Tuesday, July 31, 2018

the tradewinds have been blowing

today was the trading deadline.  the non-waiver trading deadline, to be precise.  there's no deadline on trading cards, but there probably is a proper timeframe for posting about those trades. i may have missed the boat on some of these.

not really a trade in the traditional sense, but i did trade a small amount of money for some cards as part of colbey's cardboard collections affordable breaks.

the first one featured 1994 pacific, and i chose the dodgers which netted me some nice cards including jody reed
who is turning two on the back
my assigned team was the blue jays, which resulted in another back side double play with roberto alomar's card
two alomars for the price of one.

the other affordable break i joined featured 2002 upper deck diamond collection and 2003 upper deck 40 man.  i wound up with a card from 2003 upper deck vintage update (included in packs of 40 man) of current manager dave roberts
unfortunately, doc's card came with a badly dinged corner.

it turns out that i already had a complete team set of 2003 40 man - it's 2002 40 man that is lacking in my collection. oh well, it was an affordable break after all.  here's jolbert cabrera
he was the first dodger to wear number 6 since 1982, and it signaled to me that the dodgers were giving up on steve garvey as a hall of famer.  it made sense as his 15 years on the ballot had expired without him being voted in by the bbwa, but it still kinda sucked to see number 6 back on the field.

perhaps the beginning of jim tracy's affinity for players named ja(y)son, here's jason romano
cards like that, featuring a guy who played in 37 games as a dodger and hit .083 in that time, are why i like sets such as 40 man.

finally, here's adrian beltre
getting cards of beltre as a dodger in the mail remind me that he is the one that got away.

mark hoyle sent me some cards, including this derek jeter double play turn
on a 2006 upper deck national card.  it inspired me to add a couple more double play cards to my collection, such as this 2005 upper deck khalil greene card
and this 2016 topps photo variation xander bogaerts card.

back to the trades, tom from angels in order sent me some dodgers.  you don't see 1985 donruss on the blogs much, so here's dave anderson's card
i think that is sid bream in the background.

hey kids! you too may become a big leaguer - alfredo griffin made it, and look at his swing on this 1991 fleer ultra card
plus he's rocking the little league hat-under-helmet look.

i needed this 2016 topps update walmart rookie insert of kenta maeda
if topps starts using the 1988 design in archives before 1978 i will assume that 1978 will never be used.

mr haverkamp came through with some needed 1982 fleer stamps, including the fernando/warren spahn stamp, bill russell, jerry reuss, and burt hooton
plus some bay area dusty baker cards for my post-dodger pc of johnnie b.
fleer and mother's cookies!

jon at penny sleeve for your thoughts reached out with some 2017 topps buybacks
two for the dodgers binders and one for the davey lopes post-dodger pc.

johnny's trading spot provided some great cards including two fleer greats of dodger great duke snider - 2000
and 2004
recycled photo, obviously.

tim, known as tshenson in your comment section, sent a bunch of dodgers in exchange for indians which included a 2016 topps gypsy queen corey seager rookie
and a 1994 sports illustrated for kids mike piazza card
that is a complete team set in and of itself.

thanks to all for the great cards!

i also need to mention that bo at baseball cards come to life sent me some 2002 topps 206 for my set build, although i forgot to scan the cards. thanks bo!

i've still got some trade bounty from nick at dime boxes, matt at bob walk the plank, and julie at a cracked bat to show off (plus a one-card pwe from mr. haverkamp), so i'm not done thanking everyone yet...

Monday, July 30, 2018

come on topps, this is not how this works

remember at the winter olympics earlier this year when the canadian two-man bobsleigh team tied with one of the german two-man bobsleigh teams for gold, and the gold was given to canada because their country comes before germany alphabetically? and, as a result, germany got the silver? no? you don't remember that? well, good, because that is not how ties work in the olympics.

same goes for baseball players who tie for the league lead in any given category.  remember the 1982 topps league leader cards where the american league had four players tie for the top spot?  if not, see below. 
they each received equal billing.

well, 36 years later, topps has forgotten.  i pulled this card in a pack of 2018 topps big league
look at kenley jansen there in second place. he must have had fewer saves in 2017 than league leader greg holland.  except that he didn't.  holland and jansen each had 41 saves, a fact that is revealed on the  back of the card
i can only think that holland got top billing because h precedes j in the alphabet.  and poor fernando rodney, who tied for third place didn't even get a photo, perhaps thanks to r coming after k in the alphabet.

earlier this year i noted that they had the wrong guy on a league leader card, and now they assign the wrong order and ignore a guy on this one.  just another half-assed effort from topps.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

a special final tribute

if i know one thing about jim thome, it's that he has probably described his election to the hall of fame as 'special'.  he used that word hundreds of times during his stint with the twins to describe everything from personal milestones to developing a relationship with harmon killebrew (it came across as completely genuine, by the way).  i don't know that he considered his time with the dodgers to be special, but he sure delivered as a twin.

thome finished his career with the orioles in 2012, and i was disappointed back in 2013 when there was no final tribute card issued by topps.  panini included thome in their 2013 america's pastime set as an indian, which is ok because (even though the set came out in 2014) thome signed a one-day contract with cleveland that year in order to retire as an indian.  that is all good enough for me to add this card to my final tribute collection
the back includes the full career stat line, but not the year-by-year totals
there is a good group of players going in to the hall of fame this weekend, and most have some sort of final tribute in my collection.  i've previously shown off my jack morris final tributes, vladimir guerrero final tributes, and my alan trammell final tribute (although i have picked up another for the collection since it has the 'tribute' shield)
 and it almost has the full year-by-year stats on the back
there are a couple of inductees that i haven't shown final tributes for previously, so here they are.  topps produced a couple of cards of trevor hoffman in 2011, including this one
that shows his complete hall of fame career stats on the back
i had to dig deep to find a chipper jones final tribute.  this 2013 topps update card is a short print with a photo from 2000, although it fits the bill since it was issued the year following his final season
 and has those complete major league stats on the back
congrats to the new hall of famers, and best of luck next year to edgar martinez who should be voted in finally, and also to steve garvey and tommy john as the modern era committee convenes again in 2019.

Friday, July 27, 2018

top 5: vladimir guerrero

so, here i am stealing a premise from nick at dime boxes.  it's been a long time since one of my favorite players has made the hall of fame.  in fact, outside of paul molitor's induction in 2004, none of the players - dodgers or non-dodgers - that i considered to by my favorites have made it in to cooperstown.  sunday, vladimir guerrero, who at one time was my favorite non-dodger player, joins the hall of fame.
i've kept my big daddy vladdy pc even after dismantling almost all others that i had built since the late 70s and figured i would share what i consider to be the five favorite cards in my collection.  this list does not include autos or relices - just good ol' base cards plus one insert.

had i stuck to just base cards, that 1999 topps gallery card up top would be number 5, but it got edged out by...

5. 2010 upper deck biography
this is just such an unusual card that it forces its way on to this list.  it is indeed a vladdy card (celebrating the game in which he hit his 399th and 400th career dongs), but features him blurred in the background as he circles the bases, leaving matt garza in focus instead.  this is actually guerrero's 399th career home run, as russ springer relieved garza and coughed up vladdy's 400th career dinger five innings later.  still, it's not often that the pitcher's shame is featured on cardboard.  imagine a dennis eckersley card showing him in full whiplash mode as he watches kirk gibson's home run fly into deep right field.  that would be awesome stuff.  just like this card.

4. 1998 topps
it's staged and not so original (hello, 1995 topps stadium club tim wallach), 
but still a great image and captures guerrero's signature smile as opposed to wallach's grimace.

3. 2008 upper deck 
it was a bright, sunny day in anaheim when this photo was taken, and it shows vladdy giving angels' third base coach dino ebel a high five.  i like this card because of the colors - specifically the white and red of the uniforms contrasting with the green and brown of the field - but also because there is joy there.  and it doesn't hurt that i can see guerrero's loping gait come alive in this photo (one of his legs is longer than the other, don't you know)

2. 1995 bowman
rookie card alert!  despite the 'phantom zone' design that bowman stole from 1994 upper deck, this is a great card - rookie or not.  i really like that it was the first look at guerrero with a bat and it featured his throwback gloveless approach to hitting.

so, it turns out that nick and i have similar thoughts.  my 2-4 also appeared on his list.  however, with 1998 topps being number one on nick's list, we differ on the top spot.  here's my choice:

1. 1998 upper deck
this is one of my favorite cards, period.  vladdy is happy, he's signing autographs, and it's a sunny day in dodger stadium. when i first saw the card, i thought it was great and that the only way it could be better was if guerrero were wearing dodger blue.

this card
that also shows vladdy in dodger stadium didn't qualify for the list as it is actually his brother's card, but it is worth an honorable mention.  and, had vladdy received a true final tribute from topps flagship, it probably would have been on the list, but i am still happy with the five cards i chose as my favorites.

by the way, here's the list of vladdy cards with the ones i own in strikethrough text. feel free to send me any ones that i still 'need' in trades!

what do you think? any other cards of the new hall of famer that should be on this list?

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

i am a big fan of my davey lopes post-dodger collection

i collect any card featuring davey lopes, regardless of the uniform, and the fun really started when he became a coach.
the second baseman of my youth came up as a 27-year old with the 1972 dodgers. he played with them through the 1981 season before suiting up as an athletic, then a cub, and finally an astro.  immediately following his playing career, lopes began coaching with the rangers (resulting in the 1993 keebler rangers card up top).

from there, lopes coached for the orioles and then the padres, in time to be featured on some great stadium giveaway cards like this 1998 mother's cookies padres coaches card
he then went on to manage the brewers, who are known to have regional giveaway sets of their own.  this one is a 2000 brewers police card
which is strange because it references the regional sports network instead of a police department.  thankfully, here's a 2001 brewers police card
that does mention the waukesha police department (and a lcs, perhaps?).

after he was fired by the brewers, lopes returned to coaching and had a second stint with the padres (captured on this 2003 keebler padres card
(that's a lot of coaches, by the way).  lopes also coached for the nationals, phillies, dodgers, and then the nationals again before retiring after the 2017 season.  i was really pleased to see him show up in the background of a 2018 stadium club card, but disappointed that he won't be around to make an appearance on a 2022 topps heritage manager/coaches card.

just for kicks, here is a 1987 astros police card
from lopes' playing days.  lopes spent 45 years at the big league level as a player, coach, and manager, so there are plenty of cards for me to collect.  here's the list in case you can help!

Monday, July 23, 2018

i saw him standing there

there are some really nice looking cards in this year's stadium club release, but i think this card might be my favorite
the photo comes from game 5 of the 2017 nlds between the cubs and nationals, and willson contreras is tagging out trea turner in the first inning to preserve what was then a 1-0 cubs lead.  it's a decent play-at-the-plate card, but what i really like is seeing nationals' first base coach davey lopes in the background! a great get for my lopes collection!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

the 2018 dodger 60th anniversary giveaways reach the 1990's

this is old news, but the most recent installment of the dodgers' 60th anniversary card giveaways celebrated the 1990's with the 1994 design and italian-american superstar slugger mike piazza 
receiving the hall-of-famer slot in the set.  piazza follows sandy koufax (50's and 60's), don sutton (70's), and tommy lasorda (80's) as the rotating player to accompany the usual suspects in these sets
piazza and his rookie-of-the-year cohorts get a mention on the header card, along with lasorda, chan ho park, and the o'malleys
the 90's were the first decade since the 1930's that the dodgers did not appear in a world series. i was dismayed at their lack of postseason success that decade - they won the division in 1995 and the wild card in 1996, but were swept in the nlds both years.  of course, they were in first place in the nl west when the strike occurred, so maybe 1994 was supposed to be their year.

the 2000's are next, with the giveaway in early august. the rumors are that the 2001 topps design is being used, and i am once again trying to guess who the hall-of-famer spot will go to.  i will assume that the 2010's set will feature clayton kershaw in that spot, so the 2000's has to be vin scully, right?  here's hopin'...

Thursday, July 19, 2018

this won't be the last

i am bearing down on my 1971 topps set.  i was about ten cards away from completion when i pulled the trigger on card #630
i wanted a psa version for the authenticity assurance, but mr. clemente will soon be freed from the slab.  i also didn't want the clemente to be the last card that i needed to complete the set, in part so that i wouldn't be tempted to overpay just to complete the set.  i waited and watched for quite some time, and found a card that was in a condition and price range that worked for me.  now, with this card out of the way, the rest of the needs should be more manageable.  here's the list of cards i still need, just in case anyone has dupes.

there was an article on uni-watch a year or so ago that claimed the 1971 topps roberto clemente card was 'the perfect baseball card' based on the author's criteria, and i agree that it is a great card no matter your method of assessment.

however, there is another pirates card that gives clemente a run for his money.  no, not his 1973 topps card, but rather this 1988 donruss baseball's best bob walk card.
we all know how great bob walk cards are, and the fact that the pirate pitcher (and namesake of the recently retired bob walk the plank blog) is standing in dodger stadium just sent the baseball card perfection meter to 11.

but seriously, i added this card to the post because i wanted to add my voice to the others wishing matt all the best away from the blogging about cards. i appreciate the time that he gave to this community and his generosity in trades that improved so many of our collections.  thanks matt!