Wednesday, November 28, 2018

they are iron men

steve garvey is featured on only one card in the 2018 panini national treasures release, and i added it to my garvey collection last month.
however, he was not alone on the card, as it is a "triple-legend trios" booklet card!
here's a list of the folks featured
the common link among them is, of course, their respective consecutive games played streaks.

cal ripken jr. is the all-time leader with 2,632 consecutive games.  here's his part of the card:
good to see some oriole orange!

the guy who made the streak famous was lou gehrig, the iron horse. he played in 2,130 straight, much to the chagrin of wally pipp.  here's his part of the card:
glad to see pinstripes!

garvey played in 1,207 consecutive games, and is the national league's all-time leader.  somewhat screwed out of this card is everett scott who appeared in 1,307 consecutive games from 1916-1925 (his streak ended a month or so before gehrig's began).  unfortunately for scott, he did it all while in the american league and so he is typically never a part of iron man discussions.

here's the whole booklet all laid out - front and back:

this card reminded me that i really dug into gehrig's career and life back in the early 1980's as garvey's streak became more of a thing. i read all that i could find about him, and learned of the 1961 topps baseball thrills card hailing his streak.
i guess the card doesn't actually hail his streak. it's more about him benching himself.
it took me a long time to finally own that card, and even longer to show it on one of my blogs. ripken's streak was ended in a similar fashion to gehrig's, while garvey's came to an end by injury.

back to the present day, i was very happy to see that panini didn't make this just a two-man card, and gave the national league leader in consecutive games played some attention.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

it takes a community (and more) to build a collection

i've enjoyed the generosity of several bloggers in the past few months.  all have helped build my collection in their own way, and the trades are appreciated!

jon from community gum posted a series of trade bait posts, and i found a few cards for my collection, like this 2013 topps gypsy queen ozzie smith card
that will find a home in my dodger stadium collection.

jon supplemented this and my other trade bait requests with a bevy of other cards - all dodgers now - including this 2017 bowman chrome national convention sandy koufax card 
it's shiny and prismy and refractory!

david from tribe cards hosted an allen & ginter case break, and i took the dodgers.  the break netted me quite a few cards in addition to a couple of team sets.  here's postseason ace walker buehler's card

i hope to see many more big game starts for buehler in the years to come!

julie from a cracked bat completed a trade with me.  she sent lots of good dodger cardboard, including a team set of 1996 pacific crown collection estrellas latinas
that raul mondesi is half of the team set.  ismael valdes (not shown) is the other dodger in the set.

jeff from 2x3 heroes sent a pwe that included a former nefarious 9 need

that tommy lasorda card from 2018 topps archives is great! it's strange to see a full sized manager card in the 1977 design, but in a good way. shameless plug - check out my top 9 needs/wants on the sidebar - you will be rewarded for sending any of them to me!

bru from remember the astrodome spoke up and took a ken giles card off my hands! he even sent cards in return! one of them was this 2018 panini chronicles cody bellinger select card
2018 chronicles looks like a better product than the 2017 version, and i'm happy to have this card in the collection!

andy from stadium fantasium contacted me with an offer to pick up the last two dodger 60th anniversary stadium giveaway sets! that was a great email to receive.  unfortunately, due to some work conflicts, he was only able to get the 2000's set (which featured clayton kershaw in the "hof/legends" card slot)
but he also sent a couple of earlier sets which is very much appreciated.  i had speculated that vin scully would be the one to get a card in the last set - the 2010's - but it turned out to be yasiel puig.  i like puig (puig my friend) but that was kind of a let down.

night owl sent a bunch of needs (thanks for checking my want lists!) including this 2009 topps allen & ginter hiroki kuroda national pride insert
i completed that particular insert set, but never picked up a kuroda for the team set.

fuji from chronicles of fuji sent me a don sutton card that was missing from my post-dodger sutton pc
it is odd that i would be missing a card for a pc that from a set that i enjoy so much, but c'est la vie.

speaking of sets that i enjoy, gavin at baseball card breakdown sent along a card for my 1957 topps set build
61-year old cardboard right there.

thanks to one and all for the trades!

Monday, November 19, 2018

meoli envy

i spent a lot of time studying the backs of baseball cards in 1978. one of those card backs belonged to rudy meoli's card
 what struck me back then (and still does today) is that meoli hadn't appeared in the majors since 1975, but was given a card in the 1978 set.  this confounded me as a youth, and made me a wee bit annoyed with topps that such players as ron washington, joe simpson, boog powell, dennis lewallyn - guys who had all suited up in 1977 - were left out of the set.  heck, even rick sutcliffe had appeared in a game more recently than meoli (he pitched in one game in 1976), and he had to wait until 1980 to get into a topps set.  i was jealous that cubs fans had a card of this guy and that i did not have a another dodger card instead.

i am guessing that topps was trying to even out cards distributed by team, and needed another cub.  meoli had just been acquired by the northsiders from the reds in september of 1977, so he may have been fresh in the news when the checklist was being compiled.  however, the cubs had more single player cards than the dodgers in the set, so i really don't know why meoli made the cut and others didn't. 

the end result, for whatever reason, is that meoli is in the set, and, thanks to his generosity in signing cards through the mail, i have one more card signed for my partial autographed set.
meoli played in 47 games for the cubs in 1978, and in 30 games for the phillies in 1979, but never appeared in a topps set after 1978. go figure.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

mauer pauers down

a friend and i thought about heading out to target field on september 30 just in case it turned out to be joe mauer's final game.  we didn't, and it did, but i'm ok with that.  i had the joy of watching mauer play for fifteen years (most of that time was joyful, anyway), and i couldn't help but buy one of the topps now cards that was released on october 1.
i will always remember being at the metrodome for the dodgers series in 2006. i attended all three games, watching the twins sweep the dodgers behind a 11 for 13, two-double, triple, 6 rbi performance by mauer. it was something i hadn't seen in person since watching tony gwynn carve up the dodgers in a late 90's series. i've stood in autograph lines for mauer, watched him interact with fans (including my son) at spring training, and caught up with him at a glen perkins charity run a couple of years ago. i readily believe all of the 'good guy' stories.

topps best not screw this up and leave him out of 2019 flagship - this will be one of the final tributes i want most in my collection.

Monday, November 12, 2018

more 2018 memorials, in case you were wondering

one of the reasons, the main one in fact, that i have a mini-collection of armbands and memorial patches stems from my curiosity regarding the examples i saw in the 1978 topps set.  the rangers, cubs, and brewers each wore black armbands (the rangers added a black number 4) during the 1977 season, and so there were many cards in the '78 set that displayed the memorials.  i didn't know why these elements were added to their uniforms, and my dad suggested that they were recognizing the passing of someone.  

then, when jim gilliam died late in the 1978 season and the dodgers wore a patch in his honor, i was hoping that a 1979 topps card might show the memorial.  of course, topps did not issue postseason cards in 1979, and so i was out of luck as far as the gilliam patch was concerned until the 2000's when a few images made it on to cardboard.  i did, however, look for cards showing other memorials, and my curiosity remains. i regularly take notice of these things when watching a game or flipping through cards.  now, thanks to the internet, it is a lot easier to determine why teams are wearing certain patches, for which i am grateful.

during the 2018 season, there were a few teams that wore memorial patches.  i've already shown the cubs and marlins with their opening day patch honoring the victims of the school shooting at marjory stoneman douglas, as well as the umpire memorials, but i'll document the others here, hopefully with examples of the memorials on cardboard. 

the padres honored both kevin towers and rob picciolo with a patch on their right sleeves during their game on may 12.  i watched this game and was pleased when eric hosmer ended the game with a walk-off hit because i knew that topps would produce a 'now' card the next day.  i was in luck when they chose an image that showed the patch clearly
so i bought the card for my collection.  i've since replaced it in this collection with a 2019 topps chrome julio urias freshman flash card.
towers was their general manager, and picciolo was a long-time coach with the organization.

the diamondbacks also wore a patch in kevin towers' honor during their game on august 2.  so far, i only have photographic evidence
but we will see what 2019 brings.

the brewers wore a patch during a single home series in june for former player, coach, and broadcaster dave nelson. there's a topps now card that shows the patch a bit (it's on the right sleeve - mostly visible on number 14's jersey)
but i didn't bother to buy a copy of the card.  maybe 2019 will bring a card or two that shows it.

the blue jays have worn a '32' patch on their jerseys all year in honor of roy halladay.
josh donaldson's 2018 topps chrome prism refractor shows the patch on the left sleeve, while j.a. happ's 2018 topps update card shows the patch on his left chest

as it got the bump from the sleeve at the all-star game due to the all-star patch players wore.

the mets wore a patch with rusty staub's facsimile signature (the 'rusty' part, anyway) following his passing at the end of march. you can see the patch on todd frazier's sleeve on this 2018 topps big league card
the patch moved to the chest for the little league classic game (there's another topps now card that i did not bother with) and the all-star game, as seen on jacob degrom's 2018 topps update card
finally, the cardinals added a patch for red schoendienst following his death in june.  they added a patch for red - a former player, manager, coach, and executive - that was very similar to the patch they wore for stan musial.  the 2019 topps jose martinez card shows the 'away' version of the patch
and i have the 2019 topps big league yadier molina card showing the 'home' version
sadly, it looks like there will be a willie mccovey patch on the giants' unis next season, so i'll be on the lookout for a card to represent 'stretch' in my collection as well.  i saw mccovey and the giants play the dodgers a couple of times during mccovey's final seasons.  we always got there early for batting practice, and i can still remember how hard he hit the ball.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

an adrian beltre trifecta. no, make that a quadfecta.

we are 5 months away from adrian beltre's 40th birthday. i do not know if he will return for another season in 2019, but i do know that i consider his leaving the dodgers via free agency to have been a big mistake.  a mistake on the part of the dodgers, i mean.  he was coming off of a career year in 2004, and the dodgers were in a situation of potentially overpaying for that one phenomenal year, so i get it.  however, until justin turner came along, there seemed to have been a revolving door at third base, and with beltre's 2217 hits and 330 home runs as a non-dodger, the knife has been twisted quite a bit.

i used one of those various ebay coupons that popped up over the summer to finally land a 1997 bowman beltre card for a decent price.
the addition of this card means that i can show off a couple more cards to qualify for the trifecta.

this is a 2004 upper deck relic card of the dominican republic native
and this is a 1999 topps gallery autograph

then i recalled that i had a beltre patch card in my collection!

this is a 2001 leaf certified materials fabric of the game jersey number relic

2001 leaf certified materials fotg is my all-time favorite relic set, and the die-cut jersey numbers parallels are awesome.  i also have a steve garvey and a don drysdale card from this subset.

if beltre does return in 2019, he stands a chance to pass a few more folks on the all-time hit leaderboard, perhaps even passing willie mays for 12th all-time, and he can also make a run at the top ten in total bases as well.  it's too bad that he won't be going in to the hall of fame as a dodger.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

2018 topps update-ing my mini collections

i bought some update and found some cards for many of my mini collections.  perhaps my favorite is this andrew mccutchen card

which features a photo taken in dodger stadium.  i like it mostly because cutch's right hand is obscuring the face of tommy lasorda.

here's another lurker-ish card.

that's dodger first base coach george lombard lurking behind jose abreu.  we may be seeing lombard again in 2019 update as i am guessing dave roberts will take his coaching staff with him to the 2019 midsummer classic.

finally, a trio of double play turns
all less violent than turns from years past.