02 July 2015

the annual topps/topps dodger team factory set comparison

with the release of 2015 topps series 2, i figured it was time to address the differences between the topps 17-card factory dodger team set and the good ol' flagship cards.  last year, as you might recall, there was a dodger stadium card included in the factory set (which was nice, but had become somewhat repetitive), and the only other variation was the orientation of brian wilson's card.

before i begin with the side-by-side stuff, i'll note that topps did not add a set descriptor to the backs of the factory team set cards, as they are numbered 'lad-#', with clayton kershaw being the first card up.
so far, only series one and series two have had the descriptor above the card number.

here we go - flagship on the left, factory team set on the right.

lad-1 clayton kershaw
the only foil on this year's flagship cards is the topps logo, and the factory set cards replace it with white fill.  that's the only difference between these two cards.

lad-2 andre ethier
ethier, who was probably on the fence as far as inclusion in the factory set, has essentially the same card.  the only difference is the location of the topps logo.  i would have thought that justin turner had as good a chance as ethier to make this year's checklist.

lad-3 yimi garcia
yimi's topps logo remains in the same spot, but his rookie card designation got moved, which is an improvement over the flagship card.

lad-4 adrian gonzalez
the topps logo made a move on gonzalez's card, which i see as an improvement.

lad-5 zack greinke
again, the topps logo moved, but everything else remains the same.

lad-6 aj ellis
this is the star of the set, folks.  the series two card shows ellis in his catcher gear on the road while the factory set used a photo of ellis from last year's playoffs - nlds game 1 at dodger stadium - in which ellis hit a home run.  he was 4 for 5 in that game, but has only 12 hits in 26 games this season.

lad-7 carl crawford
nothing to see here except the transient topps logo

lad-8 brandon league
another topps logo relocation

lad-9 joc pederson
the topps logo remains in place, but the rookie card designation migrated to the other side of the card.

lad-10 yasiel puig
no change

lad-11 hyun-jin ryu
the topps logo moved to a better location.  seriously, does topps give no thought to where the logo appears? there is no consistency as far as one corner or the other, so i would think that if the logo were to be moved, there would be some effort to put it where it doesn't land on top of a players' elbow.  i guess not.

lad-12 yasmani grandal
ok, now i've come to the point where maybe i should have waited to do this post.  grandal had a card in series one, but he was shown as a padre.  the factory set photoshopped him into todd hundley's old uniform, which is actually a good job by topps. grandal wore number 8 with the pads, but switched to number 9 for the dodgers, and topps took notice of that.  anyway, grandal should get a card in the update set and we will have to wait and see whether or not it matches this one.

lad-13 jimmy rollins
topps did get rollins switched over to a dodgers uniform in the flagship set, but they did not do as well with his photoshopping as they did with grandal.  i guess that they did not anticipate him wearing number 11 as a dodger, even though that was the number he wore for most of his phillies career.  oh, there's no substantive difference between the two cards.

lad-14 howie kendrick
kendrick is in the same boat as grandal - he had a card in series one as an angel, and so we must wait until update is out to make a comparison between his dodger cards.

lad-15 juan uribe
uribe should be in update, too, but he'll be wearing a braves uniform.  here, only the topps logo location is different between the two cards.

lad-16 kenley jansen

lad-17 brandon mccarthy
mccarthy made four starts as a dodger, and was 3-0.  it helps when the team averages about 8 runs per start, however, as mccarthy's era was just under six. as for his photoshopped cards, topps got the number right, and then decided that the logo would look better in an already cluttered upper right corner instead of the open and dark upper left corner.

so, no dodger stadium card. no don mattingly card. no alex guerrero or carlos frias or justin turner, for that matter. just some strange decisions on logo placement and a second guessing of photo selection for aj ellis. maybe grandal and kendrick will get real dodger photos in update and there will be three variant cards in the factory set when it's all said and done. we'll have to wait and see.

01 July 2015

when the cards go blue

it's nice when the coloring of a card accentuates elements in the photo, and it is particularly nice when it is dodger blue that is being accentuated.  following up on my recent decision to complete the 2007 topps chrome blue refractor dodger team set (which is not really a recent decision - as a team collector, i had already decided to complete it - it's more like prioritizing), i have picked up a trio of cards.

2007 topps chrome jd drew blue refractor
2007 topps chrome brad penny blue refractor
and 2007 topps chrome juan pierre blue refractor
see what i mean?  jd's helmet, brad's stirrups, and juan's fake blue jersey all look better surrounded by those blue borders.

here are some other blue parallels.

2010 topps finest manny ramirez blue refractor
and 2010 topps opening day manny ramirez toppstown
go ahead. steal the code.

sometimes, the blues don't quite match, which was the case with the walmart parallels that started showing up in 2012.

2012 topps dee gordon walmart blue parallel
2013 topps kenley jansen walmart blue parallel
2014 topps hanley ramirez walmart blue parallel
2014 topps update chone figgins walmart blue parallel
and then there are some blue parallels that sparkle, like this 2013 topps dee gordon silver slate blue sparkle parallel
with dee turning two.

sometimes, the blue is subtle, as is the case with this 2014 panini hall of fame don drysdale blue refractor
numbered 54/75 - one off of his jersey number!  just kidding - that does not excite me, but blue cards featuring the big blue wrecking crew (yes, by that i mean dodgers - not new york football giants) do.

30 June 2015

filling in the gilliams

this is jim gilliam's 1964 topps card
it's also his last topps card (as a player), and for good reason.  gilliam joined the dodger coaching staff following the 1964 season.  however, the team, and particularly the infielders (john kennedy and dick traczewski) that were supposed to replace gilliam faltered, and buzzie bavasi reactivated junior from the coaching squad.

gilliam played for two more years, helping the dodgers reach the world series in both of those seasons.  not that topps noticed.  so, here is a 1965 topps jim gilliam card that should have been
i used the photo from his 1962 topps card, which is a bit of a throwback, but topps has done that same sort of thing before.  the 1966 topps card that should have been
is very similar to one created by cards that never were.

i didn't do a back, but here is what would have been gilliam's final tribute - a 1967 topps card that should have been
it's not the best photo, but i liked the backdrop of dodger stadium.  it would have been nice to see dodger stadium in the background of some of those cards from the 1960's. topps did get the los angeles coliseum (the dodgers' home prior to moving to chavez ravine) on some 1959 cards, so why weren't they able to do the same for dodger stadium?

gilliam returned to coaching after the 1966 world series, and he appears on the manager/coaches cards in the 1973 and 1974 topps sets, but he should have had more cards as a player than he did.

29 June 2015

the rest of 2005 brings the first steve garvey binder to an end

before i get to sheet 59 in the steve garvey binder, i want to note that i did receive the 2005 donruss greats card in the mail the other day, and so i now know that the first card on sheet 55 is not the base version, but rather the un-numbered silver holofoil.  what that means is that all of these cards are going to shift one spot in the binders when i insert the actual base card in that first slot on sheet 55.  i already have these next sheets scanned, so i'm just going to go with it.

here's sheet 59:
those cards are:

1. 2005 playoff absolute memorabilia team quads swatch double padres relic (with willie mccovey, tony gwynn, and rickey henderson) /75
2. 2005 playoff absolute memorabilia team quads swatch single spectrum prime black padres relic (with willie mccovey, tony gwynn, and rickey henderson) /10
3. 2005 playoff absolute memorabilia team six dodgers (with darryl strawberry, rickey henderson, kazuhisa ishii, paul loduca, and kevin brown) /100
4. 2005 playoff absolute memorabilia team six swatch single dodgers relic (with darryl strawberry, rickey henderson, kazuhisa ishii, paul loduca, and kevin brown) /150
5. 2005 playoff absolute memorabilia team six swatch single spectrum dodgers relic (with darryl strawberry, rickey henderson, kazuhisa ishii, paul loduca, and kevin brown) /100
6. 2005 playoff presitge
7. 2005 playoff prestige xtra bases red /150
8. 2005 playoff prestige xtra bases green /50
9. 2005 playoff prime cuts mlb icons /100

again - the padres team quad cards had garvey and mccovey on the back, but they are considered the front in the binder.  it's too bad that garvey has the most non-descript patch piece on the card.  there are many more parallel versions of both the padres team quad and the dodgers team six cards, as well as the playoff prestige cards.  i've only got a few, as you can see.

here are the backs:
there are two different ishii jerseys being cut up for these cards, and i'm guessing that the loduca jersey being used is actually a mets black alternate.  playoff could have left loduca off the card and put al oliver on instead, as they did have oliver relics in that set.

here's sheet 60:
those cards are:

1. 2005 playoff prime cuts mlb icons century silver /50
2. 2005 playoff prime cuts mlb icons material jersey relic /50
3. 2005 playoff prime cuts mlb icons material combo bat/jersey relic /10
4. 2005 playoff prime cuts mlb icons signature material trio mlb auto-bat/bat/jersey relic /10
5. 2005 topps all-time fan favorites
6. 2005 topps all-time fan favorites autograph
7. 2005 topps pristine legends
8. 2005 topps pristine legends gold die-cut refractor /65
9. 2005 topps pristine legends valuable performance relic

just like the previous page, this sheet holds only a fraction of the available parallels for the prime cuts card.  there are also a few more parallels for the fan favorites card, including a refractor that i am currently watching.

here are the backs:
sheet 61 is not full because it's the last sheet of this binder and i figured i should end the binder at the end of 2005, leaving some empty spaces for any additional cards i might obtain featuring the garv between 1989 and 2005.  i've already got the 2005 donruss greats card to add, so i can pick up 5 others without having to add a sheet.  anyway, here is sheet 61:
those cards are:

1. 2005 topps retired signature
2. 2005 topps retired signature gold parallel
3. 2005 upper deck ultimate signature signs of october dual auto (with ron guidry) /250

here are the backs:
yes, it used to be a sign of october when the dodgers and yankees would square off.  it's now been over thirty years since those two teams last met in the post season, and garvey was 2 for 6 against guidry in that most recent clash (1981 world series).

the next binder is on the clock - stay tuned...

28 June 2015

oh, did you think i was done with double play cards from bo?

well, i wasn't.  here are some more that are new to my collection:

1993 donruss tony fernandez (back)
i'll show the front of this card in yet another post of cards from bo, but on the back, tony the padre is turning two.

here's a 1995 pinnacle john valentin card
featuring a double play on tatooine

1996 pinnacle robby thompson
with just a bit of the lead runner's helmet to confirm the turn

1996 score alex arias
and 1996 score jeff reboulet
are more obvious examples of the pivot

as are 1998 fleer tradition jose offerman
and 1998 topps stadium club gary disarcina
bo even included some minor league dp's.  here's a 1999 just minors brent butler card
plus three 1999 team best baseball america top prospects - ron belliard
chad durham
and brett taft
that is some dedication to a trade package.  thanks again, bo!