03 May 2011

the treasure within the 2008 topps dodger factory set and other 'exclusive' cards

in 2008, for the second year in a row, topps issued a dodgers version of their complete factory set.
that's russell martin, hiroki kuroda and andruw jones on the box.  i am turned off by the fact jones is featured, but i looked past that fact and focused on the little yellow triangle in the corner telling me that there was a pack of 5 esclusive dodger cards in the set.

topps had already issued a 55-card 'premium' team set of exclusive dodger cards in 2008
again with andruw on the box!  this set included the dodger stadium card up there in the blog header and in one of my first posts.  i didn't think twice about purchasing this set, so i figured i might as well pick the factory set up as well.

so, here are the five cards topps held out on until the factory sets were issued, and, where applicable, their counterparts from the premium set, just to show how non-exclusive things got back in '08.

gary bennett 
backup catcher extraordinaire.  not such an exclusive card, however, as bennett received a card in the 2008 updates & highlights set.  plus, his card in the 55-card set is pretty similar. 
he played for the dodgers in 2008, which wound up being his final big league season, hitting .190 with a home run.  his lifetime batting average as a met, however, is 1.000 (he went 1 for 1 for the metropolitans in 2001.

esteban loaiza
loaiza pitched in 12 games for the dodgers over parts of the 2007 and 2008 seasons.  he was 2-6 with an era just under 7.00.  topps was really going for the team collector with these cards - i don't think there are too many esteban loaiza collectors out there.  loaiza didn't get a card in 2007 update or 2008 update, so this is fairly exclusive i suppose.  he was included, however, in the 55-card set
with the other standard pitcher's pose.

chan ho park
finally, here's a guy i can remember as a dodger.  twice.  chan ho's return to the dodgers went so well in 2008 that topps gave him a card in 2009, which was nice.  he was not included in the 2008 55-card set.

scott proctor
proctor had a card in the 2007 updates & highlights set and in the 55-card set. 
did you know he was originally drafted by the dodgers, but was sent to the yankees in the robin ventura trade?  i did not.  i did know the dodgers got him back in the wilson betemit trade and that proctor might not have been too happy to be reunited with joe torre whom some felt overused the pitcher in 2006.  still, proctor went undefeated in his dodger tenure - he was 5-0 in la over the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

last, there is mark sweeney
sweeney, like park, got a card in the 2009 topps set.  unlike park, sweeney was also included in the 55-card set. 
like bennett, sweeney finished his career as a dodger in 2008.  he was acquired in a rare trade with the giants during the 2007 season, but didn't show up in the updates & highlights set.  go figure. he wound up hitting .130 in 98 games in 2008 and found himself in the front office the following year.

so, that's it for the 5 exclusive cards in the factory set.  but, there were a couple more dodger cards squirreled away by topps in some other factory sets in 2008.  these were the sets that included rookie cards, and the dodgers featured were

chin-lung hu
who had a card in topps' 2008 series one release and two cards in the 55-card set (here's one of them)
and hiroki kuroda
who also showed up in topps' series 2 set, and in the 55-card set. here's that card, complete with the loaiza factory set pose. 
thanks topps, for your proliferation of exclusivity back in 2008.  and i haven't even got to the blister pack team set yet!


Captain Canuck said...

just think, the Dodgers still owe Andruw 3.2 million a year for another 3 years!

I should remember to tell Owl that, he'll like that....

unclemoe said...

Good stuff. I should probably buy one of thee sometime but is hard for me to get excited about Gary Bennett.


night owl said...

I was going to mention how I can't handle the thought of buying a whole factory set for 5 cards, but then CC got me off track by the massive overspending the Dodgers did on Jones.