31 January 2011

rafael landestoy, double dipper

rafael landestoy began his career with the dodgers as an amatuer free agent in 1972.  he finally cracked the big league roster in 1977 when he appeared in 15 late season games.  he even made an appearance in the 1977 world series against the yankees, pinch running for steve yeager in the top of the 9th inning of game 1.  he was stranded on second and then replaced in the lineup defensively by jerry grote.

  here he is on a 1978 sspc card documenting his early dodger days:
in his time with the big club in 1977, landestoy hit .278 with 5 singles and two stolen bases.  he spent time at second and short in the field, while making a few other appearances as a pinch runner.  landestoy was back in the minors for the start of the 1978 season, and then was traded in july to houston in the deal that would make joe ferguson a dodger double dipper.

sporting the astros' rainbow unis, landestoy (seen here on his 1981 topps card)
became their primary second baseman and had pretty solid years in 1979 and 1980.  he set career highs in '79 with 30 rbi and a .270 average in 129 games, then set career marks in 1980 with 149 games, 97 hits and 23 steals.  he made his second postseason appearance, this time in the 1980 nlcs against the phillies.  during the 1981 season, landestoy was traded again, this time to the reds.  in his 3+ seasons with the astros, landestoy hit an even .250 in 372 games and 967 at bats.  with the reds, he hit just .181 in 92 games and 127 at bats spread over 2+ seasons.  he stayed in cincinnati until may of 1983 when his dodger double dipper destiny was fulfilled.
in one of al campanis' worst trades, landestoy returned to la to back up reigning rookie of the year steve sax (who was hitting around .270 at the time of the trade) at the cost of a young left hander named john franco.  here's landestoy's 1984 topps card, documenting his double dipping status:
in his second time around with the blue, landestoy hit .178 in 118 at bats spread out over 117 games in 1983 and 1984.  he appeared in the 1983 nlcs against the phillies and went 0 for 2.  he was released by the dodgers in october of 1984, bringing an end to his career.  in total, he hit .191 as a dodger in 132 games.  in comparison, john franco pitched for 21 seasons and had 424 saves in his career.

here's to you rafael landestoy, dodger double dipper! 
[this is the ninth installment in the double dippers posts.  here are the previous posts - brett butler, omar daaleric young, nick willhitechris gwynn, mickey hatcherdave anderson, and don zimmer.]

30 January 2011

the dodgers' journey

more dodgers in the mail thanks to jason at the writer's journey. all i had to do was send him some reds, including a couple of chris sabo cards, and wait for the dodgers to come rolling in.  here's a sampling:

1986 fleer stickers box bottom dodgers logo
i don't understand why the dodgers were featured.  they were nl west champs in 1985, but lost to the cardinals in the nlcs (first base was open tommy!) and the royals beat the cards in the series (the blue jays were the other postseason team).  maybe it's part of that royals/dodgers confusion that night owl has been writing about.  anyway, there is a checklist on the back which lists the 4 cards found on the bottom of the boxes.  in addition to the dodger logo, there is this card

1986 fleer stickers box bottom steve garvey
garvey was card number 1 in fleer's first star sticker set (1991) which was cool.  and, it's cool that he was included in the box bottom set.  but i still wonder why - he was clearly past his prime in 1985, although he made the all star team, and the pads were nl champs in 1984, not '85.  there were bigger stars to be had for sure.  donruss was putting dwight gooden on the bottom of their boxes in 1985.  anyway, i'm glad to have another garvey card to collect.

here's a true sticker, the fernando valenzuela 1988 topps sticker
along with a 1986 donruss highlights fernando
and a 1987 donruss all stars valenzuela
the card is 3x5.  both the 1986 highlight and the 1987 all star card deal with fernando's incredible appearance in the 1986 all star game when he struck out 5 american league all stars in a row - don mattingly, cal ripken, jesse barfield, lou whitaker, and teddy higuera.  what was the pitcher doing being allowed to bat in the all star game, you might ask.  well, that was back when the starters went 3 innings and so did their first replacements, although neither dwight gooden nor fernando came to bat thanks to the national league's offensive ineptitude for the first 6 innings of the game.

jason also sent some auto'd cards - a 1990 bowman jose offerman
this is way cool since i don't think e-fferman will ever return to the states in an mlb role.  i think there are  some dealers at the local card show that have some auto'd cards from his twinkie days, but i never thought to buy any.  so, this card is much appreciated.

as is this 1990 fleer lenny harris
and this 1990 topps lenny harris
lenny is back with the dodgers in a minor league hitting role and hopefully recovered from some health issues a year ago.  these are my first harris autos.

1973 topps dick dietz
dietz is one of those guys who was acquired in a trade with the giants.  it's a small club.  i think of dietz as a giant all the way, even though he was obviously a dodger.  i think that's because the first card of his i owned was his 1972 topps in action card.  plus, he was the guy who thought he had broken don drysdale's scoreless inning streak when he was hbp with the bases loaded.  the umpire ruled that dietz didn't try to get out of the way, so he wasn't awarded first.  ha ha - stupid giant.

we'll end with a guy i don't feature enough - shawn green on a 2004 bowman heritage card
green recently addressed some dodger rookies about the right way to play and be a big leaguer at their winter workouts.  i hope he told them not to be like him and instead sign through the mail.

thanks jason!

29 January 2011

sterling tiffany and other treasures from thorzul

i missed the most recent thorzul group break, but i claimed the dodgers in the one before that - his interim group break.  to be honest, i don't know if all of these cards came from the break, or if thorzul is padding my return with random dodger goodness.  whichever the case, i hope he keeps it up.  here's a sampling of what i received:

2005 bowman sterling chuck tiffany:
tiffany was once a precious gem in the dodgers system.  they drafted the socal native out of high school and sent him off to rookie ball at the age of 18.  in his first full year in the minors, he pitched a perfect game and struck out 141 in 100 innings!  did i mention that he's a lefty?  drool.  the next season (2005), tiffany struck out 134 in 110 innings.  i had visions of awesomeness come 2009 or so.  then, along came ned, who sent tiffany and edwin jackson to tampa bay for danys baez and lance carter.  sigh.  tiffany wound up tearing his rotator cuff in 2006 after pitching in just 4 aa games for the d-rays.  he came back in 2008 and actually re-signed with the dodgers in 2009.  unfortunately, he was released and has been pitching in the independent league the last couple of years.

2010 topps cymto 1972 frank robinson traded
for the record, my mother didn't throw this out - it took me a long time to find the '72 high number, and by the time i did, i don't think she was cleaning my room anymore.  it's the only official topps card of frobby in a dodger uni - the 1973 card comes close, but he's listed as an angel.

1997 donruss limited raul mondesi counterparts insert
i won't bother to show you the slug on the other side of the card, but his name rhymes with mandruw jones.  i'm glad, though, that thorzul sent it to me rather than dayf or the captain.

2010 topps national chicle roy campanella
taking cuts on the sandy shore of the east river.  for the most part, i liked this set - or at least the paintings (like this one) that don't look too cartoony or put duke snider in modern uniform stylings.

and 2010 topps national chicle jackie robinson
this card is pretty awesome, even with the random green tetris blocks in the lower right.  thorzul thought it was cool, too - especially since it is a chicle ad back.

thanks for hosting thorzul!

28 January 2011

the 1978 topps rick sutcliffe card that should have been

rick sutcliffe debuted in 1976, but didn't get any cardboard love from topps until 1980.  although he didn't appear in the big leagues in 1977, he was a member of the 1978 dodgers, and so he deserves a spot in my 1978 topps burger king dodgers/update set.  here is the 1978 topps rick sutcliffe card that should have been:
the photo comes from the official 1978 dodgers photo album - a document that mrmopar turned me on to after my initial enzo hernandez posting.  i quickly found one on ebay and have been enjoying it ever since.  here's the back of sut's card:
i realize now i forgot to add a line for 1977 with some qualifying 'spent year in minor leagues' text.  oh well.  in his 1976 debut, sutcliffe faced 17 batters in 5 innings, and gave up just 2 infield singles and a walk (one baserunner was erased by a double play).  the dodgers won the game 1-0 on a 7th inning steve garvey single.  in 1978, sutcliffe got called up late in september.  he appeared in 2 games, first in relief of lance rautzhan on september 22 when he allowed a single to dave winfield and hit jerry turner, but got the two outs he needed to finish the inning before being pinch-hit for by pedro guerrero.  his other 1978 appearance was also against the padres and came on october 1.  in that game, sutcliffe again relieved rautzhan and again worked his way around a couple of base runners to emerge unscathed.

it wasn't until his second appearance of the 1979 season (his 5th career appearance) that sutcliffe was touched for a run.  in relief of andy messersmith, sutcliffe allowed a hit and a walk before mike lum of the braves drove in gary matthews to give the eventual national league rookie of the year his first run allowed.

sutcliffe was featured in the 1978 dodgers yearbook, so i pulled that image onto the 1978 topps template as i had for ron washington and rafael landestoy

here's to you, rick sutcliffe and your 1978 topps burger king dodgers/update card that should have been!

27 January 2011

who's that lurker?

in 1987, tony gwynn shared his o-pee-chee (and topps) card with a lurker from los angeles.
close inspection reveals that it is none other than alex trevino.  trevino was brought in prior to the 1986 season to back up mike scioscia as steve yeager was sent to seattle.  he wore number 29 and he started 50 games behind the plate for la, including 4 at jack murphy stadium. the june 15th game was played on sunday, so it may be the most likely to have been a day game. in that game, both gwynn and trevino had 1 hit, but while gwynn was 1 for 4, trevino was 1 for 1 with 3 walks (none intentional), two runs scored and he even threw out bip roberts trying to steal second.  not a bad day at the office for a lurker.

here's to you alex trevino, foreground lurker!

'these are a few of my favorite things'

a 2000 bowman chrome randey dorame 'fa-so-la-ti-doe'. 
get it? favorite things? dorame? as in doe-ray-me-fa-so-la-ti?  sound of music?  okay, okay - enough.  i recently completed one trade with dodger fan michael, and he has already sent me a second package that i need to recompense.  he sent the card above along with some other cool and shiny (but not all shiny) cards.  like a 2010 topps chrome john ely orange refractor
and a regular 2010 topps chrome john ely refractor
here's a 2010 topps 206 of russell martin
he has an oval head.  i guess now i can go back to thinking of orel hershiser when i think of 55 rather than russell martin.  or sammy hagar.

another martin - 2009 topps ticket to stardom
more like ticket out of town.

yet another russell martin card - 2010 topps
i hope martin does well in the bronx, but by most accounts his time is limited as the yankees have a couple of stud prospects who also wear the tools of ignorance knocking at the door. i wonder if he regrets not taking ned's final offer knowing that his competition here is rod barajas and dioner navarro.

2010 topps national chicle manny ramirez
kind of an odd perspective in the painting.  something about the helmet is not quite right.  here's another manny - 2010 topps finest
now i can go back to thinking of gretzky when i think of 99.

2010 bowman dpp jake lemmerman
i don't know too much about lemmerman except that he went to duke and he was the dodgers' 5th round pick last year.  maybe that's enough.

finally, a 2010 topps 206 vladimir guerrero
is vlad riding off into the sunset?  hard to believe, based on last year's performance, that manny has a deal for 2011 and big daddy vladdy does not.  hopefully that changes soon.

thanks michael!  i am working on getting another package ready to send.

26 January 2011

request fulfilled - a card that should have been, according to rod from padrographs

here's the first of the 'cards that should have been' that resulted from my call for requests on new year's day.  of course as soon as i posted the thing i became busier with work and other things than i have been in a long while.  anyway, here is the 1988 donruss bip roberts card that should have been.
the front of it, anyway.  hope you like it rod!

coming soon - some dodger cards that should have been - by request!

25 January 2011

the evolution of the center fielder

i'll start this ode to the trail of dodger center fielders with the silver fox, the duke of flatbush, or as his parents named him, edwin donald snider.

duke snider (1949-1958)
in his 10 seasons as the dodgers' primary center fielder, snider hit .306 with 326 home runs, 1035 rbi, over 1000 hits and 3000 total bases, and had an obp of .386 and an ops of .950.  he helped the dodgers to five world series appearances over that stretch and hit 4 home runs in two different fall classics.  he is the gold standard as far as dodger center fielders go, and don demeter had the unenviable task of replacing him when the duke moved to right field in 1959.

don demeter (1959)
(this, by the way, is the copy of demeter's 1958 card that topps sent me from the mcg promotion.  i should have taken one of those multi-card trades and bought a better copy on the bay for $4).  demeter's lone season in the center field spotlight resulted in a .256 batting average and 17 home runs.  the dodgers made the world series, though, and demeter had 3 hits and scored a couple of runs as the dodgers won their first world championship in los angeles.  demeter returned to back-up status in 1960 as tommy davis debuted.

tommy davis (1960)
tommy davis had actually debuted in 1959, getting a single at bat under his belt before the season ended (he struck out pinch-hitting for clem labine against marshall bridges).  in 1960, though, he played in 110 games,  hit .302 with 11 home runs and 44 runs driven in, and finished 5th in the rookie of the year voting.  he shared the center field position in 1960 with the two previous occupants as well as another rookie, willie davis.  the 3-dog would take over the 8 spot in 1961.

willie davis (1961-1973)
willie davis became the holder of most los angeles dodger records during his tenure, virtually all of which was spent as their primary center fielder.  he leads all la dodgers in career war (war, offensive war, and defensive war) as well as at bats, runs, hits, total bases and triples.  in his 13 year run in center for the blue, he amassed over 2000 hits and nearly 1000 runs scored.  the dodgers traded davis to the expos for reliever mike marshall in december of 1973, one day before they acquired the toy cannon to replace him.

jim wynn (1974-1975)
wynn was an all-star in both of his seasons with the dodgers, and may have been the actual mvp in 1974.  he hit 32 home runs and drove in 108.  he also walked 108 times and scored 104 runs.  he hit only .188 in the world series against the a's that year, and is probably best remembered among dodger fans for having joe ferguson cut in front of him in game 1 to catch reggie jackson's fly ball before nailing sal bando at the plate.  wynn was traded to the braves after the 1975 season, and in return, the dodgers got their next center fielder, dusty baker.

dusty baker (1976)
yes, baker played center in 1976 before moving over to left field.  he had played mostly right field for the braves the previous two years, but made the transition fairly easily - just 1 error in 83 games in center.  his offensive production dipped quite a bit, though, as he hit only 4 home runs after hitting no fewer than 17 in his previous four seasons.  the move to left field the following year coincided with the return of baker's power, and opened a spot for another newcomer in center, rick monday.

rick monday (1977)
monday is the guy i remember as the center fielder, since the 1977 team is the one i first followed closely.  he was acquired from the cubs for bill buckner and ivan dejesus (the dodgers also got mike garman in the deal).  he was coming off a career year - 107 runs scored and 32 home runs - when he was traded.  like baker before him, his offensive production declined as he hit just .230 with 15 long balls.  he hit .286 in the nlcs against the phillies, but just .167 in the fall classic against the yankees.  in 1978, monday began the season as the center fielder, but in may they acquired bill north from the a's, and monday began to play a bit more in right and as a pinch hitter.

bill north (1978)
north made 82 starts for the dodgers in center, while monday made 74, so north gets the nod as the dodgers' official center fielder for 1978.  acquired for glenn burke, north hit .234 in 110 games as a dodger, scoring 54 times and stealing 27 bases (he was caught 8 times).  he was pretty quiet in the post season, going hitless in the nlcs and managing just 1 hit in the world series.  monday wasn't too much better - he managed two hits in each series.  north headed north to san francisco as a free agent after the season, meaning that the dodgers would once again have a new primary center fielder in 1979.

derrel thomas (1979)
thomas had joined the dodgers as a free agent prior to the season, and wound up making 93 starts in center.  he also played at every infield position at some point during the season.  in all, he hit .256 and scored 47 runs in 1979.  his value clearly was as a utility player, so the dodgers allowed a rookie to take over in center in 1980.

rudy law (1980)
law debuted in 1978, but didn't appear in the majors again until 1980.  he won the center field job after a good showing in spring training, and he went on to set a dodger rookie record with 40 stolen bases that year.  he found his way into tommy lasorda's doghouse and was made made expendable when the dodgers acquired their next center fielder, kenny landreaux, prior to the 1981 season.

landreaux brought some stability back to center field for the dodgers, so we'll let him kick off part 2, coming soon.

24 January 2011

a double play double play equals perfection on cardboard

it's the top of the second inning on june 29, 1991 in a game between the orioles and the visiting red sox.  former bosox sam horn has just victimized his former team in the bottom of the first with an rbi double to give the o's the lead.  with one out, carlos quintana lines a single up the middle.  second baseman juan bell is able to cut the ball off, but can't make a play.  this brings up tom brunansky.  brunansky is a man who has grounded into a fair amount of double plays, including 17 in a season twice.  he doesn't disappoint.  his ground ball to orioles' shortstop cal ripken is quickly fielded and ripken throws it to bell covering second.

juan bell's 1992 donruss card captures the double play turn beautifully.
bell is in midair, jumping to avoid the sliding (or is he rolling?) carlos quintana who comes in with his right arm outstretched.

but wait.  carlos quintana's 1992 donruss card also captures this baseball ballet
with bell back on terra firma and quintana still with his arm outstretched, both looking to see randy milligan catch the ball before brunansky arrives at first.  the inning is over.  this continuation is awesome.  reminds me of the 1993 gary gaetti/junior ortiz cards i featured a long time ago..

here's a side-by-side image, just for the heck of it.
1992 donruss just went up a notch in my book.

(thanks for the cards ryan)

23 January 2011

the great dodgers-orioles trade project

it's only fitting that i start this trade post with a couple of juan bell cards.  that's because i recently completed a trade with ryan of the great orioles autograph project, and he sent me the cards, along with a bunch of other double play and dodger cards.  also, the dodgers traded juan bell to the orioles for eddie murray way back when.  on to the cards - first, a 1993 topps stadium club
and a 1994 fleer
there was anothe juan bell double play card in the trade, but that card is being saved for a future post.

on to the dodgers!  1991 topps traded darryl strawberry
such high hopes we had back in '91.  donruss had given darryl the gretzky treatment with the press conference photo on their card, so this was the first real dodger darryl i saw.

ryan also included a 1992 leaf strawberry from the heritage insert series
the back says he's wearing a 1944 brooklyn uniform and holding a jackie robinson bat.  jackie wasn't on the 1944 team, but that's ok. to me, darryl looks like another disappointing dodger in this photo - delino deshields.

1994 post mike piazza
this was a nefarious 9 card (ryan also included a 1987 topps lee lacy that was, at one time, also a n9 want).  i have since replaced this card on the list with another oddball piazza - his 1994 kraft card.

2007 bowman heritage ivan dejesus, jr
i didn't realize that he had cards from that far back.  with chin-lung hu out of the way, i would guess that dejesus makes the dodgers this year.  then ned can trade him to the cubs just like al campanis did with his old man.
2009 ud o-pee-chee joe nathan black border
i'm still working on this set (meaning i have a want list) and ryan included a few twinkies.  unfortunately, they weren't ones i needed.  still, they are good cards to put away for twinsfest or the autograph party.

2005 topps nomar garciaparra
a non-red sox nomat, with the chevron car in the background to boot!
we'll finish with another double play card - a 1994 score ryne sandberg
pure goodness.

thanks ryan!