Monday, March 20, 2017

check your 6

i was pretty excited back in 2001 when i first read about topps tribute.  knowing that the set would focus on retired numbers, and knowing that the padres had only two numbers that qualified, i thought it was a pretty good bet that steve garvey would be included in the set.  spoiler alert: he was not. dave winfield (whose number 31 had just been retired in april of 2001) beat out garvey and randy jones to represent the padres, while most of the dodgers with retired numbers were included (no jim gilliam or sandy koufax, unfortunately).

still, there were some number 6 cards in the set, including stan the man musial

it's been a fifteen year journey for me, but i am down to needing only two cards from the set - ernie banks and willie mays.  i would appreciate any help in finishing off this set.

for a long time (21 years to be exact), garvey's number 6 was unofficially retired by the dodgers, waiting for his enshrinement in cooperstown so that it could be officially retired as is the team's tradition.  a funny thing happened on the way to immortality, and when it became apparent that garvey would not be elected by the writers to cooperstown, number 6 fell back into rotation.  jolbert cabrera, in 2003, was the first to wear it post-garvey, and many have followed - brent mayne, jason grabowski, kenny lofton, tony abreu, aaron miles, joe torre, jerry hairston, darwin barney, and now, charlie culberson.
there's culberson on a 2016 topps now card celebrating his division-clinching, walk-off home run last september, with his 6 fully visible.

fernando's number 34 still sits in mothballs, and i wish the franchise would pull the trigger on retiring it officially even though fernando isn't a hall of famer.  other than that, and barring some revelation (that should occur, in my opinion) about manny mota's number 11, i would guess that the next number to be retired by the dodgers will be 22.  clayton kershaw should pass 2000 strikeouts this season (and then some), and he is certainly on track to get at least a thousand more.  while it doesn't show his number very well, here is the 'bonus' topps now card
i received last fall after buying the postseason team set. as a bonus, i thought at the time that it would likely be the only card to feature carlos ruiz as a dodger, but he's in flaghsip as a dodger,
even though he was traded to the mariners last november leaving what i consider to be terry forster's number up for grabs.

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