Saturday, March 31, 2018

so i guess this is not a final tribute after all

when i first pulled this card out of a pack of 2018 topps
i set it aside for my 'final tribute' collection.  i didn't expect ichiro to sign on with a major league team following his 2017 season.  unfortunately, topps skimps on the stats on the back of their flagship cards these days
so i went for his 1983 insert
which does show his complete major league stats on the back
now that would have been a fitting final tribute, except topps left off his 2017 stat line.  that kind of screw-up is typical of topps these days.

anyway, the mariners not become nostalgic for one of the most popular players they've ever had, and ichiro suited up for them on opening day and officially extended his playing career into the 2018 season.  so, while these cards no longer fit into my final tribute mini collection, i will save a spot for an ichiro card in 2019.

in honor of ichiro's return to seattle, i will show a card that will stay in one of my mini collections.  it is from upper deck's 2001 pros & prospects ichiro world tour insert set.
it covers ichiro's first trip to dodger stadium in july of 2001, and notes that he had a great first game of the series.
unfortunately, while the text is correct, the photo is actually from the july 8 game, not the 6th (here's the getty images proof) when ichiro went just 1 for 4 with a double and a run scored.

Monday, March 26, 2018

a very pleasant leaf card for you, wherever you may be

i really don't know why topps has been unable to put vin scully on a non-autograph card.  i used to think that he wouldn't allow the use of his likeness, and that is why we got cards from topps of ernie harwell, bob sheppard, and even joe buck, but not vin.  however, fleer put him on a card (with steve garvey) in 2004, and panini put him in their 2012 and 2013 cooperstown releases earlier this decade.  i don't think topps put vin on a card until 2016 with their transcendant and mint releases - both of which were low-numbered autograph issues.

there have been good reasons in recent years to give vin a card - he finally retired following the 2016 season after 67 years in the booth and he was given a spot on the dodgers' ring of honor during the 2017 season (and helped throw out the first pitch prior to one of the 2017 world series games) - but topps has fallen short.

i was happy to find a 2017 leaf national sports collectors convention card recently
showing vin as he appeared during the announcement that he would be the grand marshal of the 125th tournament of roses parade in 2014.  it's a final tribute of sorts, as it was issued the year following his final season, so i may just track down another copy for that mini-collection.

i picked up a magenta printing plate while i was at it
even though it is not a 1/1. it seems that leaf had used multiple sets of plates to create the card, so maybe that is one way that topps is doing things better than leaf.  still, i'm ok with these sorts of shenanigans if it means more vin scully cards!

Friday, March 23, 2018

the other steve that i collect

steve yeager was the primary catcher on the dodger teams of my youth.  he was a dodger for his entire career up until december of 1985 when he was traded to the mariners.  i already collect his dodger cards as part of my dodger collection, but i also collect cards of him as a mariner and other post-playing career non-dodger issues.  

such as this 2005 grandstand jacksonville suns card
it's a fairly short list (here's the link), but any help is appreciated, as i seem to have misplaced some of his more widely available mariners parallel cards, although i do still have the 1986 mother's mariners card.
such an odd look for the catcher of the team of my youth.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

i'll take obscure autographs for dodgers, alex

p-town tom recently sent me some cards for a couple of reasons. i sent him some cubs and a 2013 team usa shawn green card, and i helped him identify a mystery autograph related to the recent collection that he was gifted.

tom asked for help and offered cards as a reward. i was fortunate to see the post fairly quickly after it was published, and soon thereafter submitted my guess of kevin koslofski.  looking at the auto, i assumed it was a 'kevin k'.  i first looked at signatures of kevin kennedy and kevin kouzmanoff.  koslofski was the third guy i looked at, and it turned out to be correct.

a week or so later, tom sent me a 1992 fleer card signed by the man himself
it was fortuitous for me that tom had not stumbled across this card before he asked for help in identifying the signature on the ball!

tom also included some dodgers that i needed, many from 1999 fleer tradition.  here's an adrian beltre card that was a need
it's hard to believe that the dodgers could have had the longest tenured third baseman in their history if he hadn't had such a monster year in 2004 - his free agent season.  i like justin turner, but beltre has been a great player for 20 years now.

thanks tom! let me know if you find any more mysterious autos!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

it's daal coming back to me now

did you know that meat loaf has a version of celine dion's song "it's all coming back to me now"? i did not.  i did know that omar daal has been signing through the mail lately, and his is the latest card to come back after i sent out a request.
i used a card from daal's second go-round with the dodgers, and it looks great with the 2003 topps blue borders and the blue sharpie that he used.

thanks omar!

Monday, March 19, 2018

once, twice, three times in my collection

i have a few mini collections going on (and i am slowly updating my 'have' lists of each).  sometimes, there are cards that fit in more than one mini collection.  case in point, eduardo nunez's 2017 topps card
nunez is wearing the monte irvin and jim davenport memorial patches (that would mean the card is eligible for my armband and memorial collection).

nunez's card also features dodger second baseman chase utley lurking in the background (that puts the card in my lurkers collection).

finally, the action on nunez's card is taking place in dodger stadium (that means it belongs in my dodger stadium collection - link coming soon).

as it stands, i have only two copies of nunez's card since the giant memorial patches are already represented in my memorials binder by buster posey's 2017 topps opening day card, and three copies of the same giants card in my collection is probably a bit much.

same goes for this next card that also could sit in the same three mini collections
as it is, i'll keep two copies (still need one) of this george springer world series "highlight" for the dodger stadium and lurker (hello, austin barnes) collections, but put a different card in the memorial collection (that's the 'houston strong' patch that recognizes those lost in the flooding as well as the community's resolve to recover from it).

anyone else have multiple copies of the same cards in different mini collections?

Sunday, March 18, 2018

a billy bean through the mail success

yesterday i showed a bill bene through the mail success (thanks william), and today it is jose gonzalez billy bean who is showcased following a return of the 1991 topps card i sent his way earlier this year.
this is the "b" version of jose gonzalez's card that shows bean at the bat.  the only true dodger card of bean's comes from the 1990 target set, unfortunately.

i was happy to see bean, now the ambassador for inclusion for major league baseball, appear in last year's topps archives set, but he was featured as a padre. hopefully he gets his name on his own topps dodger card someday.

thanks billy!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

fair bene from foul bunt

i saw that william at foul bunt had a successful ttm experience with former dodger prospect bill bene. i asked william for the address, and he told me that he had a double of bene's 1989 topps card.  

i sent him a 1987 topps tom brunansky card that bruno had signed for me through the mail, and now i have one more signed dodger card for my collection!

bene (well, actually the dodger organization) left me disappointed when the dodgers picked him 6th overall in the 1988 draft.  i was really hoping that they would take robin ventura (he went to the white sox at 10).  the dodgers redeemed themselves when they won the world series four months later.

bene averaged just over one k/ip for his minor league career in which he reached triple-a in both the dodger and angel organizations.  he never did crack the majors, unfortunately.

thanks william!

Friday, March 16, 2018

in a new york minute

anything can change.

here's kevin brown pitching at dodger stadium on his 2004 topps opening day card
complete with the mural of the infield of my youth behind him.  there are very few cards that show that particular mural, and i want them all.  that's why i picked up this next card
which shows kevin brown as a yankee pitching in dodger stadium, except that's a halfway decent photoshop job by topps.

the dodgers probably got more out of jeff weaver and yhency brazoban (plus a couple of minor league seasons from titans' back-up quarterback brandon weeden!) than the yankees got out of kevin brown overall, but it was the brown and the bronx bombers who actually advanced in the playoffs in 2004.  at least the dodgers got some 'lima time' that year.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

there goes my hero

i've now completed a few trades with gavin from baseball card breakdown.  the first trade was facilitated by oscar at all trade bait all the time after he received a ron cey cardsphere heroes custom card from gavin a couple of years ago.

the most recent trade package from portland included this beauty for my steve garvey collection:
that's a 2018 baseball card breakdown cardsphere heroes card of the garv himself!  i had asked gavin to create one using the photo from garvey's 1978 sports illustrated poster.  it looks great!

there were other cards in the package, and i sent real cards in exchange, but i will still thank gavin in person next week. anybody else going to be in the pdx?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

everybody loves ramon

brian at highly subjective and completely arbitrary closed out another round of trading a while back by sending a number of cards from my want lists.  he even found a 1992 ramon martinez card that i still needed!
i had never seen this 1992 upper deck team mvp hologram card before, which made me happy because there aren't too many dodger cards from 1992 that surprise me these days.

ramon had his worst season as a dodger in 1992 (which was also the worst season for the dodgers in their west coast history), but at least he had a cool hologram card.  thanks brian! look for some twins in the mail soon!

Monday, March 12, 2018

dodger stadium bonus play

it's been over four months since the world series ended, and i'm finally hitting publish a post inspired by the host stadium for games 1, 2, 6, and 7.  i was excited coming into the season as dodger stadium hosted the semi-finals and finals of the world baseball classic which resulted in some cards featuring the third oldest major league stadium in the background.  with the postseason also coming to dodger stadium, i was hoping for more 'bonus' dodger stadium cards.

there were two topps now cards in particular that i will showcase (although i did pick up pretty much all of the dodger-themed postseason topps now cards), the first of which comes from the game 1 opening ceremonies:
with a photo from the dodger dugout on the back
it's not every day that you can see the san gabriel mountains from the stadium, so thank goodness for clear (although hot) october days.

the next card is not a dodger card, although rich hill's name makes an appearance on the dodger stadium wraparound display thingamajigs.  no, this is an astros/marlins card
prior to game 2 of the world series, jose altuve and giancarlo stanton were recognized as the 2017 hank aaron award winners on the field at dodger stadium, and there was enough there behind them for me to pick up the card (on the cheap a couple of weeks after it was issued).

the 2017 postseason is not the first time that dodger stadium has been featured on cards, as there are a couple of cards in the 1964, 1967, and 1975 topps sets.  there are others, too.  here is a 2001 upper deck decade '70's card of reggie jackson
it shows mr. october during the 1977 world series.  it could be 1978, or even 1981 for all i know, but it is from a world series game.  that is because reggie only played road games in the world series as a yankee against the dodgers.

here's another world series road team - the baltimore orioles - represented by jim palmer on a 2015 leaf heroes of baseball card
palmer outpitched sandy koufax at dodger stadium in game 2 of the 1966 world series, throwing a shutout to extend the orioles' lead in the series to two games to none.

with 2018 product on the shelves, i've pulled a few more cards to add to this collection, including a nice cameron maybin card from heritage
along with a less pleasant card from the same set
hopefully just over 7 months from now, there will be some more postseason cards featuring dodger stadium in the background, only this time with the home team celebrating.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

dishonoring heritage

i bought some 2018 topps heritage.  i got a few cards that i found interesting and will keep for my collection, but not too many.  one card that left me shaking my head was card number 1 in the set - the american league 2017 batting leaders card
let's take a closer look.

jose altuve led the league with a .346 average.

avisail garcia was second with a .330 average.

eric hosmer was third with a .318 average.

hanley ramirez had a .242 average on the season.

topps put hanley on the front of the card instead of the indians' jose ramirez, who tied hosmer at .318.

i also noticed that topps referred to andrew miller as a "righty" in the text on the back of his card.

does topps even pay attention to baseball anymore?