23 April 2014

this card is on fire

i received a nice package of cards from marcus at all the way to the backstop recently.  adrian gonzalez was pretty excited about it - check out his 2014 topps opening day fired up insert
marcus told me he was sending a couple of yasiel puig cards, so i was pretty fired up, too.  here's a target red parallel of puig's 2013 topps update rookie debut card
and here's puig on his 2013 pinnacle card
i understand the erasing of the logos and team names, but does pinnacle really need to re-color the uniform numbers from red to blue?  they are not now, and never have been, blue.

you can see the red number on juan samuel's 1991 us playing card company all-stars card
sammy did indeed represent the dodgers in the 1991 all-star game.  he was 1 for 1 in the game, but the national league lost 4-2.

i was also able to pick up a few dodger needs from 2014 topps heritage thanks to marcus.  i've had fairly bad luck pulling dodgers in the two blasters i bought, so these are appreciated.  here's one of the league leader cards that clayton kershaw appears on
plus cards of don mattingly
and brian wilson
my favorite of the bunch, though, is the maury wills/jacoby ellsbury then & now insert
i had this one queued up in a future sportlots purchase, so the timing of this trade package couldn't have been better.

now if only i could find one of wills' autographed cards from the heritage set…

thanks marcus for the trade!

if you can't beat 'em, join 'em

back in 1974, the dodgers faced off against the oakland a's in the world series.  james augustus hunter, better known as 'catfish' made two appearances in the series - he earned the save in game 1 by striking out the only batter he faced (joe ferguson) and then got the win in game 3 after starting and going 8 innings.  in that game, bill buckner took him deep for a solo home run - the only run the dodgers would score against him.  also in that game, davey lopes was 2 for 3 with a walk and 2 steals against hunter, which qualifies as a classic world series matchup according to the 2002 upper deck world series heroes set.  here's a davey lopes jersey relic from that set that p-town tom of the blog waiting 'til next year sent me a while back
i do so appreciate relics of ron cey, lopes and bill russell, since they are not as plentiful as those of steve garvey.  i think cey is the only one without a jersey card in this particular set.  anyway, lopes later went and joined the a's following the dodgers' world series victory in 1981.  he was traded to the cubs late in the 1984 season, but topps still showed him in a's gear in 1985.  here's his 1985 topps tiffany card as proof
tom also sent an autographed card of one of the other dodger infielders - ron cey signed a copy of one of his cards from the 2004 upper deck legends timeless teams set
cey is a great ttm signer, so i would imagine that's how this one got signed.  i do plan to finish the timeless teams blog, by the way.  this year for sure.

not all of the cards in the trade package were of the infield - there were lots of other dodger goodies.  here's a 1982 tcma baseball's greatest pitchers card of don newcombe
and even a 1989 score jay howell card
can be appreciated for the unocal logo and old field level scoreboard from dodger stadium in the background.

dodger stadium is in the background of mark ellis' 2013 topps walmart blue parallel as well
but seeing part of a bud light sign is not as nice as that scoreboard on howell's card.

tom sent another relic card, too.  from 2013 topps archives, it's andre ethier giving up the shirt on his back
speaking of archives, i understand that the 2014 set will use the 1973, 1986, 1989 and 1980 set designs.  why use 1980 again? it was just used in 2012 archives.  i'm guessing that there will be one or two short prints (again) that use the 1978 design, but it would be nice if topps used it for the base set sometime.  of course, if they have bill russell on the auto checklist this year, i might give them a pass.

thanks for the trade tom!  and it looks like, once again, you will be waiting until at least next year for your cubs.

22 April 2014

oh my o-pee-chee complete set!

about five years later, i picked up the last few cards i needed to complete the 2009 upper deck o-pee-chee set.  if i recall correctly, this set was supposed to look like the 1977 topps set (just as upper deck had used the 1971 and 1965 and something pretty close to the 1963 topps sets in their 'vintage' releases).  however, upper deck got sued by topps and had to change the design.

although i stopped collecting o-pee-chee sets in the 1980's, you know as a fan of the brand and proprietor of the oh my o-pee-chee blog that i was onboard for this set.  now it is complete.  here are the final half dozen cards that i needed for my set.

jacoby ellsbury
derek jeter
jhonny peralta
i decided early on that i wasn't going to let upper deck's hijinks make me spend more money to complete the set, so my set features a number of black bordered cards for which i did not have the regular base after opening two boxes of product.  the peralta eluded me until i found a black bordered parallel online.

omar vizquel
david wright
and mike pelfrey
the pelfrey was actually a bonus non-dodger card on my nefarious 9 list for awhile, but no one came forward with the card.

i realize that i need to update that list again.

here are a couple of other cards that i came by and picked up - one is a double, but it will go in my lurker collection.  it's wilson betemit's card
with dodger juan pierre making an apperance.

lastly, i found this colorful relic card of joe nathan, joe mauer, and michael cuddyer for cheap
not as nice as my dodger relic from the set, but still good to have.  just like a complete set.

21 April 2014

boston strong - the armband and memorial patch for the victims of the boston marathon bombing

with the 2014 boston marathon being run today, let's recognize some cards showing the patch and armband that the red sox and other teams wore to honor the victims of the bombing that occurred near the finish line of last year's event.

in the red sox' first game back at fenway after the bombing, the team wore their home whites with 'boston' on the front rather than 'red sox'.  they also had a 'b strong' patch on their chests.  jonny gomes' 2014 topps card features a photo from that april 20, 2013 game.
as they had done the previous year after johnny pesky passed away, the red sox wore a black armband instead of the patch on the road.  dustin pedroia's 2013 topps update card shows the armband on his right sleeve
as does david ortiz's card from the same set
i'm not a pedroia fan, so the ortiz card is in my memorials binder.  after that first home game, the red sox moved the patch to their left sleeves as see on drake britton's 2013 topps update target red parallel card
although the card that is in my memorials binder for this placement of the patch is a card that features a photo from the final game of the 2013 season for the red sox.  from 2014 topps heritage, here is the world series game 6 card
it should be noted, and is on the hall of fame's website, that on april 16, 2013 (the day after the bombing), the red sox were on the road in cleveland and the players wore a makeshift black armband on their left sleeves
except for felix doubront, who wore one on his right sleeve
as did the indians players.
in the april 20th game at fenway, the red sox faced the royals, who also wore the 'b strong' patch on their jerseys
later in the season, when the red sox travelled to san francisco, the giants also wore the patch.
three spectators were killed by the explosions, and 264 were injured.  still, i am guessing that there will be a large turnout for today's race.  i've run a marathon before, but had never really given the boston marathon a thought.  that might have changed last year - we'll see...

20 April 2014

a patch for columbine

15 years ago today, two columbine high school students killed a teacher and 12 fellow students in the worst high school massacre in us history.  the rockies wore a patch on their sleeves for the remainder of the 1999 season to honor the victims.  the patch, with the letters 'chs' for columbine high school, is visible on larry walker's 2000 pacific crown collection card
a few oakland a's (reggie jackson, ken holtzman, and mike epstein) wore a black armband in 1972 (unfortunately, i can't find any photos) following the murder of israeli athletes at the 1972 olympic games in munich, but i believe that this is the first time a memorial was worn by an entire team following a terroristic or similarly violent event.

clyde sukeforth was, among other things, a dodger double dipper

[this is the sixtysixth installment in the double dippers posts.  here are the previous posts - brett butler, omar daaleric young, nick willhitechris gwynn, mickey hatcherdave anderson, don zimmerrafael landestoy, dave hansen, jose vizcaino, hideo nomo, greg maddux, mike madduxjon garland, chan ho parkvicente romogene mauch, denny lewallyn, von joshua, joe moellerdioner navarro, rudy seanez, bart shirleyrandy wolf, ismael valdes, bobby castillo, mike devereaux, pete richert, jay johnstone, jesse orosco, lee lacy, giovanni carrara, jeff weaverted sizemore,  orel hershisertom goodwinjoe fergusoneddie murraymatt lukeken mcmullen, tim wallach, jerry grotedon suttonralph branca, todd hundley, elmer dessensguillermo motajoe beckwithjamie hoffmannbabe hermanjoe medwickjuan castroron perranoskiclyde kingpaul wanerhughie jenningsron negray, broadway aleck smithgeorge smith, johnny cooney, jim faireyfrenchy bordagaraydoc casey, waite hoyt, and luis olmo.]

clyde sukeforth first joined the dodgers in 1932 following a trade with the reds.  he served as a backup catcher for three seasons, hitting .184 in a total of 106 games.  here's his 1990 target dodgers card
rather than report to the toledo mud hens in 1935 (at the time the hens were unaffiliated with a big league club), sukeforth retired.  he did return to play in the independent bi-state league in 1936 before rejoining the dodger organization as a manager of their minor league affiliate in clinton, iowa.  he eventually became the manager of the montreal royals, the dodgers' highest level farm team, and in 1943, sukeforth joined the big club as a coach.

now, i don't count dodger players who leave the organization, play somewhere else, and then return to the dodgers as a coach as double dippers.  if i did, then tommy lasorda, rick honeycutt, ken howell, reggie smith, claude osteen, charlie hough, and, of course, davey lopes (among many others) would all qualify.  no, sukeforth earned his double dipper status by returning to the field of play in 1945.

at the age of 43, and with the major league rosters thinned due to world war ii, sukeforth returned as a player almost 11 years after his last big league appearance.  in 18 games, he hit .294 and even caught 10 complete games.  he retired from playing for good, and continued in his role as a dodger coach and scout.

in 1947, a couple years after helping to broker a meeting between branch rickey and jackie robinson, sukeforth had the honor of being the dodgers' manager on opening day, filling in for the suspended leo durocher until burt shotton, the 'permanent' interim manager, arrived a few days later.

sukeforth would eventually leave the dodgers again, following branch rickey to pittsburgh where he recommended that the pirates select roberto clemente from the dodgers in the 1954 rule v draft.

sunday morning target dodgers

the undisputed star of this week's sheet (although not the only hall of famer) is sandy koufax.
over the last 6 seasons of koufax's career, his record was 129-47 with a 2.16 era.  he struck out 1713 batters, threw 1632.2 innings, hurled 115 complete games, and weaved 4 no-hitters.  he also won an mvp award, three cy youngs, and two world championships.  has there ever been a better or more impressive run for a pitcher?

jim barbieri
barbieri spent half of one season in the big leagues.  he was called up in july of 1966, and stayed with the dodgers for the remainder of the season, including the world series.  he hit .280 during the regular season, but was 0 for 1 in the fall classic.  still, he became the first player to have appeared in the little league world series and the major league world series, and he also got a card in the 1967 topps set.

ed brandt
brandt pitched for the braves from 1928 through 1935 (he was a teammate of babe ruth's that last year) before joining the dodgers for a single season in 1936.  as a dodger, he was 11-13 in 38 appearances, and was traded to the pirates after the season ended.  a few years after his retirement, brandt died at the age of 39 after being hit by a car while crossing the street.

tommy corcoran
corcoran played shortstop for the bridegrooms during the 1890's - from 1892 through 1896 to be exact. his best season out of the 18 he played came for brooklyn in 1894 when he hit .300 and scored 123 runs.

henry cruz
cruz obviously played for the white sox, but before that, he was a dodger.  in fact, he played more games as a dodger from 1975 through 1976 than he did as a member of the white sox from 1977 to 1978.  in 102 games with the blue, cruz hit 4 homers with 19 rbi and a .225 average, while in 69 games with chicago, he hit 4 homers with 15 rbi and a .235 average.  there are a couple of cards of cruz in a dodger uniform - he's got an sspc card from 1975 (or 1976 depending on how you catalog it), and he shows up on a 4-player rookie card in 1976 topps as well.  oddly enough, cruz is one of two players from the virgin islands to show up on this sheet.

jay johnstone
johnstone was a dodger double dipper, but i have already told that tale.  instead of rehashing that, i will note that all three of his home runs in 1981 came as a pinch hitter, which is not really a surprise.  the first two came in consecutive at bats, however, which is interesting but not as impressive as del unser and lee lacy hitting home runs in three consecutive pinch hitting appearances.

john kennedy
kennedy was acquired by the dodgers as part of the big trade with the senators following the 1964 season.  good timing on his part, as he played for the national league champions in both 1965 and 1966, winning a world series ring in '65.  kennedy saw action in both postseasons with the dodgers, and was traded to the yankees following the 1966 series.  interestingly enough, this john kennedy was born on may 29, 1941 - 24 years to the day after president john f. kennedy was born.

bill madlock
madlock was a 4-time national league batting champ who joined the dodgers for the pennant run in 1985.  he helped the team reach the nlcs that year, hitting .360 after joining the club, and then hit .333 with 3 homers and 7 rbi in the championship series against the cardinals. unfortunately, madlock wasn't able to direct tommy lasorda to not pitch to jack clark with first base open, and the dodgers lost the series.  madlock returned to the team for the entire 1986 season, but was released by the team following a slow start in 1987.

al mcbean
mcbean is the second player on this sheet to hail from the virgin islands.  he is from st. thomas, while cruz is from st. croix.  anyway, mcbean was a dodger for parts of two seasons - 1969 and 1970.  he joined the dodgers following a one game stint as an original padre in 1969 and went 2-6 in 31 games for the blue.  in 1970, he appeared in just one game for the dodgers before being released which was strange because he threw a scoreless inning in that game.  he signed with the pirates following his release, and returned to pittsburgh where he had pitched for the first 8 seasons of his career.

joe orengo
orengo came to the dodgers in a midseason swap with the new york giants back in 1943.  the dodgers gave up dolph camilli in the deal, and later in the season they wound up sending orengo to the saint paul saints, who would become the dodgers' aa affiliate the following year.  in between, he appeared in 7 games as a dodger,  hitting .200 in 19 plate appearances.

doug rau
dougie was a pitcher on the team of my youth, and i saw him pitch in person quite a few times.  he won at least 13 games every season from 1974 through 1978, and helped the dodgers to the postseason in three of those campaigns.  unfortunately, an arm injury effectively ended his career in 1979, although he did return to the majors for a short stint with the angels in 1981.  he's probably best known for trying to convince tommy lasorda to let him stay in the game during an argument (warning - tommy and rau and even davey lopes all have potty mouths) on the mound in the 1977 world series.

mike vail
like cruz earlier, vail is obviously not shown wearing a dodger uniform.  i suppose this can be forgiven, as vail appeared in only 16 games for the dodgers after he was acquired during to the 1984 season.  he was just 1 for 16 in those games, but at least his lone hit was a walk-off single against the cardinals on july 6.

gus weyhing
weyhing joined the brooklyn superbas during the 1900 season and was 3-4 in 8 games pitched.  until former dodger mike morgan came along, weyhing held the distinction of having pitched for the most number of teams (11).  which reminds me, i need to get to my travels of mike morgan post someday.

hoyt wilhelm
so we start and end the post with hall of famers.  wilhelm ended his hall of fame career with the dodgers in 1972.  he managed 1 save in his final season, which was ended when the dodgers released him - just a few days shy of his 50th birthday.

you may have noticed that there were only 14 cards featured in this post - that's because, once again, one of the players featured was a double dipper.  he'll get a separate post later on.