19 October 2014

sunday morning target dodgers - featuring giants, astros, and yankees, too

let's get right to this week's 15 cards from a sheet in the 1990 target dodgers giveaway set.

bob bailor
bailor was part of the return the dodgers received when they sent sid fernandez to the mets prior to the 1984 season.  he spent two years in los angeles, hitting .261 in 139 games as a utility player.  his final appearance in the big leagues came in the 1985 nlcs against the cardinals.

billy bean
bean (who is a different billy bean(e) than the a's general manager) played in 51 games as a dodger in 1989. he hit only .197 and spent the next two seasons in albuquerque.  he was picked up by the angels, but didn't return to the majors until 1993 when he was with the padres.  he retired from baseball in 1995, and a few years after that acknowledged that he is gay.  bean was recently selected by commissioner bud selig to lead major league baseball's efforts towards inclusion, providing guidance and training to help combat prejudice, homophobia, and sexism in baseball.

al campanis
campanis appeared in 7 games for the 1943 brooklyn dodgers, getting 2 hits in 20 at bats.  the photo used for his card, however, comes from his time as the team's general manager, a position he held from 1969 into 1987 when he was essentially forced to resign following an appearance on 'nightline' in which he stated that african americans "may not have some of the necessities to be, let's say, a field manager" when asked why there were so few minority managers in the big leagues 40 years after jackie robinson broke the color barrier as a player.  as the dodgers' gm, campanis oversaw the teams that won four pennants and a world series, and even traded his own son to kansas city early in his tenure.

hank deberry
deberry was a catcher for the robins from 1922 through 1930, having been acquired from the new orleans pelicans in the same deal that brought dazzy vance to the robins.  he never appeared in more than 85 games in a season, but he became vance's personal catcher.  as such, he caught vance's no-hitter in 1925, and helped vance lead the league in strikeouts for seven straight seasons.  overall, deberry hit .267 in 608 games for the robins and later moved on to coaching, joining the new york giants in 1934 (hence the uniform he is wearing in the photo used on his card above).  he was a manager in the giants' organization in 1938, and then scouted for the giants until his passing in 1951.

alan foster
in his first 7 big league games (which included 5 starts and spanned the 1967 and 1968 seasons), foster was 1-2 for the dodgers despite an era of 1.95, a whip of 0.804, and a strikeout to walk ratio of 5.  over the next two seasons, foster was 13-22 in 57 games with a 4.30 era and a whip of 1.424, and his ratio was a mere 1.29.  he was traded to the indians in the duke sims deal prior to the 1971 season, and may be best remembered as the pitcher who served up the first home run to be hit out of dodger stadium (willie stargell accomplished the feat against foster in 1969).

merwin jacobson
jacobson was an outfielder who had a couple of short stints in the majors with the giants and the cubs in 1915 and 1916, respectively before resurfacing with the robins in 1926. he played in 110 games that season, hitting .247, but went hitless in 11 games (7 plate appearances) for brooklyn in 1927.  jacobson did his best work in between his major league seasons, playing mostly for baltimore of the international league from 1917 to 1925.  he hit over .300 every season between 1919 and 1925, including a .404 clip in 1920.  he is a member of the international league hall of fame.

bob lillis
lillis was signed by the brooklyn dodgers as a 21-year old in 1951, but he didn't make it to the big leagues until the age of 28 when he suited up for the 1958 los angeles dodgers.  as a shortstop, lillis saw  limited playing time, but hit .391 in the 20 games in which he did play that first year.  he continued to see a little bit of playing time in 1959 and 1960 (he did not appear in the 1959 world series), and after just 19 appearances in 1961, lillis was traded to the cardinals for daryl spencer.  after that season ended, he was drafted by the colt .45's in the expansion draft and finished his career in houston.  he retired as a player in 1967 and became an astro coach, a role he returned to in the early 1970's following a few years as a scout.  in the early 1980's lillis managed the club for a few seasons before joining roger craig's coaching staff in san francisco.

jim lyttle
lyttle had been released by the expos in july of 1976 after three-plus seasons in montreal that followed time with the yankees and white sox.  the dodgers were in need of an outfielder since reggie smith was injured in early august, and so they picked lyttle up to fill the void.  he wound up appearing in 23 games as a dodger over the remainder of the 1976 season, replacing both smith and later dusty baker in the outfield.  he hit .221 with no home runs and wound up finding great success in the japan league beginning in 1977.

mike marshall
there are only six pitchers who have every pitched in 90 games or more in a single season, and mike marshall (along with kent tekulve) has done it 3 times.  marshall, however, is the only pitcher to have pitched in over 100 games, having thrown in 106 contests during the 1974 season.  he won the national league cy young award that year, and helped the dodgers reach the world series for the first time since 1966 as well.  marshall broke his own record of 92 games, set the previous season when he was with the expos.  he is a doctor of kinesiology, and today provides training to pitchers in the hopes of reducing strain and injury through what are considered to be untraditional pitching motions.

joe mulvey
in 1895, mulvey appeared in 13 games for the brooklyn grooms, hitting .306 in the process.  that season marked the end of a 12-year big league career, spent mostly in philadelphia.

ron perranoski
perranoski was a dodger double dipper, appearing in a total of 457 games as a dodger.  his best season was 1963 when he was 16-3 with a 1.67 era and 21 "saves" while pitching exclusively in relief.  he finished fourth in the league mvp voting that year.

rick rhoden
rhoden was a member of the team of my youth, and was only 25 when the dodgers traded him to the pirates for jerry reuss.  rhoden had a record of 42-24 as a dodger, with a 3.40 era when he was traded following the 1978 world series.  he went on to pitch pretty well for the pirates and later the yankees, but never did make it back to the postseason.  besides being a decent starting pitcher, rhoden could hit - he had a career average of .238 with 9 home runs and 3 silver slugger awards.  he remains to this day the only pitcher to get a start as a designated hitter in a game.  oh, by the way, i am pretty sure that those are steve garvey's legs getting a cameo on the card.

vince sherlock
sherlock's big league career consisted of 9 games played for the 1935 brooklyn dodgers.  in those games, he was 12 for 26 with a walk and 6 rbi, meaning that he boasts a .462 lifetime batting average, and a career on base percentage of .481.  among players with at least 16 plate appearances in their career, sherlock ranks third in batting average behind cliff dapper (another former dodger), and troy mattes, a pitcher for the expos in 2001.

george shuba
shotgun shuba played for the brooklyn dodgers from 1948 through 1955, although he spent the entire 1951 season in the minors.  he may be best remembered for shaking jackie robinson's hand in 1946 when they were teammates at montreal and jackie hit a home run in his first game as a royal.  although he played in the minors for a couple more seasons, shuba's big league career ended with the dodgers' world series victory in 1955.  shuba passed away just three weeks ago at the age of 89.

kemp wicker
wicker was 1-2 with a "save" in 16 games pitched for the 1941 brooklyn dodgers.  he had previously been with the yankees where he was a part of the 1936 and 1937 world championship teams that defeated the new york giants in the world series. after the 1941 season, the dodgers traded wicker to the cardinals, but he did not make it out of their minor league system.

well, that's another sheet of cards accounted for.  more to come next week.

18 October 2014

i'm a fan of jaybarkerfan

i didn't win the world cup of trading hosted recently by jaybarkerfan's junk.  i chose a card from the group of death and my return was slaughtered by the generosity of bob walk the plank.  still, wes sent me some stuff - just not the gary redus trophy.

instead, i received a bunch of dodgers, including my favorite player of all time on a 2003 topps retired signature card
even steve garvey was not immune to the 'wear your jacket under your jersey' trend that was prevalent in the early 1970's.

here's a 1986 fleer pedro guerrero
from when he was one of the 5 best players in the league.

speaking of best players in the league, here's a 1995 score mike piazza hall of gold card
piazza never did win the mvp, but he finished 2nd twice in a row to go a long with a few other top 10 finishes

here's a card i had never seen before - a 2005 topps pack wars milton bradley
i had heard of pack wars as an event at card shops, but didn't know there were specific cards created by topps presumably for the event.  and, it features a photo from tatooine as well!

this is a 2011 topps pee wee reese 60 years of topps insert
it's been nice to see pee wee get some love from the card companies over the last few years.  i assume that topps will ride sandy koufax and jackie robinson and duke snider for as long as they can, but it would be nice to see some gil hodges cards, too.

2012 topps heritage andre ethier black border parallel
i believe ethier is the longest tenured dodger - he debuted in 2006 a couple of weeks before matt kemp. he is also the odd man out in the outfield.  i am slowly becoming a proponent of adding the dh to the national league, and that would certainly help ethier's situation. i believe that there is no chance that the american league will ever dump the dh, and i think it is silly that there are two sets of rules for the same game.

wes included a 2003 playoff piece of the game kevin brown jersey card
times kevin brown wore a dodger uniform in the playoffs, however, equals zero.

there were also two autos in the package, this 2011 bowman chrome prospects blake smith card
which features a former 2nd round pick who has been converted to a pitcher in the dodger system, and this fantastic jaybarkerfan/hamburgler auto
that goes in the binder right next to the fuji auto!

thanks as always wes.  good stuff.

17 October 2014

bear with me as i wind through a post about a couple of 1998 final tributes that ends with a 1996 card and in total confusion

brett butler finished his playing career in 1997 with the dodgers - his second go-around with the club.  he's currently a coach with the marlins, but that is neither here nor there (although this post does end with a very confusing marlins card).  a few card companies were kind to butler (and to collectors like me who look for 'final tribute' cards) in 1998, like score
who gave us a nice photo of butler on the bases in san diego.

fleer ultra went the more traditional route with a photo of butler discarding his bat following what i assume was a bunt attempt
he's usually bunting on his cards.  i didn't scan the back of the score card, but here's the back of the ultra card, with complete career stats
butler was featured in the 1998 upper deck set, too, complete with a bunting photo
but without the 'final tribute' shield.  which is curious, because upper deck put it there on his 1998 ud collector's choice card
which actually showed him swinging the bat!  no worries, though, as upper deck put a bunting photo on the back along with his career stats.
butler had overcome cancer to return to the dodgers in 1996, and i will never forget his first game back. in a 1-1 game against the pirates, butler (already 1 for 3 in the game) led off the bottom of the 8th with a walk.  he stole second and took third on the catcher's throwing error, and then scored what proved to be the winning run on a sacrifice fly.  it was a fun and actually moving game to watch knowing what he had been through.

butler wasn't the only dodger to retire following the 1997 season, however.  this 1998 fleer sports illustrated card shows us that eddie murray also hung up his spikes at that time.
although it still shows murray in his angels' gear.  remember, murray re-joined the dodgers late in the 1997 season after beginning the campaign with the halos.  here's the back of the card
murray is still an angel, while butler took off his helmet to show off that gray shock of hair, reminiscent of john henson, the guy who replaced greg kinnear on talk soup, although his gray patch was on the side of his head.

anyway, steady eddie also got a final tribute (with the shield!) from upper deck as an angel.  i do not know why since he was a dodger at the end of the season, but i am sure there are some angel collectors who were pleased.  here's the card i am referring to
with his complete career stats on the back
murray also received a card in the second series of 1998 upper deck as a dodger so i'm not too bitter.  in fact, one of murray's angel cards - this 1997 fleer card
is a favorite of mine.  he looks strange in the disney uniform, but he's got the classic swing follow through and the jackie robinson patch on display.

murray also looks strange in an indians' uniform, but that's what he was wearing on his 1996 upper deck collector's choice card
i did a double take when i saw this card becuase of the 'tribute' label.  murray obviously did not retire following the 1995 season, so i was confused.  the back gives some information that led me to believe that this was not intended as a final tribute, but rather just a nod to him reaching a couple of big milestones, including his 3000th hit
so.  what then are we to make of andre dawson's 1996 ud collector's choice card?  it, too, has the 'tribute' banner for the first hall of famer to suit up for the florida marlins.
but, like murray, dawson was still playing beyond the 1995 season. so what milestone did the hawk achieve in 1995?  let's look at the back
according to upper deck, dawson cracked the top ten in home runs, all-time, with his last home run of the season - the 436th of his career - and he tied dodger great duke snider in doing so.  say what?  at the end of the 1995 season, the all-time career home run leader board looked like this:

1. hank aaron - 755
2. babe ruth - 714
3. willie mays - 660
4. frank robinson - 586
5. harmon killebrew - 573
6. reggie jackson - 563
7. mike schmidt - 548
8. mickey mantle - 536
9. jimmie foxx - 534
10. ted williams/willie mccovey - 521
12. ernie banks/eddie mathews - 512
14. mel ott - 511
15. lou gehrig - 493
16. eddie murray - 479
17. stan musial/willie stargell - 475
19. dave winfield - 465
20. carl yastrzemski - 452
21. dave kingman - 442
22. andre dawson - 436
23. billy williams - 426
24. duke snider - 407

dawson was 22nd on the list, and snider 24th.  dawson had actually passed snider on the list a couple of seasons earlier.  i am just totally perplexed by what the text on the back of the dawson card, and the tribute banner on the front, was all about.  but, i'll still probably keep the card in my tributes binder.

14 October 2014

graded garveys from the oddball binder

i've got a few four-pocket pages in my steve garvey oddball binder that hold graded cards.  i did, for a very short time in the early 2000's, buy into the idea of graded cards.  i sent a few off to be graded, including some modern cards, before i thought better of it.  i also bought a few graded steve garvey cards during that short stretch.

the first sheet has a garvey 1971 topps rookie, his fantastic 1974 topps card, a 1975 topps mini, and a 1978 topps, which is a masterpiece
i wanted a rookie graded, and got one with a qualifier.  that right there made me realize that this is not something on the up and up.  it's an 8, but it has issues.  then it's not really an 8.  bccg grading is a quicker/cheaper grade which again makes little sense.  the '75 came in a lot - i didn't seek that one out like i did the others there.

the second page has a gem mt 10 1978 topps card, plus a 1980 topps and two 1981 topps cards
the 1978 card in gem mt 10 was a requisite for this garvey collector.

next up are a couple of cards from 1982 donruss, plus a 1983 topps and a gem mt 10 1987 fleer glossy
garvey's last topps card as a dodger provided a bookend to the 1971 rookie.  the fleer glossy was a cheap gem mt 10 grab.

the last page features a 1988 score glossy gem mt 10, and two cards i sent off myself - a 2001 fleer greats of the game card, and a 2002 topps tribute card
like the rookie, the 1974 and 1978 topps, and the 1983 topps cards, having a graded 1988 score card (in this case glossy version) was necessary.  i obviously knew i wasn't going to have a complete run of garvey base cards graded so i wanted to hit the main points.  sending those two modern cards to be graded was a mistake and unnecessary.

still, if anybody has a graded garvey card they don't want/need, i have an open spot in my binder!

13 October 2014

a black armband and a patch for jimmie reese

jimmie reese passed away on july 13, 1994 at the age of 92.  he had spent about 74 of his 92 years in baseball, from his start as a minor leaguer at the age of 18 to his run as a coach that ended with his passing.  in between, he saw a lot of baseball.

to mark his passing, the angels (for whom reese had coached since 1973) added a black armband to their jerseys for the remainder of the season.  although you can't see it on garret anderson's 1995 upper deck card
but the armband included reese's name and number (50 - which had been retired by the angels in the early 1990's).  you can see the text on phil leftwich's 1995 donruss card
as well as andrew lorraine's 1995 fleer ultra card
the angels wore a different memorial on their batting practice jerseys - a circular patch that also contained reese's name and number
it shows up on tim salmon's 1995 score card
which is nice.  i have both the lorraine and salmon cards in my memorials binder.

i will also point out that the hall of fame's site notes that the team wore the memorial(s) into the spring of 1995 - i'm assuming that means spring training. i haven't seen any cards (or photos even) that demonstrate this, probably due in large part because spring training in 1995 began with replacement players who didn't wind up on baseball cards.

reese was well known for his abilities with the fungo bat, whether it was hitting ground balls with precision or 'throwing' bp by hitting line drives over the plate with it.  he was a roommate of babe ruth's and a coach of nolan ryan's making such an impression on ryan that the pitcher named his second son reese after his coach.

a memorial patch for the singing cowboy

gene autry, the signing cowboy who owned the angels from the day the expansion franchise was awarded prior to the 1961 season until 1997, died on october 2, 1998 at the age of 91.  he had sold part of his ownership to the disney corporation in 1995 and a controlling interest to them soon after.

in 1992, the team retired the number 26 in autry's honor, as he was considered the 26th man on the team's roster.  he was their biggest booster, but the team never could make it to the world series under his leadership - they came oh so close in 1979, 1982 and 1986, but…

the angels, whose uniforms had been 'disney-fied' in 1997 to coincide with their taking over the controlling ownership, added a caricature patch of autry in 1999 along with the number 26 to their jerseys.

this 1999 upper deck mvp card of troy percival shows the patch on the right sleeve of his away grays
because there is an 'anaheim/big a' patch on the left sleeve.

they also wore the patch on the left sleeve of their batting practice jerseys (i don't think they were game alternates) as seen on mo vaughn's 1999 upper deck retro card (gold parallel version)
and this 1999 upper deck ultimate victory troy glaus parallel.
i have both the percival and this 1999 upper deck retro tim salmon card
in my binder.  the salmon is by far the best example of the patch.

autry was a mult-talented entertainer, spanning the industry from film to radio to television, and in fact has 5 stars on the hollywood walk of fame for those three endeavors as well as live theater and recording.  during his career, he wrote and/or recorded a number of classic songs such as 'here comes santa claus', 'rudolph the red nosed reindeer', and 'back in the saddle again', appeared in 93 movies and 91 television episodes of the gene autry television show and made over 600 records.  he also had a true passion for baseball, and it really was too bad that the angels couldn't win one for the cowboy.