Wednesday, May 31, 2017

30-day baseball card challenge further compressed

i left the 30-day baseball challenge at day 15 last time i posted an entry, so it's time to move on to day 16.  the topic for that day is "a card of a player whom you appreciate by don't like".  for me, this is like led zeppelin. i respect the talent, but it's not really my cup of tea.  while there are a few players i could think of that fit the bill for this topic, i'll go with sammy sosa.
partially because of how much exposure he received as a cub thanks to the fact that wgn was broadcasting cubs' games every night, and also because i was more of a mark mcgwire fan at that time.  i knew a lot about mcgwire because mcgwire was from southern california, played in california, and burst on the scene while i was a very rabid follower of daily boxscores and sportscenter highlights.  sosa came along a couple of years later when i was not paying such close attention to baseball, so i didn't know much about him.  when 1998 rolled around, i was impressed but not endeared.  both players ultimately disappointed me as a fan.  had sosa remained with the white sox (or the rangers, for that matter), i might have been more open to his success at the plate which would not have come at the expense of dodger pitchers as often as it did with him playing on the north side of chicago.  not really relevant to this topic, i nonetheless remember what vin scully once said during a dodgers-cubs broadcast: "the white sox thought he was so-so, but it turns out he was sosa".

day 17 was a day to show a card from the first set you put together by hand. for me, that's 1978 topps.  i spent the summer and early fall of '78 buying packs, trading, and chasing down singles at the local card & comic shop to finish that set.  one of the cards in the set was joe torre's first managerial card
which is also his final tribute as a player.  this was the first final tribute card i recognized as such, since torre was now a manager.  i was really hoping for a similar jim fregosi card in the 1979 topps set, but topps put the managers back on the team cards that year.

that torre card would also work for the day 18 entry, a card of a player who went on to manage your favorite team, but you know that i need to show a billy russell card for that topic.  so, here's russell's 1979 dodger blue card
russell had the unfortunate task of replacing tommy lasorda as manager before tommy wanted to go, and also during an ownership change. a recipe for a short-term gig, as it turns out.

sticking with the infield of my youth, here's ron cey's 1978 o-pee-chee card
that would serve as a day 19 card - a favorite card from a country other than the united states.  that cey card is one that i pulled from a pack in the summer of 1978 in southern saskatchewan, and it wound up pinned to my wall in my bedroom when i returned home.  you can see the pinholes and the rounded corners and know that this card was well loved.  it has since been signed by the penguin and now rests in one of my non-certified auto binders.  while that is certainly a sentimental favorite foreign card, i would be remiss to not showcase rick monday's 1977 o-pee-chee card as a favorite in a different way.
monday's canadian variation blew my mind the first time i saw it, having thought up until that point that the 1978 set was mo's debut in blue.  this card spawned a deep interest in o-pee-chee cards, and many years later led to my oh my o-pee-chee blog.  voici à vous, rick monday!

day 20's topic was a your favorite parallel based on the parallel, not the player.  that is a tough one, as there are parallels that i particularly like, such as the 2007 topps chrome blue refractors and the 2011 topps chrome atomic refractors, but the parallels i first recall trying to seek out were the 2001 leaf certified materials jersey number relic parallels.  i have one of steve garvey's 
and it is one of my favorite cards, period.  i've said before that i am a numbers guy, and jersey numbers are a big deal to me.  this set, with the die-cut jersey numbers over what is typically a prime piece of jersey, are really nice in my opinion. the problem is the scarcity which kept me from even trying to obtain anything close to a complete set.  still, i have a couple others - adrian beltre and don drysdale - and will occasionally take a peek at ebay to see if there are others available (there's a willie mac up for sale right now for $40).  leaf included jersey number die-cuts in subsequent certified materials releases, but none lived up to the original in my book.

Monday, May 29, 2017

top ten garveys

it is difficult for me to choose my 10 favorite cards of my favorite player, and so i will preface this post by saying that some of the following cards, while certainly ones that i appreciate, may not be as solidly in the top ten as the others.  i have a lot of steve garvey cards to choose from, and so there is always the possibility of deviating from this list should i ever put together a similar list in the future.  with that said, here is my entry into collecting cutch's contest. behold my current top ten steve garvey cards from my collection:

first up is a 2011 topps tier one steve garvey game used patch card, numbered to 10.
this card is similar to the 2008 topps sterling patch cards of which i have a few, but this one is special because it features a piece of the all-star game patch that the dodgers wore during the 1980 season.  it is hard to believe that 1980 was the last time the all-star game was played at dodger stadium, and there are no plans to be back there anytime soon.  this year, the asg will be in miami, followed by washington dc in 2018 and cleveland in 2019.  cleveland last hosted in 1997, so jacobs/progressive field will have hosted two all-star games (and cleveland will have hosted three) since dodger stadium hosted its only one.  that makes sense. and, although the traditional american league/national league alternating schedule has been abandoned in recent years (the nl will host from 2015-2018), my guess is that atlanta gets the 2020 game with their new stadium, with 2021 probably going to the rangers who are working on a new stadium of their own.  so, 2022 might be a possibility for dodger stadium, although the dbacks are crying for new digs so who knows.  anyway, i really really like this card and am stoked to have it in my garvey collection.

the other relic in the list is this 2001 leaf certified materials fabric of the game jersey number prime patch card numbered 6/6.
i remember the auction for this card ending while i was at work, and it was pretty stressful.  i really wanted this card for my collection for a number of reasons, and thankfully submitted the winning bid.  the red number patch that was used for this relic is from an early garvey jersey, as it is glorious fuzzy wool.

i have three autographed cards in the list, the first of which is from 2016 panini pantheon
i dubbed this my favorite card of 2016, and i stand by that claim.  it's a great on-card auto with a design and image that make me forget about the lack of the interlocking 'sd' that is supposed to be on garvey's helmet.

another auto i am including here is this 2003 upper deck sp authentic chirography card
this is one of the parallels, and the on-card world series champs inscription puts this one ahead of the other versions in the set.  i was pretty happy when this set came out and featured so many of my favorite dodgers, including the entire infield.

the next card here is another auto. this is garvey's 1999 upper deck retro inkredible auto card
that is the first certified auto card of garvey that i owned, and it is also the first card i received as an ebay purchase.  i discovered ebay in 1999, and was specifically looking for a 1995 upper deck sp championship series kirk gibson card when i stumbled across this. i was dumbfounded and couldn't wait to win the auction.  18 years later, and i'm still a sucker for garvey cards on ebay.

the last five cards i've chosen are base cards which remain the backbone of my collection. first up is this card, also from 1999 upper deck retro
cards of garvey showing him in dodger stadium are not that common, and this card was also one of the first mainstream cards he received after his retirement.  sure, there were plenty of oddballs from 1989 through 1998, plus a couple of appearnces in upper deck products (1994 all-time heroes and 1995 sp championship), but this card and his 1999 fleer sports illustrated greats of the game card let me know that he was going to be a fixture in sets that would feature retired players.  i was a happy collector.  that fleer si card, by the way, could easily be in this list, too.

now we are down to cards from garvey's playing career.  his 1988 score card
is included here not only because it is a true final tribute card, but also because it is a great card, period.  i will always be thankful to score for producing this card, along with don sutton's 1989 card.

here's garvey's 1974 topps card
which is a favorite for obvious reasons. the card has always intrigued me - from the blurry fans in the background to garvey's posiiton in the foreground to the horizontal orientation that makes it stand out from most other cards in the set.  this is the card that i have in my wallet, and while it is not my favorite garvey card, it is fantastic.

garvey's 1981 donruss card, one of them, anyway, makes the countdown
due to the dodger stadium background and the game action.  topps produced a similar card for garvey in 1981 in that he is also shown leaving the batters box although it is from the view of someone along the first base line and he's in his away grays (at shea stadium, i believe). i actually like the 1981 donruss design, probably because it is very similar to the 1978 topps design.

speaking of which
you had to know that card was coming - it will always be a part of this list.

Friday, May 26, 2017

updating the topps dodger autograph project once again, 60 years apart

the last time i updated my topps dodger autograph project (obtain a card from each flagship release signed by a dodger - ideally for free), i noted that i had sent out a 1955 ed roebuck card in hopes of replacing one of the last two cards in the project that i paid for.  well, the 85-year old member of the dodgers' first world series championship team did not disappoint.
as promised, this card replaces fellow '55 rookie don zimmer's card in the project, with zimmer now taking roebuck's spot representing the 1963 topps set.

another update to the project is warranted after receiving this 2015 topps juan uribe card
the day after roebuck's appeared in my mailbox.  those cards were issued 60 years apart, but are linked in a number of ways, including this project i suppose.

i also received a return from chris hatcher just the other day, which fills the 2017 topps spot in the project
getting 2017 out of the way with my first request of the year is nice, and a change of pace from the past two seasons. it's too bad that there's no chance of replacing the 1951 topps card on the list below, but here's hoping one of the 2016 flagship cards i've sent out finds its way back to me (come on, zach lee!).

update (9/22/17) - zach lee delivered!

and here's one more update (10/28/18) - mike morgan signed and returned a 1991 topps
 and this card
that means that the 1989 topps traded set is now represented in the project!

another update (11/2/18) - kyle farmer signed and returned his 2018 topps card.
now to see about update...

updating again (2/24/19) - ross stripling signed and returned his 2019 topps card.

here's the updated tally of the project:

1951 topps - preacher roe (purchased)
1952 topps - rocky bridges
1953 topps - bobby morgan
1954 topps - charlie thompson
1955 topps - don zimmer (purchased) ed roebuck
1956 topps - randy jackson
1957 topps - carl erskine
1958 topps - joe pignatano
1959 topps - fred kipp
1960 topps - chuck essegian
1961 topps - bob aspromonte
1962 topps - norm sherry
1963 topps - ed roebuck don zimmer
1964 topps - ken mcmullen
1965 topps - dick tracewski
1966 topps - john kennedy
1967 topps - phil regan
1968 topps - jim campanis
1969 topps - jeff torborg
1970 topps - al mcbean
1971 topps - sandy vance
1972 topps - manny mota
1973 topps - wes parker
1974 topps - claude osteen
1974 topps traded - jim wynn
1975 topps - ron cey
1975 topps mini - joe ferguson
1976 topps - bill russell
1976 topps traded - dusty baker
1977 topps - steve garvey
1978 topps - dave lopes
1979 topps - charlie hough
1980 topps - jerry reuss
1981 topps - doug rau
1981 topps traded - ken landreaux
1982 topps - dave goltz
1982 topps traded - jose morales
1983 topps - ron roenicke
1983 topps traded - rafael landestoy
1984 topps - fernando valenzuela
1984 topps traded - mike vail
1985 topps - burt hooton
1985 topps traded - mariano duncan
1986 topps - enos cabell
1986 topps traded - franklin stubbs
1987 topps - steve sax
1987 topps traded - matt young
1988 topps - len matuszek
1988 topps traded - jay howell
1989 topps - mickey hatcher
1989 topps traded - mike morgan
1990 topps - kal daniels
1990 topps traded - juan samuel
1991 topps - tim belcher
1992 topps - roger mcdowell
1993 topps - dave hansen
1993 topps traded - tim wallach
1994 topps - jody reed
1995 topps - chris gwynn
1996 topps - todd hollandsworth
1997 topps - brett butler
1998 topps - greg gagne
1999 topps - jose vizcaino
2000 topps - jeff shaw
2001 topps - chan ho park
2002 topps - andy ashby
2002 topps traded - joel hanrahan
2003 topps - jim tracy
2003 topps traded - ron coomer
2004 topps - edwin jackson
2004 topps traded - milton bradley
2005 topps - chad billingsley
2005 topps update & highlights - jason phillips
2006 topps - bill mueller
2006 topps update & highlights - mark hendrickson
2007 topps - james loney
2007 topps update & highlights - andy laroche
2008 topps - delwyn young
2008 topps update & highlights - casey blake
2009 topps - matt kemp
2009 topps update & highlights - brad ausmus
2010 topps - juan pierre
2010 topps update & highlights - ronnie belliard
2011 topps - hong-chih kuo
2011 topps update & highlights - matt guerrier
2012 topps - nathan eovaldi
2012 topps update & highlights - matt treanor
2013 topps - randy choate
2013 topps update - clayton kershaw
2014 topps - ricky nolasco
2014 topps update - scott van slyke
2015 topps - juan uribe
2015 topps update - brett anderson
2016 topps - zach lee
2016 topps update - mike bolsinger
2017 topps - chris hatcher
2018 topps - kyle farmer
2019 topps - ross stripling

as always, thanks to these players who sign through the mail, and thanks to the lost collector for the idea.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

only seven months of shopping days 'til christmas

so how about some christmas cards?  i don't have a full on christmas card (cards numbered 12/25) collection, but i do have a few in my collection.  and, while recently scouting for these types of cards for gavin at baseball card breakdown, i found a couple to keep for myself.

first up is a 2016 panini father's day something or other crystal parallel of clayton kershaw
with a very 'atomic refractor' type look.

next was a 2016 panini immaculate collection corey seager quad relic card
these are nice cards regardless of the numbering, and because neither of these guys wear number 12, there was no artificial scarcity added to the seller's perceived value.  however, if christmas cards become too much of a thing, watch out!  santa will want to take his cut.

Monday, May 15, 2017

(b)ringing the bellinger

i'm not sure if andre ethier or adrian gonzalez is the one filling the role of wally pipp these days, but cody bellinger looks like he is in the big leagues to stay.  i was beyond surprised to find a 2017 panini diamond kings dual relic card of the dodger rookie
in the latest batch of cards sent to me by brian at highly subjective completely arbitrary.  actually, these are the first cards brian has sent me, as our other trades have been made in person.  i haven't been able to get to a card show lately, however, so i asked if we could trade through the mail this time instead.

brian sent a bunch of other dodger goodness, including the base and variation versions of duke snider's 2017 panini donruss card
i used to eat a lot of jiffy pop on vacations as a kid. it was campground/campfire-time goodness (we weren't a s'mores family), but unfortunately jiffy pop didn't start including cards with their product until i was pretty much done with the family's rv vacations.  anyway, this card is from 1987
i do appreciate the dodger stadium background - it almost cancels out the lack of a logo on pedro guerrero's helmet.  speaking of pedro, the last news that i saw noted that he was out of the coma that followed the stroke he suffered last month. i hope he is on his way to recovery.

here's another oddball, although it's actually a broder card
featuring giant kirk gibson standing in wrigley field.

and then there is this promo from 1996 fleer metal universe
that has eric karros trying to hit his way out of a kelp forest.

brian most likely knew that my want lists included this 1994 upper deck all-time heroes ron cey 125th mlb anniversary parallel card
but even if he didn't, he knows that all cards of the penguin are appreciated here.  just like steve garvey cards.  brian sent this great 2003 upper deck sweet spot classic patch card
of my favorite dodger which hits a big hole in my dodger collection. i have a couple of these in the garvey binders, but not in the dodger binders.  my dodger collection takes a hit when it comes to garvey autos and relics, but this helps.  awesome.

for a while, matt kemp was my favorite dodger, and i still recall his time with the team fondly.  i'll search for cards of his every once in a while, and so i was happy to see this 2009 topps allen & ginter auto
amongst the cards brian sent.  i actually forgot that kemp was on the braves earlier this season, but he seems to be doing pretty well.  his 14-game hitting streak was just snapped yesterday, but he's batting over .330 for the season.  i hope it continues.

these days, my favorite dodger is clayton kershaw, but corey seager is on the short list.  brian provided me with my first look at last year's gold label issue from topps by way of this seager card
and then capped the trade package off with a corey seager auto
from 2017 topps gypsy queen! (full disclosure - i thought at first that this was chase utley).

that is how we do it in the twin cities - home of hubert h. humphrey, mary tyler moore, prince, the replacements, and kick-ass trade packages.  thanks brian!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

international black armbands and a royal patch for yordano ventura

members of team usa and team venezuela, along with the entire team dominican republic, wore black armbands during the world baseball classic to honor the late yordano ventura.  on team usa, it was royal teammates danny duffy and eric hosmer wearing the armbands (you can see it on hosmer's right sleeve on this 2017 topps now card).
it's kind of dark, yes, but the armband is there.

on team venezuela, royal teammates salvador perez and alcides escobar wore the armband, which is visible in this getty images photo of perez.  
no topps now card that i saw showed the venezuelan tribute, but i did pick up one more for team dominican republic.
ventura was a native dominican, which is why the entire team wore the armbands.

the royals also wore a patch for ventura on their jerseys during spring training (as seen on this 2017 topps now road to opening day danny duffy card),
and they are wearing the same patch (although on their right sleeve rather than their chest) throughout the season, as seen on this mike minor card from 2017 topps heritage high numbers.
for the all-star game, the patch was moved back to the chest as shown on jason vargas' 2017 topps update card
don't drink and drive folks.

Monday, May 8, 2017

customized exposure

a couple of years ago, a reader with the handle 'sharxfan' commented on my flagship blog letting me know that espn's 30 for 30 short about the origins of the high-five and therefore glenn burke used a screen grab of my 1980 topps glenn burke card that should have been.  i watched the short myself, and cracked a smile when my custom came onscreen.

fast forward to a few weeks ago, and phungo emailed me to let me know that another of my custom cards was featured on cbs during the ncaa basketball tournament.  this time, it was a gerry hannahs card from my 1978 topps update/burger king dodgers series of cards that should have been.  

if i were on twitter, i might have known in realtime, as phungo tweeted about it:
that's pretty cool, even if there is a chance that jim nantz was talking while it was onscreen.  hannahs' son dusty was playing in the tournament as i understand it, and there was a piece done on the father and son (and gerry's teammate dusty baker, after whom he named his son).

i haven't been making customs lately, but i was motivated recently to dust off the ol' photoshop and make a joe simpson card that should have been after topps released a couple of 'vault' photos of the former dodger.  both photos show simpson with some pretty big glasses
with the second one coming with the added bonus of the white folding chairs in the background.
the chairs let me know that this photo is likely from 1976, as those same chairs showed up on ed goodson's 1977 topps card.  anyway, with the lower watermark on the second photo, i was able to make a pretty decent 1978 topps card that should have been for simpson:
back when i was making these 1978 topps dodger cards that should have been, i could not find a suitable photo of simpson as a dodger, and so i had to photoshop one of his mariners cards into a dodgers card.  this one would have worked much better, although he probably still wouldn't sign it.  maybe this will get a shout out on a braves telecast - if so, i hope someone is watching so they can let me know about it!

thanks sharkxfan and phungo!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

dodger stadium worldwide

i mentioned in an earlier post that i had decided to pick up some of the topps now cards from the wbc semi-finals and finals because those three games were being played in dodger stadium.  i wound up with nine cards - three from each game - that show the stadium in the background.  some are better than others, and this javier baez card would be better if the short fence in the background were still the old configuration rather than the new solid block
here's a carlos correa card that shows the dugout club and field box seats in the background.
the dugout club seats didn't exist until frank mccourt remodeled the stadium.

the last card from the first semi-final game is this team puerto rico celebration card
that features the overhang facade at the front of the club level at the top of the card.  the facade towards the bottom of the card is the bottom front of the loge level that sits above the field level.

the second semi-final game had the usa come out on top, and i picked up the tanner roark card
as well as the andrew mccutchen and adam jones card
both of which show some of the seating in the background.  the third card from this game that i purchased is the team usa celebration card
that features the right field wall and the lowest part of the right field pavilion.  i should note that these cards came out darker than what i saw online, so the seating in the first two cards (particularly the roark card) is more difficult to discern than i had anticipated.  oh well.

here are the three cards from the final game - first up is ian kinsler
with a view of the backstop and the dugout club seats.  i'm not sure if that is a copycat marlins guy in the background or not.  also, astute viewers might have noticed that the dugout club seats were changed from pale yellow to light blue this year.

here's the tournament mvp, marcus stroman, holding up his award
with the left field scoreboard behind him.  the right field scoreboard has always been that hexagonal shape, but left field had the diamondvision rectangular scoreboard for over 30 years.  now, the left field scoreboard is the same shape as the one in right field, with a universal studios globe on top.

lastly, here's the team usa champions card
that features the left field foul pole as well as the team's 'ring of honor' in the background along the club level's facade.

last night, vin scully was added to the ring, and i thought his 'plaque' would go right about in the spot that giancarlo stanton is pointing to with his right hand.  instead, the dodgers shifted all of the numbers to make room for vin at the end of the facade.

note:  i am writing this just after the ceremony concluded, and i am hoping that there is a topps now card issued tomorrow.  i would really like to have a card that shows vin's plaque in the background.