Friday, October 30, 2020

it's jacket weather

there was a significant snowfall here in the twin cities on tuesday last week, and the temperature hadn't risen above 35 degrees or so until wednesday of this week when it hit 45 degrees. it's definitely time to break out the jacket.

over the past three years, panini has been cutting up and distributing pieces of a warmup jacket that supposedly belonged to steve garvey. the latest issue to include the jacket is from 2020 panini immaculate collection - a subset appropriately called "jackets". as a good player collector, i've been trying to acquire these cards in which panini has paired the jacket with sticker autos, and have been pretty successful.

i have the "base" version, numbered to 25
and the gold version, numbered to 10
i don't have the emerald version (numbered to 5) or the platinum version (numbered to 1), but i did pick up the cyan printing plate (also a one of one)
that includes what i figure to be a sleeve cuff.  here's the back:
i can't say i've seen garvey's name in the same sentence as hornsby or simmons before. decent company for sure.

in 2019, panini used the jacket in their national treasures release. the retro materials subset included a big ol' piece of jacket
on the most common version of garvey's card. they used a bat piece 
on the holo gold version and a piece of his glove
on the silver version, which for some reason is numbered to a lower number than the gold version.

the jacket shows up in the 2019 panini national treasures game gear insert set as well. this is the triple relic version
but it is also there on the dual version, too.
however, the single relic version only has a bat chip.
i didn't chase all the variants of these cards, but i did add a holo gold version of the single relic
which happens to be the always exciting ebay 1/1 as it is numbered as garvey's jersey number. i usually only buy these when the seller doesn't have a premium on the buy it now price.  that was certainly the case with this 2020 panini absolute iconic ink card
2020 panini absolute also included garvey in the tools of the trade insert set, and i added the spectrum purple version
and the spectrum red version
which again has pieces of the jacket represented.  note the nasty corner ding on that last one - the card fell out of the toploader it was in when i opened the package. super.

anyway, the extended forecast shows temperatures climbing in to the 50's this weekend. i'll still need a jacket.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

my favorite cards of the year - 1983 edition

i recently introduced my mini collection focusing on my favorite cards from each year that i've been a collector. the basic gist is that i wanted to create a space for the cards that i most appreciated having in my collection in the year that they were released. these were cards that i acquired in the year that they were issued, and that i considered to be my favorites at the time. i have disallowed (most) cards that are already in other mini collections in order to avoid having a mini collection consisting of more steve garvey, double plays, and dodger stadium cards.

in 1983, i was buying topps, fleer, and donruss, but was disappointed to find that, for the first time, neither donruss nor fleer had more than one steve garvey card. still, there were plenty of cards that i was happy to find and to add to my collection. 

favorite non-dodger card: topps dave bergman
what's this?! a giant card?! well, yes. 1983 topps was a favorite set of mine - perhaps my second favorite set to the 1978 topps set at the time that it was released. there are a number of cards that i was happy to have from the set - rookies of ryne sandberg, tony gwynn, wade boggs, and willie mcgee, plus the reggie smith card with sandberg lurking that features a photo taken not too far from where bergman is playing. most of those cards, however, are in other parts of my collection, so i've put bergman in this particular mini collection.

i wrote the other day about mel ott and his place in my hall of famer collection. in that post, i referenced the retired number placards that the giants had placed out in right field at candlestick park in the early 1980's. i saw them on tv and hoped that the dodgers would follow suit, but they did not.  anyway, when i saw the bergman in a pack, i immediately took a liking to it because of mel ott's placard, but also because of the action of bergman himself. it's a great photo that catches bergman as he backhanded a ball hit down the first base line, perhaps preventing extra bases. this sort of action on a baseball card was rare in my collection, and it was a breath of fresh air.

favorite dodger card: donruss steve yeager
when my little league season began in 1983, my coach asked me if i would play catcher. i had previously mostly played shortstop, but had caught in my younger little league years. i said sure, and so i became a backstop. i wasn't the best, but i still made the all-star team that year. the next year, i was in babe ruth and was moved to second base, but was also the emergency catcher.

i was already a fan of steve yeager, but his donruss card spoke to me that year as i played the position. it may not be cropped as i would like it, but it shows him in full gear behind the plate, and we get a great view of the throat protector that he helped design. before this card was released, the only cards i had of the catcher on the team of my youth in full gear was the 1980 dodgers police issue and his 1981 topps card. neither of those, however, showed him in the crouch.

that's it for 1983 - next up i think i'll revisit 1991. stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


not much more to say other than i am very happy with the results of the 2020 baseball postseason! 32 years is a long time for die-hard fans, but i recognize that the same fans of other teams have waited longer (or are still waiting) for a title.

i didn't start writing this post until this morning, given the fact that the rays were still alive and the dodgers had lost game 4 in disturbing fashion. i didn't really relax until julio urias struck out willy adames to end the series, and even then i had a jack buck moment - "is this really happening?". it was and it did and i am happy for the organization and my fellow fans.

to celebrate, here's a 2016 topps bunt titletown insert that i've been wanting to post for awhile now
it's the gold parallel, and it's numbered 06/50. that is steve garvey's number as well as the number of titles the dodgers had until last night. duke snider, sandy koufax, and the garv should make room on this card for orel hershiser and clayton kershaw or mookie betts or corey seager.

here's the back of the card
offering the same view of los angeles as on the front. the asterisk can be removed - the dodgers now have six world series titles in los angeles.

i mentioned the skyline on the above card because i have another card to show that missed that mark.  as you are aware, the los angeles lakers are also world champions just as they were in 1988 - the last time the dodgers won the title. until last night.  this is a printing plate from 2019 leaf in the game used sports
specifically, it's the "we built this city" (i am really sorry if that song is stuck in your head now) black printing plate of the kareem abdul-jabbar and steve garvey dual relic card
but the skyline is not that of los angeles.  kareem was also a member of the 1982 champion lakers, who won that title in june of 1982. at that time, garvey and the dodgers were still world champions of baseball. there is another card in this set that matches up magic johnson and fernando valenzuela, and now magic is part-owner of the dodgers and was in texas last night for the clincher.

it is strange that the title was won in texas by beating a team from florida, but that is what happened. the dodgers have still not been able to celebrate a world series win in dodger stadium since 1963. since then, the dodgers have celebrated in minnesota (1965), new york (1981), oakland (1988), and now texas, while the yankees (1978), astros (2017), and red sox (2018) have claimed the title in los angeles.  i recently added a card to my dodger stadium collection from 2018 topps now that features one of those celebrations.

the back of the card shows the red sox raising the trophy in dodger stadium with the retired numbers (and microphones) of dodger greats appearing in the background. at least, that's what the picture on topps' website showed
those numbers don't show up on cardboard too often, so i bought the card on ebay for cheap. when it arrived, the back was much darker and looked like this:

i am pretty sure that the photo shows all but pee wee reese, tommy lasorda, and duke snider, but it is tough to tell, even when referencing the photograph from getty images.  
i am thinking that i knew this back in 2018 when the card was issued and that is why i didn't buy it then. oh well.

here's another picture from getty images of the left field facade that hosts the numbers and microphones:
those numbers would be 1 (reese), 2 (lasorda), 4 (snider), 19 (jim gilliam), 20 (don sutton), 24 (walter alston), 32 (koufax), 39 (roy campanella), 42 (jackie robinson), 53 (don drysdale), plus two microphones for jaime jarrin and vin scully.

do you know what is mounted on the right field side of the stadium? the championship banners:
and now they'll have to make room for another!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

mel ott is in my hall of famer collection

i knew of ed ott before i knew of mel ott, but only one of them is in my hall of famer collection now.  here's mel ott's entry:
that is a 2011 topps tribute quad relic, numbered 15/99.  here's the back:
it wasn't too long before i began learning about mel. he was featured in the "the image of their greatness" book that i've mentioned before, and his 511 home runs put him in rarified air when i began learning about the history of the game. in fact, when ott retired in 1947, he was third all-time in home runs behind babe ruth and jimmie foxx.

at some point in the early 1980's i noticed the retired numbers at candlestick park on the right field fence. mel ott was there with john mcgraw and christy mathewson (whose panels just had a "ny" logo) plus juan marichal and others. i really wanted the dodgers to do something similar (including a "b" logo for zach wheat), but they never did. in fact, i don't think they did anything with retired numbers until the late 1990's and the temporary wall murals. eventually, they added the retired numbers under the left and right field pavilions, and now they are found along the fa├žade above the loge section behind the left field foul pole.

anyway, this is supposed to be about mel ott. around the time that i was reading about him in the "the image of their greatness", i received his 1960 fleer card. it, along with those of tris speaker and cy young, became the oldest cards in my collection, and they were of all-time greats! i've since sold the speaker and ott cards in a small purge a few years ago when i was trying to streamline my collection. still, i learned from the back of that card that, as of 1960, ott held the national league mark for not only home runs, but rbi, runs scored, and walks, too. so what if he was a giant?  and, while i no longer have that fleer card, i am happy to have ott back in my collection with this card.

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

mel ott - 2011 topps tribute quad relic 15/99

dizzy dean - 2001 topps tribute relic

hank greenberg - 2004 topps tribute hall of fame 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

lou brock - 2018 topps archives signature series 1989 buyback 53/61

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

willie stargell - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures 

johnny bench - 2019 topps definitive collection legendary autograph 09/25

red schoendienst - 2012 panini cooperstown signatures 038/549

jim palmer - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

rod carew - 2004 topps retired signature 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

robin yount - 2001 upper deck ultimate collection ultimate signatures 112/150

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

wade boggs - 2005 upper deck baseball heroes autograph red parallel 30/49

ryne sandberg - 2016 topps five star autographs gold parallel 17/50

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

tony gwynn - 1997 donruss signature series millennium marks autograph 0702/1000

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

goose gossage - 2003 topps finest finest moments autograph

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

ron santo - 2004 topps retired signature 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

mike piazza - 2014 topps five star autograph 35/50

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.