Tuesday, September 24, 2019

mike schmidt is in my hall of famer collection

michael jack schmidt. as kids back in the neighborhood, we enjoyed saying his full name. schmidt is one of the first baseball players i was ever aware of, as i found his 1977 topps card in the first pack of cards that i ever opened. that same year, my dad bought me and my brother our first baseball gloves - rawlings mike schmidt models.  i was therefore a bit of a mike schmidt fan.

don't get me wrong; ron cey was always the guy that i thought should be the starting third baseman in the all-star game, but i recognized that he had stiff competition from pete rose (who got the nod in 1978) and schmidt (who took the honors in 1979, as rose moved to first base).  it's schmidt's 1980 topps card, complete with the all-star banner, that is a piece of my hall of famer collection. to clarify, it's a 2002 topps archives autoproofs 1980 topps buyback 

here's the back:

the cartoon caption is partially obscured, but it says "mike hit double and triple in the 1979 all-star game at seattle".  that would mean that the pitcher with the flop sweat in the cartoon is either nolan ryan (he allowed the triple) or bob stanley (he allowed the double). i suppose it could also be mike clear, who faced schmidt after he was half-way to the cycle in the game.  side note - schmidt's first inning triple scored steve garvey with the first run of the game.

following his retirement, schmidt was a no-brainer first ballot hall of famer, and a member of the all-century team. speaking of his retirement, i was just finishing up my first year of college when i heard the news that schmidt had decided to end his career. even though other players that i followed (such as the entire garvey/cey/russell/lopes infield) had retired previously, schmidt's retirement made me feel old-ish.  from my first pack of cards to my first glove to the three nlcs series against the dodgers, i had come to root for michael jack schmidt.

i am very happy to have his 1980 topps card in my hall of famer collection, as it shows schmidt pretty much as i remember him.

here's my hall of famer collection as its been documented so far:

babe ruth - 2003 topps tribute world series edition world series tribute relic 351/425

bob feller - 2001 topps archives

jackie robinson - 2004 topps clubhouse collection clubhouse relics

roberto clemente - 2005 donruss greats hall of fame souvenirs relic

warren spahn - 1999 upper deck century legends epic signatures

mickey mantle - 2000 upper deck legends legendary game jerseys relic

willie mays - 1997 topps willie mays reprints autograph

duke snider - 2003 upper deck sp authentic chirography hall of famers 144/250

hank aaron - 2004 topps originals 1979 topps all-time record holders rbi 03/32

harmon killebrew - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures

mike schmidt - 2002 topps archives autoproof 1980 topps buyback

bruce sutter - 2003 topps all-time fan favorites

jim rice - 2005 upper deck past time pennants

pete rose* - 2018 panini flawless legendary signatures 15/25


barry bonds* - 2001 bowman heritage autographs
you can find the full list of hall of famers (and some not - yet) that i aim to include in this collection at my want list site.

*not currently a member of the hall of fame 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

barry bonds* is in my hall of famer collection

i first saw barry bonds play when i was in high school. my baseball coach took a bunch of us to watch a college game that featured the arizona state sun devils and the son of bobby bonds.  i knew about bobby, thanks to my card collecting, and had even obtained an in-person autograph from him at a hot stove dinner one year.  i did not know anything about barry at that time, although he was dominating at that level. my coach pointed him out to us as he was running in from the outfield. i don't recall what he did at the plate, unfortunately, but i do recall that the leadoff hitter for the ucsb gauchos struck out five times that game.

a year or so later, i recall watching a dodger broadcast where the pregame show focused on what was about to become the major league debut of barry bonds. if i recall correctly, bobby was late getting to the stadium, but joined the broadcast crew in the booth at some point early in the game.  barry went 0 for 5 that night, but picked up his first big league hit against the dodgers the next day.  he hit his first big league home run a few days later, and he was on his way to becoming one of the all-time greats.

even though he is not in the national baseball hall of fame, i have added him to my hall of famer collection, and his entry is this 2001 bowman heritage autographs card:
here's the back:
i next saw bonds play in person in 2003. it was at pacbell park, or at&t or whatever it was at that time, and he was firmly entrenched as a polarizing figure in the game. dodger rookie edwin jackson was pitching, and he hit bonds with a pitch his first time up, then walked him intentionally the next time.  third time, he struck bonds out with the tying run on second to preserve a 1-0 lead. in bonds' last at bat of the game, dodger reliever tom martin struck him out for good measure. the dodgers later went on to build a 5-0 lead that they would hold, and if i am being honest with myself, i would have liked to have seen bonds crank one in a losing effort.  but, at the time, it was a close game and i was happy to see the dodger pitchers not give up the lead.

bonds went on to break both home run records - mark mcgwire's season record and hank aaron's career mark - but the asterisk due to 'the cream' and 'the clear' looms large over his legacy.  i don't feel cheated by bonds; he and his career were a part of my fandom, and i don't have to judge. i am just happy to have this card as part of my collection. for the record, this is the first graded card to be entered in to the collection, and i am going to keep it slabbed.

here's my hall of famer collection as its been documented so far:

babe ruth - 2003 topps tribute world series edition world series tribute relic 351/425

bob feller - 2001 topps archives

jackie robinson - 2004 topps clubhouse collection clubhouse relics

roberto clemente - 2005 donruss greats hall of fame souvenirs relic

warren spahn - 1999 upper deck century legends epic signatures

mickey mantle - 2000 upper deck legends legendary game jerseys relic

willie mays - 1997 topps willie mays reprints autograph

duke snider - 2003 upper deck sp authentic chirography hall of famers 144/250

hank aaron - 2004 topps originals 1979 topps all-time record holders rbi 03/32

harmon killebrew - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures

bruce sutter - 2003 topps all-time fan favorites

jim rice - 2005 upper deck past time pennants

pete rose* - 2018 panini flawless legendary signatures 15/25


barry bonds* - 2001 bowman heritage autographs
you can find the full list of hall of famers (and some not - yet) that i aim to include in this collection at my want list site.

*not currently a member of the hall of fame 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

it got dusty in here, and then some

i recently received a couple of plain white envelopes from fellow collectors, which was a nice surprise. as many have noted, trading as of late is not what it had been in headier days, and i am as much to blame as anyone else. i do have some stacks of cards building for a few folks that i hope to send out in the near future.  at any rate, i have already returned a few cards to mr. haverkamp who sent me a 1995 mother's cookies giants dusty baker card
as well as a 2006 topps allen & ginter baker black-bordered mini
for my collection of the left fielder of the team of my youth.

mr. haverkamp reports that the mini came from the national, which made me appreciative that my collection was being thought of as cards were being pulled from dealers' wares, but also made me wonder if there was cubbies markup on the card given the convention was in illinois.  

there was probably no markup on dodger cards out in the pacific northwest, as the team has long since left affiliations in ogden and spokane.  still, kerry from cards on cards was able to find a few cards that i was happily able to delete from my want lists.

here are a couple from 2004 donruss classics - hong-chih kuo and shawn green
and two from 2004 donruss team heroes - paul loduca and another shawn green 

loduca was definitely a hero to manager jim tracy, but i was not a big fan.  green has been in the dodger conversation lately given that cody bellinger has a chance to eclipse his franchise record of 49 home runs this year.

stepping back a year, kerry also sent this 2003 fleer platinum eric gagne card
that was also a need.  gagne may have been considered by fleer as an unsung hero heading in to 2003, but he won the cy young award that year and so received the highest of sung praises a pitcher could receive.

one more card from kerry, and it was a need even though i don't have a want list for 2019 cards.  it's a 2019 panini diamond kings alex verdugo squires insert
verdugo was playing well this season until he got sidelined by injury. his status kind of reminds me of  when matt kemp was trying to break in to the lineup while the dodger brain trust was signing guys like kenny lofton and luis gonzalez to block his path.  the dodgers signed a.j. pollock prior to the season despite already having joc pederson, cody bellinger, chris taylor, kik√© hernandez, and verdugo who all play in the outfield. maybe they should have picked up an actual second baseman instead, so that max muncy could be a full-time first baseman?

regardless, i am thankful for the cards!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

jim rice is in my hall of famer collection

i first saw jim rice on the 1978 topps home run league leader card, and then followed his exploits in the box scores during the 1978 season. he wound up as the american league mvp that year, missing out on the triple crown by 13 hits.  the craziest part of his season, i thought, was that he led the league not only in home runs, but also in triples! after that monster season, he kind of moved in to the background as far as i was concerned; believe it or not, there was a time when boston sports teams did not monopolize the national media. i was a more closely following the angels in 1979 as they headed towards their first postseason berth, and so lost track of rice a bit.  his name popped up on the home run leader board again in 1983, but i never did add him to the list of players that i collected. still, he was a big part of the first full season of my baseball fandom.

it wasn't a huge surprise that he found his way to cooperstown in 2009, getting the call to the hall in his 15th and final year of bbwaa availability with just over the requisite 75% of the vote. here's the jim rice card that is in my hall of famer collection - it's from 2005 upper deck past time pennants:

and here's the back:
i did see rice play in person once. it wasn't until 1989, his final season in the big leagues. some buddies and i went to the big a in anaheim to catch a game featuring roger clemens and an angel rookie named jim abbott. the angels got to clemens early, and abbott wound up pitching his first career shutout that night. along the way, i saw jim rice hit in to two double plays and go 0 for 3.  it's not that i'm down on jim rice, i just figured that he would get the same lack of hall of fame support as his contemporaries such as dave parker and dale murphy.  maybe someday i'll be able to add those two guys to my hall of famer collection, too.

here's my hall of famer collection as its been documented so far:

babe ruth - 2003 topps tribute world series edition world series tribute relic 351/425

bob feller - 2001 topps archives

jackie robinson - 2004 topps clubhouse collection clubhouse relics

roberto clemente - 2005 donruss greats hall of fame souvenirs relic

warren spahn - 1999 upper deck century legends epic signatures

mickey mantle - 2000 upper deck legends legendary game jerseys relic

willie mays - 1997 topps willie mays reprints autograph

duke snider - 2003 upper deck sp authentic chirography hall of famers 144/250

hank aaron - 2004 topps originals 1979 topps all-time record holders rbi 03/32

harmon killebrew - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures

bruce sutter - 2003 topps all-time fan favorites

jim rice - 2005 upper deck past time pennants

pete rose* - 2018 panini flawless legendary signatures 15/25
you can find the full list of hall of famers (and some not - yet) that i aim to include in this collection at my want list site.

*not currently a member of the hall of fame