31 March 2011

is this too bold of a prediction?

thanks to the fleer sticker project, i know this is a 1978 fleer grand slam hi-gloss sticker.  it sure would be nice if there were cause to create a 2012 version.

is that over-reaching for the 2011 dodgers?
perhaps.  but that's what opening day is all about.  everyone's got a shot.  and beating the giants tonight would be a good start.

happy opening day!

stop me if you've seen this one before

does this card look familiar?
it's a 1978 hostess ron cey card.  thank goodness for the neighbors who would buy twinkies and ding dongs for their kids.  otherwise i never would have seen these cards.  i remember when i first saw this particular card and actually wasn't sure if i wanted it.  that's because it was so similar to the penguin's 1978 topps card (sans the ttm auto)
that i didn't see the point in owning two ron cey cards.  imagine that.  now i collect cards of retired players that recycle the same photo or are different colored parallels.  in the end, it's not the same photo just a picture from the same roll, so i went for it.

a year later, i was a bit relieved to see cey's 1979 hostess card
since it was nothing like his 1979 topps card (which has since been signed by cey)
i will refrain from making the obvious 'two birds with one stone' joke, simply because i can't figure out how to set it up.  i'll just blatantly make the comment that cey's 1979 topps card features a peacock and a penguin and leave it at that.

30 March 2011

bringing garvey back

last year, topps included steve garvey in their 'cards your mother threw out' series by reprinting his 1971 rookie card:
although the back was a bit too limey-green
still, it was nice to see a garvey card, and after topps' 2009 tribute card i was darn happy it showed him as a dodger.  then i remembered the 2009 topps update ring of honor card which also showed him as a dodger and i thought maybe, just maybe, topps had forgotten garvey was a padre once and for all.  i was quickly reminded that, no, they hadn't.  they also produced manufactured bat barrel cards for the garv in 2010 update, showing him as a padre.
they even had a nice looking black barrel version
then along comes 2011 topps series 1, and i find that topps reprinted his 1985 card
again with a too-bright green back
is this really the best example of 1985 that topps could think of?  why not show off his fantastic 1974 card, or 1978 or even 1981?

my disappointment was quickly tempered as i discovered that there was a relic card in the set, and it featured the nl iron man as a dodger
i overpaid for it, i was so happy.

i guess this means that next year topps will reprint a garvey card from his dodger days and then give us a swatch of brown jersey from his time with the friars.

i suppose it could be worse - they could do as in the game did in their 2011 heroes and prospects and not refer to a team at all.
whatever, i'm still buyin'.

29 March 2011

the postman rang thrice

i got some mail yesterday.  three baseball card related items.  the first was a 1968 topps ron hunt card that i had sent off in hopes of an autograph.  mr. hunt returned it with a request for $15 donated to his baseball school.  fair enough, but i don't think i will follow through.

the second package was from cliff at capewood's collections.  cliff sent me a nice stack of cards after i inquired about a trade.  we had done good business a while back, and the cards he sent this time were absolutely fantastic.  like this 2011 topps heritage rafael furcal
which just happens to be a short print.  i bought a couple of packs and got exactly two short prints, neither of which were dodgers.  russ mitchell is the other dodger sp.

1988 score tim crews
he's pitching in dodger stadium in what may be the twilight.  i always think of crews this time of year when teams are winding down in spring training.  as you may recall, tim and fellow indians pitcher steve olin died during spring training 1993 when tim's boat hit a dock.  bobby ojeda was injured in the accident.  crews pitched well for the dodgers in 1988 but was left off of the postseason roster.

2003 upper deck victory kaz ishii
i don't recall ishii as clutch, unless you really needed the opposing team to get a walk.  then he seemed to come through quite often.  ha.

2007 topps hit parade luis gonzalez
luis, in one of the few cards te feature him as a dodger, ranked 7th on the active career hits leaders back when this card was issued.  he fell behind biggio, bonds, julio franco (!), steve finley, omar vizquel (still ticking), griffey jr, and sheff.  number 9 on the list was ivan rodriguez who i am sure has passed gonzo by now.

here's reed johnson's only dodger card - a 2010 topps update number
i think johnson is back with the cubs after his lone year in la.  he may even start over alfonso soriano before the season is over, that's how far soriano has fallen.

here's vicente padilla on a 2011 topps walmart black card
he and jon garland are starting the year off on the wrong foot.  maybe ned can swing a deal for kevin slowey.

cliff also sent me my first non-dodger russell martin card
isn't opening day in march this year?  why did topps put april on the cards?  this photoshop job has russell in his yankee roadies playing against the padres.  someone years down the road may be very confused by this card.

there were also a couple of cards featuring a dodger teammate of martin who joined him in yankees camp this year, ronnie belliard and his 2010 topps update card
which brings us to the third piece of mail i received, which was that same belliard card back from the man himself
and he kindly scribbled on it.  i think i saw yesterday that he was released by the yankees.  that stinks, even though he underperformed last year.  we'll always have his 2009 late season performance in dodger blue to remember.

thanks cliff and ronnie, and ron hunt too for filling my mailbox yesterday!

28 March 2011

why is this card awesome?

the card of which i ask that non-rhetorical question is this 1973 topps willie davis card.
the answers may include any of the following:
  1. it's a dodger!
  2. it's the 3-dog!
  3. it's horizontal!
  4. it features dodger stadium!
  5. it's from gcrl's new favorite set of the early 70's!
  6. there's a lurker (even if it is just tim mccarver)! 
  7. it's got a cool cartoon on the back!
all of those are good reasons as to why that card is truly awesome.  the answer i was going for, however, is that it is the first topps card (excluding the 1972 topps in action cards of claude osteen, maury wills, and yes, tom haller) to feature a photo of a dodger with in-game action.  i don't count those in action cards because they are not the players' primary card in the set. 

the first year topps featured in game photography, was 1971 as we all know.  all of the dodger cards that year featured posed images.  topps came pretty close in 1972, however, with willie davis' card which shows him kneeling with his eyes closed in the on deck circle of what may be a regular season game.  wes parker and steve garvey (along with the ostracized frank robinson and bobby valentine) get the in game treatment as well in the 1973 set, but willie's card is the first numerically, so i give the honor to him.

since i am writing about how awesome the 1973 willie davis card is, let me show some other beauts from the set that i have really taken a liking to over the past few weeks.  here's billy grabarkewitz, another fallen dodger sent to the angels in the andy messersmith deal.
i traded for this card on the topps' million card giveaway and received quite a few lame offers once i obtained it.  it's mine now suckas.

here's another angel, although not airbrushed like billy g - it's none other than lynn nolan ryan.
that's pretty much the pose the tsa asked me to strike the last time i flew.  i just closed my eyes and thought of ryan and it was ok.

here's ryan's former teammate, tom terrific
i used to think it was funny and antiquated that major leaguers used to play on fields that look like my high school's field until i went down to spring training a few years ago and saw that they still use fields like this.  and, it's pretty cool to be able to be that close to the action.

say hey! 
i don't think i own any 1960's willie mays cards.  those would all be giants anyway, so who cares.  still, willie in a mets uniform is a strange sight.

here's the hit king's 1973 topps card
the blurry empty seats in the background are somewhat hypnotic.  this is a pretty awkward photo of pete - he's all crossed up looking at who knows what.  sometimes using an in game photo doesn't make sense.
his teammate joe morgan, on the other hand, gives us a good ol' fashioned spring training posed shot.
with some decent sideburns.  decent as in not three dimensional like toby harrah's
i can almost feel those suckers.  straight out of victorian times, they are. 

there are also the cartoons that make the set worthwhile.   i am sure you all recognize jack hiatt's cartoon
it's been edited, but it's the header for stats on the back.

here's another interesting one, this one from jim holt's card
doesn't everybody play baseball in the off-season?  i remember seeing this when i was around 10 or so, and thinking 'well, duh!'  that's what growing up in california does to you - there is no off-season.  there are no seasons, period.  i played baseball year round, or at least from january through september.

i also appreciate the 1973 set for featuring farm animals on a card
at least i think those are goats.  maybe they're dogs.  it's tough to tell.  let's see what else young jim hunter was up to
a real tom sawyer he was.  here's his regular card from the set
along with the back
i wonder what kind of stuff he liked to build.  models? furniture? bombs?  just 'things'.  it is interesting that hunter was assigned to the minors in 1964, according to topps anyway, when he was injured.  i was always under the impression that he went straight to the big league roster after being signed.

here's mike kekich's card back.
topps seems to have confused astrology with astronomy.  let's see, in the early 70's i would bet that a guy's interest in astrology was basically asking a girl in a bar 'what's your sign?'

here's don money
with a magic hat.  better yet is the back the money card that i own
it's more mike strahler than don money.  looks like money enjoys bowling but i can't be sure.  it's very odd, i think, that the front of the card is decently centered and then the back looks like this.

there are some other goofed up cards in my set (and everyone else's) like this bill north card
north joined the a's but topps decided not to get rid of the 'chicago' text on his jersey.

here's another cartoon i enjoy
vada pinson goes dr. strangelove. or kong, to be more accurate. i guess he learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.
and jim willoughby once pitched to a baseball clown
was that jay johnstone?  or a minor league promotion?  i need more information.

i'll end this long and winding and rambling post with one of the best cards from the set - one you have all seen many times before, i am sure.  yes, it's mr. crowley about to take on thurman munson, the guy whose 1971 card was the first to feature an in game photo
and that is why this card is awesome.

27 March 2011

i must be in the front row!

i received a trade package from saints of the cheap seats recently that contained fantastic dodger goodness, none of which were 'cheap seat' worthy.  these were some really nice cards.  here's a sampling:

the first card in the package was this 1996 leaf steel hideo nomo card
as the name would suggest, the card is metal, all right.  i could put this thing in my breast pocket and it would stop a bullet.  no doubt.  this card is probably worth a lot thanks to the price of steel.

here's a 1998 topps gold label eric karros card
sadly, not printed on gold.  i am not too much of a fan of multiple photos on the fronts of cards, but at least this card shows us that eric bats and eric fields.  i wonder what they did for cards of designated hitters.

next up are a couple of cards from fleer's version of topps gold label - 1999 fleer flair showcase raul mondesi - the power...
... and the passion
"oh - the temper of the time."  was peter garrett singing about rauuuuuuuuuuuuuul? either way, we now know that mondesi bats, broods, catches balls, and runs.  and is number 43.  good info.  but was he "wasting away in paradise"?

2008 topps delwyn young auto
delwyn hit a bunch of doubles in the minors in 2007 and topps celebrated his performance with sticker autos.  meanwhile, the people in the background look like they are straight out of 'when it was a game'.

here's a teammate of young's - james mcdonald - on a 2009 upper deck sweet spot auto
young and mcdonald (not to be confused with old mcdonald) are teammates on the pirates.  actually, i am reminded that they are not teammates as delwyn fled across the state to join the phillies after last season.

1998 leaf fractal foundation dennis reyes
i was under the impression that reyes became a lefty after being visited by dodger scout mike brito who made the suggestion.  it turns out that reyes sustained a fairly serious injury to his right shoulder and so became a lefty out of necessity.  he's currently still pitching in the bigs having joined the red sox this year.  i recall that when he won his big league debut for the dodgers, he ended the dodgers' 5-year streak of not having a left-handed starter earn a victory.  and to think that they made the playoffs in two of those years.

here's a jeff kent relic from 2008 ud spx
that's all i have to say about that.

we'll finish with this here-to-fore unseen (by me) card, a 1996 upper deck collector's choice you crash the game card of eric karros
it's pretty cool, with the transparent part in the middle.  reminds me of the melted lifesavers my grandma would put in the middle of some of her christmas sugar cookies.  i remember the yctg promotion, and i am pretty sure i mailed in some winners, but i don't recall getting cards like this back from dick mcwilliams.  anyone have some info on this card?  are there other dodgers as well?

thanks dan!