Sunday, December 31, 2017

my favorite card of 2017

sure, a topps now card of the dodgers celebrating a world series championship would have been great, but i was very happy to pick up the card documenting their advancement to the fall classic.
i haven't had a card like this since 1978, thanks to topps not producing postseason cards (let alone cards documenting the nlcs) in 1979, 1982 or 1989.

and then there was this card
which featured a fantastic moment from the 2016 season when the dodgers saluted vin scully following his final home broadcast. it was an early leader for favorite card status, although its excellence was hindered somewhat by topps' inability to put scully on a card of his own.

still, i think my favorite card issued this past year is this one from topps update
that's the sandy koufax legends short print.  yes, it's a colorized black and white photo, but it features dodger stadium and the old right field scoreboard showing the futility of the giants on may 11, 1963.  this was koufax's second no-hitter. koufax allowed two walks - one each to ed bailey and pinch-hitter willie mccovey.  koufax also induced a double play, so he only faced one batter over the minimum.  the guy who faced koufax four times? that would be harvey kuenn who would strike out two years later to end koufax's perfect game against the cubs.

for the record, steve garvey did have a few cards issued by topps this year (although only the tribute autos were not buybacks of some sorts).  he also had this card included in the expansive san diego padres trader jack sga,
but i am not so blind in my devotion to garvey collecting that i would appreciate this card over an unexpected and fantastic koufax card.

thanks to p-town tom for hosting this contest again this year, and here's hoping that scully will make the 2018 topps first pitch insert set!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

secret santa statis: pro

thanks to matt from bob walk the plank for organizing the secret santa program again this year. i had fun picking out cards to send to my recipient - the daily dimwit - even if that meant looking for astros cards a few weeks after they beat the dodgers in the world series.  my secret santa was rob, who runs a few blogs (which i can appreciate) - 1988 topps, collecting 1982 topps, and statis pro 1984.

rob tied our collecting habits together by sending me copies of the infield's statis pro cards from the 1984 season.
a quick look at these and the wikipedia site for statis pro tells me that steve garvey is not likely to miss many games (his consecutive game streak ended in 1983, otherwise i assume his "inj" rating would be 0), ron cey is the only one likely to be hit by a pitch, bill russell is the better bunter, and davey lopes is the better base stealer.  at closer inspection, i also see that the garv would never walk in this game.  this is very realistic, as garvey didn't walk much.  in fact, i think that his inability to take a walk (he took the free, non-intentional pass only 366 times in his career) is one of the things keeping him out of the hall of fame.  172 more walks instead of outs (lay off that slider down and away, please) would have netted him a .300 career average and boosted his obp to .348.  that's just 10 more walks per season, on average. in the end, as much as i want to see garvey in the hall (and i think he should be in), he just made too many outs for him to be a more obvious choice to the people who matter. we'll see if anything changes in three years when he is eligible for consideration by the modern committee again.

rob included some real cards in the package - there were these two relic cards from 2002 upper deck world series heroes featuring davey lopes and bill russell
plus a 2005 upper deck classics ron cey relic card
thanks rob!

Monday, December 25, 2017

the duke of christmas present

though he was not my bob walk the plank secret santa, jon from a penny sleeve for your thoughts sent me a gift for christmas
it is difficult to see, but that is the christmas card version of duke snider's 2015 panini hall of fame induction parallel.  #/25 makes it the blue parallel, which is fitting for this dodger icon.

thanks jon! i put a couple of cards from your want lists in the mail (sorry, no buybacks this time). thank you and merry christmas to all!

Thursday, October 19, 2017


it's been 29 years.

29 years ago, that pennant begat a championship.

29 years before that, a dodger pennant begat a championship - their first in la.

i sense a pattern.

very happy right now.

Friday, August 4, 2017

so far in 2017, i've recollected, rediscovered, and paid tribute to my steve garvey collection

my first 2017 steve garvey card came from 1983.
that's a 2017 donruss recollection collection buyback autograph.  yay.  i think the only other donruss recollection collection card i have (from 2004 maybe?) of the garv is one of his padre cards, so this is nice.

garvey also had, at the very least, some of his 1987 topps cards stamped and inserted into topps series 1 packs as part of this year's rediscover topps buyback distribution.  i was able to pick up a bronze
and a silver
and a gold
parallel of the garv's final topps card.

1987 was the only garvey card i saw featured in series 1 buybacks, and so far, this 1984 gold parallel
is the only one of garvey's cards i've seen as a series 2 buyback.  lucky for me, this one was buried in a listing for a lot of 2017 inserts, so i got it on the cheap.

edit - i later saw another lot from 2017 topps heritage that included this bronze 1985 topps garvey record breaker
i made it mine.

topps has created some new cards of garvey this year, although they left him off of the checklist for the 'all-time all-stars' series 2 insert set.  these next cards are from 2017 topps tribute, and are 'generations of excellence' shadow box autos. the base version is numbered to 99
purple is /50
orange is /25
there is a red /10 version, and i've missed out on two or three opportunities to own one of those. the black 1/1 was listed on ebay when tribute first came out, but i didn't put a bid in for it.

there were no garvey cards in archives (but ron cey was featured!) or ginter (based on the checklist i've seen), so i doubt there will be any more new cards to chase this year.  i'll be sure to keep my eye out for more garvey buybacks in update, and in the meantime, i'm working on my 'living' steve garvey collection post and wantlist. thanks for your support of my collection!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

hail, hail, the infield's all here

i was very happy to see that topps included ron cey in this year's archives autograph checklist.  they could have given him a regular base card, too, but i'll take the auto.  topps used the 1979 design for cey's card
and they featured a photo that i believe to be new to cardboard.  it's a similar image to what topps used on cey's 1977 card, but different.  you will recall that last year, topps gave steve garvey a short print base card and an auto
but used his 1972 card photo (more tightly cropped) rather than a new one.

in 2014, bill russell was given the auto treatment in archives with a 'new' photo
and the year before that, it was davey lopes who received the base card short print and an auto
the photo used on the lopes card was used by upper deck in the 2004 legends timeless teams issue, but i don't believe topps had used it before.  

since its revival, archives has featured other dodgers from the team of my youth - don sutton has been a base card member of the checklist twice and dusty baker got the short print and auto in 2014.  this year, i was very excited to see that manny mota was included in the checklist
as well as the skipper of the team of my youth, tommy lasorda
it would have been nice if topps had used card designs that those two had not appeared on previously, such as 1980 for mota and any number of years for lasorda.  still, i am happy to add these autos of dodgers to my collection!

i also went and picked up another parallel of garvey's archives auto - the red /50 version
plus a ron cey auto from 2006 upper deck ultimate collection
that features a couple of other dudes.  i was also so pleased to see cey in this year's archives that i grabbed the peach parallel version
as well.

with 2017 archives in the books, i now have recent autographed cards from the entire infield
as well as the manager and pinch hitter. i was surprised to find that i did not own the dusty baker auto, so i will correct that soon.

edit - corrected:
in the meantime, topps can go ahead and get reggie smith, steve yeager, and rick monday lined up for next year.

Monday, July 31, 2017

stay sterling, san diego

i mentioned a few days ago that there have been (and continue to be) a number of rare-ish large patch steve garvey cards show up on the bay lately.  i picked up two more for my collection, but the ones currently for sale are definitely priced out of reach.

this first one is from 2007 topps sterling, and features a 'big a' from a padres jersey
it comes from a 1984 padres jersey like this one below
in fact, it might just be this exact jersey.

the next one is from 2008 topps sterling
and features the 'p' from a different padres jersey like this one from 1987:
again, it could be this one as it, like the jersey above, this one was featured in an auction a few years back.

i once again went to photoshop to confirm the obvious:
obviously awesome.

unless those prices drop, these may well be the last of the sterling 1/1's i add to my collection, and if that is the case, they're not a bad note to end on.

Friday, July 28, 2017

archives and series 2 mini collection hits

one of the things i do when a new card set is released is search out images, usually by team, on ebay.  this helps inform me regarding cards that might fit in one of my mini-collections.  i'll often head to sportlots to pick up singles that i've identified, but this time i had some help from one of my favorite ebay sellers who was offering up lots of archives singles and packs.

first up are some double play cards, including a 2010 topps derek jeter reprint
an ian kinsler card featuring brian dozier
and an addison russell card featuring justin turner
meaning that this card also belongs in my dodger lurker collection

archives also gave me another david ortiz final tribute card
that features all of his non-twins season stats
plus his full career totals on the bottom line.

adam eaton is sliding into home on tatooine
which might represent the first 2017 card added to my tatooine collection. i appreciate that the 1992 design allows the dirt to spill out beyond the inner borders.

and, thanks to archives featuring the 1992 topps design, i get dodger stadium on the back of yasmani grandal's card
for my dodger stadium collection.

i was lucky enough to get a few dodger stadium cards from my series 2 blaster.  this dexter fowler card
even features tommy lasorda sitting in his reserved seat.

matt wisler is pitching in dodger stadium
rob segedin is throwing from right field in dodger stadium
near where the spot that milton bradley spiked a water bottle and eric davis was running on his 1993 upper deck card

and, of course, the dodgers are saluting vin scully in dodger stadium
with bench goach bob geren front and center.  i like coach cards so much, maybe i should start one more mini-collection.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

there may be no 'i' in team, but there are dodgers of my youth on team cards

a while back, i showed the 2001 topps tampa bay devil rays team card because it features the shortstop of the team of my youth, bill russell, on it as a coach.  russell is not the only player from the team of my youth to appear on team cards in a coaching or managerial capacity, so i figured that equal time was due.  charlie hough should be on the mets' 2002 team card as he was their 2001 pitching coach, but i wasn't able to verify that, so i'll stick with davey lopes and dusty baker for this post.  also, i apologize in advance for some seriously crooked scans.

lopes first appeared on a team card in 2000, courtesy of this fleer tradition padres team card.  he's the fourth guy in a padres jersey from the right.
i'm realizing now that i should have circled lopes in photoshop before posting these cards, but oh well. generally, lopes will be the shortest guy in the front row.

here's the 2001 topps brewers card, which features lopes as the team's manager. he's right above the brewers' logo, so the short guy in the front row approach proves true.
more of the same in 2002 topps
but that was the end of line for lopes in milwaukee.  in 2004, lopes was back on the padres' team card
he's second from the right in the front row there, but moved to fourth from the right for the 2005 topps team card
and he's even further to the right (closer to the left) on the 2006 topps padres team card
lopes left san diego and joined the washington nationals' coaching staff in 2006, and so showed up on the 2007 topps team card
and 2007 topps heritage team card, too
both featuring the same photo.

from there, lopes joined the phillies' coaching staff and was on the 2010 team card in topps heritage
although he did not get the 'hands on knees' memo

lopes finished up his run of team card appearances to date with the phillies' 2011 topps heritage card
since then, lopes has been the first base coach for the dodgers and now the nationals, but with the way topps does team cards these days, he has been absent from the flagship and heritage sets.

dusty baker's team card appearances follows the same arc, mostly because that's when the team cards were reintroduced to card sets.  so, here are dusty's cards... manager of the giants in 2000 fleer tradition
2001 topps
2002 topps
and 2003 topps, which featured dusty on his last card as the giants' manager
he had to wait until 2005 topps to be featured on the cubs' team card as their manager
and unlike the padres, the cubs got a team card in 2005 heritage as well
2006 topps
the cubs' heritage love continued in 2006, too
2007 topps
and, what do you know, 2007 topps heritage
and 2008 topps heritage
as well.

dusty moved on to manage the reds and so was featured once again in topps heritage in 2009
and 2012
like lopes, dusty is with the nationals these days (as their skipper), but unlike lopes, baker also had managerial cards of his own during this run.