31 July 2011

let's turn two!

it's been a while since i posted a bunch of double play cards.  these cards were once a way for me to appreciate non-dodgers and at the same time, recall the pure joy of turning a double play.  i even wrote a double play themed entry for a local literary workshop that was seeking baseball themed haiku a few years back:

a pitcher's best friend
is not diamond or dog
it's a double play

sadly, there have been so few lately that i have bothered to get excited about.  where have you gone, 1971 topps cookie rojas?  well, this 2010 bowman erick aybar is pretty cool.
i believe that's alex rodriguez sliding in. i'm sure he also tried to slap the ball away or maybe even reached up to punch aybar in the nuts as he was sliding by.

this 2008 upper deck first edition aaron hill is one of those mundane cards i was referring to above
and this 2008 topps damion easley is just about the worst double play card there is
how he can stand there like that after turning two without getting his leg snapped like tsuyoshi nishioka is beyond me.  shame on that yankee (robinson cano?) sliding in.
here's bobby hill on a pretty decent 2003 upper deck 40 man card
not sure why the guy sliding in is blurred out.
angel berroa's 2005 upper deck card is ok
and miggy's 2006 upper deck issue is not bad either
here's a 2001 fleer triple crown card of adam kennedy getting just enough air to clear eric chavez
and here is kennedy on his 2002 fleer ultra card at the point of touchdown.
extra points for a three-point stance using just one foot.
fellow angel gary disarcina gives good dp on his 1999 upper deck card
as does neifi perez
although i am not a fan of seeing just legs of a guy sliding in.  it seems incomplete to me.

finally, scott spiezio delivers what a double play card should on his 1999 upper deck card
airborne, the hapless force out is fully visible, and we even get to see the ball on its way to first to complete the twin killing.  that's more like it.

30 July 2011

he gone?

if the rumors are to be believed, and this is the time of the season to believe in rumors, rafael furcal is headed to st. louis.
maybe theriot will come back this way?  at least davey lopes can get his number back.

zuckered in - garvey cey russell lopes is now on facebook

yup. you can 'like' the page by clickling over there on the right, or you can become a fan of the site on facebook.  or both, i suppose.  jim perry seems happy about it.
i'm not sure what i will do on facebook - all the posting will still be here - but i figured it was time to reach out a little bit.

also, there is a new page on facebook called 'the topps traded 1975 project' that i wanted to more formally follow.  david, the proprietor of the site, had asked me a few weeks ago to create some cards that should have been, and may well have been if topps had issued a traded set in 1975.  the first few cards i made up were some dodgers, such as juan marichal
leron lee
(with tommy lasorda lurking!), charlie 'chuck' manuel
and burt hooton (burt hasn't been featured yet, so i won't post that card yet).

then, prior to the hall of fame weekend, david asked me to create a few more cards (he provided the photos, so most of the credit goes to him.  i just put it in the 1975 topps format and added the autograph).  here's jim rice
and dennis eckersley
the eckersley card is pretty cool, if i don't say so myself, but most of that is because of the photo david found somewhere online.

i also did a gaylord perry card which also hasn't yet been showcased, as well as the jim perry card you see at the top of the post.  for that card, i just used his actual 1975 topps card
and put him in the oakland yellows and greens.  it's not the best, but there are some pretty bad cards in the actual 1975 topps set, too.  the jim perry card that should have been has also made its way to the hardball times, which is pretty cool.

so, if you're on facebook, fan up!  and don't forget to check out the 1975 topps traded cards that should have been!

29 July 2011

you might buy the grimes if you don't do the time

it's a relief to find out that a guy isn't featured as a dodger on a vintage card before you make the purchase.  the 1961 fleer burleigh grimes card had been on my nefarious 9 list for a while and i came close to buying it on ebay when i took a closer look at the card being offered (image pilfered from the internets). 
instead of the 'b' for brooklyn on the pinstriped uni (yes, the robins as they were known in grimes' day wore pinstripes) there was stylized text.  a quick review of grimes' uniforms courtesy of baseball reference confirmed that ol' stubblebeard is featured as a cub on that card. teamsets4u is usually pretty reliable, but it's always best to do some recon on your own.  i knew that the first card in the set, the home run baker/ty cobb/zack wheat checklist,
featured wheat, a dodger hall of famer (although he's in street clothes), even though that card is listed by teamsets4u down at the bottom and not within the team checklist.  i recently picked up that card, and as for the other 4 cards listed as dodgers, i own zack wheat's solo card, and the dutch leonard
which is strangely mis-cut.  leonard (not the one with the sub-1.00 era for the red sox in 1914) is probably better known as a washington senator, as he spent 9 years with them compared to 4 with brooklyn.  anyway, as far as i know, the only dodger i am missing is dolph camilli.  so, camilli has replaced grimes on the nefarious 9.  and yes, i have already confirmed that camilli is shown as a dodger.

28 July 2011

are you ready for some football?

i'm not.  the end of july is supposed to be all about baseball and the trading deadline.  not football wheeling and dealing.  it's just not right, kind of like brian jordan's 1998 topps card (which he signed and returned to me sometime last year).
jordan hadn't played football since 1991, but topps still made him strike a pose 7 years later.  did they do this with deion sanders?  who cares.  the next year they did that awful hamburglar card for brian hunter.  but i digress. 

july 31 should be a national holiday, just like opening day.  this sunday, i shall camp out on the couch about an hour before the deadline, and not move until the commissioner's office has approved all of the day's wheeling and dealing.  not that i expect my dodgers to do anything this year.

as for jordan, he was only traded once in his baseball career.  that was in 2002, and it happened in january - not at the non-waiver trading deadline.  the braves sent jordan, andrew brown, and odalis perez to the dodgers for gary sheffield.  here's his 2002 topps traded card (also signed and returned)
which features a photo from the same at bat as his 2003 topps card (just like topps did for mike piazza's 1993 topps traded and 1994 topps cards)
maybe that dumb football shoot wasn't so bad after all.  at least it offered some variety.

jordan had a fantastic season for the dodgers.  he hit .289, scored over 90 runs, had 201 hits, 28 homers and 108 rbi.  too bad it took him 194 games over two years as a dodger to get those numbers. 

thanks for signing my cards, brian.  but i'm still paying football no mind until october.  or later.

26 July 2011

von joshua, double dipper and ttm signer

some may have thought, back in 1975, that von joshua's final act as a dodger was making the last out in the 1974 world series. that's because, in game 5, joshua bounced the ball back to rollie fingers, and the dodgers' season was ended. after the season, the giants picked joshua up on waivers, and he spent the next one and a half seasons patrolling centerfield in candlestick park, although topps kept him in a dodgers' uniform for their 1975 set.
joshua began his career in 1969 after signing with the dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1967. he appeared in 14 games for the blue in '69, then spent about half the 1970 season with the big club. such a large amount of playing time meant that he was included in the 1971 topps set, as seen here on my card that he kindly signed through the mail.
in 1971, he saw action in just 11 games, and didn't appear for the dodgers at all in 1972. over the next two seasons, joshua played about half the time, seeing action at all three outfield spots. over his first stint with the dodgers, joshua had exactly 100 hits and a .246 average in 253 games.

as a giant, he flourished as a full-time player. he hit .318 with 10 triples and 20 steals in 1975, but had his contract purchased by the brewers in june of 1976. here's his 1977 topps card to document his time as a brewer.
and, while we're at it, here's his 1976 topps card that he also signed,
as well as his 1978 topps card.
through 1977, joshua hit .264 for the brew crew, and played in 251 games as their primary center fielder. however, the brewers decided to release joshua after spring training in 1978, and he went to the mexican leagues.
that's where, in 1979, the dodgers found him and brought him back to la. he again played all three outfield spots, and also saw time as the dodgers' left-handed bat off the bench. unfortunately, while he hit .329 as a starter, joshua was only 9 for 48 (.188) as a pinch-hitter. still, he played enough to warrant a card in topps' 1980 set as a dodger.
here's one that he signed for me.
perhaps the highlight of joshua's return to the dodgers was the 9th inning home run he hit off of the reds' tom hume on may 20, 1979 which broke a 4-4 tie. the dodgers wound up winning the game 6-4. it's not a walk-off or some other dramatic play, which means that, for most fans, joshua will still be remembered as the guy who made the last out of the 1974 world series.

here's to you, von joshua!  thanks for signing my cards!

i will also remember him as a dodger double dipper. here's to you, von joshua, and thanks for signing my cards.

25 July 2011

the 1978 topps burger king dodgers/update joe simpson card that should have been!

joe simpson was drafted by the dodgers in 1973, and made his debut for the team as a late season call up in 1975. although he struck out in his first at bat (against the giants' ed halicki), he singled his second time up (which came almost 3 weeks later) for his first big league hit. over the next three seasons, simpson played the role of late or midseason call up, never appearing in more than 29 games for the dodgers, or getting more than 4 hits in any campaign. in fact, he had just one extra base hit (a double) and 2 rbi in his time as a dodger.

still, he appeared in 29 games for the 1977 nl champs, and 10 more for the 1978 pennant winners, so he deserves a 1978 topps burger king dodgers/update card that should have been:
complete with a back:
finding a color photo of simpson as a dodger turned out to be more difficult than i expected. in fact, i almost ordered one from brace photos before deciding to do some photoshopping. it should be noted that even black and white photos were hard to find. his 1990 target dodger card features a photo of him from his time in seattle, but i do have two black and white images of simpson as a dodger, one from the 1978 dodger yearbook, which i used to create this card
just as i did for ron washington, rick sutcliffe and others, and his 1979 topps card which feature fellow '1978 topps cards that should have been' members pedro guerrero and rudy law.
the interesting thing about the 1979 card, aside from the glasses, is that simpson spent the 1979 season in seattle (although he wasn't acquired by the mariners until late may 1979). he wound up playing in 120 games for the m's that season.

back to the card - i initially tried to use his 1981 donruss card
as the base, and worked to get dodger stadium in the background instead of comiskey. it turned out too dark with the shadows, although the uniform looked pretty good. his other cards that i found, including 1982 topps
and 1982 fleer
had too much blue and, in the case of the fleer, were poor quality images to begin with. so, i went with his 1983 donruss card.
i think it turned out ok.

simpson wound up playing for the mariners through the 1982 season hitting .252 in 445 games. he swatted all 9 of his career home runs as a mariner, and finished his big league career with a single season in kansas city in 1983, although he was in the angels' organization for the 1984 season. simpson may be best known for his announcing work with the braves, or maybe even being gaylord perry's 3000th strikeout victim while with the dodgers in 1978, but i'll remember him as a member of the 1977 and 1978 nl champs!

24 July 2011


the u2 show last night was magnificent.  oddly enough, they didn't play that song, one of the few that i would have recognized from their latest album.  it rained, poured, and thundered, but that just added to the experience.  easily in the top 3 u2 shows i have been to, even though the last song they did, 'moment of surrender' was kind of a buzzkill.  the song before that was 'with or without you' which has always been better live, especially when they do that 'shine like stars' part at the end.  unfortunately, i don't think they have done that part since the early 90's, and they didn't do it last night.

they gave the obligatory shout-out to amy winehouse, and at times sang verses from 'rain', 'singing in the rain' and 'purple rain' - a nod to the favored funk son of the twin cities.  no mockery of michele bachman, though.  bono must be slipping.

anyway, i figured i should show off some magnificent cards, but instead, i'll give you the garvey cey russell and lopes cards that have been in my scanned folder the longest, some going back to october of '08 around when i started this thing.

the garvey card is appropriate.  it's a 2004 upper deck legends timeless teams memorable moments
the cey is from 2001 upper deck decade 1970's, and it features dodger stadium and is the cey card in my blog header
 the russell is from the same set as the cey, which is kind of a poor man's 1975 topps
davey lopes takes us north of the border with his 1981 o-pee-chee
they shine like 'vedettes' in the summer night...

ok, no more u2 after this.  back to some cards that should have been tomorrow.

23 July 2011

no line on the horizon

the show is tonight!  i'm looking forward to it.  based on recent setlists, it should be a pretty good show.  only a couple songs from their latest album 'no line on the horizon'.  what does that mean?  i'll interpret it (for the purposes of this post) as 'no end in sight'.  u2 released nloth in 2009, which is when manny was being manny on the ineligible list.
i'm picking on manny even though the real dodger equivalent to no end in sight is frank mccourt.  thankfully there are no frank mccourt cards (although i believe he is lurking in the jim thome card featured in this post) and manny has kind of come to symbolize the mccourt ownership:  we were warned against it, we bought into it, we celebrated its success, and now we feel dirty about it.  just like manny's time in la.

although there is no end in sight to mccourt's ownership thanks to what will likely be years of legal wrangling, i am hoping for the best.

22 July 2011

how to dismantle an atomic bomb

here's how you dismantle an atomic bomb - you trade him to oakland for andre ethier.
u2 released 'how to dismantle an atomic bomb' in 2004.  the dodgers acquired milton bradley in that same year. i was a fan of bradley's - hoping he would pull it together in la.  he didn't, and he was traded in 2005.  sometimes you can't make it on your own.

he was good at pinching it, can he coach it?

the dodgers named a new hitting coach the other day - double dipper and pinch-hitter extraordinaire dave hansen.

hitting coach has to be one of the crappiest jobs in the big leagues.  if guys are hitting, then they are doing what they are paid to do.  if guys aren't hitting, the coach takes the fall.  i hope the dodger offense gets going and dave earns some kudos.

he was kind enough to sign and return some cards for me earlier this spring.  here's a 1993 topps
 and a 1995 topps from his first stint with the dodgers.
 he also signed a 2001 topps from his second go 'round with the team.
thanks dave, and good luck.  just tell 'em to hit 'em where they ain't!

21 July 2011

all that you can't leave behind

do you know what gary sheffield did while he was with the dodgers? 
he got on base (i actually really like that 2000 upper deck card, despite my feelings for sheffield in a dodgers uni).  in each of his 3 full seasons in la, sheffield got on base over 40% of the time.  he also drove in over 100 runs each of those 3 seasons.  his best season as a dodger was 2000, when he went 43/109/.325, but also scored 105 times, walked 101 times, and had an obp of .438.

as for the lads from ireland, u2 released an album in 2000 called 'all that you can't leave behind'.  it struck me as somewhat of a return to their earlier days - not a whole lot of style or weird stuff on this one.  a friend convinced me to buy it a few months after it's october release, and i'm glad i took his advice.

back to sheff.  it's too bad he couldn't leave behind all the baggage that he carried with him.  his request for a contract extension and outspoken discontentment in the spring of 2001 naturally soured the dodgers' front office on him.  i recall that i was just starting to feel comfortable with him wearing dodger blue when his comments about his teammates' contracts came out.  game over gary.  even if it were true about carlos perez, darren dreifort, kevin brown and shawn green, sheffield still had 3 years left on his deal. it took a full year after all of that business for the sherrif to trade sheffield, and i was glad to see him take his baggage with him to atlanta.