29 May 2015

when a dodger card isn't fully a dodger card

sometimes, team collectors can miss out on cards that they may otherwise choose to add to their collection.  for example, this 1992 topps kids eddie murray card
shows him as a dodger, but then again - he is 'now with the mets!'.  is it a dodger card or a met card?  i consider it to be a non-dodger dodger card. so there.

here are some others that fit that bill (and fit into my collection as a result):

1993 donruss rudy seanez
a dodger up until the expansion draft

2000 pacific crown collection raul mondesi
pacific almost fooled me, using a photo of rauuuuuuul in the blue dodger alt jersey

2000 skybox dominion raul mondesi
obviously a dodger in all but team name on the card

2004 upper deck first pitch brian jordan
a while back i took a good look at the flagship version of this card. then i came across the first pitch version

and then there is this 2014 topps stickers joe mauer sticker
mauer is wearing the saint paul saints throwback in a game against the brewers in 2013 (i was at that game, by the way).  the saints uniform he is wearing comes from the time when they were a dodger affiliate.  in fact, there are some pictures hanging in one of the target field restaurants recognizing both the saints and the minneapolis millers (a giants' affiliate) as part of the twin cities' baseball fabric.  the photo for the saints features roy campanella rounding third being congratulated by walt alston.  pretty cool.  the millers photo features some guy named willie mays.  anyway, the mauer sticker is not a dodger card, but a cool item that i pulled from a pack and sent off to 2x3 heroes - i think.

if i haven't, i will - i've got quite a few packages ready to be sent out to folks, including baseball cards come to life, night owl, off hiatus, too many verlanders, bob walk the plank, and probably a couple of others.  you can always check my trade tracker on the right to see if i am aware that i owe you cards - let me know if i do and you don't see your name!

28 May 2015

a quick trip to tatooine

with the trade of juan uribe to the braves, i would expect alex guerrero to eventually settle in at third base. at least until hector olivera is ready.  however, most of guerrero's playing time of late has been in the outfield, since both yasiel puig and carl crawford are injured.

last year, topps included guerrero in many of its sets, and listed him as a second baseman.  that made sense then, but he has yet to play at second in the major leagues.  here are three of those cards, with guerrero turning two to boot.

2014 topps walmart blue
2014 topps chrome purple refractor
and 2014 topps mini pink parallel
notice that the cards show guerrero throwing to first without a lick of grass in sight.  that's what makes a tatooine card a tatooine card.

here are some others from my mini collection

1994 donruss bobby bonilla
1995 upper deck luis lopez electric diamond parallel
1996 upper deck brady anderson vj lovero showcase insert
2000 topps stadium club bobby abreu
2001 fleer tradition corey koskie
2011 topps carlos beltran
and 2012 topps emilio bonifacio
i am guessing that there is all kinds of mischief one can get into at mos eisley spaceport, so the vegas code probably stands - what happens on tatooine stays on tatooine.  unless you're luke skywalker bragging about taking out womprats to a group of rebel pilots.

27 May 2015

they came from 2004...

today i'm showing some cards that were released in 2004.  the first few don't look like cards from 2004, however.  like this 2004 fleer platinum edwin jackson card
that was modeled after 1984 fleer cards.

and then there is this 2004 fleer tradition card
that brings to mind the 1990 fleer design although the banner here has more flow to it.

this 2004 topps all-time fan favorites brett butler card
uses the 1991 topps design.  unfortunately, topps kept the orange frame design of the giants cards. 1991 was butler's first year with the dodgers, and he led the league in runs scored and walks.  he was featured in the flagship set as a giant, receiving a dodger card (with the proper blue frame) in the traded set.

finally, there is this 2004 topps cracker jack card of adrian beltre
that is a play on the 1915 cracker jack design

don't worry - there were some original designs used in 2004 - like the design of the 2004 upper deck flagship set.  here's juan encarnacion's card from that set
i like the 2004 upper deck set because of the inset photo behind the players' names.  that's a dodger stadium scene, in case you can't tell (the same scene - differently cropped - that's on the back of dodger cards in the 2004 upper deck legends timeless teams set).  unfortunately, upper deck did not apply the photo consistently to cards in the set

it may just be that the horizontal cards in the set didn't get the inset photo, i don't know.  here are some landscape oriented cards for you to ponder - shawn green
is in pittsburgh, i believe

hideo nomo
is in the dodger stadium dugout

and robin ventura
is on the road somewhere - maybe san francisco - as that's where jeff weaver is on his card
which is vertical and features the stadium inset photo.

there's not much of a discernible background photo at all on this 2004 topps clubhouse collection eric gagne relic card
but i guess we are supposed to be focusing on the fabric and not the photo.

it would be interesting to know what sort of designs fleer and upper deck would have these days.  i am sure, like topps (heritage, archives, gypsy queen, allen & ginter), they would issue sets that incorporate some older set designs, but there would be some unique designs, too.

at least i hope there would be.

26 May 2015

the big blue wrecking crew takes on the big red machine in the steve garvey binders

before we get to sheet 35 in my steve garvey binder (the sheet alluded to in the title of this post and in the last sentence of the previous garvey binder post), we have to get through sheet 34.  and it's no slouch.  take a look:
those cards are:

1. 2001 upper deck vintage timeless teams bat relic
2. 2001 upper deck vintage timeless teams 1981 dodgers bat relic (with ron cey, dusty baker, and bill russell)
3. 2002 donruss recollection collection 1984 donruss autograph
4. 2002 donruss recollection collection 1987 donruss autograph
5. 2002 fleer classic cuts bat relic
6. 2002 fleer fall classic
7. 2002 fleer fall classic short print padres variation
8. 2002 fleer fall classic gold parallel
9. 2002 fleer fall classic short print padres variation gold parallel

the first card on the sheet is the very first garvey relic card i owned.  i was very happy to get the other relic from the 2001 upper deck vintage set as it has four of the players from the team of my youth (and it's numbered to 100), but i do wish that davey lopes was on the card instead of dusty baker.  not much else to say here, other than it is curious that fleer made the nameplate gold on the fall classic parallel of the regular card, but not on the gold parallel of the variation.

here are the backs:
i wish i could find a recollection collection card from the three years that donruss produced cards of garvey in a dodger uniform, but there are only 10 copies of one of his 1982 donruss cards in this particular set.  so, i'm happy to have the 1984 donruss card, which is numbered to 14.  the two gold parallels from the 2002 fleer fall classic set are both numbered to 50.

here's sheet 35, which features nothing but garvey and the reds' tony perez:
those cards are:

1. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez (retail version)
2. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez 
3. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez (perez jersey relic - gray)
4. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez (perez jersey relic - red)
5. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez (perez jersey relic - white)
6. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez (garvey jersey relic)
7. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez (dual jersey relic)
8. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez (dual patch relic - red)
9. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez (dual patch relic - red/blue)

yes, i am a sucker for variations, including the color of jersey relics.  it's worth noting that the retail version of the rival factions insert was pretty tough to find, even though it is unnumbered - i don't know how many people bought this stuff at the local big box store.  there are a thousand of the hobby version, so i would guess that there are many more of the retail version, but i don't know that i've ever seen one other than the one i have.  otherwise, only the patch cards are numbered (to 50).  here are the backs:
the official beckett checklist says that there is a red foil version of the rival factions card out there, but i have definitely not seen one of those.

25 May 2015

a final word (for now) on memorials

first, let me take a moment to note that today is memorial day. hopefully, we all take some time out of our day to remember those whose service required the giving of their lives.  there have been too many.

many of you know that one of my mini collections is cards that feature memorial armbands or patches.  as an aside, even though the 1999 fleer tradition rod beck card represents the harry caray memorial in my binder, i could not pass up these three sammy sosa cards from 1999 topps stars when i found them in the bargain bin at the lcs a couple of months ago.  here's harry, comin' at you!
now, in addition to beck, i've got quite a few cards in the memorials binder commemorating uniform tributes to teammates, owners, relatives, team employees, victims of tragedies, and others from 1909 through 2014.  however, try as hard as i might, i have not been able to find cards for many of the memorials.  i'll use this post to show some of them using images i've found online.

this 1925 postcard of walter johnson
shows the big train wearing a black armband for christy mathewson.  both the senators and the pirates wore the armband during the 1925 world series.

this is a photo from 1931 featuring chuck klein of the phillies
he's wearing a black armband for the team's owner william baker, who died in december of 1930.  baker was known as a tightwad whose penny pinching led to the team's fall from pennant winners in 1915 to 15 consecutive losing seasons.

in may of 1950, pirates slugger ralph kiner graced the cover of sport magazine
his jersey features a black armband that the team wore towards the end of the 1949 season for their teammate tiny bonham. bonham had been hospitalized following a game in august, and had surgery to remove his appendix.  unfortunately, he died due to complications from the surgery on september 15.

in 1956, the orioles former treasurer, howard jones, passed away. the team added black armbands to their uniforms as seen on this getty images photo of tito francona
francona is wearing it on his left sleeve, although i've seen another photo with it on the right.

i found this next photo online at spokeo while searching for a different armband.
that's a picture of the angels' jim fregosi waiting to bat against the yankees in july of 1962.  i couldn't find any information about the armband, but knowing that the angels were playing in dodger stadium (or chavez ravine as the angels referred to it) that season, i took a chance and asked dodger historian mark langill if he had any information regarding the memorial.  he was kind enough to answer my question, noting that angel manager bill rigney's father passed away earlier that month, and it was most likely that the armband was worn in the elder rigney's honor.  langill included a copy of a page from the sporting news that noted rigney had missed the previous series to attend the funeral, but returned in time for the games against the yankees.

in 1964, the houston colt .45's wore a black armband for teammate jim umbricht.  this is a picture of manager nellie fox's jersey showing the armband
and here's a photo of ken johnson pitching with the armband
umbricht had been diagnosed with lymphoma late in 1963 following a season in which he posted a 2.61 era in 35 games.  he passed away in april of 1964, and the team, in addition to the armband, retired umbricht's number 32.

i mentioned earlier that i found the jim fregosi photo from 1962 while looking for a different armband.  the memorial i was searching for was the armband that the angels wore for during the last homestand of the 1978 season in honor of their murdered teammate lyman bostock.  the closest i could come was this photo of the club
recognizing a moment of silence in chicago the day after bostock was killed.

the dodgers played an exhibition series in japan following the 1993 season, and they added a memorial patch to their jerseys for that series.  you can see just the edge of the black rectangular patch on tommy lasordas jersey in this photo
the patch was worn for owner peter o'malley's longtime assistant akihiro 'ike' ikuhara who first joined o'malley in 1965.  ike was 55 when he died from stomach cancer in late 1992.

in 1995, the a's lost their owner walter haas, jr. to prostate cancer, and they wore a circular patch with his initials and a dark green armband on their right sleeves in his memory.  here's a getty images photo of mark mcgwire that shows the patch, but not so much the armband
the armband shows up better on this getty images photo of terry steinbach
haas had been the ceo of levi strauss & company since the late 1950's, and he bought the a's from charlie finley in 1980 in order to keep them in the bay area.

across the bay eight years later, in august of 2003, bobby bonds passed away at the age of 57.  the giants, the team for which bonds had played for the first seven years of his career, added a patch with his initials for the remainder of the season.  here's a getty images photo of bobby's son barry wearing the patch
i met bobby bonds at a hot stove dinner in the late 1970's or early 1980's, and he signed my autograph book for me.  he seemed nice, but the thing i remember most is the crushed velvet shirt he was wearing.

card manufacturers didn't seem to use many photos from blue jays home games in the late 2000's.  unfortunately, that meant that i couldn't find any cards that showed the memorial that the team wore during home games only for their former chairman sam pollock in 2007.  instead, i only have this getty images photo of frank thomas to share
pollock worked for the blue jays from 1995-2000, but was better known for his twenty years as an executive with the montreal canadiens of the nhl. pollock helped to build the habs dynasty from the late 1950's into the 1970's, and has his name engraved on lord stanley's cup twelve times.

also in 2007, the nationals
and red sox
all wore the virginia tech 'vt' logo (the nationals wore hats, while the yankees added the logo to their hats, and the red sox put the logo above the red sock patch on their sleeves) in response to the killing of 32 people by a gunman on the university campus on april 16, 2007.  the nats wore the vt hats on april 17, while the yankees wore the logo on may 23.  the red sox wore the logo on april 20, the same day that they wore another memorial.

the green jerseys and caps that the red sox wore that day (here's another photo featuring david ortiz)
were in honor of the boston celtics' legendary coach and executive red auerbach, who had passed away the previous october.

another one day memorial was worn by the padres in 2011.  they wore their 1984 throwbacks (minus the ray a. kroc memorial) on july 14, and added a memorial patch for their former manager dick williams who had died a week earlier.  here's a photo of heath bell from that game
and here's a better look at the patch which featured williams' initials,
and was not done in the same manner as the kroc memorial - in order to differentiate the two, i would imagine.  williams, of course, led the padres to their first pennant in 1984, and was elected to the hall of fame thanks to his four pennants, two world series titles, and 1,571 career wins as a manager.

in addition to wearing memorial patches for johnny pesky in 2012, the angels sported the stan musial memorial patch in 2013.  here's coach alfredo griffin showing the patch
while the angels had no connection to pesky or musial, former cardinal slugger albert pujols considered stan the man to be a friend and insisted that the team wear the patch during a july series with the cardinals. because they were already wearing a patch for their team doctor, lewis yocum, the angels wore the musial patch only on their batting practice jerseys.

also in 2013, the astros wore a patch honoring the houston fire department and the four firefighters who died during a hotel restaurant fire on may 31.  the astros wore the patch, visible in the getty images photo of jd martinez below
for their june 4-6 series only.

the rangers, meanwhile, wore a 'support west' patch on their right sleeves on july 5 (seen here in this getty images photo of adrian beltre)
to bring attention to aid efforts for the city of west, texas and the families of the 15 people killed by a fertilizer explosion on april 17.

in july of last season, the a's held a 25-year reunion for their 1989 world series championship team.  one member of the team, that year's cy young award winner bob welch, had died at the age of 57 the previous month.  prior to the game, members of the 1989 team each laid a rose on the pitching mound in welch's memory, and the team added a 'bw' patch to their jerseys.  here's a getty images photo of luke gregerson from that july 19 game
and here's a photo of welch's teammates sporting the patch
i am glad that the a's took time to honor welch during this reunion, and i'm glad that welch won his second ring in 1989 instead of 1988.

so far this season, there have been memorials worn for oscar taveras (cardinals), ernie banks (cubs, royals, yankees), minnie minoso (white sox), al rosen (indians), lon simmons (giants), and sara buck (phillies). whether or not they get posted here, i'll certainly be on the lookout for those memorials in this year's update set and next year's offerings, too.