06 May 2015

henry cruz and geoff zahn through the mail successes!

few men have sported sunglasses on baseball cards as well as former dodger henry cruz.  he recently signed some cards for me through the mail, and each one of them is a revelation in recreational eye wear.

here's his 1975 sspc card
and here's his 1976 topps rookie card upon which his style of sunglasses has changed.
there are three very recognizable outfielders (chet lemon, ellis valentine, and terry whitfield - a future dodger) from the late 1970's/early 1980's on that card next to cruz, who hit .266 in 53 games with the 1975 dodgers, and then just .182 in 49 games for the club in '76.  he did have a two-home run game as a dodger in 1976, which was nice.  in fact, that game was 39 years ago yesterday!

towards the end of the 1977 season, a season in which the dodgers kept him in the minor leagues, cruz was picked up on waivers by the white sox where he became teammates with chet lemon, and thus we have a 1978 topps card that looks like this
yes, cruz signed one of those for me, too.  those glasses look more like the ones from his sspc card above.

i was hoping to have another signed 1978 topps card to show, but geoff zahn hasn't returned it yet.  i'm hoping that he does, but until then, he did send his 1975 topps card back to me
signed and with a bible verse reference.

cruz and zahn were teammates briefly in 1975 (zahn was traded to the cubs early in the season), with cruz playing left field in both of zahn's games as a dodger that year.  with the way zahn seems to be squinting in the dodger stadium sun, perhaps he could have used a pair of cruz's shades.

thanks to both cruz and zahn for signing my cards!

05 May 2015

the start of the post-playing career card sheets from the steve garvey binders

sheet 26 in the steve garvey binder is where we find the start of his cards issued following his retirement (post-final tribute stuff, anyway).  in the beginning, these were mostly oddball releases, but once card companies began making retro-themed sets, look out! there was a garvey card explosion.

here's sheet 26
the cards:

1. 1989 smokey dodger greats
2. 1989 padres magazine
3. 1990 baseball wit
4. 1990 target dodgers 100th anniversary
5. 1990 collegiate collection michigan state (gibson & garvey)
6. 1990 collegiate collection michigan state (football)
7. 1990 collegiate collection michigan state (batting)
8. 1990 collegiate collection michigan state (posed)
9. 1990 pacific legends

here we have the first photo re-use, thanks to two dodger stadium giveaway sets, plus four cards from the michigan state spartans set.  i think the photo of garvey in his football uniform (he was a defensive back) has been used in a panini release (not entirely sure, however), but i know that the posed photo was used in last year's upper deck goodwin champions set.

i'm also missing a couple from these years - the 1989 michigan state pepsi card (never seen one), and 1990 pacific legends glossy (never bothered to find one).

here are the backs:
moving on to sheet 27, we once again see some photo re-use and a few oddballs:
those cards are:

1. 1990 swell baseball greats
2. 1991 line drive
3. 1991 swell baseball greats
4. 1992 action packed
5. 1992 mci ambassadors
6. 1993 ted williams
7. 1993 yoohoo
8. 1994 upper deck all-time heroes
9. 1994 upper deck all-time heroes (heroes of baseball)

i really appreciate that first upper deck card with the photo from the 1974 world series, and the fact that it gives some relief from all of the photos of garvey with a bat.  another item worth noting is the mci card and its photo of garvey with the dual-ear flap helmet.

and now the backs:
those mci ambassador cards were apparently distributed at military bases where select retired players appeared and played in games for the troops.  upper deck arranged some 'old-timer' games of their own, which is where the photo on the second card from the 1994 ud all-time heroes set was obtained. this was a tie-in to all of those sheets upper deck issued around that time.

speaking of sheets, we are two pages into the post-active garvey cards, and we are already in 1994.  don't fret, as there are plenty more cards to see.  stay tuned.

04 May 2015

the garvey train moves onward

i've posted all of the pages from my steve garvey oddball binder, as well as all of the pages of cards from his playing days.  as i begin to show off the sheets that contain his post-active career cards, i'll take a moment to display some of my most recent garvey acquisitions.

the garv is featured in the 2015 panini donruss signature series insert set, and i have obtained only the blue variation
it's numbered to 49.

i've also snagged a few msa discs that will find their way to the aforementioned oddball binder shortly.  here's the 1976 crane disc
which i like because they replaced the generic stars on the front with the 'crane' name.  here's the back
that looks like the vlasic pickle mascot.

this is a 1976 msa blank back disc
told ya.

and this is a 1977 dairy isle disc. the front looks like the blank back (except for the copyright date)
but the back looks like this
i do not know what sort of creature that is supposed to be under the 'dairy'.

i was surprised to find out that i didn't have this 1981 topps sticker
so i'm glad i dropped ten cents for it at the card show i attended recently.  i do have the o-pee-chee version, so you can understand my confusion.  perhaps.

here are a couple of cards from 2011 in the game heroes and prospects.  the first is a dual relic card of garvey and trayvon robinson
robinson was hitting well in triple-a in 2011 after batting. 300 the previous two seasons when the dodgers traded him to seattle.  after playing for the m's in 2011 and 2012, robinson was dealt to the orioles where he played in their system for a year.  he then spent last year at triple-a for the dodgers, but is now in the diamondbacks system after a quick spin with the padres this winter.  whew.

this is a solo card of the garv, featuring a large jersey swatch and an auto
it has a supposed print run of 9 (it's a silver parallel apparently), but there is no serial numbering on the card.  hey - card companies!  for print runs that low, please stamp the cards. thank you.

the last card in this post is stamped, although it's a 2014 topps 75th anniversary buyback of garvey's double printed 1979 topps card
the only other 2014 buyback i have is of garvey's 1975 topps 1974 nl mvp card which he shares with jeff burroughs, so i'm glad to have a solo card.  still, this is the same one topps stamped as part of the 2015 topps originals inserts
which i also have in my collection.  how about some variety?  in fact, topps, i've got some cards i'd be happy to sell you.  just let me know.

lots more garvey goodness to come - stay tuned!

03 May 2015

jake flowers was a robin/dodger double dipper

it's spring, and april showers (though there weren't many) have indeed brought may flowers to this part of the country.  a recent review of some 1990 target dodger sheets has also brought to my attention that jake flowers played for the robins and then the dodgers in two separate stints sandwiched around time spent with another team.  he was a dodger franchise double dipper.

[this is the ninety-fourth 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 hoytluis olmoclyde sukeforthwillie keeler,  harry howellgermany smithjohnny allenmarv rackleybobo newsom, maury wills, dazzy vance, ray hayworthzack taylorjohn croninart herringbrian falkenborgbill reidy, john andersonvito tamulis, wally hood, jim bruske, bill dahlen, patsy donovanjamey wright, watty clarkandy messersmithrocky nelsonnewt kimballhank behrman, and jimmy sheckard.]

here's flowers' 1990 target card
featuring a photo from his second stint with the club.  i know this thanks to the hall of fame's 'dressed to the nines' site linked through baseball reference, and also because the team wasn't known as the dodgers during his first tenure with the team - they were the robins then.  and, while i'm on the subject of names, flowers' real name was d'arcy, by the way.

flowers began his big league career with the cardinals in 1923, and he played for them again in 1926 when he went 0 for 3 in the world series but still won a ring.  he was traded to the robins early in the 1927 season, and he played short, second, and some outfield for them (even earning some mvp votes after the 1928 season during which he played in a career high 103 games) until he was claimed by the cardinals on waivers during the 1931 season.

back in saint louis, flowers again helped the cards win the pennant, and he again didn't do much in the world series (he was 1 for 11 this time).  still, the cardinals beat the a's, and flowers had his second world series ring.  after one more season with the cardinals, flowers returned to brooklyn in the 1933 trade that sent dazzy vance to saint louis.  in 78 games that season, flowers hit .233 for the dodgers.  he finished his career as a pinch-hitter with the reds in 1934.

sunday morning target dodgers - featuring a trojan dodger

there's only one los angeles dodger on this particular sheet of cards from the 1990 target 100th anniversary set, yet the best known person on the sheet is known for wearing a different uniform in la.  oh, and there are only 14 people in this post because one of the guys on the sheet was a double dipper - he gets a separate post later.  enjoy.

leon cadore
cadore is known primarily as the brooklyn robins pitcher in the famous 26-inning, 1-1 tie with the braves during the 1920 season (friday was the 95th anniversary of the feat).  however, in addition to pitching 26 innings that day, cadore won 68 games during his 9 seasons with the robins, and appeared in one game of the 1920 world series against the indians as well.  still, that marathon game is his claim to fame, and it even got him a card in the 1961 topps set, which is nice.

andy carey
carey spent 10 seasons in the american league before joining the dodgers in 1962. he won three world series rings with the yankees (in 1953, 1956, and 1958 - although he did not play in the '53 series), and appeared in two other fall classics (1955 and 1957) as well.  with the dodgers, carey hit .234 in 53 games during the 1962 season, which was the last of his career.

raoul dedeaux
known better as 'rod', dedeaux was the legendary manager of the usc trojans baseball team from 1942-1987 and of the us olympic team in 1984 (earning himself a card in the 1985 topps set as a result). before all of that, however, dedeaux was a baseball player, and he appeared in two games for the brooklyn dodgers in 1935.  he was 1 for 4 with an rbi at the plate as a major league player, but went on to collect over 1,300 wins and 11 collegiate titles as the coach at southern cal.

carl doyle
doyle pitched for the dodgers in 1939 and part of 1940. he had a sparkling 1.02 era over his five games pitched in 1939 (including a shutout of the phillies), but he had just a 1-2 record to show for it. in 1940, he pitched in 3 games for the dodgers and had an era of 27.00 before he was traded to the cardinals in the ducky medwick deal.

dick durning
durning pitched in two major league games - one in 1917 and one in 1918.  both came as a member of the brooklyn robins, both were in relief, and both were as the final pitcher of the game. in his big league debut, durning pitched a perfect inning.  in his final appearance, he allowed 5 runs to score (3 earned) with 3 hits and 4 walks allowed over two innings.  perhaps he should have quit while he was ahead.

chauncey fisher
fisher pitched for the bridegrooms in 1897. he was 9-7 that year with a 4.23 era.  fisher also pitched for the reds, giants, cardinals, and cleveland spiders during his career.

nig fuller
fuller appeared in three games over a 12-day span in 1902 with the superbas, and was 0 for 9 with an rbi and a sacrifice in them.

carden gillenwater
gillenwater spent time in the major leagues over five different seasons, playing for four different teams. one of those teams was the 1943 brooklyn dodgers, for whom he played in 8 games and hit .176.

ed konetchy
a good fielding first baseman, konetchy spent the first 7 years of his career (1907-1913) with the cardinals, where he put up numbers that topped the franchise leader board in many categories until rogers hornsby surpassed them.  one number, his 151 steals as a cardinal, stood until lou brock passed him in the 1960's.  he joined the robins in 1919 after spending time with the pirates, braves, and one season in the federal league. konetchy helped the robins reach the world series in 1920 by hitting .308 in the regular season, although he hit just .174 in the fall classic.

john mcdougal
mcdougal made his big league debut with the brooklyn grooms in 1895, earning what today would be considered a save despite allowing four runs over three innings of work.  he did not pitch in the big leagues again until 1905, when he was a member of the cardinals.

darby o'brien
o'brien was a member of the 1890 brooklyn bridegrooms in their inaugural year as a national league team. he had joined the club in 1888, actually, and remained a member of the team through 1892. he hit .314 for the national league champion bridegrooms in 1890, but well below .200 during the postseason exhibition that year.

charlie schmutz
schmutz pitched for the robins in 1914 and 1915.  he was 1-3 in 18 games during the 1914 season, and had no record in the lone appearance he made in 1915.

tommy sheehan
sheehan spent the 1908 season as a member of the brooklyn superbas following a couple of years with the pirates and a single game with the giants back in 1900.  he appeared in 146 games, a career high, but hit only .214.  actually, that .214 clip was slightly better than the team's average of .213, so maybe i shouldn't say 'only' when referring to the deadball era.

danny taylor
taylor joined the dodgers in may of 1932 after starting the season with the cubs, for whom he had played since 1929 (he also had a cup of coffee with the senators in 1926). taylor patrolled the dodger outfield through july of 1936, and had an even .300 batting average over his tenure with the club.

02 May 2015

remember when manny launched one 461 feet in houston?

it's been just over six years, so, no, i don't recall that particular home run.  however, thanks to bru at remember the astrodome who sent me this 2010 upper deck insert card
i can at least bluff my way through it and say "oh, yeah - that was the one he hit off of roy oswalt". while that particular manny home run didn't come in the astrodome, obviously, he did hit a couple there during his time with the indians during interleague play.  as an aside, wallet card and i agree that the astrodome is worth remembering.

back to the cards - here's another home run related card from the trade package, a 2015 topps mike piazza first home run insert
kudos to topps for using a photo of piazza from 1992 (note the uniform number is 25, not 31, and the presence of the 30th anniversary of dodger stadium commemorative patch).  piazza hit 7 homers in the astrodome during his career, by the way, but his first career big fly came at dodger stadium against the giants.

let's take a look at a few more cards from the package sent by marc. this is a 1978 tcma the 1960's card of jim gilliam
gilliam did not hit a home run in the astrodome, nor did he homer at colt stadium, the home of the colt .45's before they became the astros and moved into the astrodome when it opened in 1965.  gilliam did, however, hit .400 with 2 triples in his 8 games inside the 8th wonder of the world.

here's a 2014 topps hanley ramirez 1989 design die-cut mini
ramirez didn't debut in the majors until 2005, and by then, the 'stros were in enron/minute maid park.  so far, hanley has hit 3 homers in houston in his career.

like hanley, justin turner (seen here on his 2015 topps heritage card)
didn't make it to the big leagues until well after the astrodome was decommissioned. still, he hit the first of his (so far) 17 career major league home runs in houston during the 2011 season.  too bad he wasn't included in the 1st home run insert set.

here's another card from this year's heritage release - it's dodger manager don mattingly
i feel for the teams who don't get manager cards in heritage releases, and i would like topps to bring the skippers back to the flagship.  donnie baseball never played in houston since the astros were a national league team during his playing days, but as a manager, he's 9-6 against them overall, and i assume some of those wins have come in texas.

speaking of texas, here's a 2015 topps heritage league leader card featuring dallas' own clayton kershaw and a couple of other guys
kershaw's only career home run thus far was his opening day blast at home against the giants in 2013, but on the flip side, he's only allowed one homer at minute maid - to carlos lee in 2009.

i'll finish up this trade post with a card of a guy who hasn't pitched anywhere in the majors yet - julio urias and his 2014 bowman draft picks & prospects mini 'future of the franchise' refractor card
he's only 18, and his k/9 ratio so far as a professional pitcher is over 11.  i'll take that for this franchise's future for sure, just like i'll take great trades like these anytime.  thanks bru!

01 May 2015

los angeles dodger commemorative patches through the years

i've been meaning to do this for quite some time, however it was a review of brian's want list at highly subjective and completely arbitrary that proved to be the push i needed to get it done. you see, brian collects cards showing commemorative - not memorial - patches.

the dodgers have worn a few commemorative patches recently, but not nearly as many as some teams for whom there seems to be something worth celebrating pretty much every year.  i'm limiting these posts to the los angeles dodger team, which means there won't be any discussion of the new york world's fair patch worn by the brooklyn dodgers in 1939.
well, aside from that 1961 fleer card, there won't be any discussion.  this list also does not include single game patches, such as the jackie robinson day patch that has been worn on april 15 in some recent seasons.

the task is fairly easy, because the dodgers didn't wear any patches, especially team specific patches for quite some time after moving to the west coast.  here's a year by year rundown.

1958 - none

1959 - none

1960 - none

1961 - none

1962 - none

1963 - none

1964 - none

1965 - none

1966 - none

1967 - none

1968 - none

1969 - major league baseball 100th anniversary (1971 dell's today team stamp maury wills)
1970 - none

1971 - none

1972 - none

1973 - none

1974 - none

1975 - none

1976 - national league centennial (1977 topps manny mota)
1977 - none

1978 - none

1979 - none

1980 - dodger stadium all-star game patch (1982 topps reggie smith)
1981 - city of los angeles bicentennial (1982 fleer bob welch)
1982 - none

1983 - los angeles dodgers 25th anniversary (1984 fleer derrel thomas)
1984 - dodger stadium olympic venue (1985 donruss orel hershiser)
1985 - none

1986 - none

1987 - dodger stadium 25th anniversary (1988 score steve sax)
1988 - none (vero beach 40th anniversary patch during spring training - 1988 donruss baseball's best alfredo griffin)
1989 - none

1990 - dodger national league franchise 100th anniversary (1991 topps debut '90 luis lopez)
1991 - none

1992 - dodger stadium 30th anniversary (1993 donruss triple play brett butler)
1993 - none (don drysdale/roy campanella and tim crews memorial patches)

1994 - major league baseball 125th anniversary patch (1995 fleer henry rodriguez)
1995 - none

1996 - dodger stadium 35th season (1997 upper deck tommy lasorda)
1997 - jackie robinson 50th anniversary patch (1998 topps finest brett butler)
1998 - los angeles dodgers 40th anniversary (1999 fleer brilliants eric karros)
1999 - dodger heroes (1999 keebler dodgers tripp cromer)
2000 - none

2001 - none

2002 - dodger stadium 40th anniversary (2003 topps total david ross)
2003 - none

2004 - none

2005 - none

2006 - none

2007 - none

2008 - los angeles dodgers 50th anniversary (2009 upper deck matt kemp)
2009 - none

2010 - 1955 world championship 55th anniversary (2010 topps update reed johnson)
2011 - none (duke snider memorial patch)

2012 - dodger stadium 50th anniversary (2013 topps josh beckett)
2013 - none

2014 - none

2015 - none

there were several missed opportunities that could have been celebrated - inaugural season on the west coast (1958), defending world champions (1960), opening of dodger stadium (1962), defending world champions (1964), defending world champions (1966), defending world champions (1982), defending world champions (1989), etc. as you can see, there were lots of chances to have worn defending world champions patches in the past, and i'm hoping next year they'll be in a position to wear one (or not) again.