Friday, April 28, 2017

dusty, paciorek, baylor, and the hulk

i'm trying to catch up with the 30-day baseball card challenge, so here are a couple more days worth of posts.

day 7 was supposed to feature a card you bought in person and the story behind it.  one of the many many many cards that fit that bill is this 1971 topps tom paciorek rookie card
shortly after i started collecting cards in 1978 - right after i completed the topps set from that year - i became a team collector trying to finish off the dodger team sets dating back to 1970.  it took me about 17 years to finish that task, with rich allen's 1971 topps card being the last one i obtained (things were much more difficult before the internet).  that in person purchase has a story that i've told before, so i'll talk about another tough card from 1971 instead.  we had one card shop in town when i started collecting.  then another popped up around 1984.  there was another shop about an hour away in santa barbara, but we didn't get there too often.  my dad took me to a couple of card shows, including the national in anaheim once, but this card was always either not in stock in any of those places, or it had a premium price because of dusty baker being a dodger fan favorite and don baylor being the american league mvp as an angel.  such was life living in socal.  the kicker was, i wanted the card because of the guy in the middle who was wasting away in seattle and later the south side of chicago.

when we would go on vacations, my parents would often drive my brother and i to comic and card shops, so long as we didn't complain too much about slogging through antique stores and cemeteries (my dad was researching genealogy stuff, again, this was before the internet).  anyway, sometime circa 1982, we were up visiting some relatives in san jose - giant territory - and my dad and i went to a card shop there.  i offered to pay $12 for the card which had no additional regional value to the guy behind the counter up in nocal, and the card was mine.  i stared at it all the way back to my cousins' house.  and then we went waterskiing.  the end.

actually, not the end, as i will add another day's card into this post.

day 8 was supposed to feature a card that reminds you of a family member.  the two cards that remind me most of family members are the 1966 topps jim lefebvre card, and the 1971 topps brooks robinson world series card.  i've written about both of those before (the lefebvre card was the subject of an early blog bat around post, and the robinson card was the first 'tatooine' card dubbed as such by my brother and i back in the late 70's), so i'll go with bill bonham's 1978 topps card
this card also reminds me of my brother, who had a slight allegiance to the reds back in the late 1970's.  as such, i would show him cards of reds that i pulled from the packs that i opened.  when i showed him the bonham card, he took it from me and said that bonham had 'hulk' hair.  he was right.  bonham's hair did resemble the wig that lou ferrigno wore on the cbs television series 'the incredible hulk'
which was airing at the time that this card was issued.  my brother went further into conspiracy theory mode, noting that bill bonham had the same initials as mild mannered scientist bruce banner, the hulk's alter-ego, who was played by another 'bb', bill bixby.  it was all very curious.  at any rate, we figured that we wouldn't like bill bonham when he's angry.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

well, that didn't take too long...

...but it would have been well worth the wait.
i suppose this also counts as my day 6 entry into the 30-day baseball card challenge, as it is most definitely a card i spent more than $10 to obtain.  very happy to have spent that money, too.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

30-day baseball card challenge, two more days at a time

i'm way behind on the 30-day baseball card challenge, so i'm going to combine a couple of days into this post.

day 4 was supposed to feature a rookie card of one of your favorite players.  there are a few players that could fit this bill, from the obvious to the more obscure.  to me, rookie cards are generally multi-player cards, so i decided to go with ron cey's 1972 topps card
as it is the first multi-player rookie card for any member of the infield of my youth.  another reason that i chose this card is that cey's inclusion on a multi-player rookie card in 1973 gets more attention than this, his true rookie card.  and then there is the text from topps that lists the penguin as an outfielder.  i used to take this as gospel, as bill russell was a converted outfielder and jim gilliam also worked his magic with garvey's move from third to first, so why not have the dodger third baseman of my youth be a transplant from another position?  besides, topps wouldn't mislead a young collector, would they? well, with baseball reference logging minor league position stats, i now see that cey appeared in a total of 3 minor league games as an outfielder.  what makes this more confusing on topps' part is that the card is not a 'rookie outfielders' card, just a 'rookie stars' card. curious.

day 5 was supposed to feature a certified autograph card of one of your favorite players, and for this one i chose a recent steve garvey pick-up for my collection.  it's a 2004 topps originals buyback autographed card - specifically his 1985 topps card - numbered to 129.
it's been broken out of its case (which included some stickers further identifying the set), but it does still have the hologram on the back
so we know it's legit.  i suppose i would have preferred to have this card still encased to match the others i have from this set, but it obviously wasn't a deal breaker. i also appreciate the fact that there is no mention of the padres' 1984 nl championship run on the back of the card.  no, it's still better to mention the batboy story and the junior high school than garvey's nlcs mvp performance or the first world series berth for the padres.

i'm really trying not to have this 30-day challenge turn into a bunch of garvey cards, so i'll try to mix it up a bit going forward.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

my favorite card, no contest (but really, a contest)

everyone's favorite darryl strawberry collector is running a contest - all you have to do is post about your favorite card of your favorite player (as long as that card is worth less than $15 - i'm looking at you, bob walk the plank guy).  for me, this is a no-brainer.  my favorite player is/was steve garvey, and my favorite card is his 1978 topps card.
i've written about this card quite a bit in the past, so i won't spend a lot of time on it here.  it's the first garvey card that i ever saw, ever coveted, and ever owned, and it has stood the test of time.  it is such a great card that it doesn't even matter that there is a big power line transmission pole in the background.

thanks for the contest peter!

Monday, April 17, 2017

building a custom 2016 panini prime cuts box of my own

i recently considered purchasing a box of 2016 panini prime cuts.  i've picked up several 2016 panini steve garvey cards and have been very happy with them.  adding to my enthusiasm was a series of posts by the daily dimwit, who returned to the blogosphere to show off some great pulls from the product.

before i pulled the trigger, however, i listened to the angel on my shoulder who reminded me that it's probably wiser to purchase singles from the product since my collection is fairly focused.  that voice also reminded me that fuji had done something similar a while back.  so, i set out to build a custom box.

there are five cards per box, but i didn't pay attention to the typical splits (if there are typical boxes of prime cuts), i just focused on five cards for less than $149.95.  that was the price i was considering paying for a box.  let's see how i did.

first up is a fairly generic eddie murray relic card, numbered to 149
it's always nice to see guys like murray featured as a dodger in products.  better that than as a met.  here, eddie is all bundled up in blue and gray and has his signature little league hat under the helmet thing going on.  we don't see that very often these days.  this card cost me $6.98 (all prices include shipping).

next up is a auto biography (fairly clever, panini) auto/relic card of don sutton
this card is numbered to 10, and pays tribute to sutton's rookie season of 1966 when he won 12 games and had an era of 2.99.  the photo is not from 1966 (sutton's hair was straight then), but it's a classic sutton action pose. too bad that the card design doesn't allow for a 'suttoning' pose.  i enjoy picking up cards of sutton, as he was the only hall of famer on the team of my youth, and has been featured in a bunch of recent sets from panini and topps.  this card cost me $17.50.

next up is another card numbered to 10 - a dual patch clayton kershaw and don drysdale card
that's two great pitchers that go great together.  obviously, sandy koufax is usually the southpaw to drysdale's, what, right-handedness?  eight years ago, i was kind of hoping that kershaw and chad billingsley would form the same sort of dodger duo, but the closest the dodgers have come to sandy and don is a year or two of kershaw and zack greinke.  this card cost me $43.00.  i probably overpaid for that one.

here's kershaw all by himself on a patch card numbered to 25
i didn't see any red number patch versions, unfortunately.  the photo selection for kershaw is about the best panini could do.  the hat logo is missing, but otherwise there are no tell-tale signs of the lacking license.  this card cost me $22.50.

last up is the big hit.  it's a corey seager dual relic/auto numbered to 49.
aside from the blank jersey (which i do still find annoying), it's an on-card auto with some jersey (or pant) piping of the 2016 national league rookie of the year.  good stuff.  this card cost me $46.67.

so, i came in at $136.65 for my five cards. there's no jackie robinson relic, but i would have been very pleased with a box that had those five cards.  and, since i was under my price point, i added a sixth card - a basic mike piazza relic numbered to 149
for $8.98.  that's not a bad box, if i do say so myself.

speaking of the daily dimwit, i won a contest he ran shortly after he showcased all that prime cuts goodness, and he sent me a few dodgers as my prize. thanks sam!

here's former dodger prospect grant holmes on a 2015 bowman's best auto card
i was hoping that holmes would be the second coming of don sutton - both on the mound and with the hair - but now he's with the a's and just getting his first taste of double-a action.

this is a 2016 topps adrian gonzalez scouting report relic card
this one features a gray swatch, and i also have a white swatch version. relic variation, yo!  by the way, the scouting report i'm thinking of has cody bellinger hot on gonzalez's tail.

finally, here's my friend yasiel puig on a 2016 topps allen & ginter relic card
i watched two of the first three dodger games this season, and i liked what i saw from puig. hopefully he can keep it up for another 150+ games.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

30-day baseball card challenge, a few days at a time

tony at off hiatus recently posted a 30-day baseball card challenge, similar to a blog bat around
tony used a photo of the brewers' former home, county stadium, as the backdrop for his list of 30 different posts.  i modified it to feature dodger stadium.  i've failed at the daily part of the challenge, but i like the idea.  here are the first 3 challenges all wrapped up into a single post.  i'll try not to show just dodger cards...

day 1 was supposed to feature a card from the current year with a photo you like.  easy.  here's a 2017 topps heritage dodger team card
it features a photo of charlie culberson celebrating his division winning walk-off home run last season in what was also vin scully's last home game.

day 2 was supposed to feature a card with more than one player on it. also easy. here's a 2001 topps devil rays team card
it's got a roster full of players on it, but most importantly, it features coach bill russell in the front row.  he's right about the ray, fifth from the left. i mentioned this card in my previous post.  2000 was the only year russell was on the major league coaching roster for tampa bay - he had spent 1999 managing their triple-a team, and then moved on to manage in the giants' minor league system in 2001.  davey lopes and dusty baker show up on a bunch of non-dodger team cards, too, and i've just begun putting them in my post-dodger player collections for each of those guys.

day 3 was supposed to feature a card from the first set you tried to complete. for me, that's 1978 topps.  just to be random, here's bob bailey's 1978 topps card.
bailey played for the dodgers in 1967 and 1968, and hit exactly .227 (73 for 322) both years.  that's one of my favorite statistical anomalies, and i only knew of it because, back in my day, complete career stats
were printed on the backs of topps baseball cards! bonus back of the card info: "beach" can be abbreviated as "b'ch".

Monday, April 10, 2017

rustlin' up a new russell

after bill russell was fired by the fox regime, he joined the tampa bay devil rays organization and managed their triple-a team in orlando in 1999.  i found a card of him serving in that role, and was happy and sad about it at the same time.  in 2000, russell was promoted to the major league coaching staff for the devil rays, and so is featured on their 2001 topps team card.  however, that is not the same as a solo card, so when i became aware that russell had a card in the 2001 shreveport swamp dragons team issue set, i hunted and watched and stalked and waited.  now, thanks to a comc seller, here is the last of the bill russell managerial cards:
here's the back, that drops the knowledge that the swamp dragons are an affiliate of the san francisco giants!
russell managed the swamp dragons for just that one season, and then began his current role as an mlb umpire observer in 2002.

i'm still on the hunt for russell's 1997 dodgers police card (i finally bought the team set, but would like another russell for the pc), but this card puts a capper on his uniformed career.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuc and the cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup

a couple of months ago, brian at hsca showed off his stanley cup on a card collection.  a long time ago, i showed a card featuring lord stanley's cup that is no longer in my collection.  i noted in that post that i  considered holding on to the stevens card because of its greatness, but in the end it went to calgary and is hopefully resting comfortably in captain canuck's collection.

when i saw brian's post, i was moved to scan two of the ten or so cards that show the cup in my collection, and send the rest to brian (minus one or two that might be headed elsewhere).  the two i scanned will remain in my collection until i'm gone.  that's because they feature my favorite hockey player and the subject of the lone hockey player collection i've kept - luc robitaille.

here's the first one:
that's a 2012-13 upper deck black diamond championship rings card, and it features robitaile as a king (sort of) celebrating their first cup win ever.  of course, luc was in the front office by then.  i was sure that he was going to win a cup back in 1993 (i didn't make it to a stanley cup final game that year, but did attend game 3 of the campbell conference finals) but there was stickgate and three straight overtime losses, and robitaille never got back to the finals as a king.

now, i don't recall if game 7 of the 1994 finals ever came to a finish in the film 'sudden death', but i do recall luc (in his pittsburgh penguin days) scoring the game-tying goal to send the game into overtime and give jean claude van damme the time he needed to defuse some bombs and save the day.  in all seriousness, luc did not win a cup with the penguins or rangers, but he did win in detroit, and i have a card to prove it.
that's a 2010-11 certified champions card marking the red wings' 2002 championship, as well as the first time robitaille ever touched the cup.  i remember watching the deciding games in both the 2002 and 2012 finals and then waiting for the cup to be passed to luc. it didn't take long in '02 - steve yzerman gave it to scotty bowman, and then to domink hasek, and then it was robitaille's turn.  and that's when it got pretty dusty in the room. in 2012, it took a while longer for the cup to get to luc, but it was still a great moment.

the 2017 stanley cup playoffs start next week, and even though the kings didn't make the cut, i'll probably keep an eye on the wild.  although i am no longer as avid a hockey fan as i was growing up (and i was an avid one, thanks to canadian parents) and into the late 1990's, i've always perked up a bit during the playoffs.  playoff hockey is the best, and i'm hoping that the finals go to overtime in game 7.

Monday, April 3, 2017

is this heaven?

no. it's dodger stadium. and, since today was the dodgers' home opener, let's see some cards featuring dodger stadium.

chavez ravine hosted a stadium series hockey game between the ducks and the kings a couple of years ago, and i was able to track down some cards that show dodger stadium in the background.  unfortunately, they were all ducks cards.  i was a pretty big kings fan, even prior to the gretzky era, and attended several games (including the 1980 all-star game) at the fabulous forum in inglewood.  it would have been a trip to see hockey at dodger stadium.  anyway, here are the cards - a 2014-15 upper deck canvas cam fowler card
baseball, hockey, and soccer all represented.  also, seeing the fan in the number 11 kings sweater made me think of charlie simmer and mike donnelly.  i don't know who wears 11 for the kings these days.

here's jakob silfverberg on a 2014-15 upper deck card
i was about as young as his kid when i first visited dodger stadium.

finally, here's ryan getzlaf
walking with every level of seating visible behind him.

dodger stadium recently hosted the wbc semi-finals and finals, and i decided to pick up the topps now cards from those games, too.  i followed through with my decision, although there were a couple of cards i did not buy.  those won't make it to me for a while, so i'll show them later.  in the meantime, here are some more dodger stadium cards i've obtained recently.

1989 woolworth's rick honeycutt
the current dodger pitching coach is seen here throwing in game 2 of the 1988 world series.  he retired all three dodgers he faced, two by strikeout, but orel hershiser and the dodgers still won the game 6-0.  honeycutt picked up the win in game 3 in oakland (which is the reason he is featured in this set), but i'm glad topps used a photo from a game in dodger stadium.

i also picked up this 1993 cracker jack prize card featuring my favorite stadium
complete with team trivia and an appearance by the garv.
poor hank webb. they had to pick someone so obviously not in the hall of fame that they went with a guy who spent all but 5 games of his career with the mets.  still, webb was a member of the 1977 dodger team, and so he is a respected member of the franchise on my blogs.

oscar at all trade bait all the time also sent over some dodger stadium cards for my collection.

2000 upper deck angel pena
i miss the old light bulb field level scoreboards.

2012 bowman ted lilly
which is not as nice as his 2013 topps card (this being the target red parallel version)
nick punto's 2013 topps update card (also the target red parallel version)
includes a nice double play turn and the always welcome union 76 logo ball.

it doesn't snow in la, but there's snow on josh reddick's 2016 topps holiday card
this photo must be from early in the game as there are a lot of empty seats.

last but not least, here's a 1987 donruss ron darling card
with the left field pavilion and its distinctive awning nicely matching the mets' color scheme.

thanks oscar for being on the lookout for dodger stadium!