Sunday, October 31, 2021

another tristar terror

i just can't quit these tristar signa cut abominations.  this one features a headless, last name-less steve garvey on his 1984 topps card
this is not the worst garvey card from this set that i've seen, but it might be the worst one that i own. that's saying something!

happy halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2021

a common thread of collector generosity

earlier this fall, i received three different mailings from three different collectors. a common theme? dodger stadium.

first, i received an email from andy at stadium fantasium who previously sent me most of the dodger giveaway sets from 2018. this time, he let me know he was sending these cards:
those are four of the five dodger 2021 topps national baseball card day cards produced by topps, but represent the full set that was distributed at a dodger game in august (trevor bauer's card was held back by the club). they are rainbow foil-ish and i am happy to have them.

next, i received a package from brian of highly subjective, completely arbitrary. in it, there were a couple of cards - a 2021 topps mookie betts 1965 chrome insert
and a 1991 juan samuel
card. oh my!

but the main contents were a dodger stadium guide
and their 2021 yearbook!
world champions yo!

as usual, there was lots of great stuff in the yearbook. some of the larger articles centered on the 40th anniversary of fernandomania
and the passing of tommy lasorda
nice to see lasorda with steve garvey and ron cey there. i would also like to see the tommy lasorda photo at the bottom right of that page make it on to a card at some point please and thanks.

lasorda also led off the "in memoriam" segment of the yearbook, with don sutton and vin scully's wife following
this section also included tributes to stan williams, ben hines, ron perranoski, norm sherry, jimmy wynn, dick allen, guy wellman, sweet lou johnson, jay johnstone, and three staff members who passed.

another item i will show is the gallery photo of the dodgers' alumni group that makes appearances on behalf of the team. let's remember some guys:
i think al ferrara might have been one of the inaugural members of this group, along with joe moeller, but i can't be certain. great to see so many players from the team of my youth, but this page is proof that time waits for no man.

finally, reader and fellow garvey collector alex reached out a while back noting he was filling out a comc order with one of my top non-dodger wants, a 1992 classic update white travel edition royce clayton card. well, the card finally arrived, and alex passed it on to me
obviously, i wanted this card because of the dodger stadium background - not because of the giants player.

i am very thankful to each of these collectors for thinking of me and sending these items, all tied to dodger stadium - blue heaven on earth!

Friday, October 29, 2021

been to buschhhhh

in 1999, a couple of friends and i got in my car and drove to st. louis. there is no good way to drive to st. louis from the twin cities, although i understand that it is a bit better now. anyway, we drove through iowa to get to missouri but crossed over into illinois and drove through wisconsin to get back.

the point of our trip was to see a couple of games at busch stadium between the cardinals and the dodgers. sure, we made time to go up inside the arch and take in the westward expansion museum or whatever it is on site, but most of our weekend was focused on baseball. and driving.

the dodgers won the first game of the series behind kevin brown, but lost the two games we attended - the saturday and sunday games of the series.

nothing really notable happened in those games (mark mcgwire failed to hit a home run) other than a walk-off ray lankford home run (his second dinger of the game) in the sunday game.  one of the things that i remember most was how much beer was being consumed around me. cardinal fans can drink. the other is that i thought the cardinals had done a nice job transforming the stadium from a multi-purpose venue to a baseball-only facility.

i have this 1994 score cardinals checklist card
to represent my trip in my "stadiums in which i've seen a game" mini-collection.  here are my ticket stubs:
and here's a photo of the first pitch from the sunday game:
eric young is up to bat, facing juan acevedo. you can see that the astroturf in place on the score card up top had been replaced by grass which was a huge improvement aesthetically.

busch was the second stadium that i had been to (jack murphy was the first) where the visiting team used the third base dugout which went against everything i had been taught starting from little league. the cardinals had lots of history on display here, with the nl pennants on top of the aforementioned dugout, the world championship banners in left field, and their retired numbers in right. jackie robinson's number is represented by the flag furthest to the right.

i haven't made it back to st. louis since 1999, but i would like to check out their new stadium someday.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

he's a hit in 2021

this 2021 topps allen & ginter insert card of steve garvey
is the closest thing to a regular pack inserted base card that topps has given the garv this year. all of his other cards produced by topps for distribution in packs have been autographed and/or relic cards, and even this card is an insert. it comes from the "historical hits" insert set, and highlights his walk-off home run in game 4 of the 1984 nlcs. here's the back:
at least there aren't any parallels to chase. garvey's big hit came just over 37 years ago. that makes me feel old.

leaf also commemorated garvey's blast in their 2021 lumber set by including a garvey bat piece and jersey image on this mt. crushmore card:
all four of these gentlemen hit game ending, walk-off home runs in the postseason, but garvey's is the only one to come in the championship series and not the world series.

here's a different, more rare 2021 topps garvey card that has nothing to do with his postseason heroics, but i added to my collection all the same some time in the last few months
that's from 2021 topps heritage, and it's a relic-auto combo numbered to 25. there's a 1/1 of this card out there that features a patch rather than a bat chip, but there is not a more common version of this card than the one shown numbered to 25, which is too bad. i have the base "real one" auto from this year's heritage, but not the rarer red ink version which is numbered to 72 but seems harder to find at a reasonable price than this card was.

garvey was also included in topps' diamond icons release this year
which was nice, i guess. the version i have (numbered to 25) is his "base" version. the design of these cards is not good, as the signature area inserted in to the card is really small for guys who actually sign their name, like garvey. here's the back:
based on the checklist, all of garvey's autographed cards are silver ink - it's just the serial numbering that varies.

i've got some more 2021 garvey cards to share in future posts. stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

more adventures in team collecting

i've had my share of card purchases gone awry as far as picking up a card i didn't need thanks to faulty memory or an updated want list. these purchases frustrate me a bit, but it's my own fault so i don't get too worked up about it. as a team collector, there are other things to be frustrated about, especially with so many card sets and the reliance on online checklists. wrigley wax noted recently that he was duped by an online checklist into purchasing a couple of non-cub cards, and i've had the same experience with a few cards of players like rick monday and gary sheffield.

conversely, sometimes i will find cards not on the dodger checklist that belong in the dodger collection. many of these are o-pee-chee-esque cards as i call them - dodgers in all but team name only. case in point, this 2004 playoff prestige kevin brown card
it is assigned to the yankees as far as the official checklist goes which makes sense. i looked it up because the cards in this set are numbered sequentially by team and there was a gap in the dodger numbering. i like to have these cards in the dodger collection, too. this is just my preference and i don't blame the checklist makers.

similarly, i recently added this greg gagne card to finish off my 1996 fleer team set
gagne is shown as a royal, but identified as a dodger on the card, so the fleer checklist lists him as such. this was an easy card to target as a result.

and then there are the cards that are on the team checklist that arrive from sportlots sight unseen and leave me wondering why they are on my dodger checklist.  like this 2006 bowman heritage greg maddux card:
it looks like a cubs card, but it turns out that it's only because it is replicating a design from 1949. turn the card over, and you will see that it is, in fact, a dodger card
however, i do get frustrated with all of the parallels issued these days. i found this 2018 topps cody bellinger highlights card
in my dupes box. turns out it's a blue parallel and not a duplicate at all. check another one off the team checklist.

these days, even though i will never give up on the dodger collecting, i am more focused on my steve garvey collection which has challenges of its own, but at least i don't need to think about his team affiliation.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

derek jeter is in my hall of famer collection

the very first player i saw the very first time i stepped in to the metrodome was derek jeter. that was in 1998, and i saw him in minnesota a few times after that, too. he is in my hall of famer collection with this card as his entry:
that is a 2017 topps archives 2015 topps high tek buyback autograph card, numbered 05/10.  here's the back:
i had missed out on seeing jeter and the yankees in california before i moved to minnesota (i had my company's tickets to a game but wound up having to work late - the irony), so it wasn't until may 8, 1998 that i got to see the bronx bombers play in person. it was a friday night game at the dome, and i remember how fake everything seemed. from the astroturf to the light that filtered in through the roof of the dome, and later the light from the lights hung above the field. was this really major league baseball?

anyway, jeter was doing his pregame warmups as i walked down the stairs from the concourse and i was immediately reminded that it was indeed major league baseball being played inside this wretched place. he went 1 for 4 that night with an rbi that broke a tie in the 7th inning. clutch.

a year later, i was back to see jeter and the yankees again. this time (it was thursday may 6, 1999 and my first day game at the dome) the venue seemed even more surreal thanks to the emptiness of the dome and the sunlight filtered by the roof. jeter had three hits but didn't figure in the scoring as the yankees won in 10. 

that was the last time i saw him play in person as he was injured the next time i saw the yankees in april of 2003, sat out the game i went to on august 13, 2008, and had yet to return to the field the last time i saw the yankees during his career on july 4, 2013.  of course, i had plenty of opportunity to see jeter play on tv and witness plays like "the flip", the jeffrey maier home run, the "mr. november" home run, and many other highlights.

one memory that stands out comes from 2003: a coworker and i went to a bar after work to watch game 7 of the alcs between the yankees and red sox. we were both hoping that the red sox would knock off the yankees, and it was looking pretty good with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning and the red sox holding to a 3 run lead. up came jeter, and he hit a double off of pedro martinez. the next thing we knew, jeter had started a game tying rally and people were left wondering why pedro had been left in the game. clutch. 

i was a fan of nomar's, but i respected jeter's talent. however you define it, jeter was clutch. 

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

christy mathewson - 2006 upper deck sp legendary cuts baseball chronology relic

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

lou gehrig - 2010 topps tribute relic 96/99

rogers hornsby - 2004 topps tribute hall of fame tribute relic

jimmie foxx - 2013 topps tribute retired remnants relic 91/99

mel ott - 2011 topps tribute quad relic 15/99

paul waner - 2002 topps tribute milestone materials relic

dizzy dean - 2001 topps tribute relic

hank greenberg - 2004 topps tribute hall of fame tribute relic

zack wheat - 2002 topps tribute milestone materials 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

roy campanella - 2001 topps tribute relic

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

ralph kiner - 2000 fleer greats of the game autograph

ernie banks - 1999 upper deck century legends epic signatures

eddie mathews - 1999 fleer sports illustrated greats of the game autograph

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

juan marichal - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

brooks robinson - 2001 topps golden anniversary great 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

willie mccovey - 
2004 upper deck sp legendary cuts legendary sigs 46/50

ray dandridge - 2006 upper deck sp legendary cuts a place in history cut autograph 31/43

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

billy williams - 2013 topps museum collection autograph 054/199

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

carl yastrzemski - 2000 fleer greats of the game autograph

joe morgan - 2001 upper deck hall of famers cooperstown collection signature jersey

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

tom seaver - 2013 topps five star baseball autograph 44/50

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

nellie fox - 2002 topps tribute milestone materials relic

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

larry doby - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

don sutton - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

george brett - 2001 topps finest finest moments autograph

nolan ryan - 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

kirby puckett - 1998 upper deck retro sign of the times autograph

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

rickey henderson - 2016 topps tribute certified foundations of greatness autograph 49/50

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

andre dawson - 2000 fleer greats of the game autograph

roberto alomar - 2015 topps high tek pattern 1 grass/waves gold rainbow autograph 50/50

bert blyleven - 2004 upper deck legends timeless teams autograph

ron santo - 2004 topps retired signature autograph

tom glavine - 2019 topps tribute autograph 18/90

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

frank thomas - 2019 topps tier one autographs 42/70

craig biggio - 2013 topps five star baseball autograph 019/333

randy johnson - 2019 topps tek high tek autograph

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

vladimir guerrero - 2000 upper deck legends legendary signatures

chipper jones - 2018 topps tier one tier one talent autograph 11/60

jim thome - 2020 topps archives signature series 2012 topps mini 1/1

jack morris - 2004 donruss timelines recollection collection 1986 buyback autograph 23/45

alan trammell - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

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

edgar martinez - 2017 topps tribute walk off autograph 17/50

derek jeter - 2017 topps archives 2015 topps high tek buyback autograph 05/10

ted simmons - 2013 panini golden age historic signatures

larry walker - 1997 donruss signature series authentic signature

joe jackson* - 2001 upper deck sp legendary cuts sp legendary debut bat card

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

barry bonds* - 2001 bowman heritage autographs

roger clemens* - 1995 upper deck autograph

rafael palmeiro* - 2016 topps tribute rightful recognition autograph 98/99

alex rodriguez* - 1998 upper deck sp authentic chirography autograph

david ortiz* - 2017 topps clearly authentic autograph 02/25

adrian beltre* - 2019 topps tier one talent autograph 56/70

ichiro* - 2019 topps museum collection archival autograph 02/25

albert pujols* - 2003 topps autograph

miguel cabrera* - 2020 topps chrome black autograph

clayton kershaw* - 2015 topps museum collection archival autographs 43/99

mike trout* - 2016 topps strata autograph green 71/75

steve garvey* - 2001 fleer greats of the game autograph

dale murphy* - 2015 topps tribute foundations of greatness autograph 27/89

dave parker* - 2004 fleer national pastime 2002 fleer greats autograph buyback 42/61

joe mauer* - 2020 topps archives signature series 2015 topps triple threads buyback autograph 1/1

*not currently in the hall of fame

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.