Thursday, July 30, 2020

hold on, matt kemp!

one of the recurring themes in many of my recent (and future) posts is a review of my collection and an attempt to completely separate keepers from trade/sell material by formalizing some previously scattered mini collections, and even creating new ones.

back on my first blog, one of the themes that i wrote about often was evolution. after collecting baseball cards for even just a couple of years, i recognized that they were a way to track my fandom of the sport. then, as i learned more about the history of the game, they became a way to connect me to great players and moments from seasons past.  one of the evolutions that i touched on was that of my favorite non-dodger.

it began with don baylor, switched to pete rose and then steve garvey, followed by paul molitor, shawn green, nomar garciaparra, vladimir guerrero, and at the time of that post, ended with joe mauer. when mauer retired following the 2018 season, i needed someone to take his place. there were a few players that i already followed, but there was one that stood out.  matt kemp.

kemp had been traded to the reds in the yasiel puig deal in december of 2018. he had been my favorite dodger during his first run in los angeles (more on that in a different post), and i was really happy when he returned (and excelled!) to the team in 2018. so, i chose kemp as my newest favorite non-dodger, and he is represented in this mini collection by his 2019 topps big league gold parallel card.
photoshopped, but still, a non-dodger.

i even got to see kemp play as a red in person last season. i attended a game in cincinnati on april 9, 2019 wherein he went 2 for 5 with a home run (and another long fly) and 3 rbi. i was sitting in the front row down the line near first base, and had a great view to the action - it was a great night for baseball and for kemp.  unfortunately, that night was the highlight of kemp's 2019 season. he only played in a few more games before he was released by the club. he later signed with the mets and played a few games for their triple-a team before they also released him.

this year, he was in spring training with the marlins, and later caught on with the rockies, and so he remains my favorite non-dodger. i hope he succeeds, and i really hope he hangs on long enough to get a card made of him as a rockie so that i can add it to my favorite non-dodger mini collection.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

nap lajoie is in my hall of famer collection

i knew of nap lajoie for about 25 years before i knew how to pronounce his last name. he's in my hall of famer collection with this card as his entry:
it's a 2002 topps tribute milestone materials relic. here's the back:
in my head i pronounced his last name "la joy". then, when ken burns' "baseball" hit the airwaves, there was a song featured that audiblized his name "lah-zhu-way". i didn't take french in high school.

as the card states, lajoie did, in fact, get his 3,000th hit in 1914, his last season with the indians.  he ended that season with 3,001 hits to be exact. or, at least that's what his stats on baseball reference say today. who knows how many hits he had at the end of that season back in the day. i am guessing that's why the card is not more specific as to the date of lajoie's historic hit. in fact, there is a discrepancy between baseball reference (3,243) and (3,252) as to just how many hits he has. still, he has more than 3,000, and sits between albert pujols and eddie murray in 14th place all-time.

in 1936, lajoie fell 24 votes short of being a member of the first hall of fame class. he garnered more votes than cy young, tris speaker, lou gehrig, and a host of other all-time greats.  he was elected on the second ballot, and so was in attendance when the hall opened its doors in 1939, and is featured in the famous photograph taken that day.  that is what sealed his spot in my collection.

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

honus wagner - 2001 topps tribute relic

nap lajoie - 2002 topps tribute milestone materials relic

tris speaker - 2011 topps tribute dual relic green parallel 53/75

eddie collins - 2002 topps tribute milestone materials relic

george sisler - 2004 topps tribute hall of fame tribute relic

dizzy dean - 2001 topps tribute relic

bob feller - 2001 topps archives certified autograph

jackie robinson - 2004 topps clubhouse collection clubhouse relic

ted williams - 1992 upper deck baseball heroes autograph 1067/2000

stan musial - 2002 topps team topps legends autograph

yogi berra - 1998 donruss signatures significant signatures 1640/2000

sandy koufax - 1998 donruss signatures significant signatures 1707/2000

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 certified autograph

al kaline - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

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

bob gibson - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

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

frank robinson - 1995 upper deck autograph

don drysdale - 1993 nabisco all-star autographs

harmon killebrew - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures

pee wee reese - 2001 topps tribute relic

jim hunter - 1998 donruss signature series significant signatures 0736/2000

willie stargell - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures 

jim palmer - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

fergie jenkins - 2013 topps five star baseball autograph 154/333

gaylord perry - 2003 topps finest finest moments autograph

rollie fingers - 2018 topps archives signature series 1978 topps buyback 1/3

hal newhouser - 1993 front row premium all-time greats autograph

reggie jackson - 2018 topps tier one tier one talent autograph 19/60

steve carlton - 2018 topps five star career year autograph 43/45

mike schmidt - 2002 topps archives autoproof 1980 topps buyback 048/147

phil niekro - 2017 panini donruss recollection collection 1983 donruss buyback autograph 13/33

don sutton - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

carlton fisk - 1999 upper deck century legends epic signatures

tony perez - 2004 fleer national pastime 2002 fleer greats authentic autograph buyback 30/59

dave winfield - 2003 upper deck sp authentic chirography hall of famers 121/350

ozzie smith - 2019 topps finest finest origins autograph

gary carter - 1999 fleer sports illustrated greats of the game autograph collection

eddie murray - 2004 upper deck sp legendary cuts legendary sigs 45/50 

dennis eckersley - 2017 topps archives signature series 1984 topps buyback 47/99

paul molitor - 2016 topps museum collection archival autographs 021/125

bruce sutter - 2003 topps all-time fan favorites certified autograph

cal ripken jr - 2018 topps high tek portraitek autograph 32/75

jim rice - 2005 upper deck past time pennants past time signatures

andre dawson - 2000 fleer greats of the game autograph

bert blyleven - 2004 upper deck legends timeless teams autograph

greg maddux - 2018 topps luminaries masters of the mound autograph 13/15

pedro martinez - 2018 topps high tek portraitek autograph 09/60

ken griffey jr - 2003 upper deck game face autograph

tim raines - 2018 topps tribute tribute autograph green parallel 26/95

alan trammell - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

roy halladay - 2017 topps archives signature series 2004 topps buyback 15/23

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

barry bonds* - 2001 bowman heritage autographs

roger clemens* - 1995 upper deck autograph
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.