30 April 2010

roger craig through the mail success!

former brooklyn and los angeles dodger roger craig graciously signed and returned my 2001 fleer greats of the game card in about a week last summer.
he charges $5 which is fine by me.  he is, after all, a three-time world series champion (twice with the dodgers), winner of game 5 of the 1955 world series, an original met (their 6th pick), and a two-time 20 game loser.  even the fact that he managed the padres and giants for a while didn't dissuade me from sending the card off.

in the same vein of the modest 1978 topps dodger autograph project i have going on, i am kind of pursuing a dodger ttm set of 2001 fleer greats of the game.  it's a nice one for signatures as there is a lot of space at the bottom for the autograph, although craig chose to sign over his chest.  and, while there are quite a few deceased dodgers in this set, there are still a good number of living guys, and i have a good start on them, including maury wills, duke snider, carl erskine and (any day now) ron cey.  i'll keep you posted...

thanks roger!

final tribute fail

hall of famer eddie murray stepped to the plate for the last time on september 20, 1991 in southern california.  his hall of fame career, and the game, ended with a gidp.  the following year, upper deck recognized the end of steady eddie's 21-year career with a foil final tribute logo on his 1998 card.
the only problem is, his final at bat came at dodger stadium, as he ended his career with the dodgers, not the angels.  that's because the disney folks released him in mid august, and the fox corps brought him home a week later.  he appeared in 9 games for the dodgers in his second go around with the team, all as a pinch hitter, and picked up 2 hits and 3 rbi.

i suppose credit is due upper deck for not just recycling a photo of murray from 1990, which they may well have done on his 1998 ud collector's choice card
but still.  a final tribute deserves proper treatment, and for eddie murray, that meant showing him as he truly went out - as a dodger.


29 April 2010

juan marichal final tribute - the card that should have been

when i drew up a short list of cards that should have been, this one was number 3 or 4 on the list.  travis took care of cards one and two of the top 4, and i (and doc) took a shot at another.  i still haven't seen anyone try this, probably because the only photo i know of juan marichal wearing a dodger hat is in black and white, and he's not in full uniform. 

juan appeared in exactly 2 games for the dodgers early in the 1975 season.  they would be the final two appearances of his career as he gave up 11 hits, 9 earned runs, and struck out only one batter in 6 innings of work and was released by the dodgers shortly thereafter.  this means that the 1976 card would have been a final tribute with his complete career stats on the back - something every player (even former giants who took a bat to john roseboro's head) deserves.

i have scoured the internet, visiting the usual sources for photos and have come up empty.  so i asked myself, what would topps do?  and topps would recycle a photo.  so, with that in mind, i give you the 1976 topps juan marichal card that should have been
if the photo looks familiar, it's because i took it from marichal's 1974 topps traded card and reversed it. 
i also bleached the uniform, airbrushed his neck, and used someone else's top part of the cap to get a small bit of the interlocking 'la' logo.  not too bad if i do say so myself.
here's to you, 1976 topps juan marichal card that should have been!

28 April 2010

it's a hoot-enanny!

whenever cards arrive from the night owl.  i know there will be some nice dodger hand me downs in the package, and the latest envelope, received just a couple of days ago, didn't disappoint.  i had sent greg a couple of smaller packages over the last few weeks, trying to knock cards out of his nebulous 9 listing, and then sent a bigger box just last week - the same day he mailed this envelope to me!  good times.  anyway, on to the cards!

1996 pinnacle denny's hologram hideo nomo
the absolute coolest thing about this card isn't the hologram (that part is not very good to be honest). rather, it's that scout mike brito is featured!  he's the figure standing over the catcher's (is that piazza?) right shoulder, with the panama hat and radar gun.  that was his office until the mccourt's renovated dodger stadium and got rid of those true field level seats.  i also think that it's cool that someone, somewhere ordered a grand slam 13 years ago so that i could one day own this card.

1982 kellogg's dusty baker
the 3-d effect on these cards is about as lame as the hologram on that denny's card.

2006 upper deck national pastime nomar garciaparra
any excuse to post a dodger card of nomar.  this was one of those cards distributed on national baseball card day if you remembered to go into your local shop that day.  if you had a local shop, that is.

2008 topps chrome derek lowe blue refractor
i drool over dodger blue refractors.  very purty.

1999 fleer ultra raul mondesi
one of the few 1999 fleer ultra dodger cards not featuring a dodger stadium based photo.  here, raul is showing us how alfonso soriano will one day play the wrigley outfield.

2007 ud sp legendary cuts roy campanella
i'll bet roy was a badass.  3 mvp awards in 5 seasons - the only dodger catcher to win an mvp award, although...

this guy should have.  1998 pinnacle mint mike piazza
yes, larry walker had a monster year in 1997.  but if the voters overlooked dante bichette in 1995 in favor of barry larkin, then why not do the same in 97?  plus, now that we know what we know about ken caminiti, piazza should have won the 1996 award, too.  although there may be things we don't know about italian-american superstar slugger mike piazza, the strongest man in so-cal.

we'll end it with a truly cool card - 2010 topps matt kemp walmart black version
i am not a fan of the gimmicks and the walmart/target exclusives in general, but this card kicks ass.

thanks greg!  hope there were some good cards in amongst the stuff i sent your way!

gcrl through the mail successes! almost!

over the span of two days a couple of weeks ago, i received in the mail cards back from all four members of the infield.  i had sent out some ttm auto requests to steve garvey, ron cey, bill russell and davey lopes during spring training and was over the moon to get them back.  especially since most of them were signed.  let's take a look.

1973 topps steve garvey
very nice.  i had one of these already, but wanted a second one to send to wes parker.  i think i'll send it next week and keep my fingers crossed.  it looks like garvey is only signing one card per request these days.  i sent him the 73 and a 1976 topps, but only the 73 came back.  that's ok.  luckily, i had a success a few months earlier in which he signed both cards i sent, including a 1982 topps in action
and, just to show that i don't completely ignore his padres days, a 2002 topps traded 'who would have thought' insert
i was really happy that topps included him in this set.  garvey is more of a regional guy, and west coast at that.  i would have expected a jim hunter or dwight evans card before a garvey.  thanks topps!

let's see what the penguin signed...

1975 topps ron cey
of the four, cey is by far the quickest and most reliable signer.  he is awesome.  i must confess i have sent probably a half dozen requests to him, and he never disappoints.

1981 topps ron cey
not the best card to get signed, as it's pretty dark.  the scan is darker than the card really is, though.

here are a couple more from a previous request:

1982 topps ron cey
i have kind of avoided using the 1982 topps set in my ttm requests simply because it has the facsimilie signature already on the card.  for the penguin, i'll make an exception.

1987 o-pee-chee ron cey
here's a card that has yet to be featured on the o-pee-chee blog.  notice that cey doesn't include any number when he signs a non-dodger card.  he wore 11 with the cubs and a's but doesn't acknowledge that in his autograph.  i wonder how he would sign a 1983 o-pee-chee card.  i'll have to find out.

time to see what the shortstop sent back...

1970 topps bill russell
russell's rookie card.  not yet an infielder.  he's one of the few, and maybe the only shortstop who i can think of that converted from the outfield successfully.  i know robin yount went the other way, but i can't think of any others who did what russell did in that regard.

1987 topps bill russell
his topps final tribute.

1984 fleer bill russell
and 1986 topps bill russell (dodgers leaders)
both cards of russell breaking out of the batters' box.  i miss vero beach and those brightly colored rows of seats.  they made for colorful and recognizable cards, if not interesting ones.

lastly, there is davey lopes.  i had a success with him early last season in my modest 1978 topps dodgers autograph quest but hadn't sent a follow up request until this spring.  part of that was due to the fact that people were reporting a spate of 'return to sender' for requests sent to lopes and the phillies in general.  well, things are no different now, as my cards came back with the dreaded yellow sticker.  that's ok - to borrow from meatloaf, 3 out of 4 ain't bad!

thanks steve, ron and bill!

27 April 2010

passing the torch

if you were collecting in 1986, you remember all the clamor about this, tony perez's 1986 topps card.
with eric davis greeting him at home plate, there was a lot of discussion about the card's symbolic 'passing of the torch' in cincinnati. never mind that tony perez had been gone for 7 years and was only a part-time player in 1985, that he was still a part-time player in 1986, that he and eric davis played different positions, and that pete rose was still there, although playing sparingly.

i get it. it's symbolic. it's one of the things that's great about baseball, especially before the advent of full throttle free agency. out with the old, in with the new.  the kid replaces the veteran, and the name on the front of the jersey remains the same.

still, i much prefer this card as a 'passing of the torch' - it's steve garvey's 1973 topps card.
wes parker, who was still the dodgers' regular first baseman in 1972, greeting the dodgers' future first baseman at home plate. parker's not even a lurker here - he dominates the card! parker retired after the 1972 season and garvey became his permanent replacement in june of the 1973 season. parker was a career dodger, and garvey turned out to be the dodgers' poster boy during his long tenure. 

so where's the symbolic passing of the torch 1983 greg brock card, topps?

26 April 2010

i'm out of position? you're out of position!

it happens almost exclusively to catchers.  or former catchers, trying to extend their careers.  they move to a different position, but are still thought of as catchers.  here are a couple of cards that exemplify this phenomenon.

1992 donruss gary carter.
hall of fame catcher tries his hand at first base.  he gets no recognition from donurss for doing so aside from their photo choice.

2002 fleer triple crown paul loduca.
the 'heart and soul' mitchell report poster boy got some time in the outfield during the crazy days of jim tracy's reign, but fleer didn't care to change the position text on his card.

i am sure there are some johnny bench and carlton fisk cards out there with this same thing going on.  any others?

25 April 2010

a card lot from the sandlot

i recently completed a trade with joe over at the sandlot.  he had a bunch of autos and game used stuff he advertised and i jumped on the dodgers and twins.

here's a 2007 sp authentic by the letter rookie signature card of andy laroche
if it weren't a dodger, i wouldn't bother - just like shaq's biological.  a messy auto on a manufactured patch artificially numbered to 40 as if it's really scarce.  note that laroche is wearing 66.  the last dodger rookie i recall wearing 66 was paul konerko.  another dodger prospect they traded away.

2006 fleer flair showcase rafael furcal jersey
i still think of furcal as a brave, even though this is his 5th season in la.  he just passed 1500 career hits and will play in his 500th game as a dodger this weekend.  still a brave to me, though.

2006 topps turkey red joe mauer jersey
joe mauer even has the kirby puckett generation of twins fans wearing number 7 jerseys.  in related news, i went to target field twice last week.  it is awesome.  and so is joe mauer.

2006 ud future stars jason kubel auto
it's strange to think that after a breakout season in 2009, kubel is losing at bats to jim thome this year.

2005 topps chrome kevin west auto
kevin west looks to have been a very good minor league player who never got a shot in the big leagues.  he was in the twins organization from 1999 through 2006 and then with the rangers' minor league system in 2007. the next two years saw him playing in the independent northern league.  he had some good seasons for the twins' aaa club, but i gues couldn't break through the shannon stewart/torii hunter/jacque jones/michael cuddyer outfield in the majors.

2007 topps chrome glen perkins auto
perky is the fifth minnesota gopher to play for the twinkies that i can think of off the top of my head.  denny neagle, terry steinbach, dave winfield and paul molitor being the others.  right now perkins is in the doghouse in aaa.

1998 fleer sports illustrated world series fever orel hershiser
with jeff hamilton and rick dempsey lurking.  i like the idea of orel as a new mr. october (and i reject the idea of derek jeter as mr. november).  i wonder if there would have been a market for 'bulldog' candy bars.

thanks joe!

more sunday morning target dodgers

we're going way back to start this post with none other than tacks latimer.
tacks appeared in just 8 games for the brooklyn superbas in 1902, his only year with the organization.  he picked up just 1 hit in his 24 at bats.  in 1899, he was traded with a bunch of players, including honus wagner, from louisville to the pirates.  that's not bad company to be in.

ed lennox
lennox was the superbas' third baseman in 1909 and 1910.  he began his career with connie mack's philadelphia a's in 1906 and finished up with the pittsburgh rebels (managed by rebel oakes) of the frontier league in 1915.

franklin stubbs
currently the hitting coach for the dodgers' minor league team in san bernardino, stubbs was the dodgers' primary first baseman in 1988.  an unlikely 2-hole batter, he hit .294 in the world series against the a's and drove in the first run of the dodgers' game 2 shutout victory.  he was traded to the astros in 1990 for terry wells who pitched in 5 games for the 1990 dodgers.  i wonder if he's in this set.  i'll have to look.  nope.

in that case, we'll end with bill steele.
big bill finished his career with the brooklyn robins in 1914.  he had 1 win in his 8 appearances with the club.  i am guessing that he wasn't out of focus and grainy looking in real life.

24 April 2010

more 2010 goose joak originals

here's a few more goose joak originals for your enjoyment.  or maybe just mine. all of the photos are from getty images.

dodger stadium
the vertical orientation of the design this year wouldn't normally lend itself to a stadium shot, but i saw this one and it works pretty well.  every year around this time i get homesick, and this is a big reason why.  what a great stadium.

ronnie belliard
belliard has been great this year so far in his super-sub role.  at the plate, anyway - he's hitting over .400 thanks in large part to his two three-hit games, including that monster game against the pirates where he was a single short of the cycle.  in the field he's committed 3 errors already in limited action.  yikes.

chad billingsley
bills is an enigma.  the natives are getting restless and feel that he needs to sort things out quickly.  there's a lot expected from him, and so far this year we're not even getting the good first half.

casey blake
no beard this year.  he's been fairly solid, but is tied with belliard and russell martin for the team lead in errors and has only scored 4 runs so far.

jonathan broxton
there haven't been too many save situations so far for brox (thanks george).  in fact, he has just 1 save in 6 appearances.  he's striking guys out, though, with 9 in just under 6 innings.

jamey carroll
this signing surprised me because of the fact that we already had ronnie belliard and blake dewitt on the roster, along with chin lung hu.  no offense, but i think hu should be here instead.

blake dewitt
i was happy to see dewitt get the starting job at second.  with a .426 obp, he's doing what he needs to do, although all those times on base have only translated to 5 runs so far.  maybe a fair number of his walks have been intentional to get to the pitcher's spot, i'm not sure.

speaking of pitchers (sort of), here's russ ortiz
he's no longer a dodger.  which is probably a good thing.  he appeared in 6 games and gave up 8 earned runs in 7 innings.  i am guessing ned owed him something from their time in san francisco.

i have a few more cards lined up but i'll share them another time, although i think you can see them all by going to dave's site.

23 April 2010

ted power through the mail success!

former dodger prospect and reds/pirates/indians/royals/tigers/mariners pitcher ted power was kind enough to sign and return 3 cards to me.

first up is his 1982 fleer card
it's kind of a mug shot photo, but it's the only major manufacturer card i have of power in a dodger uni.  power pitched for the dodgers in 1981 and 82 before he was traded to the reds for mike ramsey.  no, not that mike ramsey, the other one.  in his dodger debut, power relieved against the giants, giving up no runs in two innings and striking out 3, including jack clark.  maybe we should have kept power around for the 1985 nlcs...

he also signed his 1991 upper deck card
which happens to feature a dodger stadium background.  power appeared in the postseason for the only time in his career with the bucs in 1990 (he was left off of the dodgers' postseason roster in 1981), and he made the most of it against one of his former team.  he saved game 1, finished game 4 and started game 6 in a losing effort against cincinnati.

speaking of the reds, power also signed his 1992 upper deck card featuring him as a red once more,
and showcasing another dodger stadium background.  power rejoined the reds for the 1991 season (another case of 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em').  power is currently a minor league coach in the reds' organization.

thanks ted!