of the steve garvey autographs (future post material), but those are in the garvey collection. i was pretty happy to find that 2022 topps heritage brusdar graterol card in these boxes since it's a high number short print and i had none of the dodgers that matched that criteria. the will smith 2022 topps opening day card was surprisingly a need as well. the other cards here include a 1992 fleer ultra shawn boskie card for the dodger stadium collection and a 2017 topps stadium club elvis andrus card for the lurker collection as adrian beltre is there in the foreground. a fun card, for sure.  the cards next to the andrus are the first ones i've seen from 2022 topps pristine. they aren't dodger cards per se, as both justing turner and max muncy are affiliated with the national league on them and are wearing their 2021 all-star game uniforms. it's nice to see these unis on cards that aren't short printed, and these will go in the dodger collection regardless.

here are four more nickel cards for my collection:
at first i thought the 2022 topps angels card was an ohtani card with trout making cameo, but it's just their team card. the other angels card here has torii hunter batting on the desert planet of tattooine and is from their 2008 factory team set. joc pederson's 2022 topps card has dodger catcher will smith in the background, and the keston hiura card is from 2018 panini contenders draft picks. it's a photo variation, actually, but i just added it to my stack because it shows him as an anteater.

just a few more nickel cards - some topps heritage short prints
joey gallo's 2022 topps pristine all-star card
and a mike trout insert
don't see many of those in nickel boxes.

by the time i finished with those cards, there were a couple of guys who had come in with their foam padded briefcases and sat at the table i was at. they were showing each other some "sick" hits and one was trying to engineer a trade but the other guy wasn't having it. a third guy leaned in and asked to see some of the cards. he was rebuffed, after which he announced that he didn't deal in any cards worth less than $1000 and that he had spent $200,000 on cards last year. i am not sure what he was doing in this card shop if that were the case. he was intrigued by the "half off" box which usually has relics and autographs that are pretty much worthless. certainly no $1000 cards in there.

after he went to another part of the store, i took a look at that half off box and found three cards to add to my stacks
those three were marked as $3, $1, and $2, respectively, so wound up being only $3 before the final pricing.

finally, i asked the owner where his 1957 topps cards were as they used to be on the counter. he had them locked in a display case. i have decided to finish my '57 set this year, and was down to needing 23 cards (all from the scarce mid-series) when i entered the store. he had two cards i needed
a yankee and a dodger.  i figure the last card i will acquire for the set will be bobby richardson's card. damn yankee.

i saw another monster box of baseball cards on the floor in a corner, but it didn't look like it had been processed yet. i decided not to bother with it and settled up.  i wound up with 331 cards for $75.

after leaving the store, i decided to make my first trip to another shop nearby. this one is called ultimate collectibles. it's in a downtown setting of an older suburb/exurb which reminded me of the lcs i used to go to in my hometown. they have cards and comics and vinyl, too. i walked in and it was packed. packed with people and with product. like, messy packed. programs, supplies, bobbleheads, pennants, stadium giveaways, unopened junk wax, unopened non-sports cards, vending boxes, complete junk wax sets - it was all thrown together in a couple of aisles.

along the main aisle opposite the glass counters wherein the shelves were filled with vintage and new product, there were a bunch of monster boxes of all sports on a rack, but you could only get about halfway in to a row because the shelves were right on top of each other and there was nowhere to set the box if you pulled it off the rack. the contents of the boxes i looked through were pretty eclectic - from junk wax semi-stars to second year trouts.  it was pretty crazy and i would have liked to have spent more time there but it was just too small of a space to navigate with as many people as there were in there.

the tunes they were playing were good - it was a jane's addiction live set - and the four guys working (yes - they had four people behind the counter!) seemed like good dudes. anyway, i only bought six cards and a plastic 8x10 page for $5.11.

this 2013 topps chrome black refractor of ryan zimmerman was marked at $4
i am a sucker for black chrome refractors.

i did find three dodger cards that were missing from my collection: a 2003 upper deck classic portraits hideo nomo card was marked at a quarter
this 1998 upper deck ud3 eric karros card was in a sleeve marked at a dime
and this lenny harris 1993 topps gold parallel
the harris was just loose and unmarked. still, i needed it and figured it would be, at most, a dime. i added a couple more loose cards, including a similar card of old friend sid bream
plus a 2013 topps gypsy queen freddie freeman black mini parallel
and went to the counter with a single ultra pro page. i guess the loose cards were just a nickel, which was a good deal for the freeman.

i may figure out a time to go there on a weekday when there would hopefully be fewer people. there was a lot to see and take in for sure. anyway, i enjoyed my baseball card day and was happy to add some cards to my collection. and, it turned out that one of those cards was from this year's international trading card day:
the uniform makes the card, from the stirrups to the jersey. not bad for a nickel.


i would be remiss to not acknowledge the death of queen elizabeth ii last week. i will admit that i listened to the smiths' "the queen is dead" a couple of times in her honor - and i mean that sincerely even though morrissey didn't. my family traces its roots back to 17th century great britain, and my uncle was a bit of an anglophile (as are others in my family including some who lived in england for a year during college), so the monarchy has been a topic of discussion recently. anyway, i will show this 2009 upper deck card i have in my collection once again
along with this 2021 topps uk edition clayton kershaw card
that i acquired recently to salute the reign of the last queen of england that we will see for quite some time.  the queen is dead boys.